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October 28, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of October 27

by Kevin Goldstein

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Henry Rodriguez, SS/2B, Reds (VEN: Aguilas): 4-for-6, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI.

One of the youngest players in Venezuela at just 20, Rodriguez had a breakout season for the Reds during the regular season, batting .305/.333/.463 with 54 extra-base hits and 33 stolen bases in 130 games. He's a solid second baseman with a very quick bat and a surprising ability to drive balls for his size, and the only real weakness in his game is an overly aggressive approach at the plate. Currently hitting .315 in 13 games for Zulia with an identical .315 on-base percentage, nothing has changed there.

Others Of Note:

  • Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies (AFL: Scorpions): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (2), R, 2 RBI. 24-year-old late bloomer as tools that are still actualizing; hit .297/.360/.484 for Double-A Tulsa this year.
  • Charlie Culberson, 2B, Giants (AFL: Scorpions): 2-for-4, 3B, R, K. 35 total bases in ten games, including 8-for-12 mark against lefties with a pair of home runs.
  • Justin De Fratus, RHP, Phillies (AFL: Solar Sox): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K). One of the best sleepers in the Phillies system; pure power righty has mid-90s heat and AFL hitters are 0-for-9 with five strikeouts against him.
  • Juan Francisco, 3B, Reds (DOM: Gigantes): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K. Hard to find a big league job for him with the Reds until he learns about the strike zone.
  • Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers (PR: Gigantes): 4-for-4, 2 R, BB, SB, CS. You can't find a hotter bat in the off-season leagues, as with five multi-hit efforts in five games, the 22-year-old shortstop is 13-for-21.
  • Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (AFL: Scorpions) 0-for-4, 2 K. Nobody said the kid was going to hit 1.000.
  • Eric Hurley, RHP, Rangers (AFL: Rafters): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K). Former first-rounder and highly regarded arm trying to work way back from a variety of arm issues; 91-93 yesterday with good control is the best he's looked in a long time.
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (VEN: Cardenales): 1-for-4, HR (1), R, RBI, K. First home run in 14 games but tied for league lead with six doubles as part of .292/.382/.479 line.
  • Adam Loewen, OF, Blue Jays (AFL: Javelinas): 1-for-3, HR (2), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K. 26-year-old still has a lot to prove, but it's hard not to root for him.
  • Chris Marrero, 1B, Nationals (PR: Leones): 2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, K. Former first-round pick is never bad, yet rarely good enough to profile as an every day first baseman in the big leagues.
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Mets (AFL: Solar Sox): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, K. .308/.419/.462 in eight games; has played corner outfield in three of last four games and needs to keep hitting if future lies there.
  • Derek Norris, C, Nationals (AFL: Scorpions): 0-for-1, R, 3 BB, SB. Hitting .273 but has a 1167 OPS thanks to nine walks against 22 at-bats and four of six hits going for extra bases.
  • Mark Trumbo, 1B, Angels (VEN: Navegantes): 2-for-4, RBI, 2 K. .308/.390/.538 in 14 games, but also 19 strikeouts in 52 at-bats.

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

Related Content:  AFL

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

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Nils J

Chris Parmelee vs Chris Marrero?

Oct 28, 2010 11:54 AM
rating: 0
 
chriscaroy

What do those 'part-time' players in the AFL (like Harper) do on days they're not rostered? Are there games/scrimmages being played on back fields? I'm sure they're not laying around on the couch, but wondered what teams view as the most valuable activity for them to be doing...

Oct 28, 2010 13:10 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

They're working out with the AFL team, and often doing private stuff in the mornings. They stay busy.

Oct 28, 2010 13:39 PM
 
Cromulent

What level of play is the Puerto Rican league analogous to?

Oct 28, 2010 13:23 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Great question, and hard to answer. That's a HIGHLY varying league. There are kids there and there are guys like Bill Pulsipher and Bobby Kielty there and everything in between. Varies wildly.

Oct 28, 2010 13:40 PM
 
Infrancoeurgible

Would it be fair to say it's analogous to a slightly more talented and competitive version of independent leagues like the Atlantic League or American Association?

That's the impression I get personally, and if that's wrong, by all means correct me.

Oct 28, 2010 21:49 PM
rating: 1
 
Gregjitsu

So what's the current thinking on Culberson's ceiling? This year was certainly something of a breakout season for him, and he's looking even better (albeit in a ridiculously SSS) in the AFL. And how is his defense at the Keystone?

Oct 29, 2010 08:58 AM
rating: 0
 
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