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June 10, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of June 9

by Kevin Goldstein

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Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates(Triple-A Indianapolis): 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, HR (12)

The highly entertaining Rocco DeMaro, who does pre- and post-game work on the Pirates network, has dubbed the group of young Pirate prospects coming up, "the cavalry."  Hyperbolic?  Sure, a bit, but Pirates fans will take anything they can get at this point.  The biggest piece of that cavalry remains in the minors for now, and the reasons are mysterious.  He's hitting .322 against lefties this year, so that concern is all but out the window, and with last night's outburst he's up to .286/.374/.550, including a .630 slugging percentage since May 1.  C'mon Pittsburgh, does show the Pirates fans all their shiny new toys while keeping the big present out of reach.

Logan Morrison, 1B, Marlins(Triple-A New Orleans): 2-for-4, 2B

Mike Stanton got the call this week, is Morrison far behind?  Now batting .317/.421/.554 in 28 Pacific Coast League games, Morrison is arguably more prepared right now to contribute at the big league level, and while Gaby Sanchez has at least held his own at first base in the big leagues this year, he's nothing more than a placeholder for Morrison, and it might be time to pass the torch.

Wil Myers, C, Royals(Low-A Burlington): 2-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, K. 

In April of this year, Myers hit just .232, but that shouldn't have been a big surprise to anyone, as the brutal April weather of the Midwest League as well as some of the top pitching environments in the minors often lead to rough starts for players from warm-weather states.  Eventually, the talent usually shines through, and with warmer weather comes warmer bats.  Hitting .315, slugging .523 and walking like a madman (30 over 111 at-bats) since the calendar flipped to May, Myers remains one of the better bats in the system, which is a good thing, as his rough defense behind the plate has many anticipating a future move defensively.

Others Of Note:

  • Brandon Allen, 1B, Reno (Triple-A Reno): 2-for-4, HR (5), R, RBI, BB, 2 K.  A mess since his big league struggles last year, but seems to have found his old swing, with 17 total bases in six June games.
  • J.P. Arenciba, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, HR (10), R, 3 RBI.  Five home runs in last 12 games; .259/.310/.503 overall.
  • Scott Barnes, LHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K.  Don't write off based on 6.16 ERA; 19 K, 14 BB in first five starts, 36 K, 10 BB since.
  • Mike Baxter, 1B/OF, Padres (Triple-A Portland): 5-for-5, 2B, 3B, HR (4), 2 R, 6 RBI, BB.  Not really a prospect, but give credit where credit is due, no?
  • Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-6, HR (6), 3 R, RBI, BB, SB.  Surprisingly has 13 stolen bases this year as well, maybe he's just bored with hitting so much and wanted a new challenge.
  • Allen Craig, 1B/OF, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 3-for-4, 2 2B, HR (3), 3 R, 3 RBI, BB. 15-for-31 in June; should be a nice bench bat come September.
  • Ross Detwiler, LHP, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K.  Not exactly Strasburg-mania, but a good first step back from hip surgery.
  • Tyler Flowers, C, White Sox (Triple-A White Sox): 3-for-4, HR (11), R, 3 RBI, K.  Three home runs in last four games; but still only up to .228/.330/.479 and defensive reviews have been poor.
  • Dexter Fowler, OF, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB.  On base 22 times in eight games since demotion; to write him off would be foolish.
  • Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 2-for-3, HR (3), 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, K, SB.  8-for-17 in last four games; up to .286/.402/.424 and the power might be finally coming.
  • Matt LaPorta, OF, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 4-for-4, 3 HR (3), 3 R, 5 RBI.  Where was that all year?
  • Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Cubs (Low-A Peoria): 2-for-3, 2 BB, 2.  Starting to coming on strong with four multi-hit games in last seven and consistently increasing walk rate.
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (Double-A West Tenn): 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI.  Power hasn't come with him from High Desert, but he is hitting; 11-for-22 in last six games and .290/.351/.452 overall.
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 3-for-4, 2B, 3B.  Brings OPS back over 1.000 at .368/.445/.556; really nothing he can't do.
  • Niko Vasquez, 3B, Cardinals (Low-A Quad Cities): 3-for-6, 2 2B, RBI, 2 K. Strange bounce back season with power, tons of walks and even more strikeouts; .267/.423/.472 line is still quite productive.

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:  Triple-A

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

BP Comment Quick Links

funkland

Hey KG...I noticed Miguel Sano showing up in some DSL boxes this week, doesn't $3M buy a ticket stateside?

Jun 10, 2010 10:11 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

The Twins are well known for going slow with prospects.

Jun 10, 2010 10:17 AM
 
tdrury

What do the Angels do with Trout KG? You've gotta think he's ready for a promotion, but I hate the idea of him picking up bad habits at Rancho Cucamonga, and putting him in AA before he's even turned 19 seems awfully aggressive.

Jun 10, 2010 10:30 AM
rating: 0
 
mrenick

tdrury, I'm just curious, what are you referring to with the "picking up bad habits at Rancho?" offensive environment issues? what?

Jun 10, 2010 12:05 PM
rating: 0
 
Yarky1

Don't watch Cops, huh?

Jun 10, 2010 12:15 PM
rating: 1
 
tdrury

Yep, "offensive environment issues"... sorry should have been clearer

Jun 10, 2010 21:35 PM
rating: 0
 
JoshuaGB

Kevin-- Now that the draft is over, can you give me your take on Adam Loewen as a hitter?

Thanks!

Jun 10, 2010 12:25 PM
rating: 0
 
JoshuaGB

Also, random thought:

When Cashner came up there was a lot of talk about whether it is good to put a rookie in the bullpen. Some said it gives him experience in the bigs, while others argued it was the wrong kind of experience. Any chance that this kind of exposure allows the league to learn enough about the young pitcher that it prevents them from suceeding in the future? That it puts him a step behind when he actually begins starting games?

Jun 10, 2010 12:26 PM
rating: 0
 
cchatham

So the beginning of the year Neal Huntington's argument was that Alvarez had work to do on hitting against lefties. Now that he's hitting .322/.412/.678 against lefties and "just" .273/.360/.503 against righties, is the argument that he needs to improve against right handers? Are they keeping him down there until their next home game so they can hope to sell an extra few tickets?

Jun 10, 2010 13:10 PM
rating: 1
 
Brian Cartwright

Super 2 turns into a game of chicken this time of year - who wants to go first? Jason Heyward opened the year with Atlanta, then no debuts of note (that come immediately to mind) until Steven Strasburg and Mike Stanton on 6-8 then Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln, bith of the Pirates on 6-9. I think the Pirates may have decided to lead with their lesser talents, trying to ensure that Pedro Alvarez doesn't get the Super 2 tag.

Plus, Neil Walker has been playing well this year, both in Triple-A and the majors, even if I don't think it will last. Promoting Alvarez would mean dumping either Andy LaRoche or Aki Iwamura, LaRoche moving to 2b if he survives the cut. With Walker now at 2b and doing well, both LaRoche and Iwamura are fighting for their roster spots. The Pirates might be giving Walker another week or two of playing every day to help them decide who the second baseman will be after Alvarez is promoted.

Jun 10, 2010 22:45 PM
rating: 0
 
antonsirius

Starlin Castro, Justin Smoak, Ike Davis, Drew Storen, plus Mike Leake to start the season... there were some pretty huge call-ups before Strasburg. I don't think Super Two can be any kind of consideration for Alvarez at this point.

Jun 13, 2010 16:48 PM
rating: 0
 
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