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August 1, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of July 31

by Kevin Goldstein

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Between writing, or writing part of eleven pieces over the weekend and doing 13 radio hits, there just wasn't the time for a Ten Pack today. I hope a standard Minor League Update and the usual prospect talk in the comment will suffice for today, and we'll return to the long form next Monday.

Drew Vettleson, OF, Rays (Rookie-level Princeton): 3-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB, K.

Short-season performances are always a bit tricky to deal with, but Vettleson, a 2010 supplemental first-round pick, has more than impressed scouts outstanding hitting fundamentals, an advanced approach and real power potential. He's also a solid outfielder with a good arm and average speed. All of the tools for a classic right field profile are there, and as for the performance side of things, he's the hottest hitter in the Appy League, going14-for-20 in last five games and raising his averages to .343/.406/.571 overall. The Princeton team is loaded with intriguing offensive prospects, but none more than Vettleson.

Others Of Note:

  • Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Short-season Spokane): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R. 18-year-old catcher is hitting .327/.377/.490 in college-heavy league; as good as the bat has been, receiving skills are rough and teams are running wild on him.
  • Joe Benson, OF, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R RBI, K. 15-for-26 in last eight games and up to .299/.396/.485 overall; on pace for 2012 big league debut, and could get long look in spring.
  • Gary Brown, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, BB, 2 SB. Four straight multi-hit games and a 12-game hitting streak to raise numbers to .323/.393/.475; Not sure why he's not at Double-A yet.
  • Simon Castro, RHP, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 8 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 10 K. Starting to show previous form with 24 strikeouts and one walk in last three starts.
  • Sean Coyle, 2B, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 1-for-2, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Has impressed scouts with his approach and shocking power for his size; finishes July at .284/.420/.523 in 25 games and .244/.362/.480 overall with 37 of his 67 hits going for extra bases.
  • Travis D'Arnaud, C, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI. Finishes July at .392 and up to .321/.392/.545 overall; in the discussion for best catching prospect around.
  • Roberto De La Cruz, 3B, Cardinals (Rookie-level Johnson City): 2-for-6, 2 HR (10), 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 K. 19-year-old Dominican has very real power, but also has non-existent approach and very poor defense.
  • Randall Delgado, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. Has had some bumps in the road this year but overall numbers are good; 3.84 ERA with 110 Ks in 117.1 innings.
  • Chris Dwyer, LHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Is trying to recover from miserable first half; two straight outstanding starts is step in the right direction but ERA still sits at 6.01.
  • Brett Eibner, OF, Royals (Low-A Kane County): 1-for-3, HR (9), R, RBI, BB, 2 K. Make up for lack of average with power and patience; on-base 12 times in last six games and .203/.326/.425 overall.
  • Johnny Giavotella, 2B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 5-for-6, 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI. Hit .383 in July, which is down from his .398 mark in June. I can't explain why he's still here either.
  • Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2-for-4, 2B, R. Finishes up July at .333/.406/.421; significantly higher walk rate and significantly lower strikeouts rate gives room for optimism.
  • L.J. Hoes, OF, Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 2-for-4, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB, SB. Stock starting to rise after July mark of .349/.412/.519; still questions about it being enough of a bat for a corner outfield slot.
  • Rymer Liriano, OF, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 3-for-4, R, SB. Hitting .369 in last 50 games and .325/.389/.518 overall; tools match the numbers in what is undoubtedly a breakout season.
  • Starling Marte, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R. The Pirates hoped that a healthy hand would lead to him drives balls better and it his; .315/.351/.464 overall.
  • Tyler Matzek, RHP, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 5 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 8 BB, 6 K. The good news remains the return of his velocity, but clearly, there is still much work to be done.
  • Cory Mazzoni, RHP, Mets (Short-season Brooklyn): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Second-round pick has been used in one-inning stints only; but zero runs so far with ten strikeouts over six frames.
  • Ramon Mendez, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K. Plus-plus velocity and making progress in transitioning from thrower to pitcher; 1.32 ERA in six July starts.
  • Tyler Pastornicky, SS, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 2-for-6, 2 R, K. Multi-hit efforts in nine of 12 Triple-A games and .423/.455/.442 overall; is it possible to hit an empty .400+?
  • James Paxton, RHP, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K. 31 strikeouts over 25.1 innings in first five Double-A starts; big frame, two plus pitches and being a lefty put a lot on the positive side of his scouting ledger.
  • Francisco Peguero, OF, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 2-for-5, 2 3B, R, RBI. Everything has looked good at Double-A other than the fact that he's doesn't seem to be aware of the rule concerning walks; .281/.291/.432 in 37 games.
  • Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 9 K. Hottest pitcher in the Southern League and seen by many as now the best prospect in the system; 0.66 ERA in six July starts while allowing just 23 hits in 41 innings.
  • Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R (7 ER), 1 BB, 3 K. Scouts are concerned about stuff and habit of tipping pitches; 5.12 ERA in 11 starts since promotion.
  • Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Padres (Triple-A Tucson): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (21), R, 2 RBI. Five home runs in last seven games and up to .371/.445/.750 overall; will get plenty of big league at-bats in the future to turn things around, likely starting in September.
  • Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 3-for-4, HR (13), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB. Back-to-back three hit games can't save season line; .223/.278/.373 in 101 games.
  • Keyvius Sampson, RHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 4.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 7 K. Combines plus stuff with inconsistency; 25.1 IP, 14 H, 11 BB, 31 K in last five starts and 2.81 ERA on the season with 10.5 K/9.
  • Dave Sappelt, OF, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 4-for-5, R, RBI. 11-for-16 in last four games and .323/.385/.472 overall; fourth outfielder profile and stuck in the minors for now.
  • Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K. 27 strikeouts over 21.2 innings and 3.32 ERA in first four Southern League starts.
  • Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves (High-A Lynchburg): 3-for-5, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI. Even an empty high average is far above expectations for outstanding defensive player; .295/.322/.373 in 99 games.
  • Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 1-for-1, 2B. Astros system debut; don't be surprised if he puts up some huge numbers in Lancaster.
  • Zach Stewart, RHP, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 6.1 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 5 K. White Sox system debut; many still see a future reliever.
  • Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (Low-A Quad Cities): 2-for-3, BB. 17-for-40 during eight-game hitting streak and .392/.435/.582 overall; now with 49 games in the bank, this is no longer a fluke.

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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