Topps/MiLB Name Players of the Year has the news today that Topps and MiLB named their top players for each league and the Nationals had one representative and one huge omission (in my opinion).

OF Eury Perez was named the top player for the Gulf Coast League. The 19-year old Perez led the GCL with a 0.381 BA during a breakout season that saw him hit 381/443/503 with 18/24 SB. He’s one of the more promising bats in the Nationals organization.

More surprising was the lack of a Nationals prospect.

Topps and MiLB named Rockies CA Jordan Pacheco the top player in the South Atlantic League, overlooking Nationals CA Derek Norris. I’m puzzled at this choice because here are Norris’ rankings in the various Sally offensive categories:

  • BA: 17th
  • OBP: 1st
  • SLG: 5th
  • H: 13th
  • R: 4th
  • RBI: 4th
  • 2B: 10th (T)
  • HR: 2nd

Here are their numbers side by side (or top and botom):

Norris 126 437 78 125 30 0 23 84 224 90 116 6 3 286 413 513
Pacheco 117 451 67 145 30 4 13 79 222 38 44 12 2 322 379 492

From what I can gather, I believe Pacheco is considered a better defender behind the plate, Pacheco was named the Sally League Most Valuable Player but Norris earned the title of Most Outstanding MLB prospect.

The thing that stood out most to me is their respective ages. Norris played at 20 while Pacheco was 23.

I would be interested to know the criteria used to make the ultimate decision.

  1. #1 by Rich - November 5th, 2009 at 17:33

    I would assume its because the creator assumes that Norris won’t cut it as a catcher? If Norris is moved from Catcher doesn’t his value go down significantly? Or maybe because Norris tanked at the end of the year? I’m not justifying it, I am only speculating.

  2. #2 by Brian Oliver - November 5th, 2009 at 17:36

    Rich – Both are possibilities. I just don’t necessarily understand when some of the other choices are guys who likely slugged their way to the choice (Shelley Duncan as one example).

  3. #3 by John - November 5th, 2009 at 18:17

    Perhaps it’s because Norris played on a terrible team. It may be the “They can finish last with or without him, so how valuable can he be?” argument.

  4. #4 by VladiHondo - November 6th, 2009 at 09:21

    The pick certainly belongs in Bizarro-land, at least with BA’s pick you can speculate that someone “projects” better. The only way Pacheco ranks above is that he helped his team “win” more (last in 1st half, 1st in 2nd half), which is SO important in the minors!

  5. #5 by estuartj - November 6th, 2009 at 09:32

    These guys tend to still love BA as a stat. Looking closer at the numbers I can see the argument for Pacheco, assuming you are counting defense and not age. Pacheco’s greater number of hits and dramatically fewer Ks, might have put him over the top (but again you have to be ignoring BB, OBP & SLG).

  6. #6 by Greg - November 6th, 2009 at 10:02

    Great point about the ages though.

  7. #7 by WallyBall - November 6th, 2009 at 12:42

    Off topic, but Nats Journal has a post up about the AFL, and in it, an AL scout was complimentary about the FO additions, especially Kline and Schueler. Seems consistent with other reports that Rizzo assembled a solid group, but I still wish they had at least one guy that specialized in sabremetrics.

  8. #8 by Berndaddy - November 6th, 2009 at 13:45

    Live by the sabre die by the sabre ;>)

  9. #9 by Jeff E. - November 6th, 2009 at 14:54

    Brian, I would not be surprised if the “start over from scratch” philosophy applies to Rizzo and associates utilizing someday in the future Norris and Marrero in trades for upgrading quality. Look how the under achieving LH bats are moved for a song or two: Kotchman, Chris Duncan, Heredia ( like Boston has to worry about pitching depth with their NESN dollars) and now Teahan, who could join Carlos Delgado on a revamped CHISOX. meanwhile we await the winter additions under the radar: hypothetically? Jeff Salazar and other types…

  10. #10 by Brian Oliver - November 6th, 2009 at 15:03

    Jeff- The dealing of Marrero is definitely within the realm of possibility. I’m less sure on Norris.

    I would not be opposed to any deal that helps better orient the team to a Rizzo-defined philosophy.

    The only thing I hope to see is better utilizing the later draft picks on HS who slide AND signing them and getting an international pipeline up and running.

  11. #11 by JCA - November 7th, 2009 at 17:25

    Brian – Not that I would have made the same decision, but I can see how someone who values batting average over OBP would see the 40 point difference, factor in defense, and maybe explain away the HR difference by looking at total XBH (47 v 53) and SLG and give the nod to Pacheco. Again, that’s not how I think, but I think that could be the rationale. Also, I think a lot of times the MiLB POY for a league does not go to the best prospect in the league. In a way, they reward a guy who is not going to pan out. I’m pretty sure that’s often been the case at AAA (as you note, Shelley Duncan).

  12. #12 by VladiHondo - November 7th, 2009 at 23:52

    Let us not forget the positive here, out of all the Dominican turmoil and overloaded old-guy DSL teams we’ve had, we actually got a Hot-#2 live one in Eury Perez!

    Congrats Eury and hope to see you in full season ball up the road in H-town next year! Kick butt Tiger!

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