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August 24, 2009

Future Shock Blog

August 24

by Kevin Goldstein

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Not that the Yankees need much in the way of reinforcements

Jason Hirsch, RHP, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre)
Sunday's stats: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Once one of the top prospects in the Astros system, Hirsch was a key component in a deal that netted Jason Jennings from Colorado prior to the 2007 season, but he's been plagued by injuries (including rotator cuff problems) and ineffectiveness since. Traded to the Yankees for nothing more than a player to be named at the deadline, Hirsch has suddenly found a new lease on life, allowing just four runs in four Triple-A starts, walking just four in 21 innings. The 6-foot-8, 250-pound righty's stuff still isn't near what it was in his heyday, but it could be enough for an audition for the No. 5 starting role down the stretch.

No-hitter, more than a non-prospect

Brandon Moore, RHP, Mets (Short-Season Brooklyn)
Sunday's stats: 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K
A 14th-round pick in 2008 and the first player ever selected out of tiny Indiana Wesleyan, Moore has been good all year, but he was at his best Sunday, firing a seven-inning no-hitter. His 2.15 ERA and opponent's batting average of .187 both really stand out and, more impressively, scouts are backing up the numbers somewhat, as his average velocity fastball plays up due to location and movement, while he'll also flash a nice breaking ball at times. At 23, he has to get moving, but there are at least some building blocks to work with.

I'll keep noticing him, you should too

Ryan Strieby, 1B, Tigers (Double-A Erie)
Sunday's stats: 2-for-3, 2 HR (19), 2 R, 5 RBI, BB
I'm just going to keep on pumping this guy, because I still feel like I'm the only one on the bandwagon. While he's missed some time this year with various bumps and bruises, Strieby has still delivery 19 home runs and 56 walks in just 291 at-bats. As a basic rule, first base-only prospects are tough to evaluate, because they can't just be good, they have to really mash. At .306/.429/.570, he's doing just that.

Upping the difficulty level

Mauricio Robles, LHP, Mariners (High-A High Desert)
Sunday's stats: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K
Robles made the update last week when he tossed seven one-hit innings, but Sunday's outing is actually far more impressive, as the little lefty with the big arm delivered seven shutout innings at home, in a park where the average game includes more than 13 runs a contest. With the Cal League now hitting .167 against him in 20 1/3 innings, scouts in three leagues have now taken notice of his abilities.

Peaking at the right time?

Aaron Thompson LHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg)
Sunday's stats: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K
A first-round pick by the Marlins in 2005, Thompson's career up to this point might best be described as non-descript. It's not that he's been bad or some kind of sure-fire bust or anything; he's merely been adequate at every level. Still, he's left-handed and has some good secondary pitches, and that was enough for the Nationals to take him as part of last month's Nick Johnson deal. He rewarded their confidence with a career-high in strikeouts on Sunday.

Sleeper alert!

Tommy Pham, CF, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach)
Sunday's stats: 3-for-6, 2B, HR (7), 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 K
A 16th-round pick in 2006, Pham is one of those guys that, despite some horrid statistics, is certainly exciting to watch. Athletically, he can do it all, with an intriguing package of power and speed, but he's never been able to jump over the one hurdle holding him back - hitting. While this year's line of .229/.306/.375 offers little room for optimism, he might be starting to show some glimmers of hope by going 17-for-43 (.395) with four home runs in his last 12 games.


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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

Cloochmere

After giving up two quick HRs in the 1st, Jaime Garcia pretty much mowed down Fresno last Wednesday. At about 11 months out from TJ and already at AAA are the Cardinals pushing him a little to be late season BP help or is it just a case of some guys recovering from TJ faster than others?

Aug 24, 2009 11:43 AM
rating: 0
 
michaele

I'm miffed at the seeming indifference the Tigers have about Strieby (especially in a franchise with few, if any, hitting prospects). It may be because he plays first base. The Tigers are trying him in the outfield. Not sure how successful that has been. He also has been battling a wrist injury for a year or so, I believe. Anyway, the knock I read about him as a hitter is that he can only hit mediorce pitching. Frankly, I don't know what the heck this even means. How come the guys who can hit good and mediorce pitching aren't hitting as well as the guy who only hits mediorce pitching?

Aug 24, 2009 11:57 AM
rating: 0
 
matt2875

It would seem their decision to try him in the outfield shows they aren't really indifferent about him, but want to make sure they can take advantage of that bat. If he's even passable out there, I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up being the reason the Tigers were unwilling to pay Marcus Thames for his third year of arbitration.

KG - Do you know if Strieby's wrist (or offseason treatment of it) will allow him to play in the AFL? He seems like the Tigers' most obvious choice to send to that league since he's mashing and is trying to learn a new position.

Aug 24, 2009 12:50 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I'm unfortunately NOT very optimistic about him being able to play the outfield.

Aug 24, 2009 12:52 PM
 
harderj

Thanks for the update. I drafted Hirsh in a Strat league a few years ago with a late pick, and probably would have made him one of my ten cuts next draft, but now that I know he has new life...

Now if only Jeff Clement, Daric Barton, and Chris Davis would become something!

Aug 26, 2009 06:47 AM
rating: 0
 
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