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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

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