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November 5, 2009

Future Shock Blog

November 5

by Kevin Goldstein

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Hitting a wall

Mark Rogers, RHP, Brewers (AFL: Peoria Javelinas)
Yesterday's stats: 0.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 0 K

Rogers was such a nice story this year. After missing all of 2007 and 2008 with a variety of shoulder problems and surgeries, he pitched every five days in short stints for High-A Brevard County, putting up a 1.67 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning. Even more promising was that the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft was getting up to the mid-90s with his fastball. While he pitched just 64 2/3 innings, he stayed healthy, and one wondered what he could do once the reigns were loosened a bit. The Arizona Fall League has been a disaster however, as Rogers now sports a 17.61 ERA in six appearances, and even more concerning is the fact that he's clearly tired, sitting at just 90-92 mph while his control has abandoned him. If 70 innings is too much for his ravaged arm, that's not a good thing.

Rolling into 2010

Alcides Escobar, SS, Brewers (VEN: Lara)
Yesterday's stats: 3-for-4, R, 2 RBI, SB

After batting .304/.333/.368 during the final six weeks of the regular season in the big leagues, Escobar seems lined up to assume everyday shortstop duties for the Brewers in 2010, and he's still hitting back home in Venezuela. Of course, nearly any kind of offense from him is gravy, as his defense is so spectacular, but the real story here might end up being what the Brewers end up doing . . . or getting for J.J. Hardy.

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Wilson Ramos, C, Twins (VEN: Aragua)
Yesterday's stats: 2-for-4, 2B, HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI

Now at .395/.447/.750 in 19 games for the Tigres, Ramos is on the short list of players who have genuinely upgraded their prospect status this winter. A true two-way catcher who provides above-average value both at the plate behind it, Ramos will begin 2010 at Triple-A in a difficult position, as he's either the Twins catcher of the future with Joe Mauer inching closer to free agency, or one of the better trade chips around.

A friendly reminder

Pat Venditte, RHP, Yankees (VEN: Zulia)
Yesterday's stats: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K

79 games into his professional career, Venditte sports a career ERA of 1.53 in an attempt to prove that his ambidextrous ways are more than just a sideshow act. The questions still remain, as the Creighton University product is 24 years old and has yet to pitch at the upper levels. The Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional is certainly his biggest test yet, and so far, the league is batting .314 against him with a .600 slugging percentage, so the questions are far from answered.


Others Of Note

  • Matt Dominguez, 3B, Mariners (AFL), 1-for-4, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, BB, K: Dominguez is eally struggling with a .140/.159/.302 line, but his defensive reviews remain at the top of the line.
  • Ryan Kalish, OF, Red Sox (AFL), 2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB: He's not showing much power, but his speed and on-base skills remain; his ability to play center is the key to his future.
  • Marcus Lemon, UTIL, Rangers (AFL), 2-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB: Lemon keeps on rolling a day after being featured here; he's now up to .333/.400/.556.
  • Thomas Neal, OF, Giants (AFL), 3-for-5, HR (1), R, 2 RBI, K: The breakout performer in the Giants system finally goes deep after slugging 22 homers during the regular season.
  • Casper Wells, OF, Tigers (AFL), 1-for-4, HR (4), R, 3 RBI, 2 K: Wells is making up for lost time after an injury plagued regular season. He's a little old for his levels, but he has true plus-plus raw power.

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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