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June 2, 2009

Future Shock Blog

June 2

by Kevin Goldstein

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Movin' on up . . .

Yonder Alonso, 1B, Reds (Double-A Carolina)
Monday's stats: 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K
The Reds top pick in 2008, Alonso was in the midst of a 14-game hitting streak in the Florida State League, batting .302/.378/.503 overall, when he got moved up to Double-A, where his debut in the Southern League was a rousing success. It's far too early to speculate about Joey Votto, so look at this move as the Reds simply hedging their bets, if anything. .

Houston, we have liftoff

Ross Seaton, RHP, Astros (Low-A Lexington)
Monday's stats: 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
A projectable, six-foot-four righty who got an over-slot bonus of $700,000 in the third round last year, Seaton hasn't missed a ton of bats this year, striking out just 30 in 59 innings, but you can't see he hasn't been effective. Including the best start of his pro career on Monday, Seaton has allowed zero or one earned run in eight of ten outings, and his 2.44 ERA ranks seventh in the Sally League. His fastball, slider and changeup all rate as average, and he could become scary if one develops into an out pitch.

Next time, he's might get the chance instead of Bailey

Matt Maloney, LHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville)
Monday's stats: 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K
A third-round pick in 2005 by the Phillies who came over in a 2007 trade, Maloney has never been run up the ladder as a prospect, as he generally sits in the upper 80s and depends far more on location and movement as opposed to overwhelming stuff. The thing is, he's exceptionally good at what he does, allowing just three earned runs over 37 innings in his last five starts. He could be getting a look very soon, and should work fine as a back-of-the-rotation starter. .

Hard to get a hold of

Lucus Duda, 1B/OF, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
Monday's stats: 1-for-1, R, 2 RBI, 4 BB
Dude presents a strange set of skills. He's one of the better pure hitters in the Mets' system, and at six-foot-four and 225 pounds he certainly looks the part, but he's never really hit for power, and has just two home runs in 160 at-bats this year. He's suddenly added extreme plate discipline to his repertoire, however, walking 11 times in his last seven games, and 34 times overall in 46 games, giving him an overall line of .294/.415/.400. It's not going to work at first base, and a sudden occasional move to left field doesn't really help him much, as the offensive expectations don't change much, so if anything, we're just letting you know he's out there as a 'maybe' kind of guy.

Making advances

Mike McKenry, C, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa)
Monday's stats: 1-for-3, HR (6), R, 2 RBI
McKenry had a breakout season in the California League, but Double-A has proven to be much more of a challenge. Making slow and steady improvements throughout the year, McKenry has gone deep in back-to-back games and all of a sudden has a pretty impressive line of .258/.355/.477 in 37 games. It hard to see him ever passing Chris Iannetta on the Colorado depth chart, but scouts are convinced he's a big leaguer.

Sleeper alert!

Danny Espinosa, SS, Nationals (High-A Potomac)
Monday's stats: 3-for-4, CS
A 9-for-16 run in his last five games have lifted Espinosa's batting average to .259, but that hardly tells the whole story here. A third-round pick last year out of Long Beach State, Espinosa is a solid, fundamentally sound defender who is loading with secondary skills at the plate, as 19 of his 43 hits have gone for extra bases (including nine home runs), while he's also drawn 28 walks against 166 at-bats, giving him an overall line of .259/.385/.482. He's kind of the anti- Christian Guzman, where he's worth for more than his batting average, as opposed to far less.


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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