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May 4, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of May 3

by Kevin Goldstein

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Long day ahead, so a quicker report with a higher threshold for inclusion . . .

  • Brandon Allen, 1B, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 2-for-2, 2B, 2 R, 3 BB, SB. Fifth straight multi-hit game and .305/.396/.474 on the season; deserves another chances as Russ Branyan and Juan Miranda are not the answer.
  • Chad Bettis, RHP, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K. 2010 second-round pick has well above-average velocity and movement; 40 Ks in 33 innings.
  • Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs) 3-for-4, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Up to .336/.410/.636 in 26 games; no clear opening for now, but on the short list for a call up.
  • Jose Cisnero, RHP, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 13 K. Least consistent pitcher ever? 42 strikeouts in 24.1 innings, yet hasn't gotten out of the second inning in two of six starts and his a 6.66 ERA.
  • Sean Coyle, 2B, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 3-for-5, 2 2B, HR (4), 2 R, 6 RBI, K, SB. Five-foot-eight second baseman who can flat out hit (sound familiar, Red Sox fans?); up to .236/.387/.472 after miserable start.
  • Derek Dietrich, SS, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 3-for-3, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB. Coming out of a major college program, he should hit well in the Midwest League, but he's doing just that at .323/.387/.615 in 19 games.
  • Michael Goodnight, RHP, Indians (Low-A Lake County): 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 10 K. Sleeper Alert! 2010 over-slot ($315K) 13th round pick has good size and athleticism to go with average-to-average velocity and true plus breaking ball; 2.27 ERA in six starts while allowing just 17 hits in 31 2/3 innings.
  • Garrett Gould, RHP, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K. 2009 second-round pick isn't the sexiest arm on the planet, but fastball, curve and command are all a tick above-average; 1.93 ERA in five starts, all of them good.
  • Grant Green, SS, Athletics (Double-A Midland): 17-for-38 during nine-game hitting streak has pushed batting average up nearly 100 points from .176 to .274/.333/.396.
  • Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-for-5, R, RBI, SB. 13-for-25 in last six games and .358/.453/.679 overall in 24 games; 20 strikeouts in 81 at-bats is only minor ding, and considering age and performance, it's a non-issue.
  • Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-for-3, HR (3), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K. 16-for-26 in last seven games and up to .430/.518/.581 overall; almost get the feeling Royals hoped he wouldn't come this quickly.
  • Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 1-for-4, R, BB, 3 K. Fantastic start is keeping season numbers high at .297/.404/.495; 7-for-44 (.159) in last 11 games with 14 strikeouts.
  • Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 2-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, 2 K. On base 12 times in last five games and suddenly up to .276/.390/.471 in 24 games. Indians' hot start with Orlando Cabrera could leave him here a while.
  • Jose Martinez, OF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 2-for-4, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, K. Early candidate for comeback player of the year; .360/.407/.520 in 25 games.
  • Rudy Owens, LHP, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 2.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 0 K. Has allowed 15 runs over 13 innings in last three starts as ERA has ballooned to 5.81.
  • Brad Peacock, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K. More consistent velocity, command and secondary pitches have him looking much improved; 36 strikeouts in 31 innings against just four walks and scouts putting a good No. 3 starter ceiling on him.
  • Wily Mo Pena, OF, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 2-for-5, 2 HR (9), 2 R, 5 RBI, K. .337/.391/.723 in 20 games . . . just sayin'.
  • Manny Rivera, LHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. More command and control than stuff but dominating of late; 1.45 ERA in six starts with 36 Ks and 4 walks in 31 innings.
  • Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Padres (Triple-A Tucson): 3-for-4, HR (8), R, 3 RBI, K, SB. Leads the minor leagues with 36 RBIs in just 25 games; batting .398/.457/.728 on the year.
  • Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 3-for-4, HR (5), R, RBI. Seems to get little fanfare despite being amongst the best catching prospects in the game; .295/.338/.623 in 18 games and adds plus defense to boot.
  • Adrelton Simmons, SS, Braves (High-A Lynchburg): 3-for-5, R, 2 RBI, SB. Defensive whiz has been shockingly good at the plate; 15-for-30 in last eight games and .337/.382/.410 overall.
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 3-for-4, 2 R, K, SB. Snaps out of 1-for-14 slump; .293/.361/.547 line for a 19-year-old in Double-A . . . not bad, huh?

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

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

BP Comment Quick Links

Matt Kory

Looks like if the Red Sox had waited until May to trade for Adrian Gonzalez they could have saved themselves Casey Kelly.

May 04, 2011 09:54 AM
rating: -1
 
timber

Re Hosmer, I think what the Royals were hoping for was that Ka'aihue would perform and they would then trade him. It still could happen, but he wouldn't bring much right now. Until they decide what to do with Kila, and how long to give him, I think that Hosmer stays in Omaha unless either Kila or Butler get injured. But you're right, I don't think they expected Hosmer to take off in AAA like this; they're going to have to make room for him sooner than they thought.

May 04, 2011 10:13 AM
rating: 2
 
Dave Holgado

I hope that Michael Goodnight doesn't ever make the pros, because I dread the Jon Sterling call of his first three-pitch strikeout against the Yanks.

May 04, 2011 10:22 AM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Might not even be the best pitcher name in the Midwest League with Cubs LHP Cameron Greathouse.

May 04, 2011 10:26 AM
 
Dave Holgado

Nice! And this is to say nothing of Jordan Swagerty and Forrest Snow.

May 05, 2011 11:24 AM
rating: 0
 
Scott44

KG - Why do you think the D-Backs have not given Wily Mo the call-up? In a rebuilding year, there does not seem to be a downside to see whether or not there's anything to his start. What am I missing?

May 04, 2011 10:23 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Where does he play?

May 04, 2011 10:27 AM
 
DavidK44

Is Gerald Parra really the answer there? I mean, if the team isn't going anywhere, fine, I can see the argument that playing the young guy makes more sense than the washed up veteran on a comeback tour - but at some point, shouldn't the case be made you throw Pena out there and see if he can't go nuts and hit 12 home runs in a month? If he's doing .250/.310/.530 after a month or two, some team will send a prospect back for that bat.

Not to forget, Pena's 28. Is a season or two of .320/.500 really that hard to envision?

May 04, 2011 10:54 AM
rating: 1
 
DavidK44

Gerardo, I know, I know.

May 04, 2011 10:55 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I'm with you. I've never been a Parra believer as more than a fourth outfielder, but it's not my call, and they think he can develop into an every day player there, so he's going to get the at-bats over a guy who has washed out in the big leagues.

May 04, 2011 11:11 AM
 
baserip4

Re Hosmer: That's what she said!

May 04, 2011 10:23 AM
rating: 5
 
NYYanks826

Hosmer - Premature bat-ulation?

May 04, 2011 14:31 PM
rating: -1
 
cjgeisler
(199)

"Goodnight" = "Sleeper Alert". I love it!

May 04, 2011 10:31 AM
rating: -1
 
Matthew Avery

How "real" is Simmons? Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about the line (particularly his 7K/5BB/91PA), but there's clearly not a lot of power. Is his upside an empty .300 (clearly not a deal-breaker for an elite up-the-middle defender), or is there some projection in him?

May 04, 2011 10:36 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He's always been a buy where ANYTHING with the bat would be good, but I'm not even close to calling him a .300 hitter. Upside is probably still a guy who can play every day but hits eighth.

May 04, 2011 11:13 AM
 
Matthew Avery

Here's a seemingly off-topic question that derived in my twisted mind from your response:

When evaluating a player's hit tool, are you looking more at the player's ability to make ANY contact (ie, not swing and miss) or is it more ability to make GOOD contact? How much of power is really making good contact vs. just being strong? Do speedsters get "extra credit" on their hit tool for being able to reach safely on weakly-hit grounders that slower players would make outs on?

Okay, I guess that was actually a bunch of questions.

May 04, 2011 11:33 AM
rating: 0
 
BPKevin

Brandon Guyer hit his 6th HR (another player the Rays got in the Garza deal). He seems to have improved every year, but he is blocked from a call up by Damon, Upton and Jennings?

May 04, 2011 11:06 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He is . . . for now. Two things.
1. Upton is going to go on the block at some point in the next 2-8 months.
2. The Rays really need a 1B, so someone could move.

May 04, 2011 11:12 AM
 
ttt

But would they trade him or would they put him on the block like the Diamondbacks put his brother on the block?

May 04, 2011 11:47 AM
rating: -1
 
Wade

Who says no to this trade: Joel Peralta for Chris Davis

May 04, 2011 19:40 PM
rating: -3
 
BPKevin

Thanks. I heard about (1) but not about (2). Just read your review on him in Tampa's top 11 prospects as well. Thanks.

May 04, 2011 11:24 AM
rating: -1
 
hennethannun

Hosmer is hitting .430+, but his BABIP is sitting around .480. Is that representative of a little luck, or is he just dominating AAA pitching so completely that such an absurd BABIP is actually a realistic result?

May 04, 2011 22:06 PM
rating: 1
 
mattseward

I think people overstate BABIP as Tony Gwynn can hit almost 400 so his BABIP is bound to be high.

Look at Hosmer's control of the strike zone his K rate is 13.4% his walk rate is 16.1% this is a guy who is well in control of his ABs by all accounts.

BABIP is important if the guy is striking out a lot but for a guy like Hosmer it has little evaluative merit to me. Scouting reports and his control of the strikezone tell you this guy can rake.

Is he a .400 hitter, heck no but is he a .300 hitter in the majors who could contend for a batting title one day, evidence points to yes

May 05, 2011 02:28 AM
rating: 1
 
ostrowj1

Exactly. A .430 BABIP is not, in itself, abnormal. Expected BABIP should be a function of several things like HRs, line drives, etc. Sometimes the expected BABIP is high. Floating around BABIP without any additional information seems pretty meaningless to me.

May 05, 2011 07:05 AM
rating: 0
 
hennethannun

I'm inclined to agree with you mattseward, at least with regards to Hosmer. Aside from mediocre power production to date, the rest of his performance (K/BB rate, scouting reports etc) suggests that his ridiculously high BABIP is simply because he's so much better than the average AAA pitcher (ie one would expect Pujols to have a BABIP north of .500 if he played full time in the minors, cos he's just so much better than the competition).

However, the PCL is a very favourable hitting environment, and .480 is VERY high. plus I'm not watching the games, and since so many of his hits have been singles so far, it's possible that a lot of them have been weak/bloop/lucky hits. So I thought i would ask, just to be sure.

However, i disagree with you, BABIP is clearly an important stat that has meaning for just about everyone. Having said that, it's a mistake to think that BABIP means the same thing for every player. It's too simple to say BABIP should be ~.300 and anything else is luck. Things like talent relative to competition and speed and batted ball profile and K-rate can all have a big effect on BABIP.

May 05, 2011 07:12 AM
rating: 0
 
Mike White

Does Twins OF Joe Benson show any hints whatsoever at being able to overcome his strikeout woes?

May 04, 2011 22:31 PM
rating: 1
 
achase

in re Charlie Blackmon and: no clear opening for now, but on the short list for a call up." He played CF last year and the reports were good. He's in RF at AAA with Taveras presumably the superior CFer. Does this mean that this is a permanent switch, or just a function of personnel and he'd still be given CF in case of a Fowler injury or whatnot?

In short, can Blackmon handle CF at the ML level?

May 05, 2011 07:43 AM
rating: 1
 
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Prospects Will Break Y... (05/03)
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