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July 23, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of July 22

by Kevin Goldstein

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Charlie Furbush, LHP, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K

When you thought about the players who would potentially lead the minors in strikeouts this year, chances are good that Furbush didn't make the list.  A fourth-round pick in 2007, Furbush missed the entire 2008 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and was merely average as a 23-year-old in the Florida State League last year, but in 2010 he's now reached Triple-A while striking out 153 in just 116 1/3 innings.  It's far more deception and command than stuff, as the tall southpaw sits at 90-92 mph with his fastball while feature a good curveball and average-at-best change, but as he keeps proving himself at every level, at some point he'll get a chance to see if it works in the big leagues.

Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 2-for-4, 2 HR (17), 2 R, 3 RBI, K

When talk turns to the best catching prospects in the minors, Rosario now has to be in the discussion.  The 21-year-old Dominican has slugged six home run in his last seven games while batting .283/.336/.558 overall to go with one of the better catcher arms in the minors.

Others Of Note:

  • Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins (Rookie-level Elizabethton): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (9), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.  Few short-season players making more noise; 19-year-old Venezuelan up to .388/.436/.777 in 30 games with 25 of 47 hits going for extra bases.
  • Blake Beavan, RHP, Mariners (Double-A West Tenn): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K.  Second start for Mariners org; going to eat up innings in the big leagues.
  • Peter Bourjos, OF, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 3-for-6, 2B, R, CS.  15-for-34 in last seven games and .301/.355/.455 overall; just fourth caught stealing in 31 attempts.
  • Louis Coleman, RHP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.  Nice sleeper in Royals system as future bullpen piece.
  • Christian Colon, SS, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 3-for-5, RBI.  Clearly adjusting to pro life; 10-for-26 (.385) in last six games.
  • Danny Duffy, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K.  With Montgomery, Lamb and Dyson, the Royals group of top-tier lefties grows to four now that Duffy as un-retired.
  • Todd Glaesmann, OF, Rays (Rookie-level Princeton): 4-for-4, 3B, 2 HR (3), 4 R, 3 RBI, SB.  Monster game for 2009 third-round pick that has otherwise struggled; Big and ultra-athletic with overall line of .196/.281/.363.
  • Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 3-for-3, BB, SB, CS.  11-for-18 in last four games; still little power or patience.
  • Grant Green, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, SB.  Batting .415/.437/.662 in July and clearly needs a new challenge, at least offensively.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 2-for-4, 2 2B, R, K.  First two Midwest League hits for last month's draftee who crushed the Northwest League.
  • Junior Lake, SS, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 2-for-4, 3B, R, 3 RBI.  Still a prospect; highly athletic, just 20 and hitting .299/.347/.582 in July.
  • Ryan Lavarnway, C, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K.  12-for-27 in first seven Double-A games; he can hit, but can he catch?
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (Double-A West Tenn): 2-for-4, HR (10), R, 2 RBI, K.  Home runs in four straight games has lifted slugging by nearly 50 points; .275/.344/.471 overall.
  • Matt Lipka, SS, Braves (Rookie-level GCL Braves): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (1), 3 R, RBI, BB, 2 SB.  First pro home run for top Braves pick; up to .347/.407/.459 and has stolen six bases in his last three games.
  • Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (Double-A Carolina): 4-for-6, 2 R; Double-A line stands at .315/.370/.646; with only five weeks left in the season it's not like we can call this just a fluke.
  • Matt Moore, LHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K.  Last year's minor league strikeout leader only trails Furbush this year; 143 whiffs in just 104 innings.
  • Will Myers, C, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 3-for-4, 2 2B, R.  Like Trout, another top Midwest League hitter showing no signs of slowing down in High-A; .357/.446/.471 in 20 Carolina League games.
  • Chris Nelson, INF, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 3-for-5, HR (11), 3 R, RBI.  Batting .408/.438/.724 in 18 July games; deserves a better shot at the big leagues, like at second base.
  • Joseph Ortiz, LHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K.  It's hard to get too worked about a 5-foot-7 lefty, but Ortiz has crazy great command and a good slider, thus 38 strikeouts and four walks in 25.1 innings.
  • Stephen Parker, 3B, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 3-for-5, HR (13), R, 2 RBI, K. Bit of a sleeper as a third baseman with power and patience; up to .296/.394/.468.
  • Francisco Peguero, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 3-for-5, 3B, HR (6), R, RBI, K.  Ten hits in last three games and 40-for-92 (.435) in last 22 contests; .312/.345/.475 overall.
  • Garrett Richards, RHP, Angels (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K.  Still bafflingly inconsistent; has the stuff to do this every night, but also gets hammered once over three or four starts.
  • Mel Rojas, OF, Pirates (Short-season State College): 4-for-5, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB.  Third-round pick has plenty of tools; only position player Pirates took in first ten rounds.
  • Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Reds (Rookie-level Billings): 17-year-old Venezuelan starting to show signs of life with .375/.378/.500 line; one walk in 17 games.
  • Miguel Sano, 3B/SS, Twins (Rookie-level GCL Twins): 2-for-4, HR (2), R, RBI, K.  17-year-old is up to .300/.345/.520 in 13 state-side games; the sky is the limit.
  • Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-4, HR (4), R, 6 RBI, 2 K. Can I come back to the big leagues now?
  • Michael Taylor, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-5, 2 R, RBI, K, SB.  Batting .373 (25-for-67) during 17-game hitting streak; even season numbers don't look so bad at this point (.275/.350/.411)
  • Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves (High-A Myrtle Beach): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K.  2.98 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 63.1 High-A innings; 19-year-olds next start might be at Double-A.
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 2-for-5, R, RBI, K.  .314/.400/.514 in nine High-A games.
  • Chris Valaika, 2B/SS, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 3-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, K.  9-for-18 in last four games and .299/.328/.393 overall; future utilityman.
  • Brett Wallace, 1B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI.  Three straight multi-hit games and .296/.359/.497 overall; where did his reputation as an on-base machine come from? 93 career walks in 1230 plate appearances.
  • Adam Warren, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K.  Second Double-A start; many scouts project as solid-but-unspectacular big league starter.

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

Matthew Avery

Word on the street is Teheran and Randall Delgado both headed to AA.

Jul 23, 2010 11:33 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Braves made a lot of moves:

Brandon Beachy to AAA
Teheran and Delgado to AA
Cory Rasmus to A+

Jul 23, 2010 14:02 PM
Mark Anderson

Furbush sat 88-90 last night (touched 92 6 times, and 93 once), and has been there much of this year, and his command was well below average. His CB looked like a potential above-average pitch, and out of 102 pitches, he threw just two change-ups; both quite poor. He's a two-pitch guy right now, and with his lack of athleticism and his arm action, I'm not sure one can really expect his command to improve appreciably.

Jul 23, 2010 11:38 AM
rating: 0

Count me as one who would love to see Nelson start at 2B in COL.

Jul 23, 2010 11:41 AM
rating: 3

I thought today was the day for Weglarz...

Jul 23, 2010 11:49 AM
rating: 4
Joe D.

Well, he did only have one hit (a solo dinger) on July 22, so I can understand why he didn't crack the list.

Nick Weglarz, "OF", Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 1-for-4, HR, R, RBI. The 22-year-old is hitting .425/.477/.825 over his last ten games to bring his overall Triple-A line up to .288/.385/.503 in 188 plate appearances. One scout* says his floor rests somewhere between Babe Ruth's peak and what Mickey Mantle would have done had he been sober and completely healthy.

* Special thanks to Nick Weglarz for passing on info from an anonymous scout.

Jul 23, 2010 14:17 PM
rating: 6

Matt Lipka is the poor man's Mike Trout. True or false?

Jul 23, 2010 12:12 PM
rating: -2

At the risk of being a jerk, what would an answer to this question really tell you one way or the other?

Jul 23, 2010 13:32 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

You really want to compare someone to one of the top players in baseball?

Jul 23, 2010 14:03 PM
Dan W.

Re: Beavan. What does it mean really that he'll be an innings eater in the big leagues? That he's a #3? That he is unlikely to get hurt? It seems to me like "innings eaters" are good but not great pitchers who have a knack for staying healthy. It seems like an odd thing to label someone before the fact.

Jul 23, 2010 13:12 PM
rating: 0

He has a big, durable frame, throws strikes, puts the ball in play...therefore, should project to eat a lot of innings...

Jul 23, 2010 14:42 PM
rating: 0
Bill N

Half empty, that's Braden Looper. Half full and it's Joe Blanton.

Jul 23, 2010 21:46 PM
rating: 0


Curious as to what you and scouts believe is Wilin Rosario's timeline for reaching the big leagues with the Rockies?

Jul 23, 2010 14:21 PM
rating: 0

Re: Grant Green. Does it make sense to hold him at Hi-A for defensive purposes? I would think that defense is more comparable across levels than hitting, and thus he could just as well take reps at Midland. But perhaps I'm wrong - does defense improve significantly from A+ to AA?

Jul 23, 2010 14:45 PM
rating: 0

interesting point

Jul 26, 2010 17:06 PM
rating: 0

where does furbush rank on the all time great names list

Jul 23, 2010 14:54 PM
rating: 1
Joe D.

There is some very heavy competition, even if we just look at the last few seasons:


Jul 23, 2010 15:13 PM
rating: 0
Joe D.

Further info:

The 2007 winner was Houston Summers: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/fans/moniker_madness/y2007/moniker_madness.jsp

2008 went to Will Startup:

2009 was the year of Dusty Napoleon:

I must admit, I was crushed when Jorge Poo Tang didn't make the finals in 2007.

Jul 23, 2010 15:17 PM
rating: 0

well, i think furbush has more projectable upside based on current cultural trends.

Jul 23, 2010 19:26 PM
rating: 0

With Trevor Plouffe a very distant second.

Jul 26, 2010 17:08 PM
rating: 0

Dwyer not Dyson, right? That's not even including Arguelles ... Royal's system is ridiculous.

Jul 24, 2010 10:58 AM
rating: 0
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