June 9, 2009
Future Shock Blog
More help for the Rays?
Wade Davis, RHP, Rays (Triple-A Durham)
Monday's stats: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K
With David Price up and stabilizing the Rays' rotation, Davis might not be far behind. A pure power arm with an above-average fastball and curve, Davis got off to a slow start at Triple-A but has really come on of late, striking out 20 over 12 innings in his last two start. He has potential as both a starter and reliever, as well as the potential to impact the Rays in either role during the second half of the year.
Logan Morrison, 1B, Marlins (High-A Jupiter)
Monday's stats: 1-for-3, BB, K
One of the more promising hitters in the minors, Morrison played just two games at Double-A before hitting the shelf with a fractured right wrist. After leading the Florida State League with a .332 batting average last year, Morrison really began to rocket up prospect lists with a monster showing in the Arizona Fall League, but now he'll need to come back from what has so far been a lost season. Be patient fish fans, power often takes a long time to return after wrist injuries.
Don't you, forget about him
James McDonald, RHP, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque)
Monday's stats: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 10 K
McDonald opened camp in the big leagues as part of the Dodgers rotation, but control issues moved him to the bullpen, and further control issues sent him back to Double-A. Don't let those 18.2 innings suddenly write him off as a prospect. His ceiling isn't tremendous as a guy whose secondary stuff is better than his heater, but he's striking out more than a batter per inning at Triple-A while limiting Pacific Coast League hitters to a .226 batting average while most importantly, throwing strikes. He'll almost certainly be back at some point.
Getting adjusted to Estados Unidos
Dayan Viciedo, 3B, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham)
Monday's stats: 3-for-4, RBI, BB
The White Sox are always big players when it comes to Cuban imports, and Viciedo was last winter's big prize. Taking a guy from Cuba to the United States always comes with a difficult adjustment period, so it was no big surprise that the 20-year-old struggled at Double-A in his first exposure to American baseball, but he's definitely getting the hang of things. His .284/.303/.374 line fails to impress, and he's still swinging at everything, but he's also hitting .397 in his last 14 games and giving plenty of reasons for optimism.
More return for Sabathia
Michael Brantley, of, Indians (Triple-A Columbus)
Monday's stats: 2-for-5, 2B, 2 K, SB
While Matt LaPorta gets all of the attention as the main piece in last year's C.C. Sabathia deal, Brantley is a pretty good prospect in his own right as a plus-plus runner with good on-base skills. Like Viciedo, he got off to a slow start, but he's also heating up with the weather, batting .338 in his last 17 games while stealing 18 bases in just 20 attempts.
Denny Almonte, OF, Mariners, (Low-A Clinton)
Monday's stats: 2-for-5, HR (11), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, 2 K
While you should be always leery of guys repeating a level, Almonte is the kind of guy with size and athleticism that entices every scout who sees him, so there's a bit of buzz around him due to what is already a career-high in home runs and an overall line of .280/.332/.541. Only 20 years old, he more than age appropriate for the level, but he tendency to swing at any pitch within 20 feet of him, as indicated by 76 strikeouts in 218 at-bats, needs to be curbed.
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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