A Clay Joba

Keith Law today released his Top 100 prospects list. Joba Chamberlain is No. 3; Clay Buchholz is No. 4.

Chamberlain is best cast as a four-pitch starter who projects as a true No. 1 starter. He has a four-pitch repertoire where all pitches project as average or better … . The fastball and slider are already big league out pitches and in relief, he can probably get away without the other two pitches.

Buchholz is an unusual pitching prospect in that he already brings two plus secondary pitches to the table, including one of the best right-handed changeups in the game today, with good tumble and fading action, and he sells it well with perfect arm speed.

The Red Sox and Yankees both land five prospects in the Top 100, tied for third with the Dodgers behind Tampa Bay and Texas. In order:

  • 3. Joba Chamberlain
  • 4. Clay Buchholz
  • 19. Jacoby Ellsbury
  • 21. Jose Tabata
  • 24. Austin Jackson
  • 28. Lars Anderson
  • 45. Ian Kennedy
  • 55. Jed Lowrie
  • 58. Justin Masterson
  • 100. Andrew Brackman

I’ll let someone else figure out where the former Mets’ prospects rank when compared to Ellsbury (19), Lowrie (55) and Masterson (58) — all thought to be offered to the Twins in some form or other.

34 comments… add one
  • Advantage: Joba?
    (It’s sooo inflammatory and baiting to have this news about Joba being ranked above Clay and Jacoby. I just can’t handle it!)

    Hudson January 31, 2008, 5:09 pm
  • I wonder where Lester and Hughes would rank on this list if they were still technically prospects.

    Nick-YF January 31, 2008, 5:16 pm
  • I don’t follow Lester, but Hughes was #1 last year (I think) and if that’s the case, then it should probably follow..

    Lar January 31, 2008, 5:26 pm
  • was that comment baiting by Hudson?
    Man what bitterness…

    sam-YF January 31, 2008, 5:42 pm
  • This was posted on boston.com’s Extra Bases bloggy-sorta-thing:
    “Just heard from Margie Ellsbury, Jacoby’s mom, and yes, she’s happy that her son is still with the Sox.
    ‘I’m glad it’s finally settled,’ she said in an e-mail, ‘and our boys (Jacoby, Clay, Jed) got to stay in Boston.’
    Clay is Clay Buchholz, of course, while Jed is Jed Lowrie.
    ‘Since the boys are staying,’ Margie wrote,
    ‘I wore my Red Sox shirt to work today. GO RED SOX.'”
    This is flat-out awesome. She’s like the Sox farm club’s homeroom mom. I too am doubly glad that there was no Santana-to-Sox deal now.

    FenSheaParkway January 31, 2008, 6:06 pm
  • I keep waiting to see joba as a starter
    I am from nebraska, I saw joba pitch from highschool, though college, and now in the pros
    you wanna knwo when he did the worst?
    as a starter
    as a closer he never held back, threw everything eh had, and put the balls to the wall and didn;t hold anything back.
    as a starter, he had a hard time managing hsi arm, got tired early, and to compensate he would throw slower to last longer.
    I am sure the yankee pitching staff can fix a few of these issues, but seeing as one of the best college baseball programs in the country could not…I’m not exactly holding my breath to see him become a real starter.
    sit joba in the pen, otherwise he will be a cautionary tale on the side of the road IMO.
    p.s. joba is a tool in person, his father is an even bigger tool.

    TheTree1918 January 31, 2008, 6:10 pm
  • “as a starter, he had a hard time managing hsi arm, got tired early, and to compensate he would throw slower to last longer.”
    Doesn’t every pitcher who goes from closer to starter do this. I think Smoltz probably put a little more zip into his fast ball when he was a closer. Also, his numbers as a starter in college and the minors are pretty awesome. That said, he did suffer through a so-so senior year starting due to tricep issues. Maybe starting hurts his arm? I didn’t know that he was used as a closer at Nebraska by the way. Was that on special occasions, or did he do whole seasons in that role?

    Nick-YF January 31, 2008, 7:35 pm
  • never as a full season, only occasionaly as a warm up, and he did exactly what he did in new york last year.
    he threw like a machine, he put everything he had into the 1-2 innings of work, throwing a heater with some good movement.
    however as a starter he was ok
    not nearly a number 1 as the yankees want him to be. he had to hold back, he had to use his control. and as much as his ball moves when it is fast, it doesn;t move as well when it is slow.
    like I said, it may very well be the yankee pitching staff that makes him move without issue, and maybe teaching him how to control hsi starting long term pitching past 4 innings. but look at the yankees lately, look at the way they go…pitching for 4-5 innings, bullpen for WAy too long, and hoping to score a lot of runs to overcome bad bully work.
    yes, it could be fixed, but i’m not optimistic…I’m a sox fan, we can’t be optimistic.

    TheTree1918 January 31, 2008, 8:07 pm
  • > but i’m not optimistic…I’m a sox fan, we can’t be optimistic
    so you’re saying there’s a chance….

    attackgerbil January 31, 2008, 8:26 pm
  • but i’m not optimistic…I’m a sox fan, we can’t be optimistic.
    Jeez, even I, the most nakedly pessimistic Sox fan around, have had something of a change of attitude. Not that I think success is guaranteed for our team, but man, if there was ever a cure for my reflexive lack of optimism it is this year’s game threads. The sun is shining! All is well! Come on, Tree, turn that frown upside down!

    SF January 31, 2008, 8:42 pm
  • All in all, it looks like the Santana deal worked out great for everyone except for the Twins.
    But they don’t play in the East, so who cares?

    Chris SF January 31, 2008, 9:01 pm
  • Maybe they don’t play in the East, Chris, but they play in a division with the Indians. And the Tigers. So the Twins getting weaker hurts the Yankees and Red Sox in that the Tigers and the Indians gained, meaning that it’s very likely that two teams coming out of the East may be a thing of the past. And that’s not even taking the strengthened Mariners (if they get Bedard) or the Angels into account. The Twins getting weaker hurts teams in the East, even though they don’t play in the East. So yeah, it’s something to care about.

    SF January 31, 2008, 9:19 pm
  • Baseball Prospectus also released their Top 100 list Thursday. The Red Sox scored seven selections, the Yankees netted five. Obviously BP knows that it’s talking about!
    The relevant picks:
    2. Clay Buchholz
    4. Joba Chamberlain
    16. Jacoby Ellsbury
    34. Ian Kennedy
    47. Austin Jackson
    48. Jose Tabata
    53. Justin Masterson
    57. Jed Lowrie
    60. Ryan Kalish
    67. Alan Horne
    95. Michael Bowden
    100. Lars Anderson

    Paul SF February 1, 2008, 2:31 am
  • Geez, apart from the top guys, there really isn’t that much agreement between slots on the lists. I’m not sure what Kalish or Bowden have done to warrant those BA rankings. Lars must have a really big swing to rate so wildly to the BA guys. Sickels loves him.
    For the Yankees I can see the thinking, but they don’t have any wild guess picks on the BA list, like there are for some other teams ;)

    A YF February 1, 2008, 5:57 am
  • Always fun at this time of year to go back and look at past Top 100 lists:

    A YF February 1, 2008, 6:00 am
  • list-schmist….they mean nothing, except someone has too much time on their hands

    dc February 1, 2008, 9:35 am
  • It’s exciting seeing both of our clubs with beefy farm systems. I’m surprised that Buchholz is ranked so much higher than Ellsbury; all of the bulking-up he’s done this offseason must be weighing in. Though the no-no probably doesn’t hurt, either.
    By the way, who the f#$k is Evan Longoria? I had to look at his name 2 or 3 times before realizing that he’s not, in fact, EVA Longoria.

    Atheose February 1, 2008, 9:41 am
  • list-schmist….they mean nothing, except someone has too much time on their hands
    Of course they have too much time on their hands, dc: it’s the offseason! I don’t know about you, but I’ll take any baseball-related articles that don’t involve players named “Johan” or Roger”. By the way, 14 days until pitchers and catchers report!

    Atheose February 1, 2008, 9:43 am
  • sorry for being negative atheose…you’re right of course…i hate the offseason…i hate the waiting…PLAY BALL!!, already, for crying out loud…

    dc February 1, 2008, 10:08 am
  • Yeah, no kidding dc. After the 2004 season I almost didn’t want baseball to ever start up again–it was just such a glorious feeling that lasted all winter. This year, however, I’m anxious to get started again. It’s a great feeling.

    Atheose February 1, 2008, 10:16 am
  • From reading around, Lars is a good prospect, but Law is looking at the power scouts think he is likely to develop, while BP is looking at the fact that he has yet to develop it. It’s a matter of your priorities in looking at prospects, and those affect a lot of the players on lists like these.
    What was interesting to me is how consistent the Sox’ top four were ranked. Buchholz top five, Ellsbury around 15-20, and Masterson and Lowrie bunched around 50. Really, the bottom half of any list could probably be populated by any 50 of 150 prospects or so and not be much worse than any other.

    Paul SF February 1, 2008, 10:20 am
  • You’re right, those four Sox are consistent. Weird then the different views on the Yankees, but still bunch Ajax and Tabata together.
    On Lars though, he’s 20 with a huge frame and great plate discipline. Usually BA loves those guys.
    By the way, as a Metallica fan, I’m really jealous that the Sox could have a kid named Lars playing for them. It’s almost as good as Joba!

    A YF February 1, 2008, 11:28 am
  • In other news… On Boston.com
    “It appears the Mets’ negotiations with the agents for Johan Santana won’t be over quickly. ESPN.com reported yesterday that sources familiar with those discussions said that while the talks may not go right to today’s 5 p.m. deadline, the sides were still far enough apart – on money and length of contract – that it was unlikely any deal could be reached before this morning.”

    LocklandSF February 1, 2008, 11:41 am
  • Re: the Santana negotiations
    I just saw a great nickname for the Mets owner: “Jeff Coupons”
    And when I say ‘great’, I mean, ‘subtracting 5 years from my life’.

    FenSheaParkway February 1, 2008, 12:07 pm
  • Re: Law’s list vs. BP’s: Not surprising that the lists are so different. There’s always differing ways of looking at prospects – ceiling, probability, nearness tot the majors. And I think on top of that, once you get past the top prospects, thre’s probably not a whole lot of difference at present time between, say, #40 and #80.
    Just because I like Law, here are some other notes from his chat, as pertains to NYY & BOS prospects:
    -Top 5 farm systems: 1. Rays 2. Rangers 3. BoSox 4. Yanks 5. Reds
    -Alan Horne is a definite MLB contributer – maybe this year
    -wasn’t sold on Kalish as a prospect – his read on him is that he’s a tremendous athlete with fringe baseball skills & is concerned about his broken hamate bone
    -He thinks their prospects could make the Rays a playoff contender in 3-5 years
    -He *really* likes Austin Jackson – said Jackson has a higher ceiling than Ellsbury, but Ellsbury has a higher probability. Also named Jackson as a potential candidate to move to #1 overall on next year’s list.
    -Lars Anderson: 2 yrs away from the bigs, projects as a 4-5 power bat in the lineup
    -Jesus Montero (C-Yanks) could be a top prospect on next year’s list, although Law thinks there no way he stays behind the plate – probably will move to 1B.
    -He liked Daniel Bard to make next year’s list, but has almost given up on Craig Hansen.

    Mark (YF) February 1, 2008, 12:30 pm
  • Sox sign Sean Casey

    Pocono Sox February 1, 2008, 1:14 pm
  • “It appears the Mets’ negotiations with the agents for Johan Santana won’t be over quickly.”
    I read in the NYT today that the Mets could ask for a 72 hour extension from the Twins, if it looks like a deal won’t be reached by 5:00
    Also, I heard on xm that the sides were about 25 M apart…
    C’mon Mets, get it done – can’t wait until this issue is put to bed

    The Sheriff (Andrews) February 1, 2008, 1:37 pm
  • Sean Casey? But Boston already has a mayor no one understands correctly. Eh. I guess this means Hinske’s going to Arizona.
    “Rays a playoff contender in 3-5 years”
    I hate being dismissive of other teams, but this sounds really familiar.

    FenSheaParkway February 1, 2008, 1:55 pm
  • Hinske is just awful. Sean Casey is an upgrade. Good depth for when Youkilis breaks down at Game #100.

    AndrewYF February 1, 2008, 2:43 pm
  • Will get a post up.

    Paul SF February 1, 2008, 2:58 pm
  • Hinske isn’t very good, agreed. But I’m not terribly excited about this Casey at the bat. At least he brings some OBP.
    You seem fairly precise about when Youk’s getting hurt. You have tickets to that game or something?
    Say, has there been any new info on how the Sox are going to use Buchholz this year? Are they aiming at giving him ‘x’ amount of MLB innings?

    FenSheaParkway February 1, 2008, 3:19 pm
  • No, I was estimating. And by ‘break down’, I mean start hitting like the .250 hitter he was for most of last season. Game #100 was a conservative estimate. Probably will be earlier, given his history.

    AndrewYF February 1, 2008, 4:24 pm
  • If by “most of last season,” you mean July and August, then I guess that’s an accurate statement.

    Paul SF February 1, 2008, 5:12 pm
  • >jeez, even I, the most nakedly pessimistic Sox fan around, have had something of a change of attitude.< I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, too long and too much of a good thing....talk to me in September of this year. if they put together another post season candidacy and it turns out to be decent...I will quit being pessimistic. I am gonna curl up in my Slanket and watch every game this year again, as many as I can on here, and maybe...just maybe....we shall se how it goes :D

    TheTree1918 February 1, 2008, 11:04 pm

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