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August 6, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of August 5

by Kevin Goldstein

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Melky Mesa, OF, Yankees(High-A Tampa): 4-for-6, HR (16), 2 R, 4 RBI

A bit of a late bloomer, Mesa is 23-year-old and only just getting into the swing of things at High-A, but it's hard to deny the tools.  His power is above-average, as are his wheels (28 stolen bases) and his outfield arm.  There's still a lot of swing and miss in his game, and he needs to learn how to make in-bat adjustments, but with a hot streak that's seen him go 20-for-40 with three doubles and five home runs in his last eight games, the tools are starting to blossom onto the stat sheet with a line of .275/.344/.488.

Wil Myers, C, Royals(High-A Wilmington): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI

Will an on-base percentage sitting at an even .500, you'd think that Myers is just hot after a recent promotion.  Instead, it's 30 games we're talking about, as after going 12-for-17 in his last four games, his triple-slash line sits at an astounding .396/.500/.515.  He's yet to go deep in 101 at-bats, but like Eric Hosmer, wait until he gets to the Texas League.

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Cubs(Triple-A Iowa): 6 IP, 3 H 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K

I've taken more than my fair share of shots at the Cubs overpaying for Samardzija in 2006, but there's finally some good news on this front.  Always in need of a second pitch, he's suddenly added a 88-90 mph cutter to his mix, and according to scouts, it's generating swings and misses.  Since moving back to the rotation, Samardzija has a 2.18 ERA in nine starts while limiting Pacific Coast League hitters to a .177 batting average, and there's reason for hope once again – not far stardom, but at least for a usable big league arm.

Others Of Note:

  • Junior Arias, SS, Reds (Rookie-level AZL Reds ): 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, R, RBI.  18-year-old Dominican is loaded with tools and one of the AZL's most impressive prospects; up to .312/.356/.536 in 33 games.
  • Homer Bailey, RHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K.  Should give the Reds a boost in NL Central race.
  • Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 3-for-5, HR (6), 2 R, 3 RBI, K, SB.  Ends 18-game homerless streak and mini drought, still at .345/.413/.664 since promotion.
  • Charles Blackmon, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 4-for-6, 2 HR (9), 2 R, 6 RBI, CS.  Not a future star, but will have a big league career based on ability to play all three outfields, speed and gap power; up to .282/.353/.468.
  • Bobby Borchering, 3B, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 2-for-3, HR (11), 3 R, RBI.  Hottest hitter in the Midwest League; 14-for-23 with 25 total bases in last five games.
  • Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 3-for-5, 2B, R.  Up to .323/.417/.500 in 77 Texas League games; gutsy move would be to give him a chance at third base with Freese down.
  • Daniel Descalso, 2B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 3-for-4, HR (6), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.  Up to .278/.358/.420 and deserves a chance to prove he's better than Skip Schumaker.
  • Rashun Dixon, OF, Athletics (Low-A Kane County): 2-for-3, R, RBI, K.  13-for-22 in last six games have brought averages up to .265/.372/.396.
  • Todd Frazier, 3B/OF, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 2-for-3, HR (15), R, RBI, BB.  Home runs in back-to-back games as late-season surge continues.
  • Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 3-for-4, HR (15), R, 3 RBI, SB.  The excellent David O'Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution thinks he might come up if Glaus' struggles continue; the opportunity for Half Life 2 quotes that only I'll be entertained by is enormous.
  • Mat Gamel, 3B/OF, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 2-for-4, HR (9), R, 2 RBI, CS.  Still can hit (.302/.378/.480); still can't play third base (13 errors in 56 games).
  • Joe Gardner, RHP, Indians (High-A Kinston): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K.  15 ground ball outs last night an crazy 3.37-to-1 ratio overall; Carolina League hitting just .196 against him.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 4-for-5, 2B, 3 R, RBI.  Up to .340/.417/.415 in 14 Midwest League games; everyone knew he could hit, but he's been surprisingly solid at third base as well.
  • Su-Min Jung, RHP, Cubs (Low-A Peoria): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K.  20-year-old Korean has been dominant at times with low-90s heat and good breaking ball; 23 Ks in last 12.2 IP.
  • Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.  Throwing more strikes of late; should be a part of September bullpen.
  • Jason Knapp, RHP, Indains (Rookie-level AZL Indians): 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K.  11 whiffs in first six innings of season after shoulder issues.
  • Brett Lawrie, 2B, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 2-for-6, 2B, 3B, RBI, K.  .284/.346/.462 line is good for the Southern League, but great for a 19-year-old; second in the minors with 15 triples.
  • Jake Lemmerman, SS, Dodgers (Short-season Ogden): 4-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, SB.  Fifth-round pick out of Duke has solid-but-unspectacular tools across the board; batting .357/.416/.554 in first 39 pro games.
  • Starling Marte, OF, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 3-for-4, R, K, CS.  9-for-18 in five games after missing almost three months with fractured hamate; .318/.411/.418 in 31 games.
  • Cameron Maybin, OF, Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans): 2-for-5, 3B, R, 2 RBI, 2 K.  Eight hits in last three games and .342/.407/.479 overall; might be a nice change-of-scenery pickup in off-season.
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 2-for-5, 2B, HR (11), 2 R, 2 RBI, CS. Hitting .319/.345/.575 since the All-Star break and .294/.348/.479 overall; both bat and glove have impressed.
  • Matt Miller, RHP, Brewers (Short-season Helena): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K.  Second straight seven-inning, one-hit outing for fifth-round pick; big (6-6, 220) and sits at 91-94 mph, but scouts rarely see good secondary stuff.
  • Mike Minor, LHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinett): 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K.  On strict pitch count; makes big league debut in Monday start.
  • Nick Noonan, 2B, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 3-for-4, 3B, R, RBI.  Athletic middle infielder has had miserable year, but 16-for-35 (.457) in last eight games; up to .268/.313/.338 overall.
  • Carlos Perez, C, Blue Jays (Short-Season Auburn): 2-for-5, 3B, R, RBI, 2 K.  18-year-old Venezuelan catcher is one of New York-Penn League's best prospects; how many catchers have ever hit seven triples in 41 games?
  • Cesar Puello, OF, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 3-for-3, BB, SB.  Ultra toolsy and ultra hot; batting .475 (28-for-59) during 15-game hitting streak with 14 stolen bases and scouts think there will be some power down the road.
  • Erasmo Ramirez, RHP, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 12 K.  20-year-old Nicaraguan has superb command of solid stuff; 91 Ks and just 14 walks in 117 innings.
  • Josh Reddick, OF, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 2-for-4, 2B, R.  Now 20-for-39 in last nine games; OPS up nearly 100 points in the process but still at just .246/.288/.427.
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI, K.  First two hits as a Red Sox employee.
  • Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (Rookie-level GCL Yankees): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI.  Still mashing away after missing two weeks with a minor injury; up to .378/.448/.611 in 24 games.
  • Giovani Soto, LHP, Indians (Low-A Lake County): 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K.  Crafty southpaw picked up from Detroit in Peralta trade has allowed three hits over 11 innings since trade.
  • Oscar Tejeda, 2B, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3-for-4, HR (9), 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.  Continues to hit, but has suddenly turned into a walk machine with 14 walks in his first 60 games, but 15 in his last 29; overall at .317/.356/.470.
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 3-for-4, 2B.  Almost lost in the shuffle of the tremendous season is the fact that he turns just 19 tomorrow.
  • Miguel Velazquez, OF, Rangers (High-A Bakersfield): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (4), R, RBI.  .293/.344/.429 in 33 games since the promotion; power has to come along for him to project well.
  • Zach Von Rosenberg, RHP, Pirates (Short-Season State College): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K.  Projectable righty who got $1.2 million in '09 has allowed one run and just eight hits over 15 innings in last three starts.
  • Jordan Zimmerman, RHP, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K.  Don't forget that this guy was the top prospect in the system before the number one picks came along; stuff has looked great since TJ surgery and should be good part of '11 rotation.

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,  Promotion,  Korean League

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