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April 27, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of April 26

by Kevin Goldstein

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Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 1-for-4, HR (4), R, RBI, 2 K. A week ago, Harper was hitting .231/.333/.333, which led to plenty of emails and tweets asking me if there was concern. The answer was of course not, as he's 18, making adjustments, and the massive tools are just as advertised. Now with three home runs in his last four games, he's suddenly at .286/.394/.554 and I'm getting emails and tweets asking me when he'll move up. It's funny what a week can do early in the year when numbers are so volatile. FYI: Harper, the top overall pick in last year's draft, will face Jameson Taillon, the second overall pick, tonight in Taillon's pro debut.

Others Of Note:

  • Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins (Low-A Beloit): 4-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (3), 3 R, 3 RBI. Proving last year's Appy League explosion wasn't a fluke with a .352/.429/.667 line in 16 games, including 10 for his 19 hits going for extra bases.
  • Luke Bailey, C, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 2-for-4, HR (2), R, 4 RBI, 2 K. Snaps 0-for-17 skid; has plus power and good defensive skills, but still needs to prove he can hit enough for it to matter.
  • Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 3-for-5, 2 HR (6), 3 R, 5 RBI, BB. Hitting .354/.436/.683 in 20 games while showing average-to-plus power and speed; hard to see an opening for him in Colorado right now.
  • Brett Cecil, LHP, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 4.1 IP, 13 H, 11 R (10 ER), 3 BB, 2 K. A windy night in Colorado Springs didn't exactly help his cause, but hardly an ideal first step back to the majors.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 4-for-5, 2 R, RBI, K. .258/.351/.379 line in 17 games shows there are some growing pains, but timetable was never for more than a September look.
  • Michael Choice, OF, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (4), R, 2 RBI, 2 K. .258/.380/.530 line proves outstanding secondary skills; 26 strikeouts in 66 at-bats proves concerns heading into the year about swing-and-miss tendencies.
  • Koby Clemens, 1B, Astros (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 3-for-5, 2 HR (5), 2 R, 4 RBI. Has continued to exceed all expectations with a .317/.403/.619 line in 17 Pacific Coast League games.
  • James Darnell, 3B, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 1-for-3, HR (4), R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Breakout continues with averages now at .453/.561/.797 in 17 games. Rare combination of power, patience and athleticism, but defense at third remains shaky.
  • Ryan Flaherty, UT, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 K. Hitting .348/.400/.636 in 19 games; has played five positions (2B, 3B, SS, LF, RF) already for Smokies and that's his future big league role as super sub.
  • Wilmer Flores, SS, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 2-for-4, HR (1), R, 4 RBI, BB. Five multi-hit games in last seven have batting average up 63 points to .308/.352/.385 overall.
  • Nick Franklin, SS, Mariners (High-A High Desert): 2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB. Suddenly a walk machine? Drew 50 last year in more than 500 at-bats, and already has 14 in his first 17 Cal League games to go with .295/.434/.475 line.
  • Scooter Gennett, 2B, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 2-for-6, 2 R, K. Has reached base 12 times in his last four games to bring averages up to .306/.383/.375; at times it's hard to get past the 5-9/165 frame, but he can really hit.
  • Kyle Gibson, RHP, Twins (Triple-A Rochester): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Second straight excellent start; plenty of scenarios have him spending the second half in the big leagues.
  • Slade Heathcott, OF, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 2-for-3, 2B, BB. Heating up again after mid-month slump; 7-for-12 in last three and .362/.430/.609 overall.
  • Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 2-for-5, 3B, HR (1), R, 2 RBI, 2 K. Like Chisenhall, he's struggling to repeat Double-A success with .246/.356/.410 averages.
  • Austin Kirk, LHP, Cubs (Low-A Peoria): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K. A third-round pick in 2009, Kirk has average-to-plus velocity for a southpaw and a good breaking ball, and has allowed just 10 hits in 18 innings.
  • Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 4-for-5, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB, CS. Has been nothing short of outstanding since returning from a bout with the chicken pox; 17-for-38 (.447) in nine games while already doubling last year's home run total.
  • Manny Machado, SS, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 2-for-4, HR (2), R, RBI, BB, K. Home runs in back-to-back games; .303/.405/.515 in 17 contests and clearly inspiring fear in opposing teams as he's already been granted three intentional walks on the season.
  • Trevor May, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Complete game win in double-header game; has been struggling with command for much of the early season, so unable to harness plus stuff at times.
  • Tommy Mendonca, 3B, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 K. Second-round pick from 2009 was a disappointment in the Cal League last year but it hitting .338/.361/.676 in 17 Texas League games; 22 Ks in 68 at-bats is a big red flag as far as sustainability.
  • Andrew Miller, LHP, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 5.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K. There's certainly some progress here, as he's allowed just nine hits over 19 1/3 innings, but a one-to-one ratio of 12 walks and strikeouts is problematic.
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo): 1-for-3, HR (4), 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K. Home runs in back-to-back games and .343/.463/.642 overall; has likely passed Lucas Duda in terms of outfielder to get the call should need arise.
  • Kyle Parker, OF, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 3 R RBI. 10-for-18 in last four games and .435/.491/.652 in 13 games; he should be bashing in Low-A, and therefore should be in the California League.
  • Stephen Parker, 3B, Athletics (Double-A Midland): 2-for-5, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, K. Ten hits in last six games raise averages to .292/.378/.477; if he can stick at third, he's a real prospect.
  • Keyvius Sampson, RHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K. Now 28 whiffs in 21 innings and just six hits allowed in 66 opposition at-bats; Fastball and breaking ball are both missing bats at this level.
  • Jonathan Schoop, 3B, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 2-for-6, 2B, HR (3), R, 2 RBI. Hitting .320/.393/.547, but after struggling at shortstop last year, he's doing the same a third base, with eight errors on the season.
  • Ian Stewart, 3B, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 4-for-4, 3B, HR (2), R, 4 RBI, 2 BB. 19 total bases in six games since being sent down while reaching base 15 times.
  • Oscar Tejeda, 2B, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 3-for-4, HR (1), R, 4 RBI. Doing some recovery from very slow start at Double-A; 6-for-12 in last three games, but still at just .269/.296/.404 overall.
  • Trayce Thompson, OF, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 3-for-4, HR (6), 2 R, 3 RBI. Might be figuring some things out in repeat of Low-A; seven hits in last three games and .276/.345/.553 in 17 overall. If he doesn't grow out of center field, he's especially intriguing.

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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