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August 19, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of August 18

by Kevin Goldstein

Matt Lollis, RHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K.

A 15th-round pick in 2009, Lollis is creating significant buzz in the Midwest League for both his pitching and his unique physical stature. Listed at 6-7, 250, the 19-year-old is closer to 6-9, 280 at this point, but it would be wrong to simply call him fat, as for now, he's simply bulky. Conditioning will be something he'll need to pay special attention to throughout his career, but with fantastic command of a 92-94 mph fastball than touches 96 and two quality breaking balls, scouts are paying as much attention to his stuff as his weight.

Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (1), R, 4 RBI, 2 K

The Reds' breakout player of the year and one of the biggest breakouts in all of baseball helped cement is reputation by hitting a walk-off grand slam in his Triple-A debut. The 2007 first-round pick entered the year as barely a blip on the radar, but he got into tremendous shape to begin the year, and the results are obvious, as across three levels, he's now batting .315/.388/.616, including 24 home runs in 349 at-bats after hitting 18 bombs in his first three pro seasons. Beyond the bat, he's also gunned down 42% of opposing base stealers, and he could be the Reds starting catcher in 2011.

Adam Warren, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 15 K

One of my favorite scouting terms that I never use in writing is “shoved it,” as in “Adam Warren sure did shove it last night.” Setting a new Trenton strikeout record, Warren now has a 2.56 ERA in 22 starts across two levels, and the player who was drafted as a cost-effective senior sign in last year's fourth round is suddenly a very real prospect in the system thanks to plus velocity, and plus-plus command.

Others Of Note:

  • Richard Alvarez, RHP, Rangers (Rookie-level AZL Rangers): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K. 17-year-old Venezuelan has mature repertoire and tons of projection; 24 strikeouts in 18.1 innings.
  • Charles Blackmon, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 2-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI, K. Fourth straight multi-hit game (11-for-17); Athletic outfielder can play of the middle with gap power and good speed.
  • Bryce Brentz, OF, Red Sox (Short-season Lowell): 2-for-4, HR (4), R, RBI, K. Supplemental first-rounder has gone deep in back-to-back games; still at just .192/.258/.328 in 52 pro games.
  • Dan Cortes, RHP, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, SV. Ex-top prospect has found a new lease on life in the bullpen; Low-to-mid 90s heat with good curveball.
  • Jaff Decker, OF, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 1-for-2, HR (17), R, 4 RBI, BB. Five home runs in last six games; On-base 31 times in 14 August games with .860 slugging.
  • Danny Duffy, LHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 5 K. Comeback from temporary retirement has been a rousing success; throwing harder than ever with 27 strikeouts in 24 Texas League innings.
  • Jonathan Garcia, OF, Dodgers (Rookie-level Ogen): 2-for-4, 2 HR (8), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Compact outfielder has bat speed and strength; .306/.370/.524 in 44 games.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K. Third-base play is rough, but second-round pick can really hit (.340/.411/.460).
  • Wes Hatton, 2B, Angels (Short-season Orem): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (3), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K. Fourth-rounder is undersized athlete with speed and gap power; .330/.370/.484 in 48 games.
  • Peter Kozma, SS, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 4-for-5, 2B, 2 HR (13), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB. 2007 first-round pick is trying to save miserable season; 14-for-32 (.438) in last seven games with four doubles and four home runs to raise averages to .251/.322/.404.
  • Jeff Locke, LHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Best Eastern League start since mid-July promotion; 40/8 K/BB ratio in 41 innings.
  • Starling Marte, OF, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 3-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI. 17-for-40 (.425) in last 10 games and .325/.402/.431 overall; 21-year-old Dominican has speed and hitting ability, but secondary skills create more questions than answers.
  • Ethan Martin, RHP, Dodgers (High-A Inland Empire): 0.1 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 4 BB, K. 2008 first-rounder has had miserable second half; 6.05 ERA with plummeting strikeout rate.
  • Trevor May, RHP, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 12 K. 51 strikeouts over 32 innings in last five starts as early-season command issues are a thing of the past.
  • Trey McNutt, RHP, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Breakout pitcher in Cubs system touches 95-96 mph with plus power breaker; 49 Ks in 41 High-A innings and Florida State League is hitting .191 against him.
  • Tom Milone, LHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 13 K. Pure finesse lefty hits his spots and changes speeds well; 136 Ks in 138 innings, but many scouts don't see a big league future beyond non-leverage relief work.
  • Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/WB): 2-for-4, HR (15), 2 R, RBI, BB, K. Now hitting .371/.433/.695 since the All-Star break; extra big league bat come September?
  • Angel Morales, OF, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 2-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, K, SB. Toolsy outfielder has lost home run power since move to High-A; still hitting .333/.418/.509 in 16 August games.
  • Brent Morel, 3B/SS, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-4, K. 16-for-38 (.421) in last nine games and .318/.346/.478 since move to Triple-A; even more fascinating is that he's playing shortstop with Viciedo's return to Charlotte.
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B, Omaha (Triple-A Omaha): 2-for-5, HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI. 13-for-38 (.342) during eight-game hitting streak; up to .271/.289/.451 in 33 Triple-A games.
  • Rafael Ortega, OF, Rockies (Rookie-level Casper): 3-for-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI, K, SB. 19-year-old Venezuelan has plus speed and line-drive bat; .376/.421/.520 in 50 games.
  • Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins (Short-season Jamestown): 1-for-3, HR (16), R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Four home runs in last five games and 16 in 201 at-bats; 68 Ks in 201 at-bats and .269 batting average shows there is still work to be done.
  • Rich Poythress, 1B, Mariners (High-A High Desert): 3-for-6, 2B, HR (29), 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 K. 13 home runs in last 27 games; Has real power and hitting ability, but numbers are skewed heavily by environment.
  • Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers (Short-season Spokane): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (3), 4 R, 3 RBI, BB. .238/.304/.351 line is impressive for 17-year-old in Northwest League and defensive reviews are stellar.
  • Henry Ramos, OF, Red Sox (Rookie-level GCL Red Sox) 2-for-4, 3B, HR (3), 2 R, 4 RBI, K. Fifth-round pick is slugging .585 in August; long-limbed switch-hitter with plenty of projectable power.
  • Jerry Sands, OF/1B, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 2-for-5, 2 HR (13), 3 R, 4 RBI, BB, K. Tied for second in the minors with 31 home runs; 13 at Double-A in 189 at-bats has scouts convinced that the bat is real.
  • Ruben Sierra Jr., OF, Rangers (Rookie-level AZL Rangers): 3-for-4, 2 RBI, BB. 19-year-old son of the former MVP is a physical doppelganger of his father; 7-for-14 in six games.

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,  Double Switch

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

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StatFreak101

While Morales hasn't shown much HR power in Fort Myers so far, and rightfully so considering that is a very difficult hitters park/league, he has shown an improvement during August in regards to his BB and K rates.

He is only 20 years old, as well.

Aug 19, 2010 08:57 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Oh don't get me wrong, I still like him plenty.

Aug 19, 2010 10:46 AM
 
larry

Regarding Morel, have you heard how he looks at SS?

Aug 19, 2010 09:01 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Makes all the plays he gets to, just doesn't get to that many.

Aug 19, 2010 10:46 AM
 
Vince Galloro

And: Is there a sense that Morel could add some extra utility (pun intended) by showing that he can handle SS a bit, or is this just an end-of-the-season accomodation, i.e. they want both Morel and Viciedo to play everyday, and since Viciedo is probably going to return to the big leagues when rosters expand, they want him to stay sharp at 3B?

Aug 19, 2010 11:02 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

It's a combination of both, Viciedo is back, they don't want to send Morel down, so see how good or bad he is there.

Aug 19, 2010 12:07 PM
 
SirVLCIV

Btw, Manny Banuelos (Yankees) was clocked touching 97 mph last night by Frankie Piliere (http://twitter.com/FrankiePiliere/status/21527952572) and Cito Culver and Gary Sanchez have been promoted to Staten Island.

Aug 19, 2010 09:03 AM
rating: 1
 
Mike H

Yeah, crazy that ManBan with another 6 IP with 6K didn't merit a mention. Dude's a lefty Lincecum.

Aug 19, 2010 09:44 AM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He's good, but calm down there Sparky. You really ready to say he'll be a back to back Cy Young winner?

Aug 19, 2010 10:47 AM
 
Mike H

My apologies for the ambiguity -- I meant in terms of "a small guy who throws at speeds well beyond what his body type indicates".

Aug 19, 2010 11:39 AM
rating: 0
 
DGBL

What have you been hearing on what kind of upside Locke has?

Aug 19, 2010 09:04 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

4-5 starter.

Aug 19, 2010 10:47 AM
 
Ben F.

Did I miss it, or will there be an article on the deadline signings/non-signings?

Aug 19, 2010 09:36 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

The podcast has a one-hour discussion with Jim Callis on what happened Monday, and I'll be writing an editorial on the subject for tomorrow.

Aug 19, 2010 12:59 PM
 
Ben F.

Great! Thanks.

Aug 20, 2010 11:51 AM
rating: 0
 
Soggy Burrito

The numbers are obviously great, but what are scouts saying about Mesoraco now? Will he stick at catcher long-term? Are we looking at a guy that could top out at maybe 25 HRs playing in GABP?

Aug 19, 2010 10:36 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think this is pretty much real based on talks w/ scouts.

Aug 19, 2010 12:07 PM
 
Dan

What kind of prospect is Poythress? Could he grow up to hit .260-.270 with 30ish homers at the MLB level?

Other than the standard expectation that you need to rake to be a 1B prospect, are there any major warts?

Aug 19, 2010 11:52 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I'm not very high on him. Putting up HUGE numbers at High Desert and does a ton of damage vs. LHP. Not saying he's awful, but not as good as the raw numbers.

Aug 19, 2010 12:09 PM
 
dantroy

Does Cortes look like a potentially great RP, or just a decent guy? How would you rank him with Lueke?

Thanks.

Aug 19, 2010 12:40 PM
rating: -1
 
antoine6

At this point in the season, there's no point in sending Trevor May back up to High-A, right, even though he's shown he can dominate Low-A? Do you see him starting at High-A next year with the chance to move to AA pretty quickly?

Aug 19, 2010 13:14 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think that's exactly the plan.

Aug 19, 2010 13:40 PM
 
jake726

How much of Brentz' struggles are to be attributed to his switch to contact lenses at the team's request? It's just short season ball, so I'm not too worried, but his performance is pretty terrible to date and the contacts seem like the easiest scapegoat in the short term, even if they should help him once he is accustomed to them.

Aug 19, 2010 13:35 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

For now, we don't really have enough data either way to go on.

Aug 19, 2010 13:40 PM
 
Scott44

Where does Profar rate with other big IFA guys like Sanchez and Sano?

Aug 19, 2010 15:12 PM
rating: 4
 
JoshC77

Kevin,
Have you received any insight from scouts as to why Mesoraco has exploded this year (better approach, different stance, better attitude/work ethic, etc.)?

Aug 20, 2010 04:32 AM
rating: 1
 
Cdub2k

Hey Kevin who would you keep in a 12 team NL Only keeper
Roto league as your 5th and final keeper. Jerry Sands, Brandon Belt
or Mike Minor

Aug 20, 2010 11:42 AM
rating: -2
 
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