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August 26, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of August 25

by Kevin Goldstein

Cory Luebke, LHP, Padres (Triple-A Portland): 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

The Padres' success has revolved around pitching and defense, and there's more pitching on the way in the form of their 2007 supplemental first-round pick. With velocity a tick above-average for a lefty and a quality slider/changeup combo for secondary offerings, Luebke has solid stuff, but it's his ability to command all three pitches, and throw them at any point in the count, that makes him so effective. By allowing just one run over his last 20 innings, Luebke's Triple-A ERA now sits at 2.97, and his chances of getting a long look next spring have increased dramatically.

Brett Marshall, RHP, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

A sixth-round pick in 2008 who received a well over-slot bonus of $850,000 as a small righty with power stuff, Marshall's full-season debut last year was well below expectations and finished with Tommy John surgery. He returned to action quickly, and might be finally finding his groove, allowing just one run on 12 hits over his last 29 innings. With a low 90s fastball and biting slider, just add him to the long list of Yankee pitching prospects who have taken a step in the right direction.

Josh Reddick, OF, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 2-for-6, HR (15), 2 R, 4 RBI.

Fellow outfielder Ryan Kalish got the big league call after a game on the night of July 29, and while it might be a coincidence, it certainly seems like that served as a wake up call for Reddick, who was floundering with a line of .226/.272/.384 at the time. Since Kalish left, Reddick has done his best to join him in Boston, at least for September, by batting .363 and slugging 647 in 22 games to life his OPS almost 100 points in the process.

Others Of Note:

  • Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 1-for-3, HR (1), 3 R, RBI, 2 BB, K. Nice Triple-A debut for arguably the breakout player of the year; more notable that the start came in the outfield?
  • Engel Beltre, OF, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI. Has slowed down significantly since quick start; .280/.326/.379 in 35 games.
  • Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI, 2 K. 35-for-82 (.427) in last 22 games and .339/.440/.525 overall; this is not a mirage, the dude can hit.
  • Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 1-for-2, HR (31), R, RBI, 2 BB. Home runs in three of last four games in yet another second-half surge; .331/.431/.662 since the All-Star break.
  • Ralston Cash, RHP, Dodgers (Rookie-level AZL Dodgers): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Second-round pick is raw, projectable righty with arm strength.
  • Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers (Rookie-level GCL Tigers): 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, K. $3.45 million-dollar man is 7-for-18 in first five pro games.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (Double-A Akron): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K. Ten of last 20 hits have gone for extra bases; hitting .295/.347/.530 since the break as the power has begun to manifest.
  • Alex Cobb, RHP, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 13 K. Bit of a sleeper in a pack Rays system; one of the best curveballs around has led to 113 strikeouts in 107.2 innings.
  • Zack Cox, 3B, Cardinals (Rookie-level GCL Cardinals): 4-for-5, 2B, RBI. Pro-debut for first-round pick that signed at the deadline; is he a better prospect than Matt Carpenter?
  • Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 2-for-3, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB, SB. Has reached base 16 times in last six games with overall line of .317/.378/.522; still just 20 years old and has the potential to be something special.
  • John Gast, LHP, Cardinals (Rookie-level Batavia): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Sixth-round pick has good stuff for a lefty and is suddenly throwing strikes; 1.55 ERA in seven games with 32 Ks in 25 innings.
  • Grant Green, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (17), R, 2 RBI, BB, SB. Slugging .592 since June 1; Even if he needs to move to second due to shortcomings, the offense for a middle infielder is top notch.
  • Ismael Guillon, LHP, Reds (Rookie-level AZL Reds): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K. Big bonus 18-year-old Venezuelan has impressed scouts with plus velocity; 73 strikeouts in 57 innings.
  • Jason Knapp, RHP, Indians (Low-A Lake County): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Working way back from shoulder issues and dominating; 13 strikeouts in nine innings with just one hit allowed.
  • Brandon Laird, 3B, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/WB): 0-for-4, 3 K. Struggling after monster showing in Double-A; .240/.266/.360 in 18 games since promotion.
  • Brent Morel, 3B/SS, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 3-for-5, 3B, R, RBI. 17-for-36 (.472) during nine-game hitting streak; .324/.352/.505 in 74 Triple-A games.
  • Neil Ramirez, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Million-dollar arm from '07 draft finally showing signs of life; 2.82 ERA in last eight starts with 55 Ks in 44.2 IP.
  • Wilson Ramos, C, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (3), R, RBI. Lining himself up for full-time job in '11; .319/.347/.514 in 18 Triple-A games since trade.
  • Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves (Rookie-level Danville): 4-for-5, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB. Second-round pick and potentially special defender is starting to hit as well; 12-for-19 in last five games and .277/.341/.364 in 57 games.
  • Tyler Thornberg, RHP, Brewers (Rookie-level Helena): 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 5 K. Third-round pick is undersized righty who can get up to 94-95 mph at times; 28 Ks in 17.2 IP.
  • Adam Warren, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Yup, another impressive Yankee pitching prospect; 50 strikeouts in 44.1 Double-A innings with 3.05 ERA.
  • Joe Wieland, RHP, Rangers (High-A Bakersfield): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K. Physical righty with solid stuff but projection for more; 13 hits allowed over last 23 innings with 27 whiffs.
  • Adam Wilk, LHP, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Double-A debut for extreme strike thrower; not a much in the stuff department, but excellent at his craft.
  • Chris Withrow, RHP, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Best start since mid-June; ERA still sits at 5.71 for one of organization's biggest disappointments.

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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