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July 21, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of July 20

by Kevin Goldstein

Zolio Almonte, OF, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 3-for-4, 2 RBI.

A 22-year-old Dominican who has been slow to develop his tools into skills mostly due to injuries, Almonte is finally healthy and blossoming. After hitting .293/.368/.514 during the first half of the season at High-A Tampa with 12 home runs and 14 stolen bases, with nine hits in his last four games, he's hitting .333 in his first six Eastern League games. He small, but can flash average power at times and decent wheels, but scouts aren't quite convinced he profiles as an every day corner outfielder yet. If he can do at Trenton what he did in Tampa, that could change.

Others Of Note:

  • Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB 4 K. So had to evaluate as a pitcher with killer stuff who doesn't miss many bats; 2.86 ERA in 12 games with 48 strikeouts over 69.1 innings.
  • Jeff Ames, RHP, Rays (Rookie-level Princeton): 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Supplemental first-round pick has 17 Ks in 12.1 innings as pro; pro body and outstanding fastball, but secondary pitches need work.
  • Joe Benson, OF, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 2-for-2, HR (6), R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, CS. First home run in 14 games with slow return from knee injury; still at .276/.379/.458 on the year.
  • Zack Cox, 3B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI. On his best run of the season with a .409/.451/.621 mark in 16 July games.
  • Cito Culver, SS, Yankees (Short-season Staten Island): 3-for-5, 2 R. .296/.375/.376 in 31 games but some bizarre splits, as he's 17-for-38 (.447) against lefties while hitting just .230 against righties.
  • Chris Davis, 3B/OF, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 HR (24), 2 R, 5 RBI. The only bad news is that scouts in attendance also saw two errors; home run every 7.75 at-bats with .366/.404/.833 overall line.
  • Delino DeShields, 2B, Astros (Low-A Lexington): 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB. Finally starting to hit a bit; .321 in July but just .222/.304/.326 overall.
  • Mat Gamel, 1B/3B, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI. Has been playing more third base of late, maybe in desperation for big league gig; he's still awful there, but hitting .331/.397/.581.
  • Johnny Giavotella, 2B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-5, 2 R. 12-for-21 in last four games and up to .340/.394/.485 overall.
  • Robbie Grossman, OF, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 1-for-2, 2B, 3 R, RBI, 3 BB, SB. Up to 84 walks in 95 games; there has to be some value to a .287/.426/.419 line from a 21-year-old corner outfielder in a tough league.
  • Mason Hope, RHP, Marlins (Rookie-level GCL): 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Impressive pro debut for fifth-round pick that was high-school teammate of Arizona first-round pick Archie Bradley.
  • Casey Kelly, RHP, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Best start of year as he needed just 48 pitches in the outing.
  • Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-for-5, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI. Was 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in first two games back in Vegas; .349/.408/.660 overall.
  • Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach): 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 0 K. He's pitched less than 60 innings in the United States and is still far from a refined product; these kind of outings can happen and it's nothing to panic over.
  • Tyler Matzek, RHP, Rockies (Low-A Ashville): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 6 K. The bad news is that he still can't find the strike zone; the GREAT new was that his fastball was 92-95 mph.
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (Double-A Binghamton): 1-for-5, HR (12), R, 3 RBI, K. Slugging .564 in last 25 games and hitting .307/.352/.515 overall; stock has done nothing but creep up throughout the season.
  • D.J. Mitchell, RHP, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K. Flying under the radar with 3.12 ERA at Triple-A; sinker/slider combination has at the very least bullpen value, but he might work in the back of a rotation as well.
  • Derek Norris, C, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, K. Back over the Mendoza line with still bizarre line of .206/.368/.416.
  • Rafael Ortega, OF, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI, K, SB. Hitting .330/.337/.540 in 21 games since the All-Star break; .291/.322/.429 overall.
  • Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K. On the best and most consistent run of his career; 1.86 ERA in last nine starts with 53.1 IP, 40 H, 19 BB, 54 K.
  • Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Eastern League batters are 6-for-33 (.182) with 11 strikeouts against him over two starts.
  • Austin Romine, C, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 3-for-4, HR (5), 4 R, 2 RBI, BB. Has certainly been consistent, hitting between .286-.306 in each month; .296/.357/.400 overall.
  • Moises Sierra, OF, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-4, HR (15), R, 2 RBI. Athletic outfielder has at least average power and speed but approach could be undoing; .279/.344/.462 in 92 games.
  • Drew Smyly, LHP, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K. 2.82 ERA in 13 starts; highly polished and ready for Double-A, but ceiling is limited.
  • Neftali Soto, 1B, Reds (Double-A Carolina): 2-for-5, 2 HR (18), 2 R, 3 RBI, K. He's bulked up to the point where he's a 1B-only type, but with it has come considerable power; 13 home runs in last 26 games and up to .279/.339/.598 overall.
  • Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (Low-A Quad Cities): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB. Was fliring with .400 before the hamstring problems, and now he's doing it again; .390/.432/.579 in 41 games.
  • Dickie Thon, SS, Blue Jays (Rookie-level GCL): 2-for-3, HR (2), R, 2 RBI. Home runs in back-to-back games; .308/.423/.431 in 23 games.
  • Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K. 1.67 ERA in five High-A starts while limiting league to .160 batting average; could he finish his full-season debut in Double-A.
  • Ronald Torreyes, 2B, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 4-for-5, 2B, 4 R, RBI, SB. 18-year-old, Five-foot-nine hitting machine is 13-for-29 in his last six games and .375/.417/.527 overall.
  • Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5K. Best outing of the year by a country mile; 7.04 ERA in 19 games with Sally League hitting .307 against him.
  • Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals (Low-A Quad Cities): 3-for-6, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SB. He can really hit, and he's proven it by going .346/.421/.531 in his first 20 pro games.
  • Christian Yelich, OF, Mariners (Low-A Greensboro): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, SB. Hitting .350/.404/.550 since the All-Star Break; .292/.366/.439 overall including 22 stolen bases in 26 attempts.

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,  Quad-a

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