July 1, 2009
Future Shock Blog
Brandon Hynick, RHP, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs)
Tuesday's stats: 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Sure it was only seven innings, but it was the second game of a double-header, and those only go seven innings, so 21 up and 21 down later and Hynick has the Pacific Coast League's first perfect game since Milwaukee's Manny Parra tossed one two years ago. While he's not a huge prospect, he is a guy many see as having a big league future, as he makes up for average-at-best stuff with fantastic command and control.
Making adjustments . . .
Cameron Maybin, OF, Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans)
Tuesday's stats: 3-for-4, R, BB, K, SB
Strikeouts have also been the ultra-toolsy Maybin's biggest bugaboo, but he has reduced them significantly with a shorter swing that is quicker into the zone and designed more for contact. While that seems to have sapped him of his power for the time being, there is certainly some kind of progress here, as he finished June with a .382/.489/.500 batting line in 22 games. There's still something here, folks - actually, there's a lot here.
I'll take Mark DeRosa to block, please
Brett Wallace, 3B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis)
Tuesday's stats: 3-for-4, 2B, HR (5), R, 3 RBIs
While the recent trade for DeRosa temporarily shores up the third base mess in St. Louis, Wallace is certainly not letting this sudden road block get him down. After a disappointingly slow start following a promotion to Triple-A, last year's first-round pick is now batting .291/.337/.443 in 44 games, thanks to a 10-game run in which he's gone 17-for-38 with six doubles and a pair of bombs. Now if DeRosa's wrist injury in last night's game ends up being serious . . .
From sleeper to actual prospect
Chris Heisey, OF, Reds (Triple-A Louisville)
Tuesday's stats: 3-for-4, 2 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, K, SB
Always a scout favorite because of a quick bat and max-effort style of play, Heisey had one of the best first halves in the minors this year, batting .347/.426/.572 in 71 games for Double-A Carolina. Moved up to Triple-A at the break, he hit his first bomb for Louisville last night and is now 7-for-19 with three doubles and a home run since his promotion. The 504th overall pick in the 2006 draft, only three players in draft history selected there have ever reached the big leagues, and when Heisey gets a September call-up, if not earlier, his manager will be one of the trio. Dusty Baker was the same selection by the Braves in 1967.
Back in the spotlight
Che-Hsuan Lin, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-4, 3B, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K
While Lin earned some national attention when his home run in last year's Future's Game helped earn him the MVP award, his overall production has been on the light side, as his well above average tools have been slow to transition as a pro. Still only 20 years old, he's as good a defensive center fielder as you'll find in the Carolina League, and his bat is starting to come around. The Taiwanese product has gone 16-for-38 in his last nine games with three home runs and 11 batted in.
Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Yankees (Short-season Staten Island)
Tuesday's stats: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K
Considering the over-hype many Yankee prospects receive, it's hard to find a sleeper in their system, and this guy certainly comes with some warning, as I ranked him as the No. 5 prospect in the organization entering the year. One of the best young arms you might never have heard of, Vizcaino is a bit on the small side, but his talent is anything but, as his low-90s fastball can already get up to 95 mph at times, and his breaking ball is highly advanced for a pitcher so young. In a league filled with recent college draftees, the 18-year-old Dominican has been utterly dominating so far, striking out 21 over 12 1/3 innings in his first three starts of the year.
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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