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June 18, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of June 17

by Kevin Goldstein

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Jose DePaula, LHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB 7 K

A nice sleeper in the Padres system, DePaula has had trouble staying healthy, but when the 20-year-old Domincan takes the mound, he tends to dominate.  He doesn't have huge stuff, but he can get into the low-90s at times with his fastball, his curve is excellent for his age, and his command is well above-average.  With a 1.19 ERA in 22 2/3 innings, he just needs a bigger sample size to start getting some attention.

John Lamb, LHP, Royals (Low-A Wilmington): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 6 K

As if there hasn't been enough good news for the Royals down on the farm this year, one scout who recently saw Lamb called him among the best left-handers he's seen all year.  Scouts praise his frame and delivery as much as his stuff, as he's been consistently in the 94 mph range with his fastball with excellent command while showcasing an average curveball and plus change. 

Brett Lawrie, 2B, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI

Why the Brewers skipped the relatively inexperienced 20-year-old to Double-A to begin the year is a bit of a mystery, but to his credit, the 2008 first-round pick has recovered from a slow start to become who of the league's tougher outs.  Batting .368 in June and .289/.346/.470 overall, scouts continue to laud Lawrie for his bat, but unfortunately, he's changed few opinions about his defense (it's bad), so he'll have to keep on hitting.

Dayan Viciedo, 1B/3B, White Sox(Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-5, HR (14), R, 3 RBI

With home runs in three straight games, Viciedo is up to .290/.329/.525; and those numbers are going to stay there for awhile, as after the game, the White Sox designated Jayson Nix for assignment and the 21-year-old Cuban will be in the big leagues this weekend.  In possession of tremendous natural bat speed, Viciedo can hit, and hit for power, but there are certainly holes in his game as well, as like many Cubans, he'll swing an any pitch in the same area code, but for Viciedo, he has so much plate coverage that it just doesn't matter.  Don't expect some kind of breakout, and the White Sox are going to do the right thing by not starting him tonight against Steven Strasburg, but he is their best option at  third base.

Others Of Note:

  • J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, HR (14), R, RBI, 2 K.  Nine home runs in last 19 games; lining up well for full time job in '11.
  • Jaff Decker, OF, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 3-for-4, HR (3), K.  Still at just .198/.250/.330 but starting to find his rhythym with .303 mark in last ten games.
  • Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, BB, K.  Starting to creep back towards .300 by going 16-for-44 (.364) in last ten games.
  • B.J. Hermsen, RHP, Twins (Low-A Beloit): 9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K.  Massive (6-6, 230) righty has been up and down this year, but when he's on, he's pounding the strike zone with average-to-plus three pitch mix.
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI.  Even with some June struggles he's hitting .344/.416/.683.
  • Jim Negrych, 2B, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 3-for-4, HR (2), R, 2 RBI.  8-for-17 w/ 2 HR in six games since move to Triple-A; unsure future with Pirates considering Neil Walker's emergence.
  • Mark Rogers, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 5 BB, 5 K.  It's hard to find five sloppier no-hit innings, but it's equally hard not to root for Rogers.
  • Kyle Russell, OF, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 1-for-6, 2B, RBI, 5 K.  That's 19 strikeouts in 36 at-bats for those of you keeping score at home.
  • Angel Salome, DH, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 2-for-2, HR (2), R, RBI, BB.  If he's not willing to catch, he's not willing to be a prospect.
  • Brandon Snyder, 1B, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 2-for-3, K.  Finally figuring out Triple-A pitchng; .327/.389/.531 in June.
  • Sebastian Valle, C, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 2-for-4, HR (9), R, 2 RBI, K.  Seven home runs in last 15 games; 19-year-old is one of the better offensive catching prospects around; defense is so-so at best.
  • Edinson Volquez, RHP, Reds (Low-A Lynchburg): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.  Eight shutout innings in two rehab outings and has yet to walk a batter while sitting at 93-96 mph.

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

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