Pro Scouting Director Poll: Who Is The Best Top Prospect Defender at Every Position on The Diamond?

I am more than halfway through with our Defensive Gems series on In case you are unfamiliar with it, here is the stock copy we print at the beginning of every edition:

As documentarian Ken Burns noted, baseball is the one game in which the defense — not the offense — possesses the ball. With this in mind, continues its “Defensive Gems” series. Over the next nine weeks, we will feature a top prospect at each position who also happens to be an elite defender. In deciding which players to focus on, six scouting directors were polled and extensive research was conducted…

Here are the five stories of the nine total that are completed: Click on the player’s name to be taken to the story:

POS Subjects with story links
C Austin Hedges (SD: A pupil of Brad Ausmus)
P ???
1B ???
2B Carlos Sanchez (CWS: A good defender at three positions)
3B Mike Olt (TEX: A slow-roller expert with soft hands)
SS Francisco Lindor (CLE: A natural ballplayer that is “Cano-ish”)
LF ???
CF Mason Williams (NYY: A gifted athlete making acrobatic plays)
RF ???


And below are the votes cast by the six pro scouting directors alluded to above.
Their opinions were taken into account when my editor and I decided which player to feature. Before I reveal their votes, let me say that I am keeping their names anonymous (as is the case when interviewing scouts and some front office folks). This was the prompt I gave them:
In the nine weeks leading up to Opening Day 2013, we plan on producing a weekly feature story on a top Minor League prospect who is an exceptional defender. I am writing to you now because we would appreciate your input on which defensively-gifted players we should highlight. Based on your experience watching, observing, talking Minor League ball in 2012, could you name a non-[your organization] prospect at each position and tell us why he was impressive to you?
POS American League SD 1
C Christian Bethancourt/Austin Hedges
P _____________
1B Brandon Belt
2B Nick Franklin
3B Matt Dominguez
SS Jose Iglesias
LF _____________
CF Bubba Starling/Engel Beltre/Jorge Bonifacio
RF Matt Den Dekker
POS American League SD 2
C Travis d’Arnaud
P Tyler Anderson/Julio Teheran
1B Harold Riggins
2B Ronny Rodriguez/Gioskar Amaya
3B Christian Villanueva
SS Francisco Lindor, Didi Gregorius
LF _____________
CF James Baldwin, Adam Eaton
RF Trayce Thompson
POS American League SD 4
C Austin Hedges
P _____________
1B Nate Freiman
2B Eddie Rosario
3B Tyler Goeddel
SS Francisco Lindor
LF _____________
CF Mason Williams/Jackie Bradley
RF Drew Vettleson
POS American League SD 5
C Travid d’Arnaud
P Jay Jackson
1B AJ Kirby-Jones
2B Levi Michael
3B Matt Dominguez
SS Jiovanni Mier
LF _____________
CF Jake Marisnick/Engel Beltre/Ender Inciarte
RF _____________
POS National League SD 1
C Christian Bethancourt
P _____________
1B Jonathan Singleton
2B Leury Garcia
3B Mike Olt
SS Didi Gregorius
LF _____________
CF Anthony Gose/George Springer
RF Oscar Taveras
POS American League SD 5
C Tucker Barnhart
P Jake Odorizzi
1B Efren Navarro
2B Rougned Odor
3B David Vidal
SS Didi Gregorious
LF _____________
CF Engel Beltre/Anthony Gose
RF Blake Smith

So that may give you a hint of who might be featured in the final four editions of Defensive Gems. Are there players you think deserve to be on the list? What do you think? Let me know in the comment section.


Don’t overlook Trevor Story in the Rockies organization at shortstop.

Surprised no Nick Ahmed, who had the highest FRAA out of all full season shortstops in 2012

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