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August 3, 2009

Future Shock

Monday Ten Pack

by Kevin Goldstein

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Scott Beerer, OF, Rockies (High-A Modesto)
A second-round pick all the way back in 2003, Beerer was one of those college closers who was expected to move up quickly, but his stuff never returned after he had to undergo major shoulder surgery. He wanted to go back to hitting two years ago, but the Rockies still saw potential in his remaining on the mound and were against the move. Beerer refused to go back to the bump, Colorado refused to release him, so he simply walked, and spent two years working privately on his hitting skills. This year he asked for a second chance, the Rockies sent a scout to watch him swing, and he was granted a rare second chance. At 27, he's the longest of long shots, but after going 23-for-43 in 11 Northwest League games, his assault is continuing at High-A, as after he went 5-for-10 over the weekend he's now batting .345/.402/.488 in his first 22 games for Modesto.

Jeff Clement, 1B, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis)
The biggest name coming back to Pittsburgh in the deal that sent Jack Wilson and Ian Snell to Seattle, the Pirates hope that Clement can develop into an impact-level bat in short order. He's making his claim to an audition at first base during the latter part of the season, as he hit two home runs in his organizational debut on Friday, added a third on Sunday, and is now 6-for-11 so far as a Pirate farmhand. There is still an open question as to whether he'll ever catch again, but some believe his defensive struggles behind the plate hindered his offensive development in the first place, so it's possible that the Pirates will just abandon ever putting him back there with how good he's going.

Tyler Colvin, OF, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee)
A first-round pick in 2006 out of Clemson, Colvin is a toolsy athlete who hasn't developed as expected, as a far too aggressive approach at the plate and power that is average at best just doesn't allow him to profile well as a corner outfielder in the big leagues. His prospect light has dimmed considerably, but what he did over the weekend was still impossible to ignore; after going 5-for-5 on Friday, he followed that up with a 3-for-3 night on Saturday with a home run, and added three more hits and another bomb on Sunday. Even with that breakout, he's batting a good-not-great .286/.313/.487 in his third year at Double-A, and the problems with patience remain extreme, as he's drawn one walk in his last 23 games.

Clint Everts, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg)
The fifth overall selection in the 2002 draft, Everts was taken ten picks ahead of high school teammate Scott Kazmir, but instead of big-league success, he's become the poster boy for proof that not all players come back from Tommy John surgery. All but written off after years of mediocre showings in the lower levels of the minors, Everts is suddenly looking like a real prospect again. Not in any impact kind of way, but he's had an outstanding year in the bullpen, putting up a sub-one ERA at High-A Potomac early in the season, and now finding a groove at Double-A, allowing just four hits over 12 scoreless innings in his last seven appearances. Armed with a fringe/average fastball and a curve that's still very good, the key to this year's success has been his much improved control. He just might get there yet.

Jason Heyward, OF, Braves (Double-A Mississippi)
Heyward is one of those players where I'm running out of things to say about him week after week, but his performances remain too good to ignore. After a rare hitless game on Friday, Heyward bounced back with a pair of hits on Saturday and then hit his fourth Southern League home run on Sunday, giving him a ridiculous batting line of .417/.500/.738 in his first 24 Double-A games, and he's still six days away from his 20th birthday. He's one of those guys where it's not only impossible to find a scout who doesn't like him, it's impossible to find one that doesn't think he's going to be a massive star.

Brian Matusz, LHP, Orioles (Double-A Bowie)
There's not much to talk about on a performance level here, as Matusz pitched just one scoreless inning on Saturday. The story here is that he was pulled because he'll be making his major league debut tomorrow against the Tigers. Despite throwing just 113 professional innings, scouts agree that Matusz is ready to compete in the majors, and while the Orioles remain mired in last place, they're given their fans various glimpses of a much brighter future throughout the year, and Matusz is yet another one of those points of light.

Mitch Moreland, OF, Rangers (Double-A Frisco)
A 17th-round pick in 2007, there was a time when the Rangers thought Moreland's future might be brighter on the mound, as he had a fastball that got up to 93 mph and a quality breaking ball. However, Moreland convinced Texas brass that he could hit, and has proven that he knew what he was talking about; after a good year at Low-A last year, he's now proving to be a real prospect at Double-A, going 8-for-16 over the weekend to raise his season averages to .327/.375/.492. While scouts would like to see more power and patience from Moreland, they're universal in their praise for his ability to put bat on ball.

Francisco Peguero, OF, Giants (Low-A Augusta)
A 21-year-old Dominican, Peguero has had an up-and-down career so far, but he's definitely on the upswing of late. After batting .394 in the Northwest League, he's stayed hot in his second go-round at Low-A, going 6-for-12 over the weekend, including his first home run, to raise his averages for the GreenJackets to .374/.400/.515 in 25 games. A slasher with a line-drive bat, plus speed, and a good arm, Peguero needs to develop a far more patient approach to fit his lead-off man profile, but for now the Giants are just happy to see him finally on a roll.

Scott Sizemore, 2B, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo)
The best thing one can say about Sizemore, a fifth-round pick in 2006, is simply that he can hit. He had three multi-hit games over the weekend, highlighted by Saturday's performance in which included two home runs, including a walkoff shot. Now batting .313/.381/.491 in 39 games for the Mudhens, Sizemore is lining himself up for a legitimate shot at the big-league job in 2010.

Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas)
Anyone who wrote Snider off after some big-league struggles and a back injury at Triple-A was gravely mistaken, as it's hard to find a hotter hitter in the minors right now. In his last eight games, Snider is 16-for-31 with seven doubles, a triple, and four home runs, giving him an impressive .293/.400/.602 line at Triple-A. He'll still going to be an All-Star and potential MVP, and he's moved so quickly that it's easy to forget that he's only 21 years old.

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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