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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

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