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August 24, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of August 23

by Kevin Goldstein

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Chris Balcom-Miller, RHP, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 11 K.

A 2009 fifth-round pick out of a California junior college, Balcom-Miller has quickly gone from a sleeper to one of the better pitching prospects in the Colorado system. Feature outstanding command of a plus fastball to go with a solid slider and changeup, the 21-year-old now has 108 strikeouts in 103 innings while allowing just 78 hits, 18 walks and featuring and excellent ground ball rate. What's not to like?

Kyle Drabek, RHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K

Drabek hasn't had a lot of nights like these, when he's dominating and missing bats, but the story of his season, if anything, has been consistency. While a 2.98 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 154 innings is good; it's not the kind of numbers one gets from an elite prospect, but a quick run through his game log shows no bad night. Drabek has gone at least five innings in all but one start, when he went four, and to find a pitcher like that is at times as hard as finding one with those elite numbers.

Brent Morel, 3B/SS, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-4, HR (7), R, RBI

Splitting time between third base at shortstop due to Dayan Viciedo's promotion, Morel's positional switches have had no effect on his hitting, as he's gone 13-for-26 during his current seven-game hitting streak to raise his Triple-A averages to .321/.350/.498. He's been a surprisingly solid shortstop, although the hot corner is his more natural position, and one where he'll get a very long look next spring.

Mark Trumbo, 1B, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 2-for-3, HR (30), R, 3 RBI, BB, K

Is it fair to say that the Angels might be a little closer to a playoff spot had they called up Trumbo when Kendry Morales went down? Now batting .347/.430/.612 since the All-Star break, Trumbo would have saved them from the constant lineup shuffling and putting players like Howie Kendrick, Robb Quinlan and Kevin Frandsen at first base.

Others Of Note:

  • Yonder Alonso, 1B, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (11), R, 2 RBI. Hitting .347/.427/.569 since the All-Star break; surprised he's not playing left field more, as Joey Votto certainly isn't going anywhere.
  • Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins (Rookie-level Elizabethton): 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 K, SB. 11-for-20 in last five games and .393/.440/.707 overall.
  • Junior Arias, SS, Reds (Rookie-level AZL Reds): 2-for-5, HR (6), 2 R, 4 RBI. Needs to work on approach and defense, but .303/.343/.508 line is hard to ignore.
  • Manny Banuelos, LHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 5.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 6 K. So-so (at best) Double-A debut.
  • Bobby Borchering, 3B, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 2-for-4, HR (12), 2 R, RBI, 2 K. Season-long disappointment being mitigated by .325/.430/.554 line in 22 August games.
  • Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB, K. Now batting .400/.515/.600 in 22 August games and .334/.436/.519 at Double-A, he's arguably the top position prospect in a system desperate for them.
  • Chris Carter, 1B/OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-5, HR (30), R, RBI, 2 K. Home runs in back-to-back games after big league struggles; still lined up for a job in Oakland next year.
  • Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Coming soon to the big leagues; 12 Ks over 7 scoreless innings while giving up two hits in last seven appearances.
  • Michael Choice, OF, Athletics (Short-season Vancouver): 1-for-4, HR (5), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K, SB. Too early to call him a power/speed demon, but five home run and five stolen bases in 15 games.
  • Randall Delgado, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K. First Double-A win in six tries; 5.81 ERA overall since promotion.
  • Lucas Duda, 1B/OF Mets (Triple-A Buffalo): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB. It's impossible to call a .322/.394/.643 line fluky when it's over 249 plate appearances; scouts are warming up the hitting skills in a big way.
  • Danny Duffy, LHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K. Out of retirement and on to top prospect lists; 2.40 ERA in five Texas League starts while flashing mid-90s heat.
  • Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 2-for-2, 2 2B, RBI, BB, SB. Easy to forget he's just 20 year old; batting .392/.440/.633 in August and .313/.375/.520 overall.
  • Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 1-for-3, HR (33), R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K. First home run in ten games ties him for overall minor league lead.
  • Derek Holland, LHP, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K. One has to think there will be some kind of big league role for him down the stretch.
  • Jose Iglesias, SS, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 3-for-5, 3 R RBI, K, SB. Six hits in last two games and .303/.339/.389 overall; throw in the fantastic defense and he might be big league ready quicker than expected.
  • Jeff Locke, LHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Former Braves has had mostly ignored bounce-back season; 47 Ks in 46.2 Double-A innings with 2.89 ERA.
  • Jio Mier, SS, Astros (Low-A Lexington): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K. 7-for-12 in last three games, but '09 first-round pick is batting just .235/.317/.315 on the year.
  • Marcel Ozuna, OF, Marlins (Short-season Jamestown): 1-for-4, HR (17), R, 2 RBI, 2 K. 17 home runs in 219 at-bats; huge power, but all-or-nothing approach won't work higher up.
  • Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers (Short-season Spokane): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. 17-year-old is finally impressing with the bat; 9-for-17 in last five games.
  • Josh Reddick, OF, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Saving prospect status with crazy late-season run; hitting .344/.375/.598 since All-Star break.
  • Trayvon Robinson, OF, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 3-for-3, 2B, R; 1-for-2, BB, 2 SB. Has turned into walking machine of late with 100 at-bats and 27 walks since All-Star break; .305/.406/.448 overall.
  • Nate Spears, SS, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 3-for-6, 2 HR (17), 2 R, 6 RBI, 2 K. Strange prospect; 25-year-old former Orioles and Cub farmhand never hit more than seven home runs in a season, but is suddenly hits 17 with career highs in numerous offensive categories.
  • Trayce Thompson, OF, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 2-for-4, RBI. Toolsy-but-raw prospect has 11 total bases in last three games; .244/.306/.476 line is actually a very pleasant surprise.
  • Carlos Villanueva, 3B, Rangers (Rookie-level AZL Rangers): 2-for-3, 4 RBI, BB, SB. 19-year-old Mexican import has pretty swing; .314/.366/.440 in 47 games.
  • Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins (Rookie-level GCL Marlins): 3-for-3, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI. Outstanding pro debut for first-round pick who signed at the deadline.

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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