July 30, 2009
Future Shock Blog
Things go from bad to worse
Andrew Miller, LHP Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans)
Wednesday's stats: 1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K
Seen by many as the best pitcher in the 2006 draft, a year that included Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, and Joba Chamberlain, to say Miller hasn't lived up to expectations is more than a bit kind. Sent back to the minors after failing to get out of the third inning in back-to-back starts, Miller allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings while walking nine five days ago, and retired just three of nine batters he faced on Wednesday before rolling his ankle while fielding a bunt. He's in the deep, deep grass at the point.
How to make the Brewers better right now
Alcides Escobar, SS, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville)
Wednesday's stats: 2-for-4, R, BB, SB, CS
While J.J. Hardy continues to struggles with the Brewers, Escobar keeps cruising along with the Sounds, as he's now batting .375 in his last 12 games, .333 in July and .302/.352/.413 on the year with 37 stolen bases. He's a better player, both offensively and defensively, than Hardy, and deserves a chance to help the big league club.
Picking up the pace
Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics (Double-A Midland)
Wednesday's stats: 3-for-5, 2B, HR (17), R, 2 RBI
One of the streakier hitters around, Carter is capable of two-week stretches when he absolutely carries his team, and he's done just that of late, currently sitting with a 12-game hitting streak during which he's gone 20-for-51 with five doubles and three home runs. Currently at .309/.409/.522 on the season, Carter's power is down a bit from last year in the California League, but his walks are way up, as is his batting average, so it's an overall positive thing.
Do you know the way to San Jose? How about out of it?
Roger Kieschnick, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose)
Wednesday's stats: 1-for-3, HR (21), R, 2 RBI, BB
The Giants' California League affiliated started the year as one of the most talent teams in recent memory, but catcher Buster Posey moved up to Triple-A earlier in the month, shortstop Brandon Crawford and lefty Madison Bumgarner moved up to Double-A in quick fashing, and Tim Alderson, well he's not even a giant anymore. That doesn't mean San Jose is empty though, as beyond breakout outfielder Thomas Neal, there's Kieschnick, a third-round pick last June out of Texas Tech who has impressed scouts with his overall athleticism while batting .294/.341/.536 and leading the California League with 85 RBIs.
A good as advertised
Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Reds (Short-Season Billings)
Wednesday's stats: 2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB
Signed to a $2.5 million bonus last year out of Venezuela, Rodriguez doesn't turn 17 years old until the middle of August, yet he's already more than holding his own as a pro, going 8-for-18 with a pair of home runs in his first five Pioneer League games. A true five-tool athlete with plenty of power potential and tremendous speed, Rodriguez is already one of the top prospects in the Reds system.
Brent Morel, 3B, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem)
Wednesday's stats: 3-for-4, HR (14), R, 2 RBI
A third-round pick last year out of Cal Poly, Morel more than held his own in a full-season league after signing, and while he got off to a slow-ish start in the Carolina League this year, he's been one of the circuit's hottest bats of late, batting .340/.414/.588 in his last 25 games. Beyond the bat, he's an plus athlete with a good glove and above-average speed (19 stolen bases) to boot.
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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