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April 19, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of April 18

by Kevin Goldstein

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Jonathan Schoop, 3B, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 2-for-4, HR (2), R, RBI, K

In a system very low on prospects, Schoop entered the year as the No. 6 prospect following an impressive showing in the Appy League, but he was slid from shortstop to third base (where his tools profile better) to accommodate 2010 first-round pick Manny Machado, and suddenly the Orioles have one of the more impressive left sides of an infield in Low-A. A 19-year-old native a Curacao, Schoop has good defensive fundamentals, a plus arm and burgeoning power, and is now hitting .326/.396/.605 in 11 games while become one of my better non-Top 101 sleepers of the early season.

Jacob Turner, RHP, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. It's no secret that the Tigers aggressively develop their pitchers, and there was some concern about Turner's readiness as a 19-year-old (he's turns 20 in May) pitching in Double-A. After three starts, you can put those concerns aside, as Turner has limited the Eastern League to a .181 batting average while striking out more than a batter per inning. A classic Tiger pitcher in the sense that he's big and he throws hard, Turner's low-to-mid 90s fastball has everything scouts look for in a pitch: velocity, command and movement, while his curveball and changeup continue to develop, with the breaking ball much more consistently average-to-plus, giving him a second strikeout pitch at times. He has star-level potential, and could be in the big leagues as early as 2012.

Others Of Note:

  • Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI. The Tim Collins of position players has seven multi-hit efforts in 12 games and is hitting .413.
  • Lars Anderson, 1B, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket) 3-for-3, 2B, BB, R. Strange start to the year; batting .289/.451/.395 with 11 walks in 38 at-bats but just four doubles in the extra-base hit department.
  • Jay Austin, OF, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 4-for-6, 3 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Repeating the level after a so-so 2010; .392/.475/.588 line is certainly helped by the environment, but he also has the kind of tools with explosive potential.
  • Alex Colome, RHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. Improving with each start, and this is the first genuinely good one in three tries.
  • Travis D'Arnaud, C, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI. Back-to-back multi-hit games after beginning the season 2-for-26; no system can match Toronto when it comes to catching prospects; which means a bad season for anyone could make them the odd man out.
  • Andy Dirks, OF, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 SB. First big game for scrappy outfielder who gets the most out of his tools; will get big league call should need arise after almost making the club out of spring training.
  • Nick Franklin, SS, Mariners (High-A High Desert): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R RBI, BB, K, SB. Started the year 0-for-12 but is 13-for-27 since; profiles better as a second baseman, but bat will surely play.
  • Johnny Giavotella, 2B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, K. Up to .326 in first taste of Triple-A, but 14 of 15 hits have been singles.
  • Yasmani Grandal, C, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 2-for-3, HR (3), 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB. Now 7-for-12 with two doubles and three home runs in his last four games after beginning the year 3-for-20.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 2-for-3, 2 2B, R, BB. He can flat out hit and is up to .364/.472/.523 in 12 games, but it's the solid defense at third base that is especially encouraging.
  • Nick Hagadone, LHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 4 K. Back to relieving and back to dominating; 10 strikeouts in 8 2/3 scoreless innings and getting in the mid-90s.
  • Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, 3 K. Scuffling at times with the bat and hitting a solid but unspectacular .271/.340/.333, but 14 stolen bases in 12 games is eye-popping.
  • Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (3), 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 K. He has plenty of power and speed, but will he hit enough? 13 Ks in 25 at-bats is huge concern.
  • Ryan Jackson, SS, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, SB. Continuing to impress with the bat as he now has eight multi-hit games in 11 starts for a .447/.471/.596 line and he's the rare plus defender at shortstop. Few prospects have helped there stock more since spring training.
  • Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 9 K. Three straight good starts to begin the season; 21 strikeouts in 14 innings while touching the mid-90s.
  • Jordan Lyles, RHP, Astros (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 6 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Triple-A struggles continue; PCL is hitting .375 against him this year and he needs to learn how to pitch at this level with more command than stuff.
  • Deck McGuire, RHP, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K. 2010 first-round pick will likely finish the year in Double-A.
  • Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 3-for-4, R. Fifth three-hit game in just nine contests; batting .452 (19-for-42) but has thrown out 2 of 14 base stealers with teams running wild on him.
  • Gustavo Nunez, SS, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 3-for-4, 2 2B, K. Plus defender who is showing signs of life with the bat while repeating High-A; .370/.442/.630 in 11 games.
  • Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (4), 4 R, 4 RBI, BB. Second two home run game in three days; all-or-nothing hitting with huge power and huge holes in his swing.
  • Jake Peavy, RHP, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 0.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 0 K. Left the game with shoulder discomfort after 15 pitches; good news for Phil Humber fans?
  • Mark Prior, RHP, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. How can you not root for him?
  • Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Padres (Triple-A Tucson): 3-for-5, RBI, SB. Has been nothing short of oustanding; 11-for-22 in last five games and .400/.444/.680 overall.
  • Henry Rodriguez, 2B, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 2-for-5, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI. Unheralded second baseman who had 14 home runs and 33 stolen bases last year; has a hit in all 12 games this year and hitting a cool .400.
  • Mark Rogers, RHP, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 1.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 0 K. Entered the year as the top prospect in the Milwaukee system by default, but 12 walks and eight strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings isn't doing wonders for his cause.
  • Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 2-for-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K. Also gunned down a pair of potential base stealers; could be in Triple-A soon, should compete for big league catching job next year.
  • Jean Segura, SS, Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI, K. Not much to say here as you know by now that I adore him; .412/.474/.569 in 12 games.
  • Eric Thames, OF, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 4-for-6, 2B, 3 R, 3RBI, K. Surprised to see him not hitting for a ton of power at Las Vegas, even more so to see him hitting .449 (22-for-49)
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 3-for-6, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, RBI, K
  • It took him 30 games to reach the four home run mark last year, and he's a 19-year-old in Double-A. Phenomenal talent.
  • Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 2-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 K, SB. First-round pick finally hitting after starting year in 3-for-23 slump.
  • Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 1-for-4, HR (1), 3 R, 4 RBI, BB, K. First professional home run for 2010 first-round pick who is off to a slow start (.195/.327/.293).

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

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