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April 29, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of April 28

by Kevin Goldstein

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Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 2-for-3, RBI, BB, K, SB, CS

While Lee missed the first two weeks of the season with a case of the chicken pox, he's more than making up for lost time by beginning his Rays career with an 11-game hitting streak that includes eight multi-hit efforts and an overall line of .467/.538/.733. While it's way to early to discuss this, my mind can't help but wonder about Tim Beckham. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft finally has a shortstop of note behind him, so is Lee stuck in the Florida State League no matter what he hits? The Rays can't move Beckham down, as that would be too public a statement of disappointment, but he is slumping again and down to .260/.313/.390 at Double-A after a good start. The fact that Lee is just 20 years old will help keep the pressure off, but as far as Rays shortstop of the future goes, we are close to saying there is a new sheriff in town.

Others Of Note:

  • Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 0-for-5, 2 BB, K. 2-for-22 in last five games and down to .221/.343/.326.
  • Matt Adams, ss="statdef">1B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 3-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, RBI. Incredibly slow, wide-bodied first baseman is an unheralded 23rd-round pick from 2009 but he really can hit; .317/.349/.512 in first 20 upper-level games.
  • Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 3-for-4, 2B, CS. 16-for-28 (.571) during seven-game hitting streak and .440/.495/.631 overall; if you don't like this guy, seek immediate professional help.
  • Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB. One base 11 times in five games with 14 total bases while playing only the outfield; he'll be just fine.
  • Domonic Brown, OF, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 2-for-4, HR (2), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB. Two games back, two home runs.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, K. Eleven total bases in last three games and up to .270/.353/.432 in 19 games; home run last night was off Braves LHP Mike Minor.
  • Maikel Cleto, RHP, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 6 K. If he's healthy and throwing strikes, he's awfully dangerous. Still projects as a reliever due to delivery and depth of aresenal.
  • Colin Cowgill, OF, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 4-for-7, 2 HR (4), 4 R, 2 RBI. SB. Smallish player with big swing has fourth outfield possibilities; .343/.421/.582 in 17 games.
  • Charlie Culberson, 2B, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (1), 3 R, 4 RBI, K. Trying to prove last year's breakout was for real at a much tougher level; .300/.333/.438 in 20 games.
  • Andy Dirks, OF, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 3-for-5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI, K. .321/.378/.605 in 22 games and should get a long look at some point in the season as he became a Leyland fave this spring.
  • Felix Doubront, LHP, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket); 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Getting arm stretched out with return to rotation; six innings and one hit so far.
  • Danny Duffy, LHP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K. Best start of the year and he hasn't had a bad one; 0.90 ERA with 24 strikeouts and four walks in 20 innings.
  • Jonathan Garcia, OF, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 2-for-6, HR (7), 2 R, 3 RBI. Plenty of power in a small package; 15 of 22 hits for extra bases and .286/.333/.662 line in 20 games.
  • Hector Gomez, SS, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, HR (2), 2 R, 3 RBI. Ultra toolsy shortstop who just can't stay healthy; .264/.289/.472 in 18 games.
  • Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, SB. 11-for-23 with 27 total bases in his last seven games. Has gone from a slow start to an overall line of .323/.425/.645.
  • Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 4.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K. First bad start in five professional outings, ERA goes from zero to 1.37.
  • Aaron Hicks, OF, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 0-for-4, 4 K. At what point do we tire of talking about the tools and start expecting some performance? 8-for-51 (.157) in 14 games and .203/.291/.275 overall.
  • Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 4-for-5, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI. If anything, he's actually getting hotter; 9-for-17 in last four and .408/.477/.553 in 20 games.
  • J.P. Howell, LHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Successful first rehab outing.
  • Jake Lemmerman, SS, Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, K. Sleeper Alert! 2010 fifth-round pick is a max-effort grinder with outstanding fundamentals; three straight multi-hit games and .318/.372/.459 overall.
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-for-6, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Bouncing back from brutal start; .227/.279/.387 line is still ugly.
  • Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 1-for-4, HR, R, RBI. First rehab game.
  • Jake Marasnick, OF, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 0-for-1, 2 BB, SB, CS; 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Big, athletic outfielder with power, speed and arm strength finally showing signed of life with the bat; .338/.438/.544 in 19 games and rockets up every prospect list with a good season, because the tools are nothing short of outstanding.
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (4), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB. All the tools seem to be coming together with .354/.400/.677 line in 17 games; plus to plus-plus defender at third base with very good hitting mechanics and at least average power.
  • Mike Minor, LHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K. Four-for-four in good starts while he bides his time.
  • Tyler Moore, 1B, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 2-for-4, 2 HR (3), 2 R, 3 RBI, K. Arguably the hottest hitters in the minors during the second half of 2010 but struggling at Double-A; .260/.269/.455 in 19 games, as approach has unraveled.
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-for-5, 2 HR (4), 2 R, 4 RBI. First big game of the year; just .237/.301/.434 in 19 games.
  • Brad Peacock, RHP, Natoinals (Double-A Harrsburg): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. Stock is going up dramatically; 28 strikeouts against just three walks in 24 innings with fastball and breaking ball both grading out as true plus pitches.
  • Josh Reddick, OF, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 3-for-5, 2 HR (8), 2 R, 3 RBI. On one of those annual Reddick power surges; six home runs in six games and .296/.376/.691 overall.
  • Ben Revere, OF, Twins (Triple-A Rochester): 4-for-4, R. Enjoying life out of the leadoff spot? Batting average has gone from .194 to .257 in two days.
  • Manny Rivera, LHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K. Far more of a strike thrower and speed changer than overpowering arm; 29 strikeouts and just four walks in 26 innings with 1.73 ERA.
  • Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Padres (Triple-A Tucson): 2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB. .420/.495/.765 in 20 games and earned a pair of intentional walks last night; is timetable moving up?
  • Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B, Mets (Low-A Savanah): 1-for-4, HR (4), R, 3 RBI, K. Four home runs in his last five games and as much raw power as anyone in the system; even with the power surge he's at just .192/.222/.410 in 19 games, due mostly in fault to an over-aggressive approach.
  • Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 3-for-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI. Seven-game hitting streak has him up to .236/.276/.431; has plenty of time to convert the tools into skills.
  • Robbie Ross, LHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 4 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Like Harvey, it took five starts for him to give up a run; ERA from zilch too 2.61.
  • Jonathan Schoop, 3B, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI. Hitting .329/.394/.541 in 20 games and earning glowing reports from scouts for his bat, and the opposite for his defense.
  • Kyle Seager, 2B, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 2-for-4, R, BB, CS. Ten hits in last four games and suddenly up to .321/.368/.432; Pure hitting skill is outstanding, development of secondary skills will determine his future.
  • Jean Segura, SS, Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 2-for-5, R, RBI, K, SB. Nine hits in last four games and .366/.411/.537 overall; just one error in 18 games at shortstop.
  • Jordan Swagerty, RHP, Cardinals (Low-A Quad Cities): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K. Has pitched six or more shutout innings in three of four starts while striking out 25 and walking only one in 25 innings; doesn't belong at this level, but still needs to widen arsenal to remain a starter.
  • Ruben Tejeda, SS, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo): 4-for-5, 3B, HR (2), 3 R, RBI. Easy to forget he's still just 21; .293/.348/.451 in 22 games.
  • Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 0-for-4. Coming down to earth after good start; 3-for-28 in last nine games and down to .243/.293/.443.
  • Jemile Weeks, 2B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-6, 2B, 3B, HR (2), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K. Always the kind of player ripe for a breakout if he could just stay on the field; .333/.440/.547 in 19 games and primed to take over for Mark Ellis next year.
  • Zach Wheeler, RHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 9 K. 24 strikeouts over 16.1 innings in his last three starts while consistently getting into the mid-90s with his fastball; one fully healthy year from being seen as borderline elite.

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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