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May 11, 2009

Future Shock Blog

May 11

by Kevin Goldstein

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Five who just missed today's Ten Pack . . .

Just wasting time

Brandon Wood, SS, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake)
Sunday's stats: 1-for-3, HR (6), R, RBI, BB, K
When he's up, he rides the pine, and when he's down, he hits the tar out of the ball. With home runs in back-to-back games and six in just 46 at-bats, Wood is batting .326/.404/.804 and for some reason, the Angels don't seem to think that he'd be a better option than either Chone Figgins or Erick Aybar on the left side of the Angels infield.

Another source of power

Matt Joyce, OF, Rays (Triple-A Durham)
Sunday's stats: 2-for-4, HR (4), 2 R, RBI
While Edwin Jackson has been nothing short of a revelation for the Tigers, the man he was traded for is starting to catch fire in the minors. Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria sit at the top of the home run leader boards in the big leagues, but they also have provided well over half of Tampa's home runs. Now 10-for-23 in his last six games with three doubles and two bombs, Joyce is batting .330/.434/.557 for the Bulls, so the days of the Gross/Kapler platoon might be numbered.

He's not a catcher, or a third baseman, but he can hit

Brandon Snyder, 1B, Orioles (Double-A Bowie)
Sunday's stats: 3-for-4, RBI, K
A first-round pick four years ago, Snyder was drafted as a catcher, but injuries and a lack of athleticism have him firmly stuck at first now. People think he can hit, but the question is, will he develop enough power for the position. When you hit .371, that doesn't matter, and Snyder is batting just that after back-to-back three-hit games, along with a .608 slugging thanks to 11 doubles and four home runs.

Gotta take the bad with the good

Kyle Russell, OF, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes)
Sunday's stats:3-for-4, 2 HR (9), 3 R, 2 RBI
Russell led the NCAA with 28 home runs in 2007, but he held out for a big bonus that the Cardinals weren't willing to shell out, so he returned to school. That turned out to big a mistake, as his junior year had more people concerned with his high strikeout rate as his power took a bit of a step backwards, leading to a bonus of just $410,000 as a fourth-round pick. So far this year, he's doing exactly as expected, hitting home runs and striking out a lot. It's been much more of the former of late, as he's smacked six home runs in the last nine contests.

Sleeper alert!

Vance Worley, RHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading)
Sunday's stats: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Sending a player to Double-A for his full-season debut is a highly aggressive assignment normally reserved for only the very elite of draft picks. A third-round pick last June out of Long Beach State, Worley had been pitching like one of those guys so far this year, registering a 2.11 ERA in six starts while limiting the Eastern League to a .179 batting average. His stuff doesn't blow anyone away, but his four pitches (2-seam, 4-seam, slider, changeup) all rate as average, and his ability to command all of his offerings and throw them at any point in the count should lead to continued success.


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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