CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Midweek U... (09/09)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Sep... (09/08)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Sep... (09/11)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Workload Worries (09/10)

September 10, 2009

Future Shock Blog

September 10th

by Kevin Goldstein

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

A name you should know

Simon Castro, RHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne)
Thursday's stats: 6.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K
I was talking to a scout on Tuesday and we started talking about the best pitchers we saw in the Midwest League this year. Detroit's Casey Crosby (who got shelled last night) was the first to come to mind, but both of us agree the Castro deserves to be in the argument for number two, and he certainly showed why in the Wizards playoff opener. A 21-year-old Domincan with serious heat and plus command, he finished the year with a 3.33 ERA, but the numbers that really stand out are the 157 strikeouts against just 37 walks in 140 1/3 innings.

Kind of not fair, but what can you do?

Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP, Red Sox (High-A Salem)
Thursday's stats: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K
In the end, you have to at least empathize with Winston-Salem manager Joe McEwing. He busts his hump to get his team into the Carolina League playoffs and then, for the opener, his team of players in their first or second full-season as pros get to face a rehabbing Matsuzaka. It's understandable certainly, as the minors are designed to get guys ready for the big leagues, and that takes precedence over all else (as it should). However, this is a good lesson that even winning is secondary once you get below the big leagues.

Lots to like, lots to wonder about

Juan Francisco, 3B, Reds (Triple-A Louisville)
Thursday's stats: 2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K
Francisco hit 27 home runs this year, including a .359/.384/.598 line in 22 Triple-A games at the end of the season. As a 22-year-old, one would think he'd be a monster prospect, but there are still a lot of questions about his game, particularly an aggressive approach that led to just 19 unintentional walks and the fact that defensively, he's well below average and destined for a move to first. It's an odd combination of incredible strengths and glaring weaknesses that makes him difficult to rank as a prospect.

Continuing the surge

Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Rays (Triple-A Rays)
Thursday's stats: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 12 K
In his last five regular season starts, Hellickson struck out 48 over 34 1/3 innings while giving up just 12 hits. He kept that going on Wednesday by recording 12 of his 17 outs via the strikeout, although he did give up a pair of bombs, including one to Francisco. He's not overwhelming physically, but he's a heady pitcher with a variety of plus offerings, almost in the mold of a Zack Greinke lite. Note to the world: I did NOT just say Hellickson is going to be as good as Zack Greinke, I just noted some similarities.

Not a big prospect, but what a game

Anthony Lerew, RHP, Roylals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas)
Thursday's stats: 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Once a hot prospect with the Braves, Lerew's lack of overpowering velocity caught up with him at the upper levels, and then Tommy John surgery all but removed him from the prospect radar. Now two months short of 27 and pitching in Double-A, he's little more than an organizational soldier, but you have to give him credit for Wednesday night's performance. Not only did he shutout Springfield, he did it on just 73 pitches in one of the most efficient performances you'll ever see, as he averaged 8.1 pitches per inning and 2.5 per batter.

Sleeper alert!

Ben Snyder, LHP, Giants (Double-A Connecticut)
Thursday's stats: 8 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K
This is kind of the opposite of the Dice-K situation. Connecticut gets to the playoffs, gets ready to start their ace, left-hander Madison Bumgarner, for game one, and the next thing you know, Tim Lincecum says "Ouch!" and they need a replacement. Snyder spent much of the year in the bullpen, but he pitched well as a starter at the end of the year and gave the Defenders an outing every bit as good as they could have expected from Bumgarner on Wednesday. A big, physical southpaw with solid velocity and a bit of deception, left-handed hitters can't touch him (.146/.198/.197 this year), so he's a future LOOGY at the very least.


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

8 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Midweek U... (09/09)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Sep... (09/08)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Sep... (09/11)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Workload Worries (09/10)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article What You Need to Know: September 2, 2014
Premium Article The Call-Up: Daniel Norris
Premium Article The Call-Up: Maikel Franco
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bo Gone
The Future
Premium Article The Call-Up: Joc Pederson
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: September 2, 2014

MORE FROM SEPTEMBER 10, 2009
Premium Article Changing Speeds: Situational Pitching
Premium Article Transaction Action: NL Roundup
Premium Article Solving the Rookie Dilemma
Premium Article Workload Worries

MORE BY KEVIN GOLDSTEIN
2009-09-17 - Future Shock: Great Leaps Forward, NL
2009-09-15 - Premium Article Future Shock: Great Leaps Forward, AL
2009-09-11 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: September 11
2009-09-10 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: September 10th
2009-09-09 - Premium Article Future Shock: Minor League Hitting Leaders T...
2009-09-08 - Premium Article Future Shock: Pirates Adrift
2009-09-08 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: September 8
More...

MORE FUTURE SHOCK BLOG
2009-10-15 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: October 15
2009-10-14 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: October 14
2009-09-11 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: September 11
2009-09-10 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: September 10th
2009-09-08 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: September 8
2009-09-07 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: September 7
2009-09-04 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: September 4
More...