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November 28, 2012

Minor League Update

Games of November 27

by Jason Martinez

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I'm starting to run out of prospects and interesting non-prospects that I haven't yet written about over the past few weeks so the list is down from the normal eight to six. Once Spring Training starts, the format will be very similar to what it's been in the past -- a list of 10-15 prospects with notable performances from the day before and one or two longer write-ups. I'll continue with the current format (4-8 players per day with 2-3 sentences of analysis) until then unless anyone has any other suggestions. If you do, list them in the comments section below or email me at mlbdepthcharts@gmail.com.

  • Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians (Caracas-VWL): 1-for-3, HR (3), RBI, 2 K. One of the more prominent names that's eligible to be taken in the upcoming Rule V draft, the 260 lb first baseman would likely be eaten up by big league pitching at this point. The 22 year-old has a .938 OPS in 17 winter league games but he also has 20 strikeouts and only three walks. 
  • Carlos Rivero, 3B, Nationals (Caracas-VWL): 3-for-4, 2 HR (9), 6 RBI, K. Once a very good shortstop prospect for the Indians, Rivero finally outgrew the position and moved to third base. His bat, unfortunately, could not produce enough for the hot corner and he's fallen off the radar in an organization set at the position with Ryan Zimmerman and top prospect Anthony Rendon. For now, he'll just take out his frustrations of a cloudy future on VWL pitching. The 24 year-old is hitting .306 with 9 HR and 29 RBI in 38 games. 
  • Christian Vazquez, C, Red Sox (Manati-PRBL): 2-for-3, 3B, RBI, K. One of two Red Sox catchers to be added to the 40-man roster last week, Vazquez is slated to start the season in Double-A Portland with Dan Butler and Ryan Lavarnway likely in Triple-A, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross on the major league roster, and another part-time catcher, Mike Napoli, being pursued by the Sox in free agency. Still, the 22 year-old Vazquez could be ready to take the reins around 2015 if his bat continues to develop. He's gunned down 39% of opposing base stealers over the past three seasons and posted an .863 OPS with Lo-A Greenville in 2011 and a .756 OPS in 80 games with Hi-A Salem this year before struggling in Double-A. 
  • Erik Davis, RHP, Nationals (Cibao-DWL): IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K. A former 13th Round draft pick by the Padres in 2008, Davis was having a solid career as a starter before Washington acquired him prior to the 2011 season. His numbers were just so-so during his first season with the Nats (5.30 ERA in 127.1 innings pitched between Double-A and Hi-A) and he was moved to the bullpen full-time in 2012. In 48 appearances (40 with Double-A Harrisburg, 8 with Triple-A Syracuse), Davis posted a 2.71 ERA with 20 walks and 74 strikeouts in 73 innings. Added to the 40-man roster last week, he appears to have a future in the Nats' pen. The 26 year-old has allowed just 1 ER in 18 innings with Cibao. 
  • Jose De La Torre, RHP, Red Sox (Caguas-PRBL): 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K. In two under the radar trades during the regular season, the Red Sox picked up two journeymen pitchers from the Indians who could eventually make their way to the big leagues. Steven Wright, acquired for Lars Anderson, looks better and better as he continues to work on his knuckleball. De La Torre, a 27 year-old reliever acquired for Brent Lillibridge, has been lights out since becoming part of the Red Sox organization. In 28.1 combined innings between Caguas and Triple-A Pawtucket, De La Torre has a 2.22 ERA with 3 walks and 30 strikeouts. He'll likely return to Pawtucket after being re-signed to a minor league deal.
  • Hector Rondon, RHP, Indians (Caracas-VWL): IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K. Once upon a time, Rendon was a highly-touted prospect for the Indians, ranking 6th on their Future Shock Top Prospect list after a stellar Triple-A season in 2009 (3.38 ERA, 146.1 IP, 143 H, 29 BB, 137 K). He made just seven starts in 2010 before being shut down and eventually undergoing Tommy John surgery in August. It's been a long road back for the 24 year-old. He's made only six appearances over the last two regular seasons but he appears to be on the comeback trail. Rondon struck out the side in a 1-2-3 inning to finish off a victory on Tuesday and has a 3.77 ERA with 4 walks and thirteen strikeouts in 15.1 innings. 

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