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June 3, 2009

Future Shock Blog

June 3

by Kevin Goldstein

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As confusing as ever

Homer Bailey, RHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville)
Tuesday's stats: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K
Five days ago, Bailey faced Pawtucket and allowed 11 hits over six innings while striking out only one. Five days later, against the same team, and you get this. It really is Bailey's season, or maybe the last three years of his career in a nutshell, and that's why he remains one of the more puzzling young talents around.

The best catching prospect still in the minors?

Carlos Santana, C, Indians (Double-A Akron)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-4, 2 HR (9), 2 R, 3 RBI, K
Most would tell you Buster Posey, some would take Jesus Montero of the Yankees on a technicality, as he's most likely not a catcher in the end, but there are a few who might take this guy. Half of his hits have gone for extra bases, he's a walk machine, his overall battng line now sits at .294/.424/.566 and his defense is getting better quickly.

Like father, like son

Eric Young, 2B, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs)
Tuesday's stats: 3-for-5, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, RBI
Young's father of the same name was a 43rd-round pick in 1989 who had to prove himself at every level. Only a 30th-round pick himself, the younger EY is a very similar player to his father - a smallish guy with a quick bat, on-base skills and lots of speed. Now 16-for-31 in his last seven games and .311/.379/.446 overall for the Sky Sox, Young could be close to proving himself at every level as well. .

Back on the radar

Jeff Bianchi, SS, Royals (High-A Wilmington)
Tuesday's stats: 3-for-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI, BB
A second-round pick in 2005 out of a Pennsylvania high school, The early part of Bianchi's career was marked by injuries and a whole lot of buzz surrounded his bat, as in two seasons of complex league play, he hit .414. He's remained injury prone since, playing only 203 games over the last two years, but he also stopped hitting a the A-level. Repeating the Carolina League this year and batting cleanup for the Blue Rocks, people are suddenly noticing the guy with the .320/.388/.459 batting line as a prospect again. He's probably not a shortstop in the end, and he needs to maintain this surge for it to be trusted, but it's a huge upgrade from where he was entering the year.

Making up for lost time

Grant Desme, OF, Athletics (Low-A Kane County)
Tuesday's stats: 4-for-5, 2 2B, HR (8), R, 4 RBI
One of the more athletic outfielders in the 2007 draft, Desme was a second-round selection by Oakland that year, but severe wrist and shoulder issues limited him to just 14 professional games entering the year. Finally healthy, Desme has turned a corner of late, going deep in back-to-back games and batting .375 since May 15th to lift his averages on the year to .283/.335/.503. As a 23-year-old in Low-A, he needs to move quickly, but at least he's finally giving the A's something to evaluate other than x-rays.

Sleeper Alert!

Chris Dennis, OF, Mariners (Low-A Wisconsin)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 K
A 13th-round pick in 2007 out of Canada, Dennis is compactly built power hitter than comes with the rawness generally associated with those north of the border who simply don't get as much experience as repetition as those from warmer weather climates. He missed the first six weeks of the year recovering from a nasty ankle sprain, but has been generating a lot of interest since showing up in the Midwest League, batting .407/.471/.763 in 17 games. With 16 strikeouts in 59 at-bats, a batting average like that is totally unsustainable, but scouts think the power, with includes four home runs and now nine doubles, is pretty darn real.


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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