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May 29, 2009

Future Shock Blog

May 29

by Kevin Goldstein

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Movin' on up, soon to the south side?

Gordon Beckham, 3B, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte)
Thursday's stats: 1-for-4, 2B, R
What is more interesting that the White Sox' top pick in the 2008 draft moving up to Triple-A is the position he played in his debut, as the shortstop has suddenly slid over to the hot corner. With Josh Fields doing next to nothing in the big leagues, could the big call for Beckham be coming sooner than originally expected? .

The veteran vs. prospect conundrum

Tom Glavine, LHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett)
Thursday's stats: 5 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Glavine is ready for a return to the big leagues, but at what cost to the Braves. He's a sure-fire Hall of Famer who absolutely deserves respect, but at this point, he's no more than a number four or five starter. Tommy Hanson is much, much more than that, and adding Glavine to the rotation delays Hanson's arrival that much longer. It's a tough position if you are Atlanta, where wins might go head-to-head with public relations.

The word of the day is sublimation

Nick Weglarz, OF, Indians (Double-A Akron)
Thursday's stats: 1-for-3, HR (7), R, RBI, K
Weglarz was the coldest hitter in the Eastern League during the month of April, going 5-for-56 (.089) with just one extra base hit. Now that ice has turned directly into steam (sublimation), as with three home runs in his last two games, the hulking Canadian is now mashing to the tune of .378/.472/.716 in 23 May contests. He'll be just 21 years old all season long, and he's back to looking like one of the better offensive prospects in the system, despite the fact that hitting and walking are the sum of his skills. .

Nobody [messes with] the Jesus!

Jesus Montero, C/DH, Yankees (High-A Tampa)
Thursday's stats: 3-for-4, 2 HR (7), 3 R, 4 RBI
The Florida State League is supposed to hinder production, yet Montero, hitting .338/.392/.569 in 43 games, is hitting for a higher-average, more power and more walks than he did last year in the Sally League. Have we mentioned that he's only 19 years old. This is one of the best teenage hitters in the world, period, and the best prospect in the Yankee system.

Welcome back . . .

Jemile Weeks, 2B, Athletics (High-A Stockton)
Thursday's stats: 3-for-6, HR (1), R, RBI, 2 K
Oakland's first round pick saw his pro debut last year limited to just 19 games due to a hip injury that was slow to heal and kept him out of action until this week. Rickie's younger brother is a better athlete than his sibling, but not nearly as much of a hitter - his home run last night off Rangers prospect Michael Main provides some early cause for optimism.

Sleeper alert!

Cyle Hankerd, OF, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile)
Thursday's stats: 3-for-4, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI
A third-round pick in 2006, Hankerd hit eight home runs in just 18 California League games during his pro debut, but he slowly fell off the radar while hitting just 13 bombs in 228 games over the next two seasons. He's a bit of a big lug whose bat has to carry him to the big leagues, but he's easily the hottest hitter in the Southern League this days, batting .402 in May and .370/.429/.548 overall.


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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