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July 6, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of July 5

by Kevin Goldstein

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Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 2-for-4, 3 RBI, 2 K; 5-for-5, HR (9), 3 R, 3 RBI.

An over-slot player who received nearly $1 million as a fifth-round pick in 2007, Middlebrooks has always flashed well above-average defensive skills, but the bat took awhile. He showed signs of adjustments last season, but has taken all in 2011, as with 10 hits in his last three games, he's now hitting .320/.366/.509 for the Sea Dogs. With a quick bat and to potential for average power, Middlebrooks profiles as a above-average hitters with 15-20 home runs annually, and he's suddenly among the top position player prospects in the system.

Others Of Note:

  • Raul Alcantara, RHP, Red Sox (Rookie-level GCL): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Third straight overwhelming start; league is 2-for-46 against him in 16 innings.
  • Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Short-season Spokane): 3-for-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI, 2 K. 18-year-old is 7-for-14 in last three games and .286/.340/.469.
  • Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (11), 2 R, RBI. Three home runs in last two games and .386 average in last 30 games has season line up to .310/.355/.493.
  • Dante Bichette, 3B, Yankees (Rookie-level GCL): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI. First multi-hit game of career; .184/.400/.289 in 12 games thanks to 14 walks against just 38 at-bats.
  • Gary Brown, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (7), 2 R, RBI, K. 7-for-13 in last three games with five extra base hits; .323/.389/.484 overall.
  • Vince Catricala, 3B/1B, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 4-for-5, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI, K, SB. Trying to prove .351/.421/.574 line at High-Desert was more than just a California League mirage; 11-for-24 with 22 total bases in first six Double-A games.
  • Michael Choice, OF, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 5-for-6, 2 2B, HR (21), 2 R, 5 RBI, SB. Home runs in four straight games and .267/.367/.540 overall; High Desert could keep the streak going.
  • Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Angels (Short-season Orem): 3-for-5, 2 2B, K. Snaps out of 2-for-20 slump, yet still hitting .397/.441/.500 in 15 games.
  • Cito Culver, SS, Yankees (Short-season Staten Island): 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB. 11-for-22 in last five games and up to .299/.356/.364 overall.
  • Rashun Dixon, OF, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 3-for-4, 2 HR (10), 3 R, 3 RBI, BB. Up to .261/.349/.432 overall thanks to a couple of big games at High Desert.
  • Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque): 2-for-5, R, RBI, K, 2 SB. First game since demotion.
  • Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-4, HR (9), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K, SB. Power is starting to flash with four home runs in last six games; .261/.353/.419 overall.
  • Taylor Green, 3B/2B, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (12), R, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Healthy and hitting again at .309/.378/.538; scouts see big league starter if power surge proves for real.
  • Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, K, 2 SB (60), CS. Three straight multi-hit games but still at just .233/.292/.314 on the season.
  • Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 2-for-3, 2 HR (10), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Hot April, cold May/June and now hot again; 10-for-20 with three home runs in last six games and .269/.389/.479 overall.
  • Tommy Joseph, C, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-3, 2 HR (9), 3 R, 4 RBI, BB. Needs more games like this, as .246/.289/.403 line has been a let down.
  • Ryan Lavarnway, C, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 3-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI. Hitting .338/.418/.613 in 21 Triple-A games, but it's hard to figure out how he's going to improve defensively when catching just half the time.
  • Lastings Milledge, OF, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-3, HR (8), R, 2 RBI. Might there still be some value here? Hitting .292/.365/.477 overall, including .322 with six home runs in last 30 games.
  • Jermaine Mitchell, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacremento): 2-for-6, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 3 K. Double-A explosion carrying over to Triple-A so far; on base eight times in three games.
  • Tyler Pastornicky, SS, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 4-for-6, 2B, 3B, HR (6), R, 4 RBI, K. Got the cycle with a triple in final at-bat; .298/.344/.423 in 79 games.
  • Guillermo Pimentel, OF, Mariners (Rookie-level Pulaski): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (6), 3 R, 7 RBI. No player in the short-season leagues is creating as much buzz; .377/.390/.774 line in 15 games and showing massive power potetial.
  • Jerry Sands, OF, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (12), 3 R, RBI, BB. .317/.386/.662 line still impresses; seven home runs in 105 at-bats since return to minors.
  • Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves (High-A Myrtle Beach): 2-for-4, R, RBI. 10-for-22 during six game hitting streak and up to .301/.332/.368 overall.
  • Neftali Soto, 1B, Reds (Double-A Carolina): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (13), 2 R, RBI, K. Needs to become a masher now that he's a first baseman, but with eight home runs in last 14 games, he's up to .283/.328/.578.
  • J.C. Sulbaran, RHP, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Healthy and pitching well with plus fastball and breaking ball; 4.61 ERA is impressive for Bakersfield and 97 strikeouts in 82 innings.
  • Blake Tekotte, OF, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 4-for-5, 2 HR (12), 3 R, 3 RBI, SB. .292/.420/.530 line should get him another call-up at some point; is at least a big league fourth-outfielder down the road.
  • Ronald Torreyes, 2B, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2-for-2, 3B, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB. Hitting .379/.419/.483 in first 14 games at Dayton.
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, BB, K. 22-for-57 (.386) during 12-game hitting streak to raise averages to .330/.422/.544 overall; simply no weakness in his game.

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:  Triple-A

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

BP Comment Quick Links

Clooch14

Jacob Thompson (TB) had another very effective start with very few strike outs last night. What do you make of him?

Jul 06, 2011 11:01 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

Jordany Valdespin is hitting over .300 in AA with 10 bombs. Is this kid a legit prospect?

Jul 06, 2011 11:44 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He has some legit tools, with gap power, plus speed and a decent bat, but he's way too aggressive a hitter,and he's not good enough defensively to project for the left side in the big leagues. He's a mixed bag, but certainly a prospect.

Jul 06, 2011 14:03 PM
 
cooper7d7

Where did July and August go?

Jul 08, 2011 06:11 AM
rating: -1
 
Matt Kory

You bring up an interesting point, Kevin. Any idea why Lavarnway is only catching part of the time?

Jul 06, 2011 13:10 PM
rating: 0
 
SGreenwell

The Sox also have Luis Exposito at AAA, who is a minor prospect and injury insurance.

Jul 06, 2011 13:28 PM
rating: 0
 
ehunke

Any chance Trout gets called up this year?

Jul 06, 2011 13:35 PM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

September and that's only a maybe.

Jul 06, 2011 14:04 PM
 
Scott44

Pimentel - Ceiling of a first division, middle of the order bat? Also, do you prefer Pimentel or Duran?

Jul 06, 2011 13:41 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Pimentel's ceiling is through the roof, but keep in mind he's a teenager in the Appy League, and he still has a ton to work on.

Jul 06, 2011 14:03 PM
 
Scott44

Catricala - Does he appear to have enough bat to start at 1B at the MLB level?

Jul 06, 2011 13:43 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I wouldn't say that yet.

Jul 06, 2011 14:04 PM
 
moehk21

Pimentel a plausible top 100 guy or too far away / small sample?

Jul 06, 2011 14:51 PM
rating: 0
 
Daddyboy

I'm pretty sure he was a top 100 guys on this site before the season started.

Jul 07, 2011 12:33 PM
rating: 0
 
Daddyboy

#96

Jul 07, 2011 12:35 PM
rating: 0
 
all4themoney

What players do you like the best from that 2009 international free agent amateur class out of Pimentel, Sano, G. Sanchez, W. Mateo, Profar and Cuthbert?

Jul 06, 2011 15:37 PM
rating: 0
 
Luke in MN

Kevin, thoughts on Trevor Plouffe? His prospect status seemed like a thing of the past last offseason, but he's been one of the very best hitters in the international league this summer and he hit OK in a brief call up. Of course he also looks like a failed SS looking for a position.

Jul 06, 2011 16:08 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

KG - are you hearing anything on Art Charles? Normally, I wouldn't be interested in a 1B prospect that far down with 20th round pedigree, but his background as a two-way guy who many saw as a P going into the pros has me intrigued. Thanks for everything.

Jul 06, 2011 19:37 PM
rating: 1
 
Matthew Avery

Is there any chance the Braves look at Pastornicky for the job in Atlanta next year? Seems a bit too agressive to me, and for a staff that will likley feature Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson, going with an unproven rookie at SS seems unlikely. But Alex Gonzalez is a FA after this year, and I can't imagine Patornicky would represent THAT much of a drop-off offensively.

Jul 07, 2011 07:42 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I could see them trying to get a one-year deal with someone and hoping Pastornicky would be ready for '13.

Jul 07, 2011 08:43 AM
 
onegameref

I think the Sox should promote Milledge not Viciedo if they are looking for offense. This preserves more options for Viciedo since Milledge was a FA. Why Ozzie insists on more pitchers is beyond me. He needs more offensive options.

Jul 07, 2011 08:48 AM
rating: 0
 
FedExpress

Nice to see Sulbaran's name pop up - he was such a fun story from the WBC several years back

Jul 07, 2011 21:41 PM
rating: 0
 
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