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April 30, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of April 29

by Kevin Goldstein

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Flirting With History . . .

Kyle Gibson, RHP, Twins (High-A Fort Myers) 

Thursday's stats: 9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

The Twins' first-round pick in 2009, Gibson struggled in his pro debut, giving up five runs without getting out of the fourth inning, but since then, he's arguably been the Florida State League's top pitcher.  On Thursday afternoon, the only hit he gave up was a cheap grounder that deflected off Gibson's glove and left the second baseman without enough time to make a play, while one of the best sinkers around generated 16 ground ball outs to give him a 39-to-4 ratio in his last three outings.  He's seemingly too good for this league, and while plenty of teams passed on him last June because of a forearm injury, he could turn out to be quite the steal for Minnesota. 

. . . And Actual History

Ryan Brasier, RHP, Angels (Double-A Arkansas) 

Thursday's stats: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K

While he's not nearly the prospect Gibson is, or Baltimore's Chris Tillman (who threw Wednesday's night's no-no), a no-hitter is still a no-hitter, and this was the first nine-inning complete game one in the Texas League since 2002, when Hatuey Mendoza did it.  Mendoza never reached the big leagues, and there's no guarantee that Brasier will either.  A sixth-round pick in 2007, Brasier is a short-stocky right-hander who sits at 92-93 mph, but that's also about the sum of his skills as he'll flash a solid slider at times and that's about it.  Still, a no-no is a no-no and should not be denied. 

And Even More Great Pitching

Hector Noesi, RHP, Yankees (High-A Tampa) 

Thursday's stats: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 13 K

Noesi's 3.67 ERA in five Florida State League starts really doesn't do his season justice.  He gave up nine runs five days ago, but in his other four starts, he's allowed just three over 23 innings while striking out 31.  A 23-year-old Dominican who saw his development delayed by 2007 Tommy John surgery, Noesi is a long, skinny righthander who doesn't light up a radar gun as much as he fills the strike zone with three average-to-slightly above offerings, beginning with a fastball than can get up to 93 mph at times.  He's not a monster prospect but a good one. 

We Had Some Hitting Too

Mike Stanton, OF, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville) 

Thursday's stats: 2-for-4, 2B, HR (10), R, RBI, 2 K

Really, it's a Mike Stanton game in a nutshell.  After Carlos Peguero tied him for the minor league lead in home runs with his three-bomb game last night, Stanton replied with his tenth of the year last night, although he also struck out twice to give him 20 whiffs in 20 games.  Still, when one has an OPS of 1.316, the number of strikeouts really doesn't matter anymore. 

Making His 2010 Debut

Chris Charter, 1B, Athletics 

Thursday's stats: 1-for-3, HR (5), R, RBI, BB 

Carter has been a regular in the daily update—that kind of thing happens when you lead the minor league in total bases in each of the past two years.  Always a streaky hitter, Carter has begun one of those runs this week, with three home runs in his last five games raising his season numbers to .284/.376/.541 in 19 games.  Daric Barton finally living up to expectations in Oakland provides a temporary roadblock, but it's likely that at some point in 2010 Oakland will try to find a way to get this kind of power in their lineup. 

Sleeper Alert!

Anthony Slama, RHP, Twins (Triple-A Rochester) 

Thursday's stats: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

A 39th-round pick in 2006, Slama has rarely gotten much love from scouts, despite a career mark of over 13 strikeouts per nine innings.  He doesn't have the kind of stuff one would expect with those kind of numbers, as his fastball sits at 89-92 mph and is known more for its sink than velocity, but there's just something about his delivery, location and natural movement that makes him unhittable at times.  This week has been one of those times, as he's held opponents hitless in his last five games – a span of 6 1/3 innings.  The Twins bullpen has been excellent so far in 2010, even without Joe Nathan, but should the need for help arise, Slama should be able to provide. 

Others Of Note:

  • Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 0-for-5, K.  Alvarez started off slow last year as well; he's in a 1-for-14 slump and .222/.300/.395 overall.
  • R.A. Dickey, RHP, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo): 9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K.  The 35-year-old vet gave up a leadoff single and then retired 27 straight.
  • Nick Franklin, SS, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 2-for-5, HR (5), R, 2 RBIs.  Generating a lot of buzz in the Midwest League of late, Franklin is now up to .337/.385/.639.
  • Kila Ka'aihue, 1B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-for-2, 2B, HR (6), 3 R, 4 RBI, BB. Up to .304/.442/.623, Ka'aihue needs to go to Japan or something as Royals seem unwilling to even give him a chance.
  • James McDonald, RHP, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque): 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K.   Converted back to starting, McDonald's five hitless innings at Albuquerque are no small feat.
  • Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (High-Lynchburg): 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB, K, 2 SB.  Is this an early fluke, or is the former first-round pick figuring some things out with a line of .300/.386/.567?
  • Andy Oliver, LHP, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 10 K.  Double-A seemed aggressive, and he's struggled at times, but last night he showed dominant stuff for a southpaw.
  • Rich Poythress, 1B, Mariners (High-A High Desert): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (5), 2 R, 2 RBI.  The massive college slugger seems born to put up big numbers at High Desert, and he's hitting .417/.481/.875 at home.
  • Wes Roemer, RHP, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K.  Roemer might have figured out how to pitch with fringy stuff but 80 command and control; He has a 2.00 ERA in five starts along with 25 Ks and 3 BBs in 36 IP.
  • Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves (Low-A Rome): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 8 K.  Teheran has been almost quietly dominant, as Sally League is hitting .144 against him, and he's yet to give up more than one earned run in any start.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

Related Content:  R.A. Dickey

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