August 11, 2009
Future Shock Blog
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.
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.
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.
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