September 3, 2009
Future Shock Blog
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.
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.
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