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June 16, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of June 15

by Kevin Goldstein

Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 2-for-4, R, RBI. This is likely Ackley's final appearance here, as after the game, he spent time calling his family to let them know he's been summoned to the big leagues. After another slow April, the second overall pick in the 2009 draft hit .352 after the first month of the year and sits at .303/.421/.487 after 66 games. He's not a very good second baseman, but he's fine there, he doesn't have a ton of power, but there will be plenty of doubles and the occasional ball flying over the fence. He's not a burner, but he's fast enough to steal 15-20 bases a year. His minor league career line of .280/.387/.435 looks just about right to me as far as a big league projection goes, and while he might not be the superstar some projected for him out of college, he's going to represent a major upgrade in the middle of the infield for Seattle.

Others Of Note:

  • Mike Aviles, SS/2B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-for-3, 2 HR (3), 2 R, 4 RBI. 5-for-18 (.278) but three home runs in five games since demotion.
  • Dellin Betances, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 8 K. Other than the occasional control problems, everything else has been on target; 1.76 ERA in 11 starts, 66 strikeouts in 56.1 innings and an opponents batting average of .176.
  • Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves (Low-A Rome): 2-for-4, R, RBI. Hitting .420 in 12 June games and .303/.321/.436 overall.
  • Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 K. 18-year-old earned surprised assignment to Low-A last week; .273/.385/.364 in first six games.
  • Rushun Dixon, OF, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 3-for-4, 2 R, CS. Hitting .356 in 12 June games and up to .253/.335/.414 overall; still young and toolsy, so every time he gets hot you take notice.
  • Chris Dwyer, LHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K. Best start in otherwise disappointing year; 6.12 ERA in 12 starts with command issues the primary culprit.
  • Jonathan Garcia, OF, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 4-for-5, 2 2B, HR (10), 3 R, 2 RBI, K. Home runs in back-to-back games but approach issues have undone fast start; .249/.293/.475 in 60 games.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB. Eight straight multi-hit games (22-for-39) and .386/.448/.664 in 66 games.
  • David Holmberg, LHP, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K. Best start of career by hottest pitcher in the lower levels; 27 shutout innings in last four starts while allowing just nine hits.
  • Casey Kelley, RHP, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Still inconsistent, just a better good/bad ratio than last year; 3.72 ERA in 14 starts.
  • Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 3-for-5, 2 R, K, 2 SB, CS. Hasn't been in the update for a while but still hitting; .353/.430/.488 in 52 games.
  • Francisco Martinez, 3B, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 3-for-5, R, RBI, K. 10-for-19 in last four games and .294/.341/.452 overall as one of the youngest hitters in the Eastern League.
  • Tommy Mendonca, 3B, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 3-for-4, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB. Six straight multi-hit games (18-for-27) has raised batting average 43 points to .329/.378/.583.
  • Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. 1.35 ERA in three Texas League starts; Still think it's doubtful we'll see him in th ebig leagues this year, but he keeps improving his chances.
  • Wily Mo Pena, OF, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 4-for-5, 2 2B, HR (21), 2 R, 5 RBI. Now tied for the minor league home run lead.
  • Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 5 K. First career complete game; 24 IP, 15 H, 4 ER, 11 BB, 29 K in last four starts.
  • Charles Shirek, RHP, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K. Groundball specialist with fringy stuff has moved back to starting; 10-1 ground ball rate last night.
  • Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 4-for-4, 3 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. 16-for-28 in last six games and .330/.400/.478 in 44 games; how long to we keep the faith?
  • Michael Taylor, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-5, HR (6), R, 2 RBI, CS. Matches last year's home run total in 127 games; .302/.368/.509 in 26 games.
  • Eric Thames, OF, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB. 10-for-20 with 20 total bases in last four games and .348/.418/.624 overall; hardly looked over-matched in the big leagues . . .
  • Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 9 K. Don't forget about him just because he's short; 1.57 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 68.2 innings thanks to plus fastball/curve combination.
  • Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K. Best Double-A start since end-of-May promotion; 27 Ks in 25.2 innings with .202 opponent's average.

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)

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Vision

An .822 OPS would place him 4th in baseball among qualified 2B'men, while also providing above average speed and decent defense. That's not a star?

Jun 16, 2011 09:41 AM
rating: -1
 
dwinning

Not with below-average defense.

Jun 16, 2011 11:15 AM
rating: 0
 
SGreenwell

Yeah. It makes it sound like he's the new Todd Walker: valuable to teams that don't overrate defense, but he'd drive a manager like LaRussa insane.

Jun 16, 2011 21:05 PM
rating: 0
 
ColonelTom

You mean the same LaRussa that kept running Skip Schumaker out to 2B?

Jun 17, 2011 08:38 AM
rating: 0
 
ttt

I know there's no rush, but any clue what the Rays will do about promoting Lee with Beckham doing well in AA? Will one be shifted to 2B?

Jun 16, 2011 09:43 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Again, no rush. For now, there is no need to combine them if it's going to force a positional move.

Jun 16, 2011 12:01 PM
 
ttt

If the move gets forced (Beckham starts struggling a bit, Lee gets very hot), who do you think would stick at SS? Lee seems to get better defensive ratings, but Beckham was the #1 overall pick...

Jun 16, 2011 12:05 PM
rating: -2
 
Cromulent

Tampa's reliably cautious with prospect development. They're not going to over-react to a hot or cold streak by one or the other.

I'd wager that both Beckham and Lee play most of the season at their current levels and if/when they're promoted, it will be both at the same time.

Jun 16, 2011 12:36 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I'm saying again, that I don't think it's going to get forced.

Jun 16, 2011 13:44 PM
 
toanstrom

Who do you like more right now, Francisco Martinez or Castellanos?

Jun 16, 2011 09:51 AM
rating: 1
 
Jim Humdingding

And where can Martinez reasonably move to if he can't rein in his error total at 3B?

Jun 16, 2011 10:00 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I like Castellanos upside considerably more, and I like Martinez plenty. I wouldn't worry too much about the glove yet.

Jun 16, 2011 12:02 PM
 
toanstrom

Thanks Kevin, good to know the Tigers at least have two positional prospects to be excited about.

Jun 16, 2011 19:23 PM
rating: 0
 
lemppi

Kevin.....could you see a scenario where the Tigers use Jacob Turner out of the bullpen down the stretch if they are in a fight for their division? Or is that too much/too soon for him? Thank you.

Jun 16, 2011 09:52 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

too much too soon.

Jun 16, 2011 12:02 PM
 
mushb0ne

Looks like Wily Mo has found his home at last.

Jun 16, 2011 10:04 AM
rating: 1
 
tdees40

Two questions:

1) I remain horrified by Bethancourt's approach. Does it often happen that players sort out approach issues during their development?

2) Does anyone ever get excited about DSL players? Or is that a fool's errand?

Jun 16, 2011 10:05 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

1. It's a real concern, but yes guys sort it out. They don't suddenly turn into walkers, but they do make enough adjustments often (not always).

2. You can get excited as long as you have scouting info to go with the numbers.

Jun 16, 2011 12:03 PM
 
huggirl

Vince Belnome, had a big day two days ago and another solid one yesterday, at 23 can he contribute at the big leagues or does he have some big flaw?

Jun 16, 2011 10:39 AM
rating: 0
 
The Goat

There are reports that Holmberg's velocity has jumped to 91-93. Have you heard this and how would that change his prospect status?

Jun 16, 2011 11:11 AM
rating: 0
 
gilgamesh

What do you think Thames' upside/possible 2012 role could be for the Jays. And please don't cry me a river that I'm asking you.

Jun 16, 2011 11:14 AM
rating: 0
 
dwinning
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

The best way to get kevin to answer your question is to sound like a dick while asking it.

Jun 16, 2011 11:17 AM
rating: -8
 
gilgamesh

And the best way to get a negative rating here is to insult someone because you don't get the joke.

Jun 16, 2011 11:50 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

And again, we can't all get along? I think Thames could be a solid average every day corner guy. That's quite a bit, really.

Jun 16, 2011 12:04 PM
 
gilgamesh

Thanks - 'preciate it, young man river.

Jun 17, 2011 07:18 AM
rating: -1
 
CalledStrike3

To Mike Aviles' credit - he took his demotion to Omaha in stride and is playing the game the way it should be played. I watched him Sunday in Omaha and he was excited to be playing Baseball and tried to take a leadership role on the team. He played hard and had fun.

Jun 16, 2011 11:16 AM
rating: 1
 
R.A.Wagman

Kevin - what, if anything, have you heard about Jays' Low A pitcher, Sean Nolin, a 2010 6th rounder who held the opposition to 1 hit in 6 innings last night?

Jun 16, 2011 13:14 PM
rating: 0
 
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