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July 16, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of July 15

by Kevin Goldstein

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Brandon Beachy, RHP, Braves(Double-A Mississippi): 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 13 K

Thirteen strikeouts in five innings is always going to catch one's attention, and some further digging shows this guy is a real sleeper.  Signed as an undrafted free agent, Beachy was primarily a slugging infielder at tiny Indiana Wesleyan, but he also relieved at times, and the Braves remembered what they saw from him off the mound and decided to give him a shot.  Sitting in the low 90s, and touching 95-96 at times, the big righty also has a decent curveball and changeup, and in five starts for the M-Braves, he's whiffed 44 in 30 innings while giving up just 16 hits.

Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants(Double-A Richmond): 3-for-4, 3B, HR (5), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K

Is ten games enough to call this? Can we say that the first half explosion in the California League is real? Now 16-for-39 (.410) with five bombs since his move to Double-A, Belt is dominating like nearly no other hitter in baseball, and more and more he's looking like the real thing.

Gorkys Hernandez, OF, Pirates(Double-A Altoona): 3-for-5, R, K

Hernandez went to the Futures Game this year, but it was more because the World roster needed a centerfielder than anything he was doing on the field. Now, he's trying to earn the spot after the fact, going 25-for-63 (.397) during his current 14-game hitting streak to raise hit averages to a not as bad .269/.339/.341. He's one of the best defensive outfielders in the minors, but scouts aren't ready to call him more than a fourth outfielder or second division starter yet.

John Lamb, LHP, Royals(High-A Wilmington): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K

When I worked up the list of the Top 11 prospects still in the minors, I put Lamb down as someone in the discussion for the last spot. If I re-did the list today, I'd just put him on there. In his last five starts, he's gone 28 1/3 innings without giving up an earned run while striking out 38, walking just five, and surrendering 17 hits. He's not just good, he's in the argument for the best left-handed prospect in the minors.

Bryce Stowell, RHP, Indians(Triple-A Columbus): 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Definitely a name to know, Stowell was a 22nd-round pick in 2008 out of the University of California who was all but off the radar entering the year, but the last time he gave up a run was on May 15 and he's dominating at Triple-A. With a fastball that sits at 94-97 mph and one scout clocking a 100 mph pitch from him, he's whiffed 81 over 52 2/3 innings while giving up just 33 hits, and he could be on the verge of the big leagues.

Others Of Note:

  • Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 1-for-5, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, K.  Triple-A debut for last year's second overall pick; defense at second is shaky, power ceiling still questionable.
  • Brett Anderson, LHP, Athletics (Rookie-level AZL Athletics): 4 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K.  Threw strikes in rehab assignment; didn't dominate.
  • J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 1-for-5, HR (26), R, RBI.  At this point, that's almost a bad night for him.
  • Charles Blackmon, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 3-for-6, 2B, HR (6), 3 R, 4 RBI.  True centerfielder batting .284/.352/.486 but gets little attention; has the tools to play in the big leagues, possibly as an everyday player.
  • Andrew Brackman, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 4 BB, 5 K. Best Double-A start but hardly dominating; 4.56 ERA in five starts; 40 base runners in 25 2/3 innings.
  • Domonic Brown, OF, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 3-for-5, R, RBI. .383/.406/.633 in 16 Triple-A games; when you see him in the big leagues is anyone's guess with a number of scenarios in the mix.
  • Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 6 K. C'mon, what's a month without at least one teasing good start out of this guy?
  • Robinson Chirinos, C, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 3-for-3, 2B, HR (11), 2 R, 5 RBI.  Late bloomer is hitting .323/.408/.592 and plenty of scouts are projecting him as a future every day big leaguer.
  • Jaff Decker, OF, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, SB.  Numbers starting to come around after brutal start; 8-for-14 in last four games and .251/.345/.414 overall.
  • Ivan DeJesus, 2B, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (3), 2 R, 2 RBI.  Bouncing back from slow start; hitting .345 since June 1 and .296/.331/.402 overall.
  • Todd Cunningham, OF, Braves (Low-A Rome): 3-for-5, 2 R, K, SB. Second-round pick is 16-for-45 (.356) in last 12 games; solid but unspectacular tools across the board.
  • Juan Francisco, 3B, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 2-for-4, 2 HR (10), 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, 2 K. .280/.317/.531; lots of power, good arm, bad third baseman, horrible approach.
  • Nick Franklin, SS, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 1-for-1, HR (16), R, RBI, HBP.  Left game after getting hit by pitch in leg; not considered serious.
  • Greg Halman, OF, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-for-5, HR (20), 2 R, 2 RBI.  Slugging .712 since June 1 and hitting .261/.344/.599 overall; still a strikeout machine but the Mariners are desperate for power.
  • Billy Hamilton, 2B/SS, Reds (Rookie-level Billings): 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K, 2 K.  Up to .289/.375/.422; has scored 20 runs in 22 games.
  • Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB, K; 1-for-2, 2B, R, RBI, K. Is it time for Double-A? Hitting .353/.430/.547 in a tough hitters park and little left to prove here.
  • Jiwan James, OF, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 2-for-6, 2B, CS. 22-game hitting streak sets new team record; still just .265/.317/.362 overall but the tools remain insane.
  • Ryan Kalish, OF, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 2-for-5, 3B, R, RBI, K. 19-for-40 (.475) in last ten games and .337/.406/.477 in last ten games; getting a look soon?
  • Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 0.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 0 K. This is why he's still in the minors; because you never know when this is going to happen.
  • Marc Krauss, OF, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 3-for-5, HR (16), R, 2 RBI.  Home run off a rehabbing Dallas Braden; .322/.379/.538 and should finish the year in Double-A.
  • Leon Landry, OF, Dodgers (Rookie-level Ogden): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (2), 3 R, 3 RBI, SB, K.  Third-round pick out of LSU needs to get out of the Pioneer League; 11-for-16 in last four games and .403/.429/.642 in 15 games overall.
  • Joe Leonard, 3B, Braves (Low-A Rome): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (1), R, 5 RBIs, K. Big full-season debut for third-round pick; huge, slow third baseman, but he can hit and has an excellent arm.
  • Fernando Martinez, OF, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo): 3-for-5, 2 HR (9), 3 R, 2 RBI, K. Is he the best trade chip the Mets have? He's still just 21 and should generate significant interest.
  • Osvaldo Martinez, SS, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 2-for-5, 2 R, RBI, SB.  Futures Game participant is 15-for-30 in last seven games; .310/.393/.391 overall to go with solid defensive skills.
  • Trey McNutt, RHP, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K.  Breakout pitcher for Cubs has been up to 96 mph with plus slider; when he throws strikes, he's nothing short of fantastic.
  • Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (Double-A Carolina): 2-for-4, HR (9), 2 R, RBI.  Slugging .627 overall with 19 home runs in 271 at-bats; for the most part, scouts think this is for realsies.
  • Justin Marks, LHP, Athletics (Low-A Kane County): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K.  2009 third-round pick is coming on strong with 29 Ks over 15.2 innings in last three starts; similar to Anthony Capra as a potential back-end starter.
  • Andrew Miller, LHP, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 6 BB, 2 K.  Still in the tall weeds . . .
  • Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals (Low-A Quad Cities): 5 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 9 K.  Up to 98 mph but unhittable and hittable at the same time; 81 Ks in 57.1 innings, but also 58 hits allowed.
  • Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 3-for-4, HR (8), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Hitting very well of late and likely off the market now that Cliff Lee is as well.
  • Brent Morel, 3B, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 3-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI. 14-for-28 in last seven games and .303/.340/.434 overall; If Konerko departs via free agency in the off-season, he's the third baseman of the future with Viciedo sliding over to first.
  • Francisco Peguero, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 3-for-5, 3B, 3 R, RBI, BB, 2 SB.  Speedster doesn't walk or hit for power, but is batting .417 (25-for-60) in last 15 games and .297/.330/.439 overall with 11 triple and 32 stolen bases in 74 games.
  • Zach Putnam, RHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Excelling out of the bullpen; 11 Ks over five one-hit innings in last four appearances.
  • Edinson Rincon, 3B, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 3-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K.  19-year-old Dominican is batting .322 since June 1; high-ceiling prospect with raw approach but plenty of upside.
  • Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 2-for-5, 2B, HR (13), R, 3 RBI.  If you watched Sunday's Futures Game, you know what kind of weapon his arm is, and he can really hit too (.279/.333/.521).
  • Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (Rookie-level GCL Yankees): 2-for-3, 2B, RBI.  Generating tremendous buzz with the bat; up to .378/.455/.622 and doesn't turn 18 until December.
  • Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 4.2 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  As a reliever, he's big league ready; as a starter, he has eons to go - isn't the decision here obvious?
  • Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 2-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB. Things have slowed down a bit; triple-slash line now a more reasonable .325/.427/.557 and hasn't gone deep for 16 games.
  • Matt Szczur, OF, Cubs (Short-season Boise): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI.  Speedy fifth-round pick is 12-for-28 (.429) in first seven Northwest League games.
  • Michael Taylor, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 4-for-6, 2B, R, 3 RBI, CS.  Staring to come around? 14-for-40 (.350) during current ten-game hitting streak.
  • Brandon Waring, 3B, Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 2-for-4, HR (15), R, 3 RBI, BB. Slugging .717 in July; but .245 batting average and 114 whiffs in 83 games doesn't bode well.

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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