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July 2, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of July 1

by Kevin Goldstein

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Joe Benson, OF, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 2-for-4, 3B, BB, K

Benson might be having the best season in the minors that absolutely nobody seems to be talking about.  Now hitting a combined .266/.359/.541 between High- and Double-A, Benson has finally lived up to his power projection by nearly tripling his career high in home runs with 14, and while too many strikeouts will likely always keep his batting average down, plus power, plus speed, good defense and a true weapon in his arm should add up to a good everyday player in the big leagues.

Zach Britton, LHP, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Next in line on the list of Orioles prospects, Britton did what he does during his Triple-A debut, as included in his six shutout innings of work was 11 groundball outs.  With a 0.88 ERA in his last six Double-A starts, he was clearly ready for the promotion, and at this pace, he could be ready for another one to the big leagues by September.

Mike Minor, LHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 9 K.

Prospect rankings are tenuous at best, but one of the most important things to do is to quickly identify when you are wrong.  I ripped the selection of Minor when it happened, and I ranked him No. 7 in the system during the offseason, saying, "Minor will likely be a fourth starter and innings eater."  I was wrong, and he's going to be much better than that.  Future ace? No, but with a fastball up to 94 mph and two quality secondary pitches, he's the minor league leader in strikeouts, had a sterling Triple-A debut, and many scouts are putting him down as a good future No. 3 or even No. 2 starter with some All-Star possibilities.

Others of Note:

  • Brandon Allen, 1B, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 2-for-4, HR (10), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K.  Four home runs in last six games and .270/.417/.529 overall; Some scouts see a big league starter, some see a 4A guy.
  • Yonder Alonso, 1B, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 3-for-5, 2 2B, K.  9-for-20 in last four games; still hitting just .247/.286/.354.
  • J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, 2B, K.  It just doesn't stop; 12-for-22 in last five games and .311/.359/.617 overal.
  • Xavier Avery, OF, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, 3 R, RBI, BB, K.  One of the more pleasant surprises in the system; batting .290/.357/.413 and showing lead-off man skillset.
  • Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 BB.  Our long national nightmare is over as Belt moves up to Double-A with a final California League line of .383/.492/.628.
  • Darrell Ceciliani, OF, Mets (Short-season Brooklyn): 2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.  .418/.448/.655 in 14 games; bat and speed are both nice tools.
  • Josh Collmenter, RHP, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K.  1.63 ERA in eight Double-A starts; Not a big stuff guy, but excellent at his craft.
  • Chris Dwyer, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K.  Will above-average velocity for a lefty and 93 strikeouts over 84 1/3 innings; seriously is any system having as a good a year as the Royals?  Is there anyone even close?
  • Logan Forsythe, 2B, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 3-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI.  Weird player to wrap your head around and an on-base/little power second baseman who isn't good defensively; .286/.428/.351 line.
  • Marc Krauss, OF, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 4-for-5, HR (13), R, RBI, K.  The hottest hitter in the minor leagues; 28-for-50 in last 12 games with 48 total bases; overall line of .325/.388/.536 with OPS up 132 points in two weeks.
  • Jake McGee, LHP, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K.  Has been dominant since late May; 36 IP, 27 H, 14 BB, 45 K in last seven starts.
  • Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (Double-A Carolina): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (7), R, 3 RBI, 2 K.  Seven home runs in 79 Double-A at-bats; .291/.322/.620 overall as breakout season continues.
  • Jio Mier, SS, Astros (Low-A Lexington): 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB.  Finally showing some life with the bat; 13-for-32 (.406) in last nine games with six walks, but still only at .227/.324/.292 overall.
  • Mitch Moreland, OF, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, K.  Doing quite well after slow start, 10-for-19 in last five games and .279/.362/.450 overall.
  • Dan Moskos, LHP, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.  Six strikeouts over three scoreless innings since promotion; could be in the big leagues at some point in second half and one of the better comeback stories of the year.
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-for-4, HR (19), R, RBI, BB.  Yup, still ridiculous.
  • Will Myers, C, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 3-for-4, 2 RBI.  High-A debut for one of the best young hitters around; just wish he could catcher better, then he'd be really special.
  • Jacob Petricka, RHP, White Sox (Short-season Briston): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.  Second-rounder last month has big body and big arm; could be really good with improved secondary offerings.
  • Patrick Schuster, LHP, Diamondbacks (Short-season Missoula): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 7 K.  Last year's high school no-hitter king (four in a row), signed for $450,000 last year and has limited Pioneer League to .211 average.
  • Donavan Tate, OF, Padres (Rookie-level AZL Padres): 4-for-4, 2B, HR (1), 4 R, RBI, CS.  First pro home run and first big game for top '09 pick; always bet on the tools.

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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