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July 20, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of July 19

by Kevin Goldstein

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Lots going on, so a very high threshold today . . .

  • Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 4-for-4, RBI. 9-for-12 in last three games and .370/.444/.543 in 13 games since return to minors.
  • Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 5-for-6, 2 2B, R, K. I'm frankly shocked that a guy with a .282/.431/.449 line hasn't gotten more love from the performance-minded folks.
  • Garin Cecchini, 3B, Red Sox (Short-season Lowell): 4-for-5, 2B, 3 R, RBI, SB. Has raised batting average from .215 to .272 by going 11-for-24 in six games; .272/.364/.476 overall.
  • James Darnell, 3B, Padres (Triple-A Tucson): 4-for-5, HR (4), 3 R, RBI, 2 BB. Enjoying Tucson as much as everyone else; .325/.413/.650 in ten games since promotion.
  • Chris Davis, 3B/1B/OF, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 3-for-5, HR (22), 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 K. Another one of those guys where it's hard to tell if he's a trade chip or part of the future (or both); .359/.399/.801 in 45 games.
  • Brandon Erbe, RHP, Orioles (Rookie-level GCL): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Season-debut for once highly recorded prospect returning from surgery.
  • Johnny Giovatella, 2B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-7, RBI, 2 K. What is it with American League teams not calling up second basemen who are clearly ready? .337/.392/.483 in 95 games.
  • Aaron Hicks, OF, Twins (High-A Ft. Myers): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K. Has been streaky all year; .272/.380/.415 in 81 games.
  • Ryan Lavarnway, C, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (11), 3 R, 3 RBI. Hottest hitter in the minors; 16-for-26 with six home runs in his last seven games and hitting .388/.460/.760 in 32 Triple-A games.
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-for-5, 2 3B, HR (20), 3 R, 6 RBI, BB, 2 K. Slugging .837 in July and hitting .264/.340/.511 overall in 91 games.
  • Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 3-for-5, HR (10), R, RBI. While it's not the way Reds fans wait it, further slippage in the NL Central could lead to seeing Mesaraco sooner.
  • Nick Ramirez, 1B, Brewers (Rookie-level Helena): 3-for-6, 2 HR (7), 3 R, 5 RBI, K. Hottest hitter in the half-season leagues; 17-for-31 with five home runs in last six games.
  • Trayvon Robinson, OF, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque): 2-for-4, HR (25), R, 3 RBI, K. Home runs in four straight games lift him to .304/.379/.581.
  • Miguel Sano, 3B/SS, Twins (Rookie-level Elizabethton): 3-for-4, 2 HR (5), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. 18-year-old is hitting .289/.328/.579 in 28 games, but he's probably bound for the outfield sooner than initially expected.
  • Kevan Smith, C, White Sox (Rookie-level Bristol): 3-for-4, 2 HR (6), 3 R, 4 RBI, BB. Seventh-round pick is mashing at .407/.480/.733, but he's also 23 year-old and in the Appy League.
  • Will Smith, LHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. First part of combined no-hitter; Texas League still hitting .296 against him this year.
  • Matt Szczur, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 2-for-5, HR (1), R, RBI. Fifth straight two-hit game and first High-A home run; .314/.333/.429 in seven games.
  • Dickie Thon, SS, Blue Jays (Rookie-level GCL): 2-for-3, HR (1), R, 2 RBI, K. First pro home run for big budget 2010 draftee; .286/.408/.365 in 22 games.
  • Keenyn Walker, OF, White Sox (Rookie-level Great Falls): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI. Top White Sox pick has eight of 14 hits going for extra bases; .389/.450/.639 in first nine pro games.
  • Tim Wheeler, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 1-for-5, HR (28), 2 R, 2 RBI, 4 K. Six home runs in last seven games has him tied for the minor league lead; .312/.395/.619 in 93 games.
  • Joe Wieland, RHP, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K. 1.86 ERA in five Texas League starts; stock rising quickly.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

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

BP Comment Quick Links

hyprvypr

Tim Wheeler's defense just not quite good enough for center? Can't imagine his bat would be anything less then exceptional if he could stay in center??

Jul 20, 2011 10:53 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Keep in mind that Tulsa is a great place to hit. I'm not trying to take anything away from the season, and he's been amazing, but it is a factor.

Jul 20, 2011 11:05 AM
 
all4themoney

Did you hear something recently that has Sano moving from 3B to the outfield, or is it just a summation of his play so far? I know he was making a lot of errors at third earlier in the season, but those have ceased lately (his most recent errors coming at SS).

Jul 20, 2011 10:59 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Not sure how four errors in his last eight games (two at each position) equals ceased.

Jul 20, 2011 11:05 AM
 
all4themoney
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Well, relative to how many he was racking up earlier in the year, he has slowed down. I shouldn't have said ceased, but you did kind of pick an arbitrary number of games to prove your point, but whatever. Not sure why you choose to be defensive about what I said, either.

Jul 20, 2011 11:17 AM
rating: -22
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I wasn't being defensive at all, I'm just saying he's still making a lot of errors and reviews of his infield defense have been dreadful.

Jul 20, 2011 15:04 PM
 
all4themoney
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Fair enough. The way I read your comment by his name initially I thought maybe you had heard a move to the OF was now imminent, not that it'd be a shock long-term obviously with him, but I just thought it was odd because I noticed his errors have actually lessened recently at third (again, relative to how many he was committing before). That's all.

I have to say I'm shocked my previous comment has a -17 rating. I don't know what I did. Sorry to offend so many people, apparently. Tough crowd. Tie me to a stake.

Jul 20, 2011 15:47 PM
rating: -5
 
all4themoney
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Seriously? Who's bothering to neg me? Why don't you reply and say why that is? Can you even articulate yourself? You anonymous cowards. What miserable lives you must have. Oh well. Whatever.

Jul 20, 2011 16:21 PM
rating: -6
 
evo34

Settle down, Beavis. You made an absurd comment/accusation, and got called out for it.

Jul 21, 2011 00:24 AM
rating: 1
 
mrdannyg

People will often "minus" something because it does not contribute to the discussion, and would prefer it hidden. I would recommend not taking it quite so personally.

Jul 21, 2011 06:01 AM
rating: 1
 
Schere

Not offensive, but Kevin's comment wasn't defensive, so I assume people gave you a minus for calling him out unnecessarily. I gave you a plus to help out.

Jul 21, 2011 07:49 AM
rating: -1
 
all4themoney

Thanks man.

Jul 21, 2011 08:08 AM
rating: -1
 
Imperialism32

Heard anything on Jeff Malm in the NYPL? .316/.468/.622 through 30ish games

Jul 20, 2011 10:59 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He can hit, but that's the sum of his skills, so he'll have to do it all the way up.

Jul 20, 2011 11:14 AM
 
SirVLCIV

Any word on how Chien-Ming Wang looked last night? Box score seemed mediocre.

Jul 20, 2011 11:00 AM
rating: 1
 
Ian Miller

Any firsthand reports on Trayvon Robinson's in-game power? Dude has added .140 points to his SLG since he got to AAA. Is that all Albuquerque/PCL, or is some of it legit?

Jul 20, 2011 11:07 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think he's a 15-20 HR guy in the big leagues. Albuquerque is a launching pad.

Jul 20, 2011 11:14 AM
 
Domenik Hixon

assuming the power is where you expect it to be, .275/.340/.475 with 15-20 homers and 20-25 sbs seem about right? plays really well in center, less so in left (assuming sands goes to 1b in place of loney or ethier is traded), but certainly suitable for a cheap starter, no?

Jul 20, 2011 11:39 AM
rating: 0
 
adamcarralejo

can he hit .275 when he's striking out 1/3 of the time?

Jul 20, 2011 12:01 PM
rating: 2
 
douglasgoodman

Re: Carpenter, what were scouts saying about Youkilis during his age 23-24 seasons in the minors, which saw pretty similar numbers to what Carpenter has put up here (though a year older at each level)?

Jul 20, 2011 11:09 AM
rating: 0
 
BillJohnson

I suggest reading this BP article, by Dave Cameron, which addresses exactly this issue: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2273
There really are very pronounced similarities. Part of the lack of enthusiasm for Carpenter may be that he didn't hit during a cameo in St. Louis. It remains to be seen how significant that failure is, but in any event, St. Louis has other 3B prospects, and therefore may have decided not to take an overly optimistic view of this one.

Jul 20, 2011 14:19 PM
rating: 1
 
Wade

Could someone remind me why the Pirates are starting Brandon Wood at 3B today, with Alvarez raking in Indy?

Jul 20, 2011 11:09 AM
rating: 0
 
Brian Kopec

1. They are letting Alvarez have some extended success instead of bringing him back up to the majors where he was atrocious earlier.

2. The team as a whole is hot, and right or wrong, you tend not to mess with chemistry when you are on a hot streak.

3. Brandon Wood at least gives you competent defense at 3B...underrated attribute when you consider the Pirates' pitch to contact staff.

That said, Pedro will be back VERY shortly.

Jul 20, 2011 12:26 PM
rating: 3
 
timber

Re Giavotella (and by association, Kipnis), I think both of those AL teams aren't exactly hyped by their defense. Both could, however, definitely use the offense. More puzzling for Cleveland, though, because they are in the race and can't afford to turn their noses up at any kind of offense.

Jul 20, 2011 11:31 AM
rating: -1
 
SaberTJ

If the Indians had starters that could strike people out I think Kipnis would had been up a month ago.

Jul 20, 2011 11:44 AM
rating: 1
 
JoeSky60

Same thing with the White Sox. Viciedo killing AAA, while the Sox languish, starting both Pierre, and Dunn. Neither of them being defensive stalwarts, either.

Jul 20, 2011 11:48 AM
rating: 1
 
mrdannyg

WATG - David Cooper! I know he was pretty much written off as a prospect after posting a 760 OPS as a repeater in AA, but I don't think we can ignore this year:

24 years old at AAA, OPS over 1000, striking out a ridiculous 8%. I know first basemen without power are about as useful as...well they're not useful. And Vegas is a great place to hit. But he has over 30 doubles 3 years in a row - even without a power swing, I'd think at least a few of those could turn into homers if he keeps hitting.

Seriously, look at that strikeout rate. 28 K's in almost 300 ABs. And with a 1000 OPS. If he played anywhere but 1B, I would be getting very excited.

Jul 20, 2011 11:46 AM
rating: 2
 
R.A.Wagman

I'm not KG, but I wrote about Cooper the other day - http://section203.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/down-on-the-farm-jays-milb-thoughts-july-18-2011/ - scroll to the end of the post for a lengthy take on his prospects.

Jul 21, 2011 06:53 AM
rating: 2
 
mrdannyg

Thanks! I also read your piece on the jaysprospects blog - great work!

Jul 21, 2011 08:35 AM
rating: -1
 
R.A.Wagman

Thank you

Jul 21, 2011 08:57 AM
rating: 0
 
mschroeder14

KG: Does Darnell stay at 3B or move to the OF? All-Star level bat in the majors?

Jul 20, 2011 11:58 AM
rating: 0
 
hyprvypr

Kevin's said before here probably OF bat in the long run and at least a solid+ bat, plus power but not overwhelming. He quickly snuffed out Braun comps.

Jul 20, 2011 12:58 PM
rating: 0
 
acmcdowell

Do you think Lavarnway has a shot to stick at catcher with another off season of working on his defense? Or is he already in the mold of Mike Napoli, where he'll catch, but you probably won't like it?

Jul 20, 2011 12:02 PM
rating: 0
 
mrdannyg

At this point, I think he's worse than Napoli. Without further development, he isn't a catcher at all, and he's already DH'ing half the time at AAA.

Jul 21, 2011 06:04 AM
rating: -1
 
jackweiland

Re: Giavotella ... is part this about his defense? Have you heard anything on that?

It's funny, I own both Giavotella AND Kipnis in my dynasty league. Cmon guys!!!

Jul 21, 2011 06:20 AM
rating: -2
 
Drew Miller

I have Kipnis in my dynasty league. And Lorenzo Cain. Sigh.

Jul 21, 2011 09:50 AM
rating: -2
 
Drew Miller

I'll tell you one thing: I didn't draft the clown who thinks that idle comments should be de-repped.

Jul 21, 2011 17:26 PM
rating: -1
 
Noel Steere
(965)

So all4themoney makes a factual argument about a player's error rate, and he gets a -21, being told he's "not contribut[ing] o the discussion"?

That's easily the greatest abuse of the notion of "community standards" that I've seen since this system has been in place.

Jul 21, 2011 09:23 AM
rating: -1
 
Drew Miller

On here, people have long since abandoned the notion of "contributing to the discussion" and have instead gone with a "like/dislike" model. Not that I'm surprised.

I'm no scout or analyst, but with those strikeout/walk rates, Chris Davis looks like the good Adam Dunn without the walks. He probably won't amount to much unless he can actually play multiple positions well.

Jul 21, 2011 09:49 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Can the good Adam Dunn even exist without the walks?

Jul 21, 2011 11:07 AM
 
Drew Miller

Maybe not. Without plate discipline you won't get pitches to hit...

Jul 21, 2011 11:10 AM
rating: 0
 
Brian Kopec

The good Adam Dunn without the walks....

Oh, you mean Dave Kingman.

Jul 25, 2011 11:24 AM
rating: 0
 
delatopia

You might disagree with the prevailing community standards, but all the say you get is your little corner of it. That's the definition of "community standards."

all4themoney also chose to make groundless accusations and admitted he made a bad choice of words, basically destroying his "factual argument."

Other than that, your points are just peachy.

Jul 21, 2011 17:34 PM
rating: 1
 
Noel Steere
(965)

What "groundless accusation" was that, that Kevin was being defensive? I doubt Kevin cares one millionth as much as you or anyone who negged the comment. And I don't see how changing "ceased" to "lessened" destroys his factual argument; Sano's errors still went down, just not at as fast a rate, which is clearly what he was saying in the first post.

And you're absolutely right that I only have my soapbox to speak from, so if I may: By severely negging a comment that was clearly contributing to the conversation ("is Sano's defense really that bad? Perhaps not, and here's why"), you're making BP a worse place to visit.

Jul 21, 2011 22:19 PM
rating: 1
 
all4themoney

That's the second time someone's said I made "accusations," as if me saying to Kevin Goldstein that I thought he was being defensive merits the use of such terminology. I'm expecting a day in court soon.


As I have explained, I read Kevin Goldstein's comment next to Miguel Sano's name and had simply wondered if he heard a move to the OF was now imminent, which I thought would be odd since his errors at third were actually decreasing. I was expecting a reply to that as it was the point of what I was saying, instead he got technical about the issue of Sano's errors when he could've just as easily addressed the original point and said no, I haven't heard anything of the such, what I wrote was just based on the summation of his play. I took slight issue with that as it rubbed me the wrong way, but as you can see by my second reply I was willing to put the issue to rest. I say that to preemptively refute the inevitably of someone saying this has gotten to be to big of a deal. I am not fully responsible for the path this topic has taken.

As a paying customer of this site just as you are delatopia, I hope you respect that I get to have my "little corner" of conversations, though I wonder if you'll be one of the people to minus me.

I hate for this topic to continue to take up space and I apologize to the good people on this site to have derailed it.

Jul 21, 2011 23:29 PM
rating: 0
 
all4themoney

Thanks Noel Steere. You rule man, seriously.

Jul 21, 2011 23:31 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I know Noel, personally, and he is among the best humans on the planet.

Jul 22, 2011 10:56 AM
 
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