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June 30, 2009

Future Shock Blog

June 30

by Kevin Goldstein

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From shortstop of the future to trade chip?

Reid Brignac, SS, Rays (Triple-A Durham)
Monday's stats: 3-for-4, 3 2B, R, RBI
Back when the Rays traded for Jason Bartlett prior to the 2008 season, he was seen as little more than a placeholder for Brignac, but after Bartlett shored up the defense on last year's American League champs while taking a huge step forward offensively this year, one wonders if Brignac is suddenly one of most valuable properties Tampa has when it comes to possible deals. He can play the position, he's pretty much big league ready, and with a trio of consecutive three-hit games, the bat is looking better than it has in three years.

Logically, he should have five hits tomorrow

Michael Taylor, OF, Phillies (Double-A Reading)
Monday's stats: 4-for-5, 2 2B, RBI, K
After two hits on Saturday and three on Sunday, Taylor upped the ante a bit with his second four-hit effort of the season (he also had a five-hit game in May). One of the more frequent names to show up on the Minor League Updates this year, it's for good reason, as he's now 18-for-33 in his last eight games and batting .351/.414/.600 overall. All of sudden, he's in the picture for some kind of look at the end of the year, and could get the opportunity to at least force some difficult decisions by the Phillies next year in a crowded outfield picture.

Going above and beyond

Tyler Flowers, C, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham)
Monday's stats: 4-for-4, RBI, BB, SB
Sure he reached base in all five plate appearances, but how cool is it that a 250-pound catcher stole a base while gunning down Mobile's only attempting thief? Now batting .346/.447/.641 in 23 June games, Flowers could be moving up soon, and with a White Sox team possibly on the verge of a major overhaul, Flowers' future will certainly play a role in many big decisions that are made.

Trying to get his groove back

Chris Marrero, 1B, Nationals (High-A Potomac)
Monday's stats: 3-for-5, 2B, HR (10), R, 2 RBI, K
A first-round pick in 2006, Marrero had a breakout campaign in his full-season debut, but last year's showing was a combination of too many visits to the buffet table and a broken leg, as he hit just .250/.325/.453 in 70 games. Back at Potomac this year, Marrero got off to a slow start, but now has three home runs in his last two games while hitting .288/.345/.458 overall.

Are we taking him seriously yet?

Pat Venditte, RHP and LHP, Yankees (High-A Tampa)
Monday's stats: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Sure it's a novelty act on a lot of levels, but after putting up a 1.47 ERA at Low-A Charleston to go with 40 strikeouts and two walks in 30.2 innings, everyone's favorite ambidextrous pitcher had a perfect Florida State League debut, getting three straight groundballs to preserve a 6-1 victory. The stuff still fails to impress, but as long as he keeps getting it done, he'll keep moving up the ladder and getting chances to prove his doubters wrong.

Sleeper alert!

Derrik Gibson, SS/2B, Red Sox (Short-Season Lowell)
Monday's stats: 3-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB
A second-round pick last June, Gibson has true leadoff skills, as he understands the strike zone very well for a teenager. He has already drawn 10 walks against just 34 at-bats while featuring plus-plus speed. While it's very early, it sure looks like he can hit too, as he's now 16-for-34 in ten games with the Spinners.


Monday's box score reports

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

19 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

faithdies

kevin,
A few days ago you said that Michael Taylor still has questions before becoming a premier prospect. Can you give a quick rundown on what that concern is? He has consistently outperformed the competition around him and he is no longer age inappropriate the way he was at Lakewood and Clearwater.

Jun 30, 2009 09:22 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

There are no CONCERNS per se, just questions about his ultimate ceiling, especially on a power level. He's a weird, almost incongruous hitter, in the same way Kyle Blanks is, where it's a contact-oriented swing, he just hits homers because he's so friggin' huge.

Jun 30, 2009 20:48 PM
 
astein

Kevin, thanks for the updates! Can you give a quick comparison between Gibson and Ryan Dent? Both are speedy 2B, drafted out of HS by the Red Sox (2nd round of '08 and 1st-supp. round of '07, respectively). Dent hasn't shown much as a pro yet, has he?

Jun 30, 2009 10:16 AM
rating: 0
 
dcarroll

Kudos to Flowers for stealing a base, and his OPS is pretty. But the strikeout rate is a little frightening.

Jun 30, 2009 10:20 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Yeah, he's a bit of a TTO guy, but I'm with you, you gotta dig a 250 pound catcher swiping one.

Jun 30, 2009 20:48 PM
 
Shaun P.
(676)

Kevin, are the concerns about Venditte's stuff concerns about his fastball velocity, or something else?

Jun 30, 2009 10:26 AM
rating: 2
 
sungods7n

I would think a big concern is if he becomes hittable from one side what does that mean for him as a whole?

Jun 30, 2009 13:18 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

It's really just not a lot of stuff. It's location, deception and a breaking ball. That combination has dominated A-level hitters forever, and most who did it hit a wall at the upper levels.

Jun 30, 2009 20:49 PM
 
Shaun P.
(676)

Thanks!

Jul 01, 2009 10:36 AM
rating: 0
 
dbrown
(607)

quick correction, as the Michael Taylor tagline lists him with the Marlins, when he's actually with the Phillies (as you state later in the piece).

keep up the great work, I love this daily feature on BP!

Jun 30, 2009 12:21 PM
rating: 0
 
faithdies

Is Dominic Brown a member of BP?

Jun 30, 2009 13:23 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Steph Bee
BP staff

Thanks. The mistake has been corrected.

Jun 30, 2009 14:22 PM
 
billm21

KG, talk to me about Delvi Cid. He probably hasn't done anything yet to warrant inclusion on your daily report. But I was first intrigued by his name ... then by the athleticism yet very raw tools when I saw him in extended spring training ... and now by his performance in Low A after skipping short season ball. How soon will he be a household name to the Goldstein fanboys?

Jun 30, 2009 13:38 PM
rating: 0
 
G. Guest

Re: Delvi Cid

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9065

Jun 30, 2009 13:49 PM
rating: 0
 
billm21

I should have known that Kevin would already be on the trail. No good prospect gets past him, especially one with such a cool name!

Jun 30, 2009 14:23 PM
rating: 0
 
mwashuc06

Saw Gibson Sunday night in Oneonta. This kid hit a gapper to right center and really bulked up from last year when I saw him in Oneonta at the end of the year. He hasn't lost any speed either. I don't know who is faster, Westmoreland or Gibson but it would be a good race. Westmoreland is pressing and he hates being a DH(talked to him before the game) and doesn't know when he'll be in the field.

Jun 30, 2009 13:55 PM
rating: 0
 
rjblakel

Is there any chance you could start including the players' age after their info line? Eg, Name, Position, Team, Dvision, Age.

Thanks!

Jun 30, 2009 14:32 PM
rating: 2
 
G. Guest

I like this idea.

Jun 30, 2009 14:37 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I often put the age in the comments, especially when relevant.

Jun 30, 2009 20:51 PM
 
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