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August 11, 2009

Future Shock Blog

August 11

by Kevin Goldstein

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What am I supposed to do? Not mention him again?

Chris Carter, 1B/OF, Athletics (Double-A Midland)
Monday's stats: 2-for-4, HR (21), R, 3 RBI, K, CS
Carter's 25-game hitting streak isn't any normal, every day 25-game hitting streak. He's 46-for-97 (.474) during the run, adding 16 walks and compiling 81 total bases in the process. I have no contractually mandated word count for these pieces, so I'm just ending this one here. I'm out of superlatives for what he's doing.

As a pitcher, he only gets to make the list every five days.

Christian Friedrich, LHP, Rockies (High-A Modesto)
Monday's stats: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 8 K
The one big surprise here is that Friedrich didn't reach double-digits in strikeouts for the first time in four starts. It's hard to find a more dominating pitcher of late. In his last five outings, he has given up a grand total of one earned run over 29 innings while allowing 15 hits and striking out 46. His curveball is being described by some as Zito-esque, and he could best testing it out in Coors Field as soon as the second half of the 2010 season.

On schedule

Tony Sanchez, C, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia)
Monday's stats: 3-for-4, 2B, HR (4), 4 R, 3 RBI, BB, K
The Pirates have received some reasonable criticism for taking Sanchez with the fourth overall pick two months ago, but his performance so far is certainly helping their cause. After going deep in back-to-back games, the former Boston College star is batting .340/.454/.567 in 25 Sally League games, while adding plus defensive skills.

And now he's hitting a bit, too

Tommy Manzella, SS, Astros (Triple-A Round Rock)
Monday's stats: 3-for-5, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI
A third-round pick out of Tulane in 2005, Manzella has always been known more for his glove than his bat. He's a silky-smooth defender with above-average instincts, range and arm strength, but over the last two years, he has begun to hit just enough to have scouts beginning to project him as an everyday player in the big leagues. Now batting .375 in his last 12 games and .284/.334/.404 overall, he's a nice prospect when all of baseball is looking for shortstops who can just play the position, not to mention hit a little.

Patience is a virtue

Kyler Burke, OF, Cubs (Low-A Peoria)
Monday's stats: 2-for-4
A supplemental first-round pick in 2006, Burke has seemingly been around forever (he was traded to the Cubs for Michael Barrett in 2007), but he's only 21 years old, and has always been the kind of guy scouts thought could take a huge step forward, as the size, strength and athleticism were always there. Batting .393 in his last 30 games, including a 12-for-17 mark in his last four, Burke's season line now stands at .303/.389/.479, and if some of his 37 doubles in just 386 at-bats start to turn into home runs, look out.

Sleeper Alert!

Adam Milligan, OF, Braves (Low-A Rome)
Monday's stats: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
A sixth-round pick in 2008 out of a Tennessee junior college, Milligan would have went much higher without a strong commitment to transfer to Vanderbilt, but the Braves dished out $350,000 to get him to turn pro. A knee injury delayed his pro debut until this year, but he's quickly making up for lost time. After dominating the Appalachian League, he's now hitting .358/.403/.650 in his first 33 Sally League games. A former football star, Milligan is a 6-foot-3, 220 pound pure athlete with plus-plus raw power and at least average speed, although he's still a bit raw when it comes to a hitting approach and baseball instincts. Still, his pure ceiling is almost as big as his stat line.


Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

14 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

bizbaz
(692)

Kevin are you planning a recap on the draft? I know the deadline for signing is coming up this weekend and was hoping you had some insights into what is happening with most of the first rounders...

Aug 11, 2009 09:24 AM
rating: 0
 
basejaw

That would be awesome Kevin. Do you expect any 1st Rounders not to sign?

Aug 11, 2009 09:30 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

You'll get a piece this week on fixing the very broken system. In addition, I'll do something about post-deadline (which is Monday). I still think everyone is going to sign. If I had to bet against someone, it'd be Matzek.

Aug 11, 2009 10:05 AM
 
basejaw

Another draft question...how long do the Rangers have to sign Scheppers?

Aug 11, 2009 09:31 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

They have until next year's draft as Scheppers was not pitching in College last season. At that point though, I'm not sure whether he would then be a free agent or would have to re-enter the draft again.
Same goes for Aaron Crow with KC.

Aug 11, 2009 09:43 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

You can't sit out and become a free agent -- you'd simply re-enter the next draft. You don't become a free agent until you are eligible for a draft and go unselected.

Aug 11, 2009 10:06 AM
 
alwaxman

Is Adam any relation to Randy Milligan?

Aug 11, 2009 10:10 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

No.

Aug 11, 2009 10:14 AM
 
mymrbig

Another draft question (this one actually following up on one of the players mentioned).

Now that the Pirates have signed Colton Cain ($1.125 M), Zack Von Rosenberg ($1.2 M), Zack Dodson ($600k), and Trent Stevenson ($350k) for a combined $3.275 million (all HS pitchers), how do you like their strategy of drafting & signing Tony Sanchez 4th overall for around slot ($2.5 M), rather than going with one of the bigger names like Turner, Matzek, or Purke?

Or put another way, for the $5.775 million it took to sign Sanchez, Von Rosenberg, Cain, Dodson, and Stevenson, would you rather have one of Matzek/Turner/Purke and guys in the 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th rounds that would sign for slot?

Since the draft is inherently risky, I like the choice of spreading the money around to 5 guys with 1st/2nd round talent, rather than concentrating it on 1 HS pitcher. That said, it would have been nice to see them go over slot in the 1st round too, but even the Pirates apparently have a budget (tongue-in-cheek).

Aug 11, 2009 10:14 AM
rating: 4
 
wileecoyote121

Kevin: Is there a way to search ML Update columns to focus on entries for a particular player? It seems that, if they can do it for the "Unfiltered" posts, they should be able to do it for you, too.

Am I asking too much?

Aug 11, 2009 12:45 PM
rating: 0
 
G. Guest

Yes, you can do that:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/search/

You can search for any player or term by author, article, etc.

Aug 11, 2009 14:39 PM
rating: 0
 
drmboat
(754)

KG-
Love all of your stuff on here, so keep it coming. One suggestion, could you add age and draft info to the player's heading on each piece. Often you are putting the info inside the blurb anyways, but when you miss it I'm left trying to find it myself. If it's a pain then don't worry about it, but I figure if you've got the info handy might as well let us in on it...
Thanks again!

Aug 11, 2009 12:49 PM
rating: 1
 
BurrRutledge

Love this daily feature, KG!

I was wondering the same thing as drmboat... I'd settle for just age without having to click through (and especially when there's no click-through because he hasn't made it into BP's player list yet).

For example, Adam Milligan killing the Sally League, but he went to junior college and was drafted in 2008. That would make him, um... how old? 20? 21? That would be very informative, too.

Just a suggestion if it's not too hard to add to your already full workload.

Aug 11, 2009 15:07 PM
rating: 0
 
jake726

How much can we learn from the performance of a top of the 1st round college draftee dominating low-A though? Sanchez looks good so far, but does the performance mean anything until he at least gets to high-A? He should be destroying low-A pitching.

Aug 11, 2009 17:37 PM
rating: 0
 
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