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May 27, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of May 26

by Kevin Goldstein

Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 3-for-5, 2 R

On the afternoon of May 18th, our one-year anniversary podcast came out with Altuve as a guest. Since the release of that show, the 5-foot-5 (he says he's 5-6 now) second baseman has gone 19-for-33 (.576) to raise his season averages to .403/.445/.571 in 47 games overall. Coincidence?

Matt Moore, RHP, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K

Moore has led the minor leagues in strikeouts over each of the last two seasons, and with his first double-digit effort last night, he's now second with 76 punch outs in 52.2 innings. A bulky left-hander with a fastball and curve that both rate as above-average if not greater, Moore seems to be improveing with each outing, as in his last five starts, he's whiffed 44 over 28.1 innings while putting up a 0.95 ERA and limiting Southern League hitters to a .143 batting average. He projects as at least a No. 2 starter in the big leagues, has a chance to exceed that, and is lined up for a very long look next spring.

Brad Peacock, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K

That line is actually from Wednesday, but I didn't hear from a scout about the game until yesterday afternoon. Few pitchers have been more impressive of late, as Peacock has whiffed 33 over 19.2 innings in his last three outings while allowing just nine hits and four walks, and the stuff is backing up the numbers. The 23-year-old is not overwhelming physically, but with super-fast arm action, he's consistently sitting in the low-to-mid 90s with his fastball, and the pitch plays up from there due to his ability to locate and use both sides of the plate. He'll flash a good curve ball and decent change, and even with secondary pitches that lag a bit behind, he projects as a number three starter with room to grow if his arsenal does.

Jon Pettibone, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Lost in one of the most loaded rotations in the minors, Pettibone has actually been Clearwater's most consistent starter, with a 1.75 ERA after ten starts. His low-90s fastball is his best pitch, as beyond the velocity, his six-foot-five frame and delivery creates a good angle on the pitch, and unlike many tall, young arms, he throws the pitch for strikes. His breaking ball and changeup are still works in progress, but he's generating some buzz and is more than just another arm at Clearwater.

Others Of Note:

  • Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R; 1-for-3, 2B, K. Hitting .343/.433/.598 in 25 May games; could be up as early as the next zero-to-ten days.
  • Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves (Low-A Rome): 3-for-5, HR (3), 2 R, RBI. Putting together best offensive run of his full-season career; approach problems are no more clearly communicated than his .311/.299/.419 mark in 18 May games.
  • Aroldis Chapman, RHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 5 K. No walks, but did have two wild pitches and a balk; no sure we can call this progress yet.
  • Michael Choice, OF, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 3-for-4, 2B, R. Slugging up to .500 for the first time in a month; still striking out once per three at-bats.
  • Travis D'Arnaud, C, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI. Hitting .490 (24-for-49) in May and .340/.418/.546 overall; scouts have also noted improved defense.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 2-for-5, HR (5), R, RBI, K. Fourth-straight multi-hit game and up to .287/.369/.456; 900+ OPS in May and could deserve a look soon.
  • Zach Collier, OF, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 4-for-4, 2B, 2 R, SB, CS. Showing signs of life for the first time since being a first round pick in 2008; hitting .390 in last 15 games and .275/.343/.408 overall.
  • Darin Gorski, LHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 7.2 IP, 3 R, 1 R, 1 BB, 13 K. Far more deception and location than stuff, but with 63 strikeouts in 41.2 innings, he's become at least a sleeper.
  • Mark Hamilton, 1B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 4-for-5, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 3 RBI. Yes he's nearly 27 years old and yes there's no room for him in St. Louis, but he can hit; .381/.513/.571 in 18 games.
  • Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-5, 2B, HR (3), R, 3 RBI. Outstanding glove, but days like this at the plate have been few and far between; .221/.245/.353 in 46 games.
  • Brandon Guyer, OF, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 3-for-3, HR (8), 4 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SB. .333/.411/.569 line is proving that 2010 was no fluke; guy can just flat-out hit.
  • Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI. Still in a groove offensively at .343/.403/.632; still has huge questions about glove with five errors in last eight games
  • Zach McAllister, RHP, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): Former Yankee prospect is bouncing back well from miserable 2010 campaign; eight straight quality starts and 2.29 ERA. Future 4/5 starter again?
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 0-for-3, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K. Numbers from hot start are quickly diminishing; 6-for-43 (.140) in last 12 games and down to .282/.319/.474.
  • Jio Mier, SS, Astros (Low-A Lexington): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB. 2009 first-round pick has been much better in second go-around in Sally League; .280/.392/.453 in 40 games and defense remains well above-average.
  • Jared Mitchell, OF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 2-for-3, HR (6), R, 2 RBI, 2 BB. 2009 first-round pick who missed all of 2010 has been mostly a disappointment in return, by 5-for-7 with two home runs in last two games for .220/.273/.415 line.
  • Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Are we finally getting some consistency? Has allowed just two runs over 26.2 innings in last four starts, and it's easy to forget he's still just 20 years old.
  • Ben Revere, OF, Twins (Triple-A Rochester): 2-for-4. Fifth straight two-hit game and 20-for-37 (.541) during nine-game hitting streak; average up from .194 to .317/.360/.365 as a result.
  • Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 10 K. 22-year-old Korea has looked much better in second year after Tommy John surgery; with solid fastball and plus changeup.
  • Edinson Rincon, 3B, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 3-for-4, R. 20-year-old Dominican was always seen as having hitting potential and it's starting to show; 16-for-40 (.400) during nine-game hitting streak and .350/.376/.494 overall but defense is lacking.
  • Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K. Young for the league at 19, playing in a great offensive environment, and is limiting the California League to a .212 batting average with 11.3 K/9.
  • Michael Taylor, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-5, HR (1), 2 R, 4 RBI. First home run in 12 games and everything else is already clicking; 20-for-53 (.377) since returning from injury.
  • Cory Vaughn, OF, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 4-for-4, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Too good for this level and needs to move up; 1091 OPS in May and .342/.475/.503 overall.
  • Jonathan Villar, SS, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 3-for-6, 2B, HR (3), 2 R, RBI, 2 K. Home runs in back-to-back games and 932 OPS in May; .272/.369/.430 overall in 42 games.
  • Jemile Weeks, 2B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-4, 2 R, BB. Staying healthy and producing; .322/.412/.454 in 36 games and lining himself up for a job in 2012.
  • Tim Wheeler, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (14), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB. Has been hot all year and only getting hotter; 8-for-12 in last three games and .330/.411/.665 overall.

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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