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July 19, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of July 18

by Kevin Goldstein

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Ryan Lavarnway, C/DH, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 3-for-3, 2B, HR (10), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB. No prospect in baseball is generating more email and Twitter questions than Lavarnway, who is 14-for-23 with five home runs in his last six games to lift his Triple-A batting line to .381/.451/.729 in 31 games. Red Sox fans are asking when they will see him in the big leagues, but the problem is there just isn't anywhere to put him. He's playing designated hitter as much as he's catching, where he is still below average, and his only other position is manned by this Ortiz guy (you've probably heard of him) currently handling the position in the big leagues. He's kind of become a poor man's Jesus Montero, and like Montero, his best bet for getting to the big leagues might be a change of scenery.

Others Of Note:

  • Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 2-for-5, HR (5), R, 3 RBI. Awesome.
  • Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 3-for-4, HR (1), R, RBI, CS. Home runs in back-to-back games and up to .310/.400/.500 since demotion; interesting how Pirates' success led to difficult decision to send him down.
  • Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 3-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB. Hitting .383/.438/.649 in 23 games since the All-Star break and .310/.358/.480 overall; Outstanding hitter, but questions about on-base skills, defense and ultimate power projection remain.
  • Robert Bundy, RHP, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 9 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 9 K. About to become the second best Bundy in the system, but he's closing the gap; 3.11 ERA in 18 starts while limiting league to .243 average.
  • Michael Choice, OF, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 2-for-4, 2 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB. Missed tying for the home run lead but still hot; 1390 OPS in July and .293/.383/.580 overall.
  • Alex Colome, RHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K. Recovering well from a first-half filled with inconsistency; 30 IP, 17 H, 5 R, 27 K in last five starts.
  • Christian Colon, SS, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 2-for-3, HR (5), 2 R, 3 RBI. Not everything has gone well in the Royals system, as .258/.337/.341 line has slowed timetable.
  • Jarred Cosart, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 0 K. And this is the guy with the second best stuff in the Futures Game.
  • Zack Cox, 3B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI. Hitting .429 in July to reason Double-A line to .273/.342/.386 in 47 games; just doesn't do much if he's not hitting for average.
  • Chelsor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals (Low-A Kane County): 1-for-2, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB. Drew his first intential walk, so now we have an 18-year-old that Midwest League managers are scared of; .331/.384/.494 in 44 games.
  • Travis D'Arnaud, C, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, K. Now hitting .483 (28-for-58) in July and .330/.398/.553; arguably the second best offensive catcher prospect behind Mesoraco.
  • Zeke DeVoss, 2B, Cubs (Short-season Boise): 0-for-1, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 SB. Northwest League debut for third-round pick; as I'm sure you can assume from that day, he's very fast.
  • Mat Gamel, 1B, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (19), 2 R, RBI, 2 BB. Up to .327/.393/.580 and now the question is: trade chip or Prince Fielder free agency insurance policy?
  • Johnny Giavotella, 2B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-for-5, R, K. 15-for-29 during seven game hitting streak and up to .335/.391/.484 on the season; I don't know why he isn't in Kansas City either?
  • Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque): 2-for-5, 2 R, 3 SB. Hitting .360/.396/.500 since returning to the minors, and scouts note an improved approach at the plate.
  • Robbie Grossman, OF, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 2-for-4, HR (7), R, RBI, BB, 2 K. CS. Just because he's not turning into the player one hoped doesn't mean he's not a prospect; plenty to like in .284/.420/.412 line after 93 games.
  • Brad Hand, LHP, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Learned some lessons in the big leagues? 11.2 IP and one run allowed since returning to minors.
  • Bryce Harper, OF, National (Double-A Harrisburg): 0-for-3, BB. Now 1-for-21 in his last six games; this might be his first taste of failure . . . ever.
  • Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 9 K. Most strikeouts in four Double-A starts; Eastern League still hitting .338 against him.
  • Drew Hutchinson, RHP, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K. Has been more good than bad since moving up to Florida State League; 3.95 ERA in five games.
  • Ryan Jackson, SS, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 2-for-5, HR (8), R, 3 RBI. Has slowed down significantly after red-hot April; .272/.332/.410 line is still a huge step forward for shortstop with plus defense.
  • Brandon Jacobs, OF, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (13), R, 2 RBI, K. Big-bodied outfielder is finally turning big tools into big performance; .322/.402/.531 in 79 games and prospect status is exploding.
  • Rymer Liriano, OF, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 2-for-5, HR (11), 2 R, RBI, K. Building on yesterday's Ten Pack appearance with home runs in back-to-back games; .316/.383/.512 in 73 games with 11 home runs and 44 stolen bases.
  • Luis Mendoza, RHP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K. More journeyman than prospect, but interesting story was error turning into a hit after the game and then back into an error for the no-hitter.
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (11), R, 4 RBI, K. Continues to move forward with a .378 batting average in his last 25 games and overall line of .314/.359/.517; More and more scouts are projecting him as an above-average third baseman both offensively and defensively.
  • Akeel Morris, RHP, Mets (Rookie-level Kingsport): 6.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 10 K. High-ceiling right has scuffled with command, but also missing a ton of bats; 36 K in 23.2 IP.
  • Rafael Ortega, OF, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 2-for-5, HR (4), 2 R, 3 RBI, K. 11 hits and 17 total bases in last six games; .289/.320/.422 overall in 77.
  • Jarrod Parker, RHP, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 8 K. Stuff is ticking up, command is ticking up, and has give up just three runs over 20 innings in his last four starts.
  • Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (Short-season Ogden): 3-for-5, R, 2 RBI, K, CS. Also featured in yesterday's Ten Pack; eight hits in last three games and .356/.430/.563 overall.
  • Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 4-for-5, 3 2B, 3 R. Running out of things to say, so I'll just go with .283/.386/.527 and a 2/20/93 DOB.
  • Nick Ramirez, 1B, Brewers (Short-season Helena): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (5), 2 R, 5 RBI. Fourth-round pick should be killing this league and is; 20-for-38 in last eight games, home runs in last three and .383/.400/.654 overall.
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Orioles (Rookie-level GCL Orioles): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Projectable 18-year-old Venezuelan has limited Gulf Coast League batters to .153 batting average while striking out 25 in 22 innings.
  • Trayvon Robinson, OF, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque): 2-for-4, HR (24), 2 R, RBI, BB, K. Just three off the minor league lead with home runs in three straight games; .301/.378/.573 on the season and with the Dodgers going nowhere he deserves a look.
  • Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 4-for-5, 3 R, RBI. Has raised batting average 21 points in three games by going 8-for-10; .266/.309/.480 overall.
  • Robbie Ross, LHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Little lefty with plus velocity and movement on his fastball might be ready for jump to Double-A; 30 IP, 20 H, 4 R in last five starts.
  • Keyvius Sampson, RHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. First scoreless outing since May 6th when he started year allowing no runs in four of six starts; 3.02 ERA in 16 starts with 93 strikeouts in 80.1 innings.
  • Tony Sanchez, C, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-4, 2B, RBI. Games like this has been far and few between, as while the Pirates are the best story in the big leagues, Sanchez has been the system's biggest disappointment at .243/.351/.321.
  • Cody Scarpetta, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 K. Has a pro body, good fastball and even better curve, but rarely can he put it all together.
  • Matt Szczur, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 2-for-5, SB. Fourth straight two-hit game but no sign of secondary skills; .300/.323/.333 in six games.
  • Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 6 K. ERA is down to 1.70 on the season as he's allowed just seven runs over 51 innings in his his last eight starts.
  • Ronald Torreyes, 2B, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI. 18-year-old Venezuelan just keeps hitting; .355/.400/.505 in 26 games.
  • Tim Wheeler, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 2-for-4, HR (27), 2 R, RBI, 2 BB. Now tied for the minor league home run lead thanks to five in his last six games; .314/.396/.617 overall.
  • Mason Williams, OF, Yankees (Rookie-level Staten Island): 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 K, SB. The only dings against him from scouts is an overly aggressive approach and out of control base running; .371/.400/.543 in 27 games.

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,  Best Games,  Hot Starts

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

BP Comment Quick Links

Marc Normandin

Re: Lavarnway, my guess is the Sox would call up Exposito if they needed a catcher for a few days, so he gets to keep playing there, and Lavarnway is essentially in Triple-A more for his bat. 2012 will be when he gets more time to work on his glove, since he won't even have been at the level for a year by the time next year rolls around.

If he continues to mash, though, does he work his way into the picture in 2012? 2011 just seems out of the question for a variety of reasons, some of which you mentioned.

Jul 19, 2011 10:11 AM
rating: 0
 
Mtn Jam

Lavarnway isn't on the 40 man so you may be right, he may not see MLB in 2011.

Jul 19, 2011 10:45 AM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

They used up the freed 40-man spot from dealing Mike Cameron to put Kyle Weiland on it, so someone would have to be cut if they want Lavarnway on the roster before September. Guessing he'll get the call then, though, because why not?

Jul 19, 2011 11:52 AM
rating: 0
 
Mtn Jam

Yea, I think it comes down to need. If they think Lavarnway makes their team better, they'll drop Randy Williams/Atchison or Sutton (when Lowrie returns) because his value drops quite a bit. They could DFA any of those 3 in favor of Lavarnway. They need to add Lavarnway to the 40 in the off-season anyways.

Last night the O's threw Mark Worrell. This is the ugliest delivery I've seen in a while. Can anybody name an uglier delivery?

Here's Worrell... http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=17030543&topic_id=8879838&c_id=mlb

Jul 19, 2011 12:57 PM
rating: 0
 
cjbuet

Great update Kevin. In regards to cuthbert, are you starting to hear comps to m. Cabrera or c. Gonzales in a sense of them being an international signing who showed an advanced bat in low a for being so young. When I read the write ups on cuthbert...advanced approach for his age, the balls explodes off his bat, it reminds me of miggy and cargo at that age.

Many thanks Kevin.

Jul 19, 2011 10:14 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I'd calm down a bit there, but I do love Cuthbert.

Jul 19, 2011 11:27 AM
 
jwschaefer

Odds that Scarpetta is on the PTBNL list from the K-Rod trade?

Jul 19, 2011 10:16 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Nope.

Jul 19, 2011 11:27 AM
 
BillJohnson

As regards Zack Cox (btw, it's Zack, not Zach; first name is spelled Zackary): when you get a guy who's in his first year in pro ball and has a very pronounced first-half/second-half split, as Cox does (around 100 points of BA), it's tempting to infer that he's actually learning something as he plays at the new level. Are scouts saying anything about that, Kevin? Or is this split just a small-sample-size bit of luck, whether good or bad or both?

Jul 19, 2011 10:35 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think everyone thought he could hit, as in, he's going to hit for average, but the power and the defense does not get good reviews.

Jul 19, 2011 11:28 AM
 
jhagan2

Beyond his numbers, have you heard any scouting reports regarding Pedro Alvarez? He could be the key to the Pirates' season, but he looked rather lost at the plate earlier this year. Thanks

Jul 19, 2011 10:57 AM
rating: 0
 
Ian Miller

Keith Law posted about Alvarez today on espn, you might wanna check that out.

Jul 19, 2011 11:11 AM
rating: 1
 
greenfrog

I know you've highlighted him several times, but I thought I would post a shout-out about Jake Marisnick, who hit HRs on July 14, 15 and 17, and is hitting 381/435/738 in his last 10 games (the 20-year-old is hitting 315/380/498 overall in low-A ball). You'd almost think he was modelling himself after some org guy named Bautista.

Jul 19, 2011 10:58 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

You'd almost thing that, other than he's nothing like Bautistia. He almost made the ten pack, but also didn't even play yesterday, so I'm not sure he needed the shout out.

Jul 19, 2011 11:30 AM
 
greenfrog

Oh, I know he's nothing like Bautista - it's just that his last ten days vaguely resembled Joey Bats' stratospheric triple slash line this season. For one thing, Marisnick has speed and could end up in CF. Also, Marisnick is unlikely ever to hit anywhere close to 50+ HR in the majors. It was sort of a dumb comp - how about Mike Trout instead? Kidding, just kidding!

Jul 19, 2011 12:18 PM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

I asked when he was in High A, and your answer was "when he does it in Double-A".

Are we allowed to get excited about Altuve yet?

Jul 19, 2011 11:15 AM
rating: 2
 
jrmayne

I am, even if it's disallowed.

Jul 19, 2011 11:26 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Get excited.

Jul 19, 2011 11:30 AM
 
preams

Especially since he got called up to HOU today. In the bigs!

Jul 19, 2011 15:27 PM
rating: 2
 
CRP13

Dang, that's what I get for going home sick today. Had I been slacking off at work, I would have caught this!

Jul 19, 2011 16:00 PM
rating: 1
 
Scott44

At this point, if he can put it together is Scarpeta more 4-5 and 2-3?

Jul 19, 2011 12:00 PM
rating: 0
 
Scott44

for the above sorry - 'than 2-3'

Jul 19, 2011 12:01 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

If he can put it together, he's a 3, but it's a huge, and unlikely if.

Jul 19, 2011 13:05 PM
 
Benjamin Harris

Are we going to get an NL West draft recap soon?

Jul 19, 2011 12:37 PM
rating: 0
 
rweiler

Any thoughts on Adam Duvall? Is this just a guy that is too old for his level, or is there some real ability there? MiLB has him at .579/.646/1.026 for his last 10 games and even for a 23 year old in low-A that seems like a pretty impressive stat line in a league that isn't particularly friendly to hitters. It seems like he is at least ready for a promotion to San Jose.

Jul 19, 2011 12:58 PM
rating: 0
 
mopup1

I watched two Cosart starts earlier this season in Clearwater.

His FB has great velocity and movement. But his attitude stinks. He gets upset with errors in the field and borderline calls behind the plate. I liken him (from the mental side) to AJ Burnett. Of course he's just a kid, so hopefully he gets that sorted out by the time he's ready for the MLB

Jul 19, 2011 14:07 PM
rating: 2
 
jj0501

On the flip side last night....David Perez, 5 batters faced
with 3 walks, 2 HBP, and a WP, removed with no one out in 1st inning.

Jul 19, 2011 14:49 PM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

(A non-sequiter for this posting but I don't know where else to go for feedback.)

Arizona watchers --- am I wrong or has Brandon Allen totally upgraded his swing? I've only seen a couple of at bats since the call-up, but his approach looks awesome. Tall, quiet hands, nice eye, imposing --- and the swing, what I saw of it ---- wow. Connected, efficient and downright quick. I remember a totally different ballplayer from two years ago --- big stride, pronounced loop in the trigger, and a long loose action with lots of miss in it.

What's happened here? Anyone?

Jul 19, 2011 15:16 PM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

Altuve: up!

Jul 19, 2011 16:30 PM
rating: 0
 
hinnenra

Hey KG... get the spelling right! It is Cheslor, NOT Chelsor.

By the way, I saw him play at Kane County this past weekend. He may not be at the same talent level, but he "looks" like Miguel Cabrera did when Cabrera was in Kane County.... all the way down to the necklace and curly hair.

Jul 20, 2011 09:34 AM
rating: 0
 
Nater1177

Can I take credit for referring to Lavarway a 'poor man's Jesus Montero' in the the comments of the midseason top 50? I had hoped his D wasnt as lackluster as Montero's is reported to be, but it sounds like he may not be any better. As an ivy-leaguer, innate intelligence would seem to be working in his favor for learing the 'tools of ignorance'

Jul 20, 2011 11:54 AM
rating: 0
 
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