After falling just one vote short against Trey Ball, it's no surprise that Sean Coyle has taken the next spot on the list by a sizable margin.
There are few players more enigmatic than Coyle in the farm system. He's a third round pick who hit to a .826 OPS in his first full year of professional baseball and, after a down year in 2012, has managed 531 at bats of even better baseball between Salem and Portland. He's all of 5'8" but has 30 homers in those 531 at bats, and has shown the ability to draw walks at an almost Youklesian rate. He's even stolen 61 bases in 70 attempts, to boot.
How is he not the top prospect in the system?
Partially it's because scouts don't really buy that Coyle is a 30 homer per year player in the majors, or anything close to that. And why should they, given his size? The Red Sox obviously have the go-to example for a small guy casting a large shadow, but even Dustin Pedroia isn't earning a spot in the Hume Run Derby.
More than that, though, it's because Coyle simply hasn't been able to stay on the field. It's hamstrings and thumbs and elbows and knees. Injury after injury has kept Coyle out of the lineup and likely even diminished his success in the time he's actually on the field.
Most prospects coming in around this level are in need of big years. Either they're behind the age curve, have stumbled at higher levels, or have yet to follow through on high draft expectations. None of this is true of Coyle. He hit well out of the gate, and has shown he's more than capable of performing at Portland in his age 22 season. Coyle doesn't need a big year, he needs a long one. One without gaps to make everyone pay attention to what he's done in the time he has been healthy.
- Blake Swihart, C
- Henry Owens, LHP
- Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
- Rafael Devers, 3B
- Manuel Margot, OF
- Brian Johnson, LHP
- Garin Cecchini, 3B
- Matt Barnes, RHP
- Deven Marrero, SS
- Michael Chavis, SS
- Trey Ball, LHP
- Sean Coyle, 2B