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August 23, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of August 22

by Kevin Goldstein

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Eric Arce, OF/DH, Blue Jays (Rookie-level GCL) 1-for-3, HR (14), R, RBI, 2 BB, K. The Jays drafted Arce in the 27th round of the 2010 draft, but it took an extra year for him to end up with Toronto, and his official draft listing as a 25th rounder this June simply says “No School.” He initially committed to Florida State out of high school, but left the team officially to focus on academics, but more realistically, because he wanted to play professional baseball. That's looking like a good idea as in his first 48 games since signing, he's leading the Gulf Coast League in both home runs and walks (38) as part of a .267/.438/.620 line. At five-foot-nine and somewhere in the neighborhood of 210 pounds, he's not exactly an impressive athlete, and with 46 strikeouts in 150 at-bats, there are certainly holes in his swing, but with these extreme secondary skills, he's at least intriguing.

Others Of Note:

  • Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Short-season Spokane): 2-for-4, HR (6), R, 5 RBI, K. 18-year-old is hitting .324/.368/.528 in college-heavy league.
  • Jacob Anderson, OF, Blue Jays (Rookie-level GCL): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, K. 35th overall pick in June is 6-for-18 with 14 total bases in first five games.
  • Dante Bichette, 3B, Yankees (Rookie-level GCL): 3-for-5, 2B. Went 4-for-33 (.121) to start his pro career but has hit .392 since; .343/.448/.503 in 48 games.
  • Gary Brown, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 3-for-5, 2 3B, 3 R, 3 RBI. Up to .323/.394/.485 on the season; no glaring weakness in offensive game.
  • Edwin Carl, RHP, Royals (Rookie-level Idaho Falls): 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Has the craziest stats around with 68 strikeouts and three walks in 31 innings, but is also a soon-to-be 23-year-old non-drafted free agent pitching in the Pioneer League.
  • Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 4-for-6, 3 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI. Hitting .347 since the break and .306/.423/.460 overall. At some point, he's just getting wasted in Triple-A.
  • Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-5, 2 HR (14), 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 K. 17 total bases in last four games have brought averages up to .258/.353/.502; stock is still down as he's seemed to have stagnated a bit.
  • Vince Catricala, 1B/OF, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI. Has 25 doubles in 49 games since promotion as part of .359/.432/.599 line; can certainly hit, now needs to find a position.
  • Zack Cox, 3B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 2-for-4, HR (7), 2 R, RBI. Among the Texas League's top hitters with a .351/.410/.490 line since the All-Star break.
  • Zeke DeVoss, OF, Cubs (Short-season Boise): 4-for-6, 2B, R, RBI, K, SB, CS. Third-rounder is plus-plus runner with excellent approach; .293/.463/.359 in 27 games.
  • Corey Dickerson, OF, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 1-for-3, HR (27), R, RBI, BB, 2 K. Leads Sally League in home runs after going deep in three straight games; .285/.359/.618 in 96 games but insane home/road splits, hitting just .212//.299/.367 away from Asheville.
  • Mat Gamel, 1B/3B, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 4-for-6, HR (27), 2 R, 2 RBI. Hitting .321/.379/.566 on the year; should be an extra big league bat in September, but bigger question revolves around him being next year's first baseman.
  • Niko Goodrum, SS, Twins (Rookie-level Elizabethton): 2-for-4, R, RBI, K. 2010 second-round pick is having best run of career; .339/.461/.452 in 19 August games.
  • Didi Gregorius, SS, Reds (Double-A Carolina): 3-for-4, HR (2), R, 2 RBI. 21-year-old is hitting .299/.346/.433 in 26 Southern League games while playing a legit shortstop.
  • Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 4-for-6, 3 R, 2 RBI, 3 SB (89). With seven stolen bases in his last three games he suddenly has an outside shot at 100 again; hitting .295/.367/.355 since the break.
  • Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Seems to improve with nearly each start; hard to see any non-injury scenario that keeps him away from Citi Field in 2012.
  • Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R RBI, K, SB. Hitting .313/.390/.576 in 37 games, but also has whiffed 20 times in his last 10; .440 BABIP might be a concern.
  • Tommy Joseph, C, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-5, 2B, HR (20), R, 4 RBI, K. Late-season power surge continues with eight home runs in last ten games; .269/.310/.473 overall and .607 slugging percentage since the break.
  • Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates (Short-season State College): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. 2010 fourth-round pick as allowed one or zero runs in nine straight starts; fastball and command of it are both above average.
  • Will Lamb, LHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Second-round pick has rare size and velocity for a southpaw; biggest debate is future as starter or reliever.
  • Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Angels (Short-season Orem): 2-for-4, 2 R. Arguably the most impressive young hitter in the Pioneer League; hitting .404 in August and .377/.409/.641 overall in 48 games.
  • Nick Maronde, LHP, Angels (Short-season Orem): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Pioneer League has not challenged third-round pick from Florida with plus fastball.
  • Starling Marte, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-5, R, RBI, K. Eight hits in last four games to lift averages to .330/.363/.500; is this maintainable with such a low walk rate?
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket); 2-for-4, R, SB. Went 0-for-11 with six strikeouts in first three International League games; hard to see a path to Boston for him.
  • Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton): 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, K. Hitting .324/.387/.588 in August while hoping for at least a September look at this point.
  • Wil Myers, OF, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 1-for-2, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB. Finishing the season with his best showing of the year; .310/.412/.569 in 17 August games.
  • Andy Oliver, LHP, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 9 K. Ties season high in strikeouts, but command and efficiency is still an issue as he's averaging 17.7 innings per outing.
  • Joe Panik, SS, Giants (Short-season Salem-Keizer): 2-for-5, 3B, HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI. First-rounder has exceeded every expectation with bat, more walks than strikeouts and good defensive fundamentals; .346/.405/.483 in 60 games.
  • Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Three straight great starts at Triple-A with 24 strikeouts and three walks in 20 innings; a big part of the 2012 rotation?
  • Jerry Sands, OF, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque): 3-for-4, 2 2B, HR (25), 3 R, 2 RBI. Did he ever deserve to be in the big leagues? Hitting .183/.235/.415 away from Albuquerque.
  • Aaron Shipman, OF, Athletics (Short-season Vancouver): 2-for-3, RBI. 2010 third-rounder is 10-for-18 in last five games and batting .260/.385/.312 overall thanks to speed and good plate discipline.
  • Drew Smyly, LHP, Tigers (Double- A Erie): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 10 K. Five-for-five in good-or-better starts since promotion; 0.93 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 29 innings show how valuable command can be.
  • Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 6 K. On track for late-season big league return.
  • Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (Low-A Quad Cities): 4-for-5, R, HR (7), 3 RBI. Snaps out of 3-for-20 slump; .365/.429/.554 in 67 games.
  • Drew Vettleson, OF, Rays (Rookie-level Princeton): 2-for-4, HR (7), R, RBI, K, CS. 10-for-21 in last four games and .309/.379/.507 overall; plus bat with athleticism, including 19 stolen bases.
  • Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 3-for-3, R, 2B. Hitting .338 in 20 August games and .287/.323/.446 overall.
  • Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2 K, SB. Fourth straight multi-hit game and 13-for-24 during six-game streak; .311/.380/.476 in 109 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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