April 29, 2009
Future Shock Blog
Nunca, nada, nilch, Anundsen
Evan Anundsen, RHP, Brewers (High-A Brevard County)
Tuesday's stats: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K
Anundsen is not a great prospect by any means. A fourth-round pick in 2006 out of a Colorado high school, he went 12-8 with a 4.27 ERA last year in his full-season debut while allowing more than a hit per inning. What he's good at is throwing strikes and keeping the ball on the ground, and he's never been better at it than he was on Tuesday. An 10:30 am start may have helped him, but give credit where credit is due, as with a 88-91 mph fastball with heavy sink and run combined with a solid-but-unspectacular breaking ball/changeup combination, Anundsen now has a 1.44 ERA in four starts for the Manatees, and many are projecting him as at least a big league reliever, and maybe even a solid innings eater as a starter. Whatever the assessments, they're up dramatically from a year ago..
In the Netherlands, they call it Honkball!
Greg Halman, OF, Mariners (Double-A West Tenn)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-5, 2 HR (8), 2 R, 2 RBI
Six days ago, the Dutch native and top prospect in the Mariners system was batting .138 with 25 strikeouts in 58 at-bats. Now he's leading the Southern League in home runs and slugging .545. Yesterday's two home run game was just the continuation of a hot streak that has seen the Dutch native go 8-for-19 with five home runs and 13 RBI in his last five contests, but even more notable than the two bombs - it was the first time in 19 games this year than Halman did not strike out.
Getting the party started
Tim Fedroff, OF, Indians (High-A Kinston)
The bat will play anywhere
Tuesday's stats: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
As a sophomore eligible in last year's draft, the Indians paid a hefty $725,000 bonus for the North Carolina star in order to get him into the system. His reputation was as patient hitter with gap power and a little bit of speed, so the Indians are trying him out as a leadoff man in the Carolina League. He's certainly doing his part for the K-Tribe, batting .339/.466/.518 and scoring 11 runs in his last six games, and while it's surely a product of small sample sizes, he certainly knows how to start off a game, as Fedroff has led off the game by reaching base 12 times in 15 games, including three doubles and a home run.
Jesus Montero, C/DH, Yankees (High-A Tampa)
Well, at least we know he's mortal now
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-4, 2 HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI
It's rare for a 19-year-old to be able to dominate a High-A league (and a pitcher's circuit at that), but Montero is doing just that, as last night's onslaught brought his averages up to .371/.421/.614, which puts him in the league's top ten in all three categories. The other good news is that reports on his defense are better, which unfortunately upgrades him from complete unacceptable to well below average, and as a 6-foot-4, 230 pound teenager, he's not going to get any small. First base is his likely destination in the end, but it's not going to matter, because his bat is downright special.
Madison Bumgarner, LHP, Giants (High-A San Jose)
Tuesday's Stats3.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 5 K
We may need to get some couples counseling for Bumgarner and San Jose third baseman Conor Gillaspie, as the latter committed three errors in the first four innings of the game to pretty much ruin Bumgarner's night, leading to a career-high in runs allowed. The good news: after leading the minor leagues with a 1.46 ERA last year, this outing brought up his ERA in four starts this year to an even lower 1.40.
Mike Carp, 1B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-5, 1 R
One of the oodles of players that were part of the J.J. Putz/Aaron Heilman/ten others blockbuster at the winter meetings, Carp was always a bit young for his level during his days with the Mets, which led to some inconsistent performances, but he's a unique prospect in that it's hard to find big, beefy first basemen with swings this pretty. Now 10-for-22 during a five-game hitting streak, Carp is batting .333/.410/.639 in his first 19 games as property of the Mariners, to go along with five home runs in 72 at-bats, which could help address the main concern about his prospect status, which revolved around his ability to hit for power.
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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