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September 3, 2009

Future Shock Blog

September 3

by Kevin Goldstein

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The next big thing?

Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves (Low-A Rome)
Wednesday's stats: 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K
As old as most 2009 high school draftees who are currently getting babied with one or two innings in the complex leagues, Teheran is busy delivering seven no-hit frames in a full season league. Signed for $850,000 in 2007, Teheran was up to 96 mph on Wednesday night, with a solid curve and a changeup well beyond his years. With plenty of projection and a ceiling through the roof, he's one of the best teenage pitching prospects out there.

Here's everything I can do in one night

Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays (Triple-A Durham)
Wednesday's stats: 2-for-3, 3B, HR (3), 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB
In the span of nine innings, Jennings showed it all with a display of power, on-base skills, and blazing speed. Already named the Southern League MVP with his .316/.395/.486 line in 100 games with Double-A Montgomery, Jennings hasn't missed a step in the Triple-A with a triple-slash line of .298/.409/.489. He could create some tough choices for Rays management next spring.

Finding his way

Alex Gordon, 3B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha)
Wednesday's stats: 3-for-4, 2B, HR (5), 4 R, 5 RBI, BB, K
I was on the Royals postgame show yesterday and we talked quite a bit about Gordon and what we can expect from him in the future. The problem is that any guess is feasible. Think he's going to become just some kind of Quadruple-A up-and-down kinda guy? You can make the argument. Think he's going to put it all together and become a star in the end? I might buy that as well. He certainly looked like the latter on Wednesday, and he has now gone deep in back-to-back games.

You want hot?

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
Wednesday's stats: 4-for-5, 2 2B, HR (1), 3 R, 2 RBI, K
This guy is seriously blowing up. After putting together 25 hits, scoring 16 runs and driving in 16 more in his last 12 games at High-A St. Lucie, he's now 7-for-13 with 14 total bases in his first three Eastern League contests. The tools are there to match the performance, so get excited, Mets fans.

A glimmer of hope?

Andrew Brackman, RHP, Yankees (Low-A Charleston)
Wednesday's stats: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
It's been a nightmare season for the 2007 first-round pick, as the 6-foot-11 righty went 1-11 with a 6.72 ERA in 19 starts for the RiverDogs before getting sent to the bullpen to limit both his innings and his exposure. Slowly, things seem to be coming around for him. After walking a batter per inning in July and August, he's gone three straight appearances without giving up a free pass. As unique a talent as Brackman is, he'll get plenty of chances, but he also turns 24 in December, so time isn't exactly on his side.

Sleeper Alert!

Miguel Velazquez, OF, Rangers (Short-season Spokane)
Wednesday's stats: 3-for-4, RBI, BB
About as risky a pick as you can get, the Rangers selected Velazquez in the 19th-round of the 2006 draft and gave him a well over-slot bonus of $72,000 to sign. He would have been in line for a much higher round and much bigger bonus if not for an ugly incident in his native Puerto Rico that ended with an arrest with his involvement in a shooting committed by his brother. It's taken time to get past that, and Velazquez hasn't been able to fully focus on baseball until this year. With above-average power and speed, it's been his baseball skills that are generating buzz this time around, as the 21-year-old is batting .297/.359/.517 in the Northwest League with 10 home runs and nine stolen bases in 54 games.

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

billm21

KG, can you compare Teheran to your last Braves teen pitching bromance, Neftali Feliz, at the same age? Similar upside as Neftali?

Sep 03, 2009 09:22 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I'm not ready to go that crazy on him -- only slightly crazy.

Sep 03, 2009 10:24 AM
 
Jonathan

Not baseball related, but the title of Desmond Jennings' update made me laugh out loud. The extra four or five words compared to other update captions makes poor Desmond sound like a desperate high school trying to prove himself to the chick he's got a crush on. Just notice me already!

Anyway, I said it wasn't baseball related. Love the updates, and hope to see more captions like this in the future.

Sep 03, 2009 09:27 AM
rating: 0
 
Charles Kurz

Is captain Kirk a top 50 or 100 prospect?

Sep 03, 2009 09:37 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Calm down there. Top 50? No.

Sep 03, 2009 10:25 AM
 
DGBL

Teheren or Randall Delgado and how close is it?

Sep 03, 2009 10:10 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Teheran with a pretty sizable gap. That says more about Julio than Delgado.

Sep 03, 2009 10:25 AM
 
dwinning

Kevin, how do would you make those tough choices the rays will have? jennings ready for the AL east? AL east ready for him?

Sep 03, 2009 10:57 AM
rating: 0
 
SaberTJ

I'm pretty sure he's referring as to whom to stick in the Rays' outfield.

Sep 03, 2009 11:02 AM
rating: -1
 
elm
(41)

I thought Brackman might make your update when I saw his line in the boxscore. He sure didn't take to relieving right off the bat, but maybe things have turned around with three consecutive outings.

I had figured that his move to the bullpen was permanent, but if they're just trying to limit his innings, do you think the Yanks plan to try him starting again next year? I always figured that if he made it to the majors, it would be out of the pen, so I think they should just leave him there and hope he develops enough control of that fastball to become a late-innings reliever.

Sep 03, 2009 11:05 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Per the Yankees, right now the plan is for his to START at High-A Tampa next year. The bullpen move was more of an inning control thing than a future role thing (for now).

Sep 03, 2009 11:23 AM
 
elm
(41)

Thanks. This news doesn't make me happy. But, as you say, Brackman's unusual, so maybe the Yanks should give him as many chances to fail as they can.

Sep 03, 2009 12:15 PM
rating: 0
 
kiloman

Kevin,

What do you think about Kyler Burke's apparent breakout year in Low-A. He's not exactly young for the league, but the numbers seem impressive nonetheless (not the least of which is the BB's).

Sep 03, 2009 11:39 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I'm really intrigued by it, because the tools and athleticism have always been there. As far as the age goes, he's not exactly old either. Two years younger than league co-MVP Kyle Russell for example.

Sep 03, 2009 11:58 AM
 
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