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May 3, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of May 2

by Kevin Goldstein

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Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 BB, 10.

Coming off a brutal outing in which he walked seven over 4 1/3 innings, Miller returned to form on Monday, and now has 42 strikeouts in just 28 innings. The Cardinals almost began the 2009 first-round pick in Double-A to start the year, and it's looking more and more like he'll certainly finish the year there, and be on pace for a 2012 big league debut.

Eric Surkamp, LHP, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 10 K.

Surkamp rarely gets even to 90 mph with his fastball, but he's proof that velocity isn't everything when it comes to missing bats. Tall and angular with a low 3/4 crossfire delivery that is hard to pick up, Surkamp's deception, combined with above-average command and control, gives hitters fits, as does his ability to mix in a quality curveball and changeup at any point in the count. With three double-digit strikeout games in five starts and 41 whiffs overall in 26 1/3 innings, he's quickly proving that his style can work at the upper levels, which is doing wonders for his prospect stock.

Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K

While 2010 number one overall pick Bryce Harper and Number three selection Manny Machado spent April tearing up the Sally League (and as you'll see below, show no sign of slowing down), Taillon is just getting started. Coming off a wild pro debut in which he was over-throwing and missing the strike zone, and calmer, cooler and far more collected Taillon cruised in start number two, sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball, using his power breaking ball as a second bat missing weapon, and generally looking like the guy worth every cent of his $6.5 million bonus. He's got plenty of time to catch up to the two hitters drafted around him last June.

Others Of Note:

  • Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 4-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, K, SB. For now, all he can do is keep hitting; 15-for-29 in nine games while reaching base 23 times (.622 OBP).
  • Kyle Blanks, 1B, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 4-for-5, 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI. Remember this guy? That's his first home run in 16 games and he's hitting just .281/.329/.422.
  • Bobby Borchering, 3B/1B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, K. Snapping back from brutal 2-for-30 start to season; three straight multi-hit games and .258/.291/.433 overall.
  • Sean Burroughs, 3B, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 3-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 CS. First home run in organized ball since May of 2006.
  • Chun-Hsui Chen, C, Indains (Double-A Akron): 2-for-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI, K. Featured in yesterday's Ten Pack.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 3-for-5, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 K. 12-for-30 (.400) in last seven games and up to .275/.368/.429.
  • Dusty Coleman, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 1-for-4, HR (3), R, 4 RBI. Sleeper that's been beset by injuries; athletic shortstop with home run in back-to-back games and season line of .298/.385/.489.
  • Eduardo Escobar, SS, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-4, 2 HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI. OPS goes up nearly 100 points in one night; .234/.306/.416 in 24 games.
  • Jonathan Galvez, 2B/SS, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 3-for-4, 3B, R, 3 RBI, K. 17 total bases in last four games and .289/.368/.470; has rare secondary skills for a middle infielder.
  • Erik Goeddel, RHP, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K. Career-best start for 2010 24th-round pick who signed for $350,000; could profile better, and move quicker as a reliever.
  • Grant Green, SS. Athletics (Double-A Midland): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Was hitting .176 last weekend, but up to .265/.327/.382 thanks to eight-game hitting streak (15-for-34).
  • Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 3-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, R. Up to .355/.456/.697 in 23 games and as old as the high school players who will be drafted in June. Ridiculous talent.
  • Jordan Henry, OF, Indians (Double-A Akron): 5-for-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB. Plus-plus runner with a leadoff man's approach; if he starts hitting (.338/.427/.369), he becomes very interesting.
  • Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-4, BB. 14-for-23 during six-game hitting streak and .422/.505/.544 on the season.
  • Anthony Hewitt, OF, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 2-for-4, R, K, 2 SB. Since starting the year 2-for-27 with 14 strikeouts, he's hit .357 (20-for-56) during a 13-game hitting streak. Still needs to do much more to convince anyone, yet fascinating.
  • Justin Jackson, UT, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R. Washout from 2007 draft is healthy, playing all over the diamond and hitting .358/.444/.491 in 17 games. I don't know what to make of it either.
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): Three home runs in last two games; still recovering from brutal start and at .225/.311/.461 on the year.
  • Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 1-for-4, HR (3), 2 R, RBI. Three home runs in 15 at-bats, and he'll be just fine.
  • Barrett Loux, RHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K. Star of last year's draft soap opera is on a roll; 31 strikeouts and just six walks in 25 innings while sitting at 90-94 mph with his fastball.
  • Manny Machado, SS, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB. 14-for-28 with 31 total bases during eight-game hitting streak, .349/.452/.640 overall.
  • Jake Marisnick, OF, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 3-for-5, RBI, K, SB. Featured in yesterday's Ten Pack.
  • J.D. Martinez. OF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 2-for-4, HR (3), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, K. Hitting .348/.407/.587 and is gaining believers in his bat by the day.
  • Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 3-for-5. Having a strange year; .373/.384/.470 in 19 games but just one unintentional walk and one home run over 83 at-bats.
  • Yamaico Navarro, UT, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 HR (4), 3 R, 3 RBI. Playing the outfield lately in addition to 2B/3B/SS; .321/.430/.607 in 22 games.
  • Jimmy Paredes, 2B, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 4-for-5, HR (2), 4 R, 3 RBI, SB. Acquired from Yankees in Lance Berkman deal; .311/.354/.443 in 16 games and profiles as solid everyday infielder.
  • Julio Rodriguez, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K. Kind of lost in a packed rotation; but can miss bats with deception and breaking ball.
  • Tony Sanchez, C, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI. Catcher of the future has been an on-base machine, but power has disappeared; 18 of 20 hits for singles as part of weird .299/.440/.358 line.
  • Jonathan Schoop, 3B, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 3-for-5, 2 2B, 3 R. Eight hits in last four games and .333/.389/.535 overall as part of the best left-side infield at the lower levels.
  • Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves (High-A Lynchburg): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K. 12-for-25 during seven-game hitting streak and .321/.369/.397 overall; just need to hit a little bit, as he's a potential plus-plus defender at shortstop.
  • Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, RBI, BB, K. 7-for-11 with three walks since being sent down.
  • Christian Villanueva, 3B, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-for-4, HR (3), R, RBI, K. Also featured in yesterday's Ten Pack; reverse curse in effect?
  • Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Double-A Tennesee): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI. Was in 4-for-37 slump heading into today's game; just .241/.292/.470 in 24 games.

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:  Eric Surkamp,  Triple-A,  Ten Pack

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