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April 20, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of April 19

by Kevin Goldstein

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Matt Purke, LHP, TCU

Purke didn't pitch last night, but he was still the biggest story as far as the 2011 draft goes, as he was shut down with shoulder woes and will see Dr. James Andrews this week. We won't know just how bad the news is until the good doctor does his work, but it's clearly not good news for a player who already saw his stock slipping. What surprised me most of all was some of the Twitter reaction to the news. There are still plenty of angry Rangers fans over him not signing, and plenty of people who still blame the kid for not talking the millions of dollars offered to him out of high school. Those people are tossing their blame in the wrong direction. Purke made it clear what his price tag was, and was mulling over a huge offer when Major League Baseball temporarily assumed club operations from a financially ailing Tom Hicks. That meant no more offer way over slot, and it meant Purke was going to college. It's not the Rangers' fault that Purke didn't sign, and it's not Purke's either, it's on MLB if you're into finger pointing.

Others Of Note:

  • Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB, K, CS. Not the horrifically slow start of 2010, but even three hits only puts him at .255/.377/.392, which is well below expectations.
  • Brandon Allen, 1B, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 4-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB, CS. Seemingly the odd man out in Arizona; still has power and patience.
  • Manny Banuelos, LHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 4 K. Working way back from a blister problem; still could get to New York by end of year.
  • Jason Bay, OF, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 4-for-4, 2 HR (2), 3 R, 4 RBI, BB. The Mets could use any good news right about now.
  • Alex Cobb, RHP, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K. Now has 25 strikeouts over 16 innings with the International League hitting .182 against him. Most location and speed changing than stuff, but more than good enough to start in the big leagues.
  • Zack Cox, 3B, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach): 4-for-6, R, K, CS. There was no question about his ability to hit, but the debate was over his power. With 16 of 17 hits going for singles, that's still an open question.
  • Eric Farris, 2B, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 2-for-4, HR (2), 2 Rk, 2 RBI, CS. Three straight multi-hit games and .333/.368/.556 overall. Might get some time at shortstop soon due to need, but profiles much better on the right side.
  • Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 2-for-4, HR (7), R, 2 RBI, BB. Minor league co-leader in home runs; .350/.481/.900 line is early indication that last year's numbers were not a complete Cal League fabrication.
  • Grant Green, SS, Athletics (Double-A Midland): 1-for-4, HR (2), 4 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, K. Brutal April slump has him hitting .184/.268/.347 in 12 games; the good news is he's committed just one error.
  • Zack Greinke, RHP, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Threw all his pitches for strikes and had no problems afterward; next outing is at Triple-A.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 2-for-5, 2 2B, R, 2 K. Has gone 8-for-15 with six doubles in his last four games; .367/.466/.551 in 13 games overall.
  • Jae-Hoon Ha, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 4-for-5, HR (2), R, RBI, 2 CS. Home runs in back-to-back games lift line to .415/.418/.660. Zero walks in 53 at-bats is obviously a huge red flag.
  • Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 4-for-4, 2 2B, 3 R, BB, 2 CS. Hitting .379/.514/.828 in nine games; at 23, he could get moved up the Double-A quicker than normal just so the Red Sox can see what he really is.
  • Casey Kelly, RHP, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Good to see him missing bats after striking out just three in his first two outings; the stuff to get both ground balls and strikeouts is there.
  • Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 2-for-3, 2B, 3B, R, 2 BB, K, SB. Has reached base eight times in three games after missing the first part of the season with chicken pox.
  • Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. With the game shortened by lightning, yet official, it's the shortest perfect game in Texas League history, and many believe he's beginning to turn the corner.
  • Neil Ramirez, RHP, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 9 K. One good Triple-A spot start was impressive enough, but two means it's certainly not a fluke. There's no reason to send him back to the Carolina League at this point.
  • Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K. Starting to get stretched out, and could move up quickly once that happens.
  • Jonathan Schoop, 3B, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 3-for-4, R, RBI, K. Featured in yesterday's report; 11-for-25 in last five games and .362/.434/.617 overall in 12.
  • Trayce Thompson, OF, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 4-for-5, 2 HR (5), 4 R, 2 RBI, K. Hard not to like a player with center field tools and plus-plus raw power, but will he ever hit enough?

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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