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October 28, 2009

Future Shock Blog

October 28

by Kevin Goldstein

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See? Everything is fine

Steven Strasburg, RHP, Nationals (AFL: Phoenix)
Yesterday's stats: 4.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K

Strasburg's last start created some undue panic in a small set of fans in our nation's capitol, but he proved everything was fine on Tuesday by not allowing a hit and lighting up that elusive third digit on the radar gun on multiple occasions. He also threw 42 of his 67 pitches for strikes. One scout put it best by saying, "I agree with starting him in the minors, but I'm not exactly sure what I'd need him to work on."

The good and the bad remain the same

Jose Tabata, OF, Pirates (AFL: Scottsdale)
Yesterday's stats: 3-for-6, 2B, HR (1), R, 6 RBI

It's the usual for Tabata so far in Arizona. Now batting .326 after yesterday's effort, there's little doubt regarding his pure ability to hit, but at the same time, that's only one home run to go with just two walks in 43 at-bats. The lack of secondary skills, as well the fact that he's stretched to cover ground in center, leaves some doubts as to his ultimate ceiling.

Rolling right along

Mitch Moreland, 1B/OF, Rangers (AFL: Surprise)
Yesterday's stats: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB

While it's hardly pretty to watch, Moreland just keeps on hitting, now batting .333/.444/.600 in eight games for the Rafters. He's not some kind of great, fluid athlete; he's big and almost awkward-looking at times, but you just can't argue with the results, as he's hit with at least average power at every level. He certainly has enough arm strength for right field, but his range is a bit short there. His future might be as a left-handed bench bat who can fill in at three positions.

Making up for lost time

Hecton Rondon, RHP, Indians (VEN: Caracas)
Yesterday's stats: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K

Like Zach Putnam (who was discussed yesterday), Rondon was temporarily moved to the bullpen during the regular season with the hope that he might help a brutal major league relief staff. That move was short-lived, and while he was excellent in Double-A, he struggled a bit after moving up a level, with a 4.00 ERA. If anything, he can be a victim of throwing too many strikes without a pure plus-plus put-away pitch to get away with that style, and he'll need to make some adjustments.


Others of Note

  • Grant Desme, OF, Athletics (AFL), 1-for-2, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K: What? No home run?
  • Michael Saunders, OF, Mariners (VEN), 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K: He's up to .344/.417/.594 in eight games so far. Scouts still think he'll be fine despite his poor showing in Seattle.
  • Sebastian Valle, C, Phillies (MEX), 2-for-4, HR (6), R, 2 RBI, K: He's basically the Grant Desme of Mexico, as the 19-year-old backstop is now 12-for-26 with six bombs and 15 RBIs.

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

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