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July 27, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of July 26

by Kevin Goldstein

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Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins(Rookie-level Elizabethton): 2-for-4, HR (10), R, RBI

To say Arcia is having a good U.S. debut is understating things just a bit, as the 19-year-old Venezuelan is batting a ridiculous .394/.447/.781 in 34 Appy League games.  He's not your typical Latin American outfielder with length, athleticism and projection, he's more of a stocky type with a short, direct path to the ball and plenty of leverage in his swing.  Destined for a corner outfielder spot (he has enough arm for right), he needs to be a hitting machine, and so far, he's just that.

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Blue Jays(Double-A New Hampshire): 3-for-5, HR (1), 2 R, RBI

Must of Hechavarria's debut has been filled with scouting reports praising his top-level defensive skills while wondering if he'll hit.  Scouts saw easily correctable flaws in his approach and swing, and those corrections are starting to take ship, as the 21-year-old Cuban has put together an 11-game hitting streak to raise his Eastern League line to .310/.339/.440.  Suddenly being blocked by Yunel Escobar could be a blessing in disguise, as it prevents Toronto from rushing Hechavarria.

Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals(Low-A Quad Cities): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

There's no question that Miller is ending the year on a high note, as he's pitched scoreless baseball in four of his last five outings with striking out 34 over 25 innings during that time.  Last night's outing represented a career high in innings for him, and he's been consistently touching 98 mph with one of the easiest deliveries you'll find at the lower levels.  He remains the best prospect in the Cardinals system by a distance measured in miles.

Others Of Note:

  • Brandon Allen, 1B, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 2-for-4, 2 HR (17), 2 R, 4 RBI, K.  Quietly having very good year but on crazy fire of late; 9-for-21 with six home runs in last six games and .261/.404/.538 overall.
  • Alexi Amarista, 2B, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 2-for-5, R.  Just 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds but really knows how to put a bat on a ball; .315/.343/.348 with just five strikeouts in 89 at-bats.
  • Homer Bailey, RHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K.  So-so rehab start; stuff looked solid.
  • Andrew Brackman, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 6.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 8 K.  First truly dominating Double-A start; 3.58 ERA in seven Eastern League outings as command is faltering at times.
  • Lorenzo Cain, OF, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 3-for-5, 2 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K.  Up to .345/.406/.517 in 14 PCL games; isn't this guy better than Carlos Gomez now?
  • Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 4-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K.  Hitting .375/.455/.708 since the break; no room for him in the big leagues right now, but will be next year.
  • Chevez Clarke, OF, Angels (Rookie-level AZL Angels): 3-for-3, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB.  First-round pick reached base just 17 times (.254 OBP) in first 14 games, then six times in one night.
  • Brody Colvin, RHP, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 5 IP,4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BBl, 6 K.  Strange lines of late; has given up ten runs in last four starts, but none of them earned.
  • Ismael Guillon, LHP, Reds (Rookie-level AZL Reds): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 10 K.  18-year-old Venezuelan has average velocity now and projection for more down the road; 41 Ks, in 34.1 IP.
  • Rich Harden, RHP, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 10 K.  Easily best rehab start yet; Rangers will have tough decision to make soon.
  • Jiwan James, OF, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, SB; 2-for-4, 3 RBI.  Ultra-toolsy outfielder is batting .344/.391/.418 since the All-Star break and showing a much more patient approach of late.
  • A.J. Jimenez, C, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 2-for-5, 2B, R, 4 RBI.  20-year-old Puerto Rico native is batting .313/.355/.443 to go with outstanding defense as the Blue Jays have one of the most impressive collections of catchers around.
  • Kila Ka'aihue, 1B/DH, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-for-4, HR (22), R, 3 RBI, 2 K.  Up to .315/.461/.590 as the freedom movement continues.
  • Ryan Lavarnway, C, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 1-for-3, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K.  First Double-A home run; up to .366/.469/.512 in 11 Eastern League games.
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (Double-A West Tenn): 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI.  15-for-36 (.417) in last nine games with four doubles and five home runs; up to .277/.347/.488 overall.
  • Jeff Locke, LHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 9 K.  1.59 ERA and a strikeout per inning in three Double-A starts; Southpaw has above-average velocity and sink on his fastball.
  • Starling Marte, OF, Pirates (Rookie-level GCL Pirates): 1-for-2, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB.  Working way back from hand injury.
  • J.D. Martinez, OF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 2-for-5, R, RBI. Finally at the level he belongs and hitting just .261/.277/.370 in 11 Texas League games.
  • Nick McBride, RHP, Rangers (Short-season Spokane): 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 9 K.  Career-high Ks for 2009 fifth-round pick; long and loose with good sinker/slider combo.
  • Jake Marisnick, OF, Blue Jays (Rookie-level GCL Blue Jays): 3-for-4, R.  2009 third-round pick is a 6-foot-4, 200 pound tool shed; up to .294/.378/.459 with power potential and right now speed (12 stolen bases in 13 attempts).
  • Wily Mo Pena, OF, Padres (Triple-A Portland): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, RBI, 2 K.  Just letting you know that he's back . . .
  • Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 5 K.  Double-A debut for power-armed Dominican with very good stuff and tons of inconsistency.
  • Eury Perez, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): Did almost nothing in the first half, but at .330/.388/.489 since the All-Star break; pure burner with 38 stolen bases.
  • Neil Ramirez, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K. Million-dollar arm still teases at times; overall peripherals (103 Ks and 30 BBs in 104.2 IP) are much better than 4.73 ERA.
  • Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Reds (Rookie-level Billings): 2-for-4, R, RBI, SB.  Patience paying off for Reds with big-bonus Venezuelan; up to .344/.344/.478 in 21 games and still three weeks short of 18th birthday.
  • Tyson Ross, RHP, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K.  Nothing short of dominant since return to minors; 23 Ks in 15.2 innings while limiting the Pacific Coast League to a .200 batting average with zero home runs in 50 at-bats.
  • Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 6 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 5 BB, 7 K.  Also hit a two-run homer; he hasn't been great, but he's been better.
  • Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (Rookie-level GCL Twins): 2-for-4, HR (3), R, 2 RBI.  It's how hard he's hitting balls at 17 that excite scouts as much as his ceiling.
  • Mark Trumbo, 1B, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 2-for-4, HR (23), 2 R, 2 RBI.  10-for-19 in last four games and .286/.342/.542 overall; surprised he hasn't gotten a look yet with the messy first base situation.
  • Brett Wallace, 1B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI.  13-for-31 with 25 total bases in last seven games; up to .301/.360/.513 and should get at least a September look.

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,  Quad-a

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

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Wily Mo Pena, eh? Wow. Totally forgot about that guy.

Jul 27, 2010 11:08 AM
rating: 0
Eric M. Van

I love that the Padres signed him and I'll take a little bit of credit for that, as I did a huge and largely very glowing analysis when Jed Hoyer and I were both with the Sox (although the conclusion was that he had huge physical talent but serious weaknesses on the mental side which needed to be dealt with). Still rooting for the guy.

Jul 28, 2010 11:08 AM
rating: 1

What has clicked for Locke this year? He hasn't pitched this well since 2007. He kind of lost momentum in 08-09. But it's hard to complain the numbers he has posted this year.

Jul 27, 2010 11:17 AM
rating: 0
W. Clark

Maybe I've missed a Matt Rizzotti mention in a prior post, but a 4-4 (2 2Bs) night, on top of a .360/.437/.653 line in 268PAs deserves something. I know you try to keep this about real prospects, but he's only 24 in AA, and I can't believe he's the worst prospect you'll discuss in this column all year.

Jul 27, 2010 11:19 AM
rating: -3

Billy Owens, A's director of player personnel, on Ross' outing yesterday:

"He went five innings today and it was electric," Owens said. "He [threw his fastball] 94-98 mph and his slider was wicked. He showed a solid changeup and pitched very aggressively. I think it was great for Tyson to get a taste of the big leagues in a reliever capacity, now he knows what to work on down on the farm as a starting pitcher -- which is his comfort zone. Today, he was awesome."


Jul 27, 2010 11:24 AM
rating: 1

thank you, DGBL and Kevin, for the tyson ross updates. love the guy's action.

Jul 28, 2010 03:05 AM
rating: 0
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Time to show Matt Rizzotti some love!

Jul 27, 2010 11:33 AM
rating: -4

Maybe the Royals can't spell Kila's name for the press release?

Jul 27, 2010 12:13 PM
rating: 1

Any word on Lavarnway's defensive progress?

Jul 27, 2010 12:19 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Well, he's only catching half time right now at Double-A, so not much.

Jul 27, 2010 14:32 PM

Don't know if you're willing to entertain a fantasy-oriented question, but if so, who has the highest offensive ceiling: Yorman Rodriguez, Aderlin Rodriguez, Jake Marisnick or Oswaldo Arcia?

Jul 27, 2010 12:25 PM
rating: 0

Thanks Kevin...Ramirez has obviously improved his control...is it just better command down in the zone that he needs to work on? He certainly has the size and stuff...

Jul 27, 2010 13:07 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Depends on the day. His season is like a knuckleball and you are never sure which direction it is going.

Jul 27, 2010 14:27 PM
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