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May 15, 2009

Future Shock Blog

May 15, 2009

by Kevin Goldstein

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He's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

Neftali Feliz, RHP, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City)
Thursday's stats: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K
One of the most exciting pitching prospects in the game got off to one of the most troubling starts to the season, walking 16 over 19.2 innings and then getting skipped in his last start due to arm soreness. That time off may have been just what the doctor ordered, as the 21-year-old Dominican delivered his best start of the year, with a home run in the third being his only mistake of the night.

Your daily Matt Wieters update

Matt Wieters, C, Orioles (Triple-A Norfilk)
Thursday's stats: 2-for-5, 2 HR (3), 3 R, 4 RBI, K
The subject of Wieters comes up in fan mail more than any other prospects combined, so when he has a big day, we'll let you know. With home runs in his first two at-bats of the game, Wieters maybe, just maybe, might be finally finding his power stroke.

Things that don't show up in the boxscore

Josh Thole, C, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
Thursday's stats: 5-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Thole was a catcher in high school, but didn't begin to don the tools of ignorance professionally until last year. He's an excellent contact hitter with a good approach, and his .349/.421/.468 line is opening some eyes this year, but not as much as his defense, which has come leaps and bounds to the point where scouts really think he could stay there - which makes him a definite prospect.

Yup, still hot

Michael Taylor, OF, Phillies (Double-A Reading)
Thursday's stats: 1-for-2, HR (6), R, 4 RBI
Two weeks ago, we told you about how Taylor has gotten hot and is making his 2008 breakout campaign look like no fluke. Now here comes the power, as with three home runs in his last four games, Taylor has all but officially conquered the big jump to Double-A with a batting line of .310/.375/.590.

Getting things under control

Jeanmar Gomez, RHP, Indians (Double-A Akron)
Thursday's stats: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K
A long and lean 21-year-old Venezuelan, Gomez is a guy with three solid-average offerings in his fastball, curve, and changeup, but this year he's suddenly turned into a command specialist without losing anything in the raw quality of his offerings. In three Eastern League starts, he's allowed just one run on nine hits over 20 innings, while striking out 18 and walking just one.

Sleeper alert!

Chris Huseby, RHP, Cubs (Low-A Peoria)
Thursday's stats: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
It's hard to call a guy who got a $1.3 million bonus a sleeper, but after getting his big pay day in 2006, Huseby has spent the last three years either hurt or pitching in a short-season league. Finally pitching before June, Huseby has been moved to the bullpen, but the six-foot-seven righty with power stuff is thriving in the role, as he's struck out 12 over eight innings in his last five outings.

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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