July 31, 2009
Future Shock Blog
Flying under the radar?
Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Rays (Triple-A Durham)
Thursday's stats: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Often seen as more in the Group B of Rays pitching prospects, Hellickson had a 2.38 ERA at Double-A in 11 starts and now has given up just two runs in his first 12 International League innings. Despite being a bit on the small size, he combines above-average stuff with well-above average command and control, and some scouts even take him over power righty Wade Davis when talking about the best arms in the system.
Turning it all around
Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas)
Thursday's stats: 2-for-3, 2B, 3B, RBI, BB
In many ways, it's been a season to forget for Snider. He began the year in the big leagues, struggled, got sent to Triple-A, and then injured his back. Finally healthy, he's back on a roll, going 9-for-19 with two doubles, a triple and two home runs in his last five games and batting .261/.369/.505 overall. He's still a major part of Toronto's future.
From sleeper, to prospect, to really good prospect
Daniel Hudson, RHP, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham)
Thursday's stats: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K
If there's some sort of award for breakout pitcher of the year, just start the engraving now. A fifth-round pick last year out of Old Dominion, Hudson has been on a crazy roll of late, allowing just two runs over 32 innings in his last five starts while giving up 19 hits and striking out 35. He has a power frame, plus velocity with fantastic location and movement, as well as a nice slider. The only bad news is that he left the game with what looked like a back injury.
Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes)
Thursday's stats: 4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB, K, 2 SB
The son of big league reliever Tom Gordon is at the very least the most entertaining player in the Midwest League this year, as he's an insane athlete with outstanding speed, as evidenced by 10 triples and 58 stolen bases in just 100 games. With five multi-hit games in a row, he's now 12-for-22 in his last five games, batting .310/.372/.406 overall, and the scary thing is how raw a talent he still is.
Patience is a virtue
Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves (Short-Season Danville)
Thursday's stats: 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K
Teheran has been much-hyped since the Braves singed the Columbian product for $850,000 two years ago, but some seem to be disappointed because he's still in the Appy League. Keep in mind that he's only 18 year old, as his stuff is still borderline outstanding with plus-plus velocity and about as good of a changeup as you find in a teenager. There's really no change in his outlook, and he's still ahead of schedule.
Starling Marte, OF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia)
Thursday's stats: 2-for-4, RBI, BB, K, SB
In the age of rapidly inflating bonuses and sudden big hype during the international signing period, it's easy to forget about guys like Marte, who signed for $85,000 three years ago. A long, rangy athlete with plus speed, excellent defensive skills and intriguing power potential, Marte joined the Sally League squad in late June, has at least one hit in 26 of 27 games so far, as is batting .349/.407/.459 overall.
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
Click here to see Kevin's other articles.
You can contact Kevin by clicking here