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May 12, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of May 11

by Kevin Goldstein

Jordan Danks, OF, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 1-for-5, HR (8), 2 R, 4 RBI, K.

You all know the story on Danks by now. Great athlete, no results. Any sort of prospect light he had dimmed away with a .242/.312/.373 line last year for Charlotte, and now he's having a downright strange year. He's never hit more than nine home runs in a single season, but he's already one away from that in early May after going deep in three straight games and six of his last eight. He's also suddenly walking more but still struggling to hit for average, with an overall line of .247/.351/.577. I'm not sure what to make of it until I can find a scout who has sat on the team, but it's filed under 'I' for interesting for now.

Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 4-for-5, HR (8), 2 R, 5 RBI.

After an 0-for-2 showing on April 18th, Harper was batting .231/.333/.333 in his first 12 professional games. Since then he done nothing short of completely go off. In his 19 games since that low point, he's 35-for-72 (.486) with ten walks (.549 on-base percentage), ten doubles and seven home runs (.917 slugging). I don't need to remind you that he should be a high-school senior, but I'll do it anyway. Almost inconceivably, he's actually better than expected, and reaching the big leagues as a teenager is a distinct possibility.

Joe Wieland, RHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

You want to hear crazy? Part of one of the better minor league rotations around, Wieland and Robbie Erlin have combined to strike out 83 over 74 innings while walking just seven. Wieland's 43-to-3 ratio, including zero free passes in his last four starts (26 innings) is ridiculous, and he's more than just a finesse pitcher. Sitting in the low-90s with his fastball and a very good curve, he has the rare combination of excellent command and at least average stuff, if not more.

Others Of Note:

  • Yonder Alonso, 1B, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, HR (4), 2 R, 3 RBI. Nine hits in last four games and eight of them for extra bases have lifted slugging 84 points in four days to .313/.362/.530; lefty struggles (.302 OBP) still a concern.
  • Bryce Brentz, OF, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 4-for-5, 2B, HR (8), 2 R, 4 RBI, K. Run is approaching crazy level; 10-for-16 in last three games with 20 total bases and season line of .381/.439/.679 – in other words, move him up.
  • Paul Clemens, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Second straight start of eight innings, four hits, and one run; the term sleeper doesn't do him justice as he's throwing three average-to-plus pitches.
  • Alex Cobb, RHP, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Zero earned runs over 12.1 innings since returning to Triple-A.
  • Casey Crosby, LHP, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 6 BB, 5 K. Stuff has been generally at pre-injury levels, but control as been an issue.
  • Matt Davidson, 1B/3B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 3-for-5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB, K. 9-for-18 in last four games and .304/.360/.472 overalls; still seen as far more a first baseman than someone who can man third in the big leagues.
  • Kelvin De La Cruz, RHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K. Was a hot prospect two years ago before elbow problems, but stuff seems to be back; 2.32 ERA in 31 innings with 42 strikeouts, but 23 walks.
  • Matt Den Dekker, OF, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 3-for-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI. Gap power, outstanding defense and a .339/.372/.543 line after 31 games; scout: “This is exactly the kind of guy who exceeds all expectations.”
  • Luis Domoromo, OF, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 4-for-4, HR (1), R, RBI, CS. 19-year-old Venezuelan got seven-figure bonus for almost solely his bat and approach; .354/.450/.441 in 10 games since arroving from extended and just three strikeouts in 34 at-bats.
  • Yasmani Grandal, C, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 2-for-3, HR (8), 2 R, 2 BB, K. Popping out of minor slump, but still at .279/.423/.558 in 28 games; defense has been average to a tick below.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 3-for-5, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI, SB. Eight-game hitting streak has season line at .376/.447/.639; Cal League certainly helps, but scouts universally believe in the bat.
  • Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 2-for-4, HR (3), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Hitting .351/.415/.514 in May; Indians' success could keep him down for awhile.
  • Erik Komatsu, OF, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 3-for-6, 2B, RBI. Back-to-back three hit games and .333/.430/.444 on the season; projects as a fourth outfielder, but I gotta include a Brewers prospect once in a while, right?
  • Jake Lemmerman, SS, Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 3-for-5, 2 2B, HR (3), R, 2 RBI, 2 K. 2010 fifth-round pick has good approach and gap power; .315/.396/.484 in 31 games but scouts aren't convinced he's a shortstop in the end.
  • Starling Marte, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-6, 2B, 2 R, K, SB. Nine hits in last four games and .328/.356/.456 overall; lack of secondary skills still a concern with two home runs and four walks against 125 at-bats.
  • Tyler Matzek, LHP, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 7 BB, 5 K. 21 walks over 12.2 innings in last four starts and 8.61 ERA on the season.
  • Trevor May, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 8 K. May be finally finding his rhythm after ugly start; 25 strikeouts over 16 innings in last three starts while giving up just 10 hits and consistently getting into the 93-94 mph range with his fastball.
  • Deck McGuire, RHP, Jays (High-A Dunedin): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 7 K. Back-to-back seven-strikeout games to set and tie career high; he's been consistently good, but rarely great, and that's what he projects to be in the big leagues as well.
  • Melky Mesa, OF, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 2-for-4, HR (3), R, 2 RBI, K. Finally heating up? 8-for-14 in last four games brings OPS up 124 points to .191/.268/.357.
  • Logan Morrison, OF, Marlins (High-A Jupiter): 2-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K. Went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in first two rehab games.
  • Rafael Ortega, OF, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 2-for-5, HR (2), 2 R, 3 RBI, K. Slasher with gap power and plus speed and much more than just a sleeper; .314/.359/.421 in 28 games.
  • Josh Outman, LHP, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 6 K. 5.28 ERA and nearly as many walks (24) as strikeouts (27) while averaging nearly 20 pitches per inning.
  • Chris Owings, SS, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 4-for-6, 2B, HR (3), 3 R, 4 RBI. Overall depressing season after impressing this spring; .248/.301/.391 in 31 games.
  • Cord Phelps, UT, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 2-for-4, HR (5), R, 3 RBI. Home runs in three of last four games and .318/.444/.542 overall; projection of future utility player might be light.
  • Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Second downright bad start in last three; at least he missed bats.
  • Matt Rizzotti, 1B, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 3-for-5, HR (6), R, 2 RBI, K. Obviously has no future in Philly and is a bat-only player, but boy can he hit; .345/.398/.612 in 32 games.
  • Clint Robinson, 1B/DH, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-4, HR (9), R, 2 RBI. Hitting .328/.418/.607, but the Hosmer promotion all but closed what ever tiny window of hope he had with Royals.
  • Mel Rojas, OF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 3-for-3, R, BB, SB. 14-for-35 (.400) in last ten games; .291/.322/.327 line shows that hitting for average is all he is doing.
  • Tyler Saladino, SS, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 1-for-4, HR (1), R, 3 RBI, K. Season debut for surprise performer who missed first part of season with broken hand; true shortstop who has shocked with the bat.
  • Tyler Townsend, 1B, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 1-for-3, HR (7), 2 R, RBI, BB, K. Five home runs in his last 11 games and .330/.364/.634 overall; all caveats to first base prospects apply, and he's a bit old to be a stud.
  • Sebastian Valle, C, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 2-for-4, HR (3), R, 3 RBI. 7-for-12 in last three games with two doubles and two home runs; .312/.326/.495 in 24 games.
  • Zach Wheeler, RHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 7 K. Peripherals are much better than 3.66 ERA; 32 IP, 23 H, 13 BB, 41 K.

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:  Luis Domoromo,  Triple-A,  Matt Den Dekker

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

BP Comment Quick Links

Imperialism32

Rizzotti looked pretty good last night. Schaeffer Hall's a soft-tosser but still, Rizzotti looked comfortable facing the lefty. Line drive single between short and third first time up, hit a HR to basically straightaway CF (407 to CF in Trenton) next time up. He's definitely got the body of a 1B.

Kevin, do you see Rizzotti as a quad-A guy like a Clint Robinson, or do you think he has a big-league future as like a second-division starter?

May 12, 2011 09:57 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think the jury is still kind of our on your question. He's huge, immobile, and a bad first baseman, so the AL might be best for him to get a chance to prove the bat is enough.

May 12, 2011 10:13 AM
 
markbhey

Any scout feedback on how Harper is playing the OF? Is he playing mostly in CF?

May 12, 2011 09:58 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Still working on it, but should end up a solid corner OF with a plus arm.

May 12, 2011 10:12 AM
 
IamRalpho

Anything to worried about Ranaudo? These are two very bad starts in a row now

May 12, 2011 09:58 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Actually, it's two bad ones wrapped around a good one.

May 12, 2011 10:13 AM
 
IamRalpho

No worries though right? I mean his good ones are REALLY good ones, just like his bad ones are REALLY bad ones

May 12, 2011 10:26 AM
rating: 0
 
Ian Miller

Zack Wheeler's peripherals are instructive; the "earned run" he allowed last night was due to a series of misplays in the field. One error was charged, but there were plenty of mistakes to go around. Still, Wheeler never got rattled, bore down, and worked out of a tough spot in the 1st and basically shut down Lancaster after that.

Also, both pitchers were getting squeezed all night -- scouts were saying the HP ump is well-known to have the tightest strike zone in the league.

May 12, 2011 10:05 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Ian the Vegan with the in-person report! Sorry Altuve didn't get a hit for you.

May 12, 2011 10:14 AM
 
Ian Miller

Yeah, that was a shame. Kid sure has range though. Shame about the arm.

May 12, 2011 10:25 AM
rating: -1
 
Ian Miller

Wonder if I could've fit one more "shame" into that comment.

May 12, 2011 10:25 AM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

It's a shame you couldn't.

May 12, 2011 11:34 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He's a 2B, who cares about the arm?

May 12, 2011 10:35 AM
 
Ian Miller

Oh, I know. It doesn't matter, he probably makes the throw from the left side of 2B twice a year. I was just surprised at how weak it looked.

May 12, 2011 10:54 AM
rating: 0
 
brucegilsen
(999)

My thought was, if he maxes out as a utility guy, not having the arm for SS hurts his chances. Or am I off base?

May 15, 2011 13:23 PM
rating: 0
 
Matthew Avery

The Royals clearly win in top-teir talent, but I'm starting to wonder if the Braves actually have more MLB-upside pitching talent in the upper minors.

May 12, 2011 10:05 AM
rating: -1
 
richardkr34

Does Harper still do that obnoxious thing with the dirt?

May 12, 2011 10:41 AM
rating: 0
 
basejaw

Thanks Kevin...have you heard anything on Wieland's CU? Does he project as more than a 4th or 5th starter? Thanks!

May 12, 2011 10:51 AM
rating: 0
 
Peter Benedict

Last year it seemed like so many Twins prospectswere doing better than expected... it was exciting. With the big league club mired in their current swamp, I'd love to see hope wherever I could get it.

But thank you for the updates, they're enjoyable regardless.

May 12, 2011 11:53 AM
rating: 0
 
greenfrog

I would be happy if Deck were consistently good, but not great, in the majors. Maybe (thinking optimistically) a solid RHP with good-but-not-amazing stuff like James Shields, Shaun Marcum, Wade Davis, or Bronson Arroyo.

May 12, 2011 13:01 PM
rating: 0
 
Kevin4prez
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Whats the over under for your number of questions/answers in your Chats that have nothing to do with baseball, or are constantly condascending, or state the obvious? Its like youve ran out of insights so you know repeat yourself. If I wanted a standard answer that Robbie Erlin'c ceiling is a #3 starter (nice job leaving him off your Top 100....and 1?), id read Baseball America's FREE stuff. Erlin will be a 1 or 2 starter, you just can't admit you left the best pitcher in the Minors off a list of ONE HUNDRED AND ONE PLAYERS A FEW MONTHS AGO. I had Erlin at 38. You scouts are so bad....you swing and miss, and miss, and miss. I havent heard you call a breakout star in years. You're getting cockier, becoming the Bill Simmons of a 2nd rate site. Im so sick of everyone kissing up to you- do your job and stop lambasting people asking better questions than you have answers for. Go write an article on Bryce Harper, and how good he will be. Im going back to BA. Especially because you left.

THIS IS WHAT YOUR CHATS AND PODCASTS SOUND LIKE TO HUMANOIDS: Whos your favorite post-punk, pre-pavement, post-cereal, avante garde, pre-post-pre-neo-taillion-post-office, premie MXPX band from 1993-1993?

Good God, what happened to you?

May 13, 2011 02:15 AM
rating: -15
 
jedjethro

Now what is it again that people find in their Cheerios that puts them in a bad mood?

May 13, 2011 07:17 AM
rating: 1
 
mrdannyg

If that was caused by something in his cheerios, I think he needs to check the expiry date.

May 13, 2011 10:11 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Dude spammed some sport cards stuff on twitter, dude gets reported to twitter, dude gets mad.

May 13, 2011 10:25 AM
 
Benjamin Harris

and drunk. Drunk and mad.

May 13, 2011 12:19 PM
rating: 0
 
PeterBNYC

At this hour in the morning, even after I had had a LOT to drink, I thank God I had the mother wit not to SEND (writing one is another thing) posts like this.

May 13, 2011 16:11 PM
rating: 0
 
onegameref

Could inserting Danks in LF really be any worse than what the Sox are getting from Pierre? Watching him vs Angels this week is excruciating. Grounder here, grounder there, soft liner there...thats all you get. He actually is walking a bit more than usual I think but running slower than ever. Of course even catchers know to run on his rag. Please make him go away. Wish him into the cornfield.

May 13, 2011 11:05 AM
rating: 0
 
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