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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

21 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

APV2600

Wondering what you heard about Chun-Hsiu Chen. 4-4 again today...

Jun 03, 2010 10:42 AM
rating: 0
 
APV2600

check that...5-5 today. 38-92 (.413) with 18 extra-base hits and an 11:15 BB:K ratio since May 1.

Jun 03, 2010 11:07 AM
rating: 0
 
Yarky1

Nice resolution to the walks/context issue in the Ka'aihue section.

Jun 03, 2010 10:57 AM
rating: 0
 
elm
(41)

Any word from scouts or observers about what might have led to the Brackman turn-around? I had already written him off until the last month is giving me hope the Yanks can salvage something from that pick. Maybe he can make it as a power-reliever, as he still isn't going deep into games even during this good run.

Jun 03, 2010 11:02 AM
rating: 1
 
BillJohnson

What's "weird" about Carpenter's profile? I haven't seen him, but neither the stats nor the height/weight strike me as "weird" for a third baseman. He's a bit old for the level, but as you point out, he was only drafted last year, and you can't blame him for not rising through the system before he was in it.

Jun 03, 2010 11:27 AM
rating: 0
 
HeavyHitter

Did you see the part where it said "little power?"

Jun 03, 2010 12:31 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

It's a pure power problem. Walks are a big part of his game, and as he moves up, pitchers will challenge him more because of the lack of power, thus no more power and fewer walks. It's not impossible, but it's certainly a tougher road.

Jun 03, 2010 16:37 PM
 
buffum
(458)

From a man rooting for a team which plays Windmill Branyan and Skates LaPorta at first base, I would be interested to hear what the Royals want for Kila Ka'aihue.

Jun 03, 2010 11:32 AM
rating: 3
 
jaymoff

Nick Franklin feels like another Brandon Wood to me!? A shortstop, glove-only guy coming out of high school with a major power breakout. Thoughts?

Jun 03, 2010 12:08 PM
rating: -1
 
oPlaiD

I'll get a lot more excited about him if he starts walking more later this year or next season.

Either way, I'm not sure you could say he's Brandon Wood. Franklin is making more contact right now and he's also putting up numbers in the Midwest League, where, as KG said, it's impossible to fake hitting for power. Wood did all his AAA damage in the hitter's haven of the PCL.

Jun 03, 2010 14:04 PM
rating: 1
 
Dave Holgado

Wood's real breakout was in A-ball, but also at a notorious hitter's haven in the Cal league, so your point holds.

Jun 03, 2010 15:38 PM
rating: 1
 
Amos

What's the word on L.J. Hoes? The OBP is certainly tasty.

Jun 03, 2010 12:29 PM
rating: 0
 
MFBabyFeets

Hoes is dealing with an undiagnosed illness. story link:

http://masnsports.com/steve_melewski/2010/06/hoes-remains-upbeat-despite-illness.html


ps. FREE KILA

Jun 03, 2010 13:15 PM
rating: 0
 
Cardinals645

I'm grateful for the notes on the Cardinals AA players, but I'm really curious what your take on Pete Kozma is. He's batting .378/.452/.568 in his last 10, and raised his season totals to .269/.332/.441 after a dismal April in which he batted .185.

Is this a flash in the pan, or is he starting to figure AA out?

Jun 03, 2010 13:38 PM
rating: 0
 
perforatededge54

Oh, so we're saying maybe it was too premature to list Brackman, one year removed from TJ, as a bust? That maybe we jumped to conclusions a litttttle bit too quickly?

Jun 03, 2010 14:41 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Isn't calling everything ok after three good starts jumping to it's own conclusions? Can we get a Jump To Conclusions mat in here?

Jun 03, 2010 16:39 PM
 
perforatededge54

I agree, I just think people were jumping all over that mat after last season a little prematurely.

Jun 03, 2010 21:17 PM
rating: 0
 
DGBL

Norris' lack of power is most likely related to the hamate bone injury, right?

Jun 03, 2010 15:25 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Almost assuredly.

Jun 03, 2010 16:39 PM
 
Dave Holgado

On Ackley, sure seems to be a link to his coming out of the slump and his sudden uptick in BB totals, no? He's on a tear in that department, with the OBP almost up to .400 already. To me, this gives credence to the theory that: (a) he was being pitched to very carefully, either due to his hype or his lack of much supporting cast, Peguero excluded, but then he's never hit ahead of Peguero; and (b) it took a bit of time for him to realize and adjust to this. Hopefully the power comes next. That or moving him to the 2 spot again (with Peguero 3rd) so we can see what he's capable of when opposing pitchers are forced to challenge him in the zone.

Jun 03, 2010 15:47 PM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

to buffum's point re: the Indians --- y'gotta wonder, how long is it going to take before the Pirates, Mariners, Angels and/or Orioles start sniffing around Ka'aihue?

Jun 03, 2010 22:02 PM
rating: 0
 
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