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September 2, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of September 1

by Kevin Goldstein

Joe Cruz, RHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K.

A pure power righty who seems to gets lost in the shuffle as part of a loaded Rays system, Cruz has arguably been as good as an arm in the system of late, putting up a 1.49 ERA in 14 second-half starts with 81 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 84.2 innings. Six-foot-four and all arms and legs, Cruz touches the mid-90s with his fastball while showing much improved command and secondary offerings this year, and deserves far more attention than he's getting.

Cord Phelps, 2B, Indians (Triple-A Buffalo): 2-for-4.

Almost forgotten about due to the explosion of Jason Kipnis, Phelps has had a breakout season of his own, batting at least .300 in every month since his promotion to Triple-A with an overall line of .326/.397/.519. A third-round pick in 2008 out of Stanford, Phelps doesn't impress with his athleticism, but he's a sound hitter from both sides of the plate with gap power, and while he's not especially rangy, his defensive fundamentals are sound. Just because of his level, he'll likely get a big league shot before Kipnis, but will likely move to a valuable bench role once the former is deemed ready.

Mark Trumbo, 1B, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 2-for-4, HR (35), 2 R, 3 RBI.

With five home runs in his last four games, Trumbo is now tied for the minor league lead and batting .302/.369/.581 overall. While a friendly home park certainly helps, Trumbo's power is legitimate, and while he should have gotten a look this year when Kendry Morales went down, it's hard to find a big league role for him in 2011.

Others Of Note:

  • Alexi Amarista, 2B, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R RBI, SB, CS. Tiny hit machine is 19-for-44 (.432) in ten Triple-A games.
  • Lars Anderson, 1B, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 2-for-4, HR (10), R, RBI, K. Ending the year on a hot streak; 20-for-50 (.400) in last 13 games and .265/.345/.434 overall.
  • Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 2-for-4, HR (12), R, 2 RBI. One of the better pure hitters in the system; batting .374 in last 30 games and .299/.329/.519 overall.
  • Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 K. Hits wherever you put him; 7-for-12 with 15 total bases in last three games.
  • Bobby Borchering, 3B, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 3-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, K. '09 first-rounder continues late-season surge; more patient approach has led to results.
  • Aaron Crow, RHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 13 K. Easily best start of the year; the good news is that scouts have seen his issues as command-based, as the stuff is as expected.
  • Rashun Dixon, OF, Athletics (Low-A Kane County): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K. 43-for-119 (.361) in last 30 games; ultra-toolsy outfielder could be primed for '11 breakout.
  • Brandon Guyer, OF, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 3-for-5, 2B. Arguably the hottest hitter in the minor leagues; batting .431 (81-for-188) in last 50 games.
  • Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF, Red Sox (Low-A Greeneville): 1-for-3, HR (12), R, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, CS. 2009 fourth-round pick is getting attention from scouts for his power/speed combination; .270/.363/.467 with 60 stolen bases.
  • Aaron Hicks, OF, Twins (Low-A Beloit): 3-for-4, BB, K. Interesting that season is seen as a disappointment, yet he's hitting .280/.398/.420.
  • Brett Lawrie, 2B, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI. Power has disappeared in second half; just two home runs in last 55 games.
  • Starling Marte, OF, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 2-for-3, 3B, RBI, SB. Hitting .366 in last 30 games and .328/.403/.446 overall; gets a mulligan this year for lack of power due to hand injury.
  • Trevor May, RHP, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. 92 whiffs in 65 innings since moving down to Low-A, but more importantly, the control is back.
  • Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/WB): 3-for-4, HR (19), R, 2 RBI. .355/.405/.671 line since the All-Star break with 12 home runs in 152 at-bats; leads International League in passed balls while throwing out just 23% of opposing base stealers.
  • Brent Morel, 3B/SS, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-4, R, RBI. 23-for-63 (.365) in last 16 games with a .714 slugging percentage; called up to the big leagues this morning.
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 1-for-4, HR (14), R, RBI. Keeps pace with Trumbo for minor league lead; seven home runs in last seven games.
  • Rafael Ortega, OF, Rockies (Rookie-level Casper): 2-for-4, 2B, 2R; 1-for-3, 2 R, BB, K. 19-year-old Venezuelan has been among Pioneer League's best thanks to plus speed and lightening bat; 14-for-28 in last six games and .364/.413/.519 on the season.
  • Francisco Peguero, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 3-for-5, R, RBI, CS. .355/.390/.502 line since All-Star break; leadoff man profile hindered by just 18 walks in 117 games and 22 caught stealing in 60 attempts.
  • Ben Revere, OF, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 3-for-4, 3B, 2 R, BB, SB. Missed three weeks after getting hit in the face by a pitch; 9-for-26 (.346) since return.
  • Kyle Russell, OF, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 4-for-5, 2 HR (10), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Rebounding well from miserable Double-A start; hitting .333 since August 1st with seven home runs in 108 at-bats.
  • Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Rangers (Triple-A A Oklahoma City): 1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 0 BB, 0 K. Something has gone horribly wrong here; three straight really bad starts.
  • Marquez Smith, 3B, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 2-for-5, HR (17), 3 R, 4 RBI, BB. Excellent sleeper has 13 home runs in last 25 games; good defensive skills help his chances.
  • Sammy Solis, LHP, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Pro debut for 51st overall pick; massive lefty with solid stuff, better command.
  • Cody Stanley, C, Cardinals (Rookie-level Johnson City): 2-for-4, 2 HR (2), 3 R, 3 RBI, BB. Fourth-round pick starts the playoffs with a bang; hit .321/.380/.498 during regular season.
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 2-for-4, HR (3), R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K. Not as crazy hot as Midwest League stint; .296/.376/.419 line in Cal League as teenager is still mighty impressive.
  • Edinson Volquez, RHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 9 K. Not that the Reds need it at this point, but more help is on the way.
  • Christian Yellich, 1B/DH, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 2-for-3. Full-season debut for 18-year-old first-round pick, went 9-for-24 (.375) in Gulf Coast League.

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:  Cody Stanley,  Triple-A

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