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June 25, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of June 24

by Kevin Goldstein

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Grant Green, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 3-for-6, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K

Green hasn't played the field for two weeks due to a shoulder strain, but that hasn't slowed him down with the bat.  With 10 hits in his last three games and a 21-game run that's seen him go 40-for-88 (.455), the '09 first-rounder is up to .324/.373/.477 and could finish the year in Double-A.

Tyler Matzek, LHP, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 5.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 5 K

This is really Matzek's debut in a nutshell.  He's been unhittable at times, limiting the Sally League to a .172 average while striking out 32 in 29 1/3 innings, but at the same time, control is an issue, as he's walked 21.  For now, all that matters is that he's showing the ability to dominate, and you hope the strikes come later.

Rick Porcello, RHP, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K.

It was certainly a successful first step at Triple-A, as the 21-year-old needed just 85 pitches to cruise through his eight nearly flawless innings in his first start since being demoted from the big leagues.  Still, one is forced to wonder if Porcello will ever be the strikeout power pitcher that was projected for him when drafted.  With just three whiffs, was Porcello really any different from the pitcher that struggled in Detroit? 

Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Red Sox (Short-season Lowell): 2-for-4, RBI, 2 K, SB

Nobody questioned Vitek's hitting ability in this year's draft, and he's 8-for-15 in his last four games.  The question was where he would end up defensively.  Most teams though it was outfield or bust for the Ball State product, and it might still be looking that way, as in only three games at the hot corner, Vitek has committed four errors, including two last night.

Others Of Note:

Omer Beltre, RHP, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K.  Almost 29 after missing years due to visa issues, but 1.25 ERA  since being moved to the rotation.

Domonic Brown, OF, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 0-for-3, 2 BB, K.  Notable only because it's his last Eastern League game, as he's been promoted to Triple-A.

Jaff Decker, OF, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 3-for-3, 3B, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.  Here he finally comes?  .288/.343/.492 in June.

Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (Short-season Eugene): 2-for-5, R, 2 RBI.  49th overall pick out of West Virginia is 13-for-30 (.433) in first seven pro games.

Greg Halman, OF, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 2-for-3, 3B, HR (13), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Still striking out a ton, but at .244/.328/.556 he's drawing some walks for the first time in his career and there's still tools and upside.

Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 2-for-4, HR (4), R, RBI.  .358/.426/.540; do the 24 doubles in 265 at-bats tell us that more home runs are coming down the road?

Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 3-for-5, 3B, HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI.  Batting .348/.406/.674 in June, one league observer says, "He's officially too good for High-A."

Brandon Laird, 3B, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 3-for-4, 2 HR (18), 2 R, 7 RBI, K.  Continuing to keep his trade value up; Josh Norris, who covers the team for The Trentonian, reports that in just 71 games, Laird is just 25 RBIs short of the team record.

John Lamb, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K.  One scouts calls him, "among the best lefties I've seen this year."

Nick Longmire, OF, Cardinals (Short-season Batavia): 2-for-5, HR (3), R, 4 RBI, K.  Toolsy fifth-round from earlier in the month has 23 total bases in six games.

Andrew Miller, LHP, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 6 K.  Progress?  ERA still sits at 7.59.

Logan Morrison, 1B, Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans): 2-for-4, R, RBI, K.  Batting .361/.454/.518 in June; could get the call soon . . . or at least should.

Hector Noesi, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 10 K. If scouts were in Trenton looking at players for a potential Yankee trade, they sure got a good show.

Cody Scarpetta, RHP, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 10 K.  Season-high in whiffs and 68 in 65.2 innings on the season; has the stuff to miss bat, but also misses the strike zone too often.

Jake Skole, OF, Rangers (Rookie-level AZL Rangers): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, K.  15th overall pick with first big pro game, but many had a big game in messy 23-run outburst that included 14 walks and five Cub errors.

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

dcarroll

Looks like Morrison has played some LF. Any reports on how well he has done there?

Jun 25, 2010 11:05 AM
rating: 0
 
dwinning

Who do you take between John Lamb and Tyler Skaggs? both young LHP dominating A ball, but who's got the better stuff?

Jun 25, 2010 11:23 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I prefer Lamb, but that's not a shot at Skaggs. They're both very good prospects.

Jun 25, 2010 18:33 PM
 
rweiler

I've asked before, but why is Grant Green at 324/374/477 considered notable, but Charlie Culberson at 317/357/533 not, especially considering that Culberson is more that 1.5 years younger? Is it just because Green is a poor SS whereas Culberson is a poor 2b? Green's marginally better (but still poor) walk rate? Park effects?

Jun 25, 2010 11:28 AM
rating: -2
 
Ben F.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it's because even with the 2010 numbers Culberson has a career line of .263/.322/.372 in 1339 PA. Last year, repeating A he had an OPS of .610. Oh, and it looks like his defense isn't very good either.

Jun 25, 2010 13:26 PM
rating: 0
 
rweiler

Sure, but isn't that to be expected for a guy coming out of high school as opposed to a player coming out of major college baseball program as a junior? The fact is that at the same level, Culberson is currently putting up similar or better numbers at a younger age, and he is a higher percentage base stealer as well. I can buy the defense argument, Culberson has made errors by the bushel full, but according to KG, Green's defense hasn't been anything special either.

Jun 25, 2010 14:43 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Green's defense hasn't been anything special at all, but on a pure scouting level, he's a much better player.

Jun 25, 2010 18:28 PM
 
rweiler

I guess that's what I'm asking; when one player is out performing another at the same level, at a similar age, what makes the player that is performing less well scout out better? Holes in the swing (or lack thereof)? footwork? Staying in the hitting zone, even if it isn't currently getting better results? Pure bat speed? Pure foot speed? Overall size and fitness? There has got to be something that scouts see that doesn't currently translate into current minor league numbers, but that you believe will translate into a better major league player. Inability to play defense anywhere on a baseball field certainly has to factor in as it relegates some players to being DH only. A poor fielding SS could turn out to be adequate at 3rd or 2nd. Anyway, I'd be interested in seeing more in depth articles focusing on two minor league players with similar numbers/experience with scouts reasons for why they think one guy is a major league player, and the other one is not.

Jun 28, 2010 12:05 PM
rating: 0
 
Clonod

Do you think Wilmer got promoted to try and jump start him?

Jun 25, 2010 11:43 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think there are a lot of factors in play, including positonal needs, changing the scenery and challenging him more.

Jun 25, 2010 18:29 PM
 
Edwincnelson

Is it starting to look like Morrison is legitimately blocked by Sanchez? I always thought Sanchez would be a placeholder, but if he can sustain an even slightly above average BABIP (.340 seems a bit high) with a solid walk and K rate is he legit? What do you do with Morrison then?

Jun 25, 2010 12:47 PM
rating: 0
 
basejaw

Thanks Kevin...does Beltre have the arsenal to stick as a SP? What's the ceiling?

Jun 25, 2010 13:26 PM
rating: 1
 
leites

I was wondering the same thing :)

Jun 25, 2010 15:34 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I like him MUCH better as a reliever. I understand why you would want him to start, and he has the arsenal to start, but as his age, I fear the learning curve.

Jun 25, 2010 18:32 PM
 
hyprvypr

Jackson's an interesting prospect. Hailed for his power and tools yet holes in his swing, he's now hitting for average, taking some walks, striking out less and producing decent but not eye-popping power.

Kevin, any guesses or reports to this change? Perhaps a slight approach change(taking more bad pitches?). If he can put it all together, is it just me or does he look like a superstar?

Jun 25, 2010 15:28 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think the FSL has hampered his power quite a bit too, I expect more home runs from him at Double-A. There's real juice in that bat.

Jun 25, 2010 18:29 PM
 
John Carter

Geez, I rely on you, Kevin, to point out the hot prospects - and I am amazed at what a thorough job you do. However, I need someone to blame other than myself for missing Andy Oliver's call-up. We finished our draft yesterday morning. I had the 2nd to last pick early and went for Brad Kilby in hopes of a call-up as I'm a bit desperate for a quality lefty reliever. The last picker noticed Oliver's name as a probably starter in the morning paper and nabbed him just in time.

Looking at BP's article history - I don't see any recent green flags from you regarding Oliver, but I do see Mark Namandin was on top of it. However, I missed that. It must have been burried in the clutter with all those Blogs on the side bar. It never occurred to me to look for Mark's name to keep up with potential or recent call-ups.

Anyway, thanks, everyone, for indulging my venting here. Hopefully, there is a lesson or two in there.

- www.scoresheetwiz.oom

Jun 26, 2010 10:38 AM
rating: -3
 
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