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July 27, 2009

Future Shock Blog

July 27

by Kevin Goldstein

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Vote for Pedro!

Pedro Martinez, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater)
Sunday's stats: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Sure the Phillies are in the lead to acquire Toronto ace Roy Halladay, but that doesn't mean anything is guaranteed. Martinez, while hardly an ace anymore, is at least a known commodity, and he's on his way. While Sunday's start was cut short by rain, Martinez was sharp, as his velocity was reported in the 88-90 mph range, and his changeup was sharp.

In other rehab (and trade) news

Justin Duchscherer, RHP, Athletics (High-A Stockton)
Sunday's stats: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Quick, which two-time All-Star is available for a reasonable price as we reach the end of the trade deadline? There answer is Duchscherer, who pitched for the first time this year last night after recovering from arthroscopic elbow surgery and back issues. Velocity has never been a big part of his game. For Duchscherer, it's all about location, deception and movement, and all three were in effect on Sunday night. For teams willing to take the risk, he shouldn't cost too much, and could end up being a nice addition to any pitching staff.

Deadline Security Blanket

Carlos Santana, C, Indians (Double-A Akron)
Sunday's stats: 1-for-1, HR (18), R, RBI
Santana began Sunday sitting on the bench, as many minor league starting catchers do, but when called for pinch-hitting duty in the eighth inning, he responded by going deep in his third straight game. Victor Martinez' name has been coming up in trade rumors of late, and while a deal is unlikely, the fact that Santana is hitting .272/.398/.527 provides some additional comfort.

The big bounce back

Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies (High-A Modesto)
Sunday's stats: 2-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 K
The Rockies always felt they had something special in Rosario, and it certainly looked like it when he hit .316/.371/.532 in the Pioneer League last year. Injuries and being over-matched by a two-level jump to High-A made for a nightmarish first half, but he's ending the year on a strong note, batting .320/.358/.560 in July. He's still one of the better catching prospects around.

Don't give up on him

Brent Lillibridge SS/CF, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte)
Sunday's stats: 3-for-4, R, BB, K, SB
One of the players received from Atlanta in the Javier Vasquez deal, Lillibridge hit just .162 in the big leagues this year, but he has finally found his swing back in the minors, and just as importantly, his patient approach. In 21 July games, he's batting .342/.435/.479. His ability to run well and play multiple positions should make him, at the very least, a valuable September callup.

Sleeper alert!

D.J. Mitchell, RHP, Yankees (Hi-A Tampa)
Sunday's stats: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K
A tenth-round pick last year out of Clemson, Mitchell was a late-riser on many draft boards last spring, and he received a third-round bonus of $400,000 at the deadline. Small but highly athletic, Mitchell's average velocity fastball plays up due to outstanding location and explosive sink, which has led to a groundball ratio of nearly 3-to-1 and just two home runs allowed in 19 starts.

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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<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Striking ... (07/26)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Jul... (07/24)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Jul... (07/28)
Next Article >>
The Week in Quotes: Ju... (07/27)

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