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June 3, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of June 2

by Kevin Goldstein

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Nick Franklin, SS, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 3-for-5, 2 HR (11), 3 R, 3 RBI.

I almost feel sorry for the guy, as if it wasn't for Mike Trout, Franklin would be the talk of the Midwest League.  Everyone knew coming into the year that Franklin was a good defender with solid hitting ability, but the power has been nothing short of shocking, as he's slugging .589 with 11 home runs when most projected him in last year's draft as having below average power.  It's hard, if not nearly impossible to have a fluke power season in the Midwest League, so move Franklin way up the charts.

Brock Holt, SS, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 5-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI

A ninth-round pick out of Rice last year, Holt is exactly what one would expect from a college middle infielder drafted in the ninth round.  He's gritty, gutsy, plays the game right, knows what he is doing at the plate and is undersized without a lot of tools.  All that said, he certainly can hit, as after last night's outburst his season averages are up to .357/.415/.449.  He's not going to be a shortstop in the end, and he's never going to hit for power, which limits his prospects to becoming an everyday second baseman, but the bat gives him a fighting chance.

Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 1-for-3, HR (7), R, RBI, 2 K

The Rockies were aggressive with Rosario last year, pushing him to High-A as a 20-year-old, and again this year, as after an injury plagued 2009, he entered the year in Double-A with just 58 games of full-season experience.  Still, talent is talent as Rosario is certainly talented, going deep in three straight games to raise his season averages to .273/.326/.515.  He's one of the best catching prospects around that nobody seems to talk about.

Alex White, RHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 6.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. 

In three starts since his promotion to the Eastern League, the 2009 first-round pick has allowed just 11 hits in 19 2/3 innings with a 1.83 ERA, but this was the first start in which he missed some bats.  He's still a tough one for many scouts, who wonder how a pitcher who primarily goes off a fastball/splitter combination projects in the big leagues.  Succeeding in Double-A during one's first full season is always a good thing, but reviews remain mixed.

Others Of Note:

  • Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners (Double-A West Tenn): 3-for-3, 2B, BB.  The slump looks to be over; questions remain about defense and power potential.
  • Andrew Brackman, RHP, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K.  Possibly some very real progress here; 17 IP, 12 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 19 K in last three games.
  • Lorenzo Cain, OF, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 2-or-3, 3B, 2 R, RBI.  Up to .360/.453/.507 and officially back on track.
  • Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (2), R, 4 RBI.  13th round pick in last year's draft is batting a combined .326/.443/.457 between High- and Double-A; On-base machine with line drive bat, but little power and a weird profile for the position.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (Double-A Akron): 2-for-4, HR (2), R, 4 RBI, K.  8-for-16 with two bombs in last four games, still hasn't played the field for a month (should soon).
  • Reese Havens, 2B, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 3-for-4, 2 HR (3), 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, K.  26 total bases in nine Double-A games; could be the fix for the Luis Castillo issue as early as next spring.
  • Aaron Hicks, OF, Twins (Low-A Beloit): 2-for-4, HR (5), R, RBI, CS.  Tools remain insane, but approach is almost getting the better of him at times, as 89 of 223 plate appearances (40%) have ended in a walk or a strikeout.
  • Daryl Jones, OF, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 4-for-6, 2 3B, HR (1), 3 R, 4 RBI. Finally hitting again?  10-game hitting streak, including 10-for-18 mark in last five games.
  • Kila Ka'aihue, 1B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (11), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. 10-for-23 with three home runs and eight walks in last six games to go with overall line of .347/.512/.677.   That's not a typo . . . .512 thanks to more than one third as many walks (42) as at-bats (124).
  • Cory Luebke, LHP, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.  Working way back from injury; has allowed just four hits in 12 1/3 innings.  Bit of a 'tweener without a ton of stuff, nor a ton of command, but just enough of both.
  • Michael McKenry, C, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, K.  Hit .229 in April, but .373 since; between he, Wilin Rosario and Jordan Pacheco, the Rockies are rich in catching prospects.
  • Tim Melville, RHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 5 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K.  Early season nightmares seem to be over after third straight after fourth straight very good outing. 
  • Wil Myers, C, Royals (Low-A Burlington): 1-for-2, HR (7), R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.  Heating up with the weather; up to .278/.386/.477, and one wonders if bat is going to get too far ahead of the glove and require a position switch.
  • Derek Norris, C, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 2-for-6, R, 2 RBI.  Strange line of .294/.463/.392 as power has gone a bit AWOL.
  • David Phelps, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K.  Big arm-strength righty has limited Eastern League hitters to a .191 average; most put relief profile on him due to limited arsenal.
  • Scott Sizemore, 2B, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 2-for-4, 2B, R, BB, 2 K.  Fourth straight multi-hit game during 10-game hitting streak (19-for-40, .475).
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 4-for-5, 2 R, RBI.  Running out of words . . .
  • Miguel Velasquez, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-for-4, HR (10), R, 2 RBI.  Home runs in back-to-back games after a long slump; .288/.359/.515 line still impresses.
  • Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Braves (Low-A Rome): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.  28 2/3 innings without an earned run in last four starts; trying to get some of the attention back from Julio Teheran's explosive year.

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:  Wilin Rosario,  Double Switch

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