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May 3, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of May 2

by Kevin Goldstein

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Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 BB, 10.

Coming off a brutal outing in which he walked seven over 4 1/3 innings, Miller returned to form on Monday, and now has 42 strikeouts in just 28 innings. The Cardinals almost began the 2009 first-round pick in Double-A to start the year, and it's looking more and more like he'll certainly finish the year there, and be on pace for a 2012 big league debut.

Eric Surkamp, LHP, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 10 K.

Surkamp rarely gets even to 90 mph with his fastball, but he's proof that velocity isn't everything when it comes to missing bats. Tall and angular with a low 3/4 crossfire delivery that is hard to pick up, Surkamp's deception, combined with above-average command and control, gives hitters fits, as does his ability to mix in a quality curveball and changeup at any point in the count. With three double-digit strikeout games in five starts and 41 whiffs overall in 26 1/3 innings, he's quickly proving that his style can work at the upper levels, which is doing wonders for his prospect stock.

Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K

While 2010 number one overall pick Bryce Harper and Number three selection Manny Machado spent April tearing up the Sally League (and as you'll see below, show no sign of slowing down), Taillon is just getting started. Coming off a wild pro debut in which he was over-throwing and missing the strike zone, and calmer, cooler and far more collected Taillon cruised in start number two, sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball, using his power breaking ball as a second bat missing weapon, and generally looking like the guy worth every cent of his $6.5 million bonus. He's got plenty of time to catch up to the two hitters drafted around him last June.

Others Of Note:

  • Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 4-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, K, SB. For now, all he can do is keep hitting; 15-for-29 in nine games while reaching base 23 times (.622 OBP).
  • Kyle Blanks, 1B, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 4-for-5, 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI. Remember this guy? That's his first home run in 16 games and he's hitting just .281/.329/.422.
  • Bobby Borchering, 3B/1B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, K. Snapping back from brutal 2-for-30 start to season; three straight multi-hit games and .258/.291/.433 overall.
  • Sean Burroughs, 3B, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 3-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 CS. First home run in organized ball since May of 2006.
  • Chun-Hsui Chen, C, Indains (Double-A Akron): 2-for-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI, K. Featured in yesterday's Ten Pack.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 3-for-5, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 K. 12-for-30 (.400) in last seven games and up to .275/.368/.429.
  • Dusty Coleman, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 1-for-4, HR (3), R, 4 RBI. Sleeper that's been beset by injuries; athletic shortstop with home run in back-to-back games and season line of .298/.385/.489.
  • Eduardo Escobar, SS, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-4, 2 HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI. OPS goes up nearly 100 points in one night; .234/.306/.416 in 24 games.
  • Jonathan Galvez, 2B/SS, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 3-for-4, 3B, R, 3 RBI, K. 17 total bases in last four games and .289/.368/.470; has rare secondary skills for a middle infielder.
  • Erik Goeddel, RHP, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K. Career-best start for 2010 24th-round pick who signed for $350,000; could profile better, and move quicker as a reliever.
  • Grant Green, SS. Athletics (Double-A Midland): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Was hitting .176 last weekend, but up to .265/.327/.382 thanks to eight-game hitting streak (15-for-34).
  • Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 3-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, R. Up to .355/.456/.697 in 23 games and as old as the high school players who will be drafted in June. Ridiculous talent.
  • Jordan Henry, OF, Indians (Double-A Akron): 5-for-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB. Plus-plus runner with a leadoff man's approach; if he starts hitting (.338/.427/.369), he becomes very interesting.
  • Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-4, BB. 14-for-23 during six-game hitting streak and .422/.505/.544 on the season.
  • Anthony Hewitt, OF, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 2-for-4, R, K, 2 SB. Since starting the year 2-for-27 with 14 strikeouts, he's hit .357 (20-for-56) during a 13-game hitting streak. Still needs to do much more to convince anyone, yet fascinating.
  • Justin Jackson, UT, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R. Washout from 2007 draft is healthy, playing all over the diamond and hitting .358/.444/.491 in 17 games. I don't know what to make of it either.
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): Three home runs in last two games; still recovering from brutal start and at .225/.311/.461 on the year.
  • Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 1-for-4, HR (3), 2 R, RBI. Three home runs in 15 at-bats, and he'll be just fine.
  • Barrett Loux, RHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K. Star of last year's draft soap opera is on a roll; 31 strikeouts and just six walks in 25 innings while sitting at 90-94 mph with his fastball.
  • Manny Machado, SS, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB. 14-for-28 with 31 total bases during eight-game hitting streak, .349/.452/.640 overall.
  • Jake Marisnick, OF, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 3-for-5, RBI, K, SB. Featured in yesterday's Ten Pack.
  • J.D. Martinez. OF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 2-for-4, HR (3), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, K. Hitting .348/.407/.587 and is gaining believers in his bat by the day.
  • Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 3-for-5. Having a strange year; .373/.384/.470 in 19 games but just one unintentional walk and one home run over 83 at-bats.
  • Yamaico Navarro, UT, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 HR (4), 3 R, 3 RBI. Playing the outfield lately in addition to 2B/3B/SS; .321/.430/.607 in 22 games.
  • Jimmy Paredes, 2B, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 4-for-5, HR (2), 4 R, 3 RBI, SB. Acquired from Yankees in Lance Berkman deal; .311/.354/.443 in 16 games and profiles as solid everyday infielder.
  • Julio Rodriguez, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K. Kind of lost in a packed rotation; but can miss bats with deception and breaking ball.
  • Tony Sanchez, C, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI. Catcher of the future has been an on-base machine, but power has disappeared; 18 of 20 hits for singles as part of weird .299/.440/.358 line.
  • Jonathan Schoop, 3B, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 3-for-5, 2 2B, 3 R. Eight hits in last four games and .333/.389/.535 overall as part of the best left-side infield at the lower levels.
  • Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves (High-A Lynchburg): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K. 12-for-25 during seven-game hitting streak and .321/.369/.397 overall; just need to hit a little bit, as he's a potential plus-plus defender at shortstop.
  • Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, RBI, BB, K. 7-for-11 with three walks since being sent down.
  • Christian Villanueva, 3B, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-for-4, HR (3), R, RBI, K. Also featured in yesterday's Ten Pack; reverse curse in effect?
  • Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Double-A Tennesee): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI. Was in 4-for-37 slump heading into today's game; just .241/.292/.470 in 24 games.

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:  Eric Surkamp,  Triple-A,  Ten Pack

21 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links


Like many, I'm in 3B trouble, so scouring around and I haven't seen anything written about Jeff Baisley, even though he's hitting well in AAA. What can you tell me about him? Thank you.

May 03, 2011 10:46 AM
rating: 0

How fast will Manny Machado be moved up considering he's hitting the cover off the ball?

May 03, 2011 15:43 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

No rush. Could see him moving to High-A late if it continues.

May 03, 2011 17:31 PM

KG, hearing anything about the Orioles' Dan Klein? I know this is his first pro-season and he had 21K/3B in high-A, got promoted to AA and pitched well in his first appearance there last night. Any chance he gets converted back to a starter or will the O's push to see if he can hold his own in a ML bullpen in the next year? Thanks a lot!

May 03, 2011 15:53 PM
rating: 0
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Really? Just ignore my question and answer the one after? Thanks for the slap in the face to a BP subscriber.

May 03, 2011 20:56 PM
rating: -24
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Jeez, Louise. Baisley is a guy who came up with the A's and then had injury problems, so he's more veteran than prospect. Does have some hitting skills however.

May 03, 2011 21:50 PM

Unfortunately, I'd imagine Kevin cannot answer every question posted to him on these posts. If he could, there would be hundreds of questions on each one, because Kevin is our God.

Since he has to skip some, I'm guessing he only picks ones where the answers will be somewhat interesting. If he has to skip any, questions that are unrelated to anything in the article might just be near the top of his 'skip' list. Not to mention if the question is just to help your fantasy team. Oh, and 28-year olds in AAA are not really in the part of the development curve that Kevin specializes in.

I am also a BP subscriber, but I harbour no illusions that my $40/year means that I get personalized fantasy advice from the writers here.

May 04, 2011 05:07 AM
rating: 12
Ian Miller

boom: roasted.

May 04, 2011 09:44 AM
rating: -1

wow, Sean Burroughs. blast from the past. one of the few to have the rare honor of being a BA top ten prospect three times.

May 04, 2011 04:47 AM
rating: 1
Mike White

Don't remind poor Rany for that choice. We all fall in love with flawed prospects. Goes with the fandom.

May 04, 2011 06:43 AM
rating: 0
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Pardon me mrdannyg that you don't think a 3B is "somewhat interesting" that is:
-in the top 5 hitters in AAA
-for a team that doesn't have a good 3B in the majors
-at a time when many fantasy teams have lost their 3B

Personally, I had not heard of the guy and could not find any information.
Yes, I was a little taken aback that Kevin answered the very next question without even a quick reference to mine.

Kevin did highlight Sean Burroughs, who is 30 and in AAA. So I did not think that a younger, better hitting, more relevant hitter was beyond Kevin's scope.

Kevin, thank you. I appreciate your insight

May 04, 2011 06:26 AM
rating: -9

Incredibly - and this seems to be clear to everyone but you - a former top-five prospect who washed out of the majors unceremoniously and hasn't played in three years is actually more interesting and relevant than a 28-year-old player who is hitting .385 with power in a hitter's paradise over 100 ABs. And even after those 100 ABs, his career line in AAA is .282/.354/.463, which suggests that he's just about filler.

If you really need to find information on a player, let me recommend Google. It's a GREAT search engine. You just type in a guy's name and a bunch of info shows up! Or, I guess, you could continue to get indignant when you don't get your way.

May 04, 2011 07:02 AM
rating: 3
Mtn Jam

Couldn't have said it any better.

May 04, 2011 08:40 AM
rating: 1
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ackbar - google doesn't watch games or have an expert's insight. But you already knew that, didn't you? So your snarky response and general attitude is hardly appropriate or appreciated.
Regardless of location, .385 is .385 and if it's so easy, why isn't everyone doing it?

For my self, I apologize for my reaction to being initially overlooked by Kevin and kudos to him to giving me something after my frustrated remark when he didn't have to write anything.

May 04, 2011 08:57 AM
rating: -7
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

C'mon people, let's all get along. I'm taking a break from typing about Wily Mo Pena to say this, so do it for him.

May 04, 2011 09:20 AM
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A minus 2 rating for an apology? And a "boom roasted" AFTER Kevin Goldstein requests that we all get along? Stay classy San Diego.

May 04, 2011 10:48 AM
rating: -8

Your "apology" came after another paragraph of snark. It's like you went to the Nancy Grace School of Grace.

May 04, 2011 12:02 PM
rating: 1

If Kevin doesn't answer your question, yet answers a question about what you think is a similar situation/player, then maybe, just maybe, the situation/player isn't as simliar as your vast store of knowledge and experience had led you to think.

You just might want to consider that if Kevin Goldstein thinks Sean Burroughs is worth more comment than a 28-year-old AAA lifer, maybe that 28-year-old AAA lifer just isn't your ticket to baseball fantasyland after all.

Go pick up Alberto Callaspo. Even he will be more useful than a guy with a career .815 OPS over 4 PCL seasons.

May 04, 2011 13:17 PM
rating: 1

SGreenwell - I would have thought my comments of appreciation to Kevin would have bought me some goodwill, it obviously did not. So I then posted the apology, admitting my overreation and poor grace. And you felt the need to pile on even more after that? Thanks.

eighteen - Not to vindicate myself, because my post was wrong, but the two players in question were not similar (Baisley/Machado)...it was the sequence of questions that prompted my poor judgement response.
I play in several deep leagues, two so deep that Alberto Callaspo was drafted prior to round 20. With everyone at 3B down to Chisenhall and Moustakas gone (both also drafted), a 3B with upside does have interest.
And I only mentioned Sean Burroughs (who is 30) because mrdannyg said that "28-year olds in AAA are not really in the part of the development curve that Kevin specializes in."

Listen, we all know I was wrong for my May 03, 2011 20:56 PM posting. Can you all just let it go, stop trying to one-up that last guy on insulting me and stop wasting the space with this nonsense?

May 05, 2011 08:02 AM
rating: -3

Don't worry about minuses on a post like this. Some people just can't control themselves, but the rest of us appreciate a little contrition, and your posts have certainly not been without merit.

May 31, 2011 05:47 AM
rating: 0

I'd love to hear more about massive tools guys like Hewitt who have been disappointing in the minors, but if it all clicks...wow. Perhaps on the podcast your ideas about development of all-tools guys and what it looks like when the figure it all out.

Ever since you threw a Bo Jackson comp on Hewitt (for athleticism) I've been enamored with him specifically, but am generally interested in the athletes teams have hoped they can turn into baseball players and how they do that.

May 05, 2011 22:40 PM
rating: 0
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