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May 7, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of May 6

by Kevin Goldstein

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Keeping Up His End Of The Bargain

Buster Posey, C, Giants (Triple-A Fresno) 

Thursday's stats: 4-for-5, 2 2B, HR (3), 2 R, 3 RBI 

The Giants got a lot of flack when they re-signed Bengie Molina and left the big-league ready Posey, their top prospect, stranded at Triple-A.  They look smart of not, as Molina has been fantastic this year (small sample size warning deluxe), but to Posey's credit, he hasn't let the situation effect him, delivery his best game of the year on Thursday to raise his season averages to .343/.436/.525 while gunning down 45% of opposing base stealers.  Stardom is still projected, just delayed a bit. 

Now He's Just Showing Off

Mike Stanton, OF, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville) 

Thursday's stats: 2-for-5, 2B, HR (14), R, 2 RBI, 2 K

Stanton hit his minor league leading 14th home run on Thursday, but what was notable was the distance.  One of the features at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery is a large scoreboard behind the left field wall.  About 395 feet away from home plate, the scoreboard stretches an estimated 65 foot into the air.  Stanton's bomb? It went over the scoreboard, with an estimated distance of 500 feet, which might be conservative.  I'm just sharing this because it's cool, it's not like anyone doubts the guy's power. 

Blowing Them Away

Trevor May, RHP, Phillies

Thursday's stats: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 10 K

A fourth-round pick in 2008 out of a Washington high school, May has some of the better stuff in the Phillies system, but he's a long way from harnessing it, as inconsistent and at times sloppy mechanics lead to widely varying velocity, break and command.  So far in the Florida State League, the 20-year-old has been putting it all together, sitting consistently in the low 90s while touching 94 mph, showcasing two much-improved secondary pitches in his curveball and change, all while striking out 39 in just 24 innings.  He's walked 12 and hit a pair of batters, so the control is still shaky, but this has the potential for a major step forward. 

Worthy Of The Call?

Jose Tabata, OF, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis) 

Thursday's stats: 2-for-3, 2B, 3 R, BB, SB

With Lastings Milledge scuffling, is it time for Tabata to get a look?  The former Pirates has taking a huge step forward this year, and while it's a cliché, the player once described as fat by scouts is in the best shape of his career and rifling balls all over the park.  13-for-25 in his last six games and batting .349/.420/.472 overall, we might not know how old he is, but we do know he can hit, with off-the-charts bat speed and new-found wheels as well, with 13 stolen bases.  C'mon Pirates brass, make the call. 

Big Guy Carries A Big Stick

Marc Krauss, OF, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia) 

Thursday's stats: 2-for-4, HR (5), R, 3 RBIs, 2 K

A second-round pick last June out of Ohio University, Krauss is a massive specimen at 6-foot-3 and 235 pound.  He can't run, he's not a very good fielder, but the one thing he can do is hit.  Reminding some of a young Adam Dunn, Krauss works the count effective and has plus-plus raw power, with all of those skills being on display so far this year with a batting line of .344/.413/.602 for the Rawhide.  Bat-only prospects are always risky, because they need to keep mashing, but so far, so good. 

Repeat Performance

 Miguel Velazquez, OF Rangers (Low-A Hickory) 

Thursday's stats: 2-for-4, HR (7), R, 2 RBIs

Velazquez showed up here earlier in the year as a bit of an unknown young hitter in the Rangers system, but now he's on a power surge of, dare I say, Stanton-esque proportions. Last night's bomb was his third in four games, and sixth in his last 11 contests, putting his season numbers at a healthy .327/.405/.634, as in those 11 games, he's raised his OPS 243 points.  He's tools, other than the power, are average-at-best across the board, but at this point the power is playing so much that it doesn't matter.  

Others Of Note:

  • Josh Bell, 3B, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 1-for-3, HR (5), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.  Finally heating up; 6-for-15 w/ double and two home runs in last four games, slugging .461 after sitting around .300 most of April.
  • Bryan Bullington, RHP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K.  Former No. 1 overall pick as 1.54 ERA in six games while limiting PCL hitters to a .169 average.  The way things are going in KC, he might get a look.
  • Drew Cumberland, SS, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 2-for-3, 3B, 2 R, RBI, K, CS.  Profiled here earlier in the week; now batting .408 and 15-for-28 in last seven games.
  • Juan Francisco, 3B, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 3-for-4, HR (3), R, 3 RBI.  Was hitting .109 six days ago; has more than doubled it with 12-for-18 run (four doubles, two home runs) in last four games.
  • Eduardo Nunez, SS, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 3-for-6, 2B, 3 RBI, K.  Up to .354/.413/.455 in 25 games; the Yankees want to keep getting him at-bats; but he could be shoring up the big league bench down the stretch.

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

16 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

FedExpress

What do you think about Petersen being called up by Marlins?

May 07, 2010 10:52 AM
rating: 0
 
Jay Taylor

What are your thoughts on Starlin Castro being called up? Is this just going to be a repeat of the Patterson/Pie debacles?

May 07, 2010 10:52 AM
rating: 0
 
Jivas
(649)

I second this request - I'd love to hear what you think about what the Cubs did today (mostly Castro, but also moving Cashner and Vitters up a level). Personally, as a Cubs fan, I am extremely pessimistic about Castro's future development (despite his obvious ability) given the team's history with players with similar skill sets.

May 07, 2010 11:26 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Just put up a blog post on exactly that.

May 07, 2010 11:54 AM
 
One Flap Down

Milledge must have heard you, or read your mind yesterday, as he had a big game last night driving in 4 runs.

May 07, 2010 11:02 AM
rating: 0
 
AadikShekar

KG, Does anyone think the Giants decision making is logical? Anyone at all?

May 07, 2010 11:16 AM
rating: 0
 
mjk415

posey, is it a ? of eligibility?

May 07, 2010 11:25 AM
rating: 0
 
harderj

Eligibility and service time clock starting is the most logical explanation, coupled with Bengie Molina (!) close to the team lead in on base percentage (better than Pablo Sandoval, last I checked).

And maybe not wanting to mess with a very effective pitching staff (recent meltdowns by Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson and expected mediocrity of Todd Wellemeyer notwithstanding) and being happy enough with how things have gone in the early season without Buster Posey.

With regard to pitching staffs, Barry Zito plus Jonathan Sanchez combined have a whip/era very close to Tim Lincecum plus Matt Cain, giving the Giants two of the best 1-2 punches in the league (both combos are around 1.00 whip).

May 08, 2010 07:32 AM
rating: 0
 
bcmurph07

Who do you see as the Phillies' top pitching prospect, May at Clearwater or Cosart at Lakewood?

May 07, 2010 11:56 AM
rating: 0
 
bcmurph07

I should say excluding Aumont at AA Reading, unless you favor the two in A ball.

May 07, 2010 12:22 PM
rating: 0
 
azeidenfeld

Any news on Bumgarner and his velocity? Two starts ago there were reports that it was improving.

May 08, 2010 09:26 AM
rating: 0
 
LynchMob

Molina left today's game with a hamy problem ... it's time!

May 08, 2010 12:59 PM
rating: 1
 
harderj

So whether Eli Whiteside takes over as regular catcher in Bengie Molina's absence or whether Buster Posey gets his first taste of the big time will be evidence (maybe) of how resolved the Giants are to keeping Posey down.

May 09, 2010 05:14 AM
rating: 0
 
harderj

Eh, it doesn't look like Bengie Molina's hurt that badly anyway, but it is a hamstring and he's not exactly lithe and supple.

Still I think the call up date will be July 15th, though I hope it's sooner.

May 09, 2010 05:30 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Posey got his first (abbreviated) taste of the bigs last year.

May 09, 2010 07:17 AM
rating: 1
 
sho044

Hey KG, I'm curious if you have any insight to Hector Rondon's struggles so far this year? He had looked impressive on the way up the last two seasons, but hes been dominated in AAA so far. The strikeouts are still there, but 44 hits and 12 HRs allowed in 6 starts so far??

May 08, 2010 20:27 PM
rating: 0
 
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