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May 20, 2009

Future Shock Blog

May 20

by Kevin Goldstein

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Hey, I made a promise . . .

Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Low-A Peoria)
Tuesday's stats: 3-for-5, HR (7), 2 R, 2 RBI, SB
Yesterday I said that if Vitters keeps doing it, I'll keep talking about it, so I'm holding up my end of the bargain as the 2007 first-round pick recorded his fourth consecutive game of at least three hits and a home run, something that hasn't happened in the majors as far as our game log data is complete, which is the early 1950s. In case you missed it, the game before that was also a three-hit effort, only with no bomb. So that's now 15-for-22 with three doubles, four home runs, in his last five contests, raising his OPS more than 200 points with a batting line of .371/.408/.598. .

When are two home runs kind of like more than two home runs?

Fernando Martinez, OF, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-4, 2 HR (7), 2 R, 2 RBI
When they both come off of Minor League Update regular Clay Buchholz, one of the best pitchers in the minor leagues. . The 20-year-old Dominican did just that on Tuesday night, giving him three home runs in his last two games and with seven in just 37 contests, he's only three away from tying his career season-high while batting .343/.395/.700 in 19 May games.

He is the walrus, we're not sure about the egg-man thing

Brett Wallace, 3B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-3, BB
Dubbed "The Walrus" by scouts due to his thick lower half, Wallace is quickly making a push at getting his chance at solving the Cardinals' year-long third base problem. With David Freese having ankle surgery this week, Wallace moved up to Triple-A and is now 8-for-17 in four games for the Redbirds. He'll never make Cardinals fans forget about Scott Rolen defensively, but he sure can hit.

It rhymes with Porky's

Gorkys Hernandez, OF, Braves (Double-A Mississippi)
Tuesday's stats: 3-for-5, R, 2 RBI, SB
With Jair Jurrjens already making the trade of Edgar Renteria to the Tigers look like highway robbery, don't forget that the Braves got Hernandez as well. A pure speedster with a tremendously quick bat, Hernandez has been one of the hottest hitters in the Southern League of late, going 22-for-51 in his last 12 games to raise his season averages to .349/.404/.434 while showing a far more patient approach than we've seen in the past.

Not quite spectacular, but more than solid

Justin Smoak, 1B, Rangers (Double-A Frisco)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-5, HR (6), R, 3 RBI
Smoak hasn't gotten much attention in the daily highlights this year. He hasn't had a lot of those monster games, with just a pair of three-hit contests on the season, but he's been as consistent as anyone in the minors, reaching base in 34 of 36 games this year as part of a crazy good .338/.461/.534 line in the Texas League. Nothing wrong with noting some season-long work as opposed to the one big day.

Sleeper alert!

Matt Sweeney, 3B, Angels (Rancho Cucamonga)
Tuesday's stats:
Sweeney put himself on the prospect map in 2007 with an impressive full-season debut at Low-A Cedar Rapids that included a memorable home run off Clayton Kershaw in the Midwest League All-Star game, but 2008 was a lost year for him, as a minor ankle injury turned into a major one, which turned into surgery that cost him the season. Back, and currently in the midst of a 11-game hitting streak in which he's gone 16-for-42, Sweeney is looking like an offensive force with a .319/.394/.543 batting line, but scouts still think he'll have to move to first base before all is said and done.


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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<< Previous Article
Prospectus Hit and Run... (05/19)
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Premium Article Future Shock Blog: May... (05/19)
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Premium Article Future Shock Blog: May... (05/21)
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