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May 20, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of May 19

by Kevin Goldstein

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Hey folks, getting ready to head to Boston for the Saber Seminar, so just a quick look at players who really caught my eye yesterday.

  • Brandon Belt, OF/1B, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 1-for-4, HR (4), R, 2 RBI, 2 K. Back in the big leagues soon? Up to .380/.519/.620 in 25 games.
  • Charles Blackmon, OF, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 3-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI. Five straight multi-hit games and 15-for-31 during seven-game hitting streak; .337/.400/.598 overall.
  • Bobby Borchering, 1B/3B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 3-for-4, HR (7), R, RBI, K. Home runs in back-to-back games and hitting .324/.385/.521 in May; needs to hit as fewer and fewer scouts think he has any chance to stick at third base.
  • Gary Brown, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI, BB, K, 2 SB. Ten hits in last four games and .378/.449/.529 overall in 40 games; definitely on the All “Need A New Challenge” team.
  • Eduardo Escobar, SS, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (3), 2 R, 3 RBI. Slugging .492 in May; plus glove with surprising pop for his size and position; on-base skills are an issue.
  • Bill Hamilton, SS, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 1-for-4, R, BB, K, 3 SB. Still hitting just .204, but wanted to point out eight stolen bases in last three games. On base 45 times this year and 38 stolen base attempts (32-6).
  • Brad Holt, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 4 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 8 BB, 1 K. Early-season gains seem to be out the window; 18 BB over 10.1 IP in last three starts.
  • Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 3-for-5, 2 2B, HR (6), 3 R, RBI, SB. Batting .356 in May and .297/.403/.500 overall; at some point the Rays have to realize he's the better option than Sam Fuld, right?
  • Matt Lipka, SS/2B, Braves (Low-A Rome): 3-for-6, 2B, R, RBI. Now 8-for-14 with five doubles in last three games after nothing but singles in first 36.
  • Kyle Lobstein, LHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K. Far more command than stuff, but Florida State League hitting just .175 against him.
  • Eury Perez, OF, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 2-for-5, HR (1), 2 R, 3 RBI, K. 14-for-23 in his last six games and .341/.365/.415 overall; can hit and can run, but approach (2 BB in 82 AB) needs fine-tuning.
  • Henry Rodriguez, 2B, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 3-for-4, 3 2B, R, 2 RBI, K. Plus bat for a middle infielder with gap power; .308/.344/.456 in 40 games.
  • Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K. 2010 third-round pick is small righty with velocity and a good breaking ball; 41 Ks in 36 innings with 1.75 ERA.
  • Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 3-for-4, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI. 10-for-22 in last four games and .264/.304/.443 in 39; that's progress, but not as much as you'd like to see.

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

DGBL

Who is the better prospect at this point - Blackmon or T.Wheeler?

May 20, 2011 09:31 AM
rating: 1
 
dharris

Anything on John Lamb's elbow?

May 20, 2011 09:31 AM
rating: 2
 
Imperialism32

The Durham Bulls twitter account teased a "big move" coming today, could be Desmond Jennings.

Or Miranda Lambert adding a concert date at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. But maybe Jennings!

May 20, 2011 09:33 AM
rating: 2
 
SaberTJ

She is hot, so that could be big news down there.

May 20, 2011 09:51 AM
rating: 0
 
Imperialism32

Justin Ruggiano called up, Rob Delaney optioned to Durham, Dan Johnson DFA'd (also J.P. Howell called up/off the 60-day DL from Charlotte).

So, um, great job calling up the team's third-best outfielder.

May 20, 2011 10:04 AM
rating: 1
 
moehk21

What grade is given to Desmond Jennings' power? Is a 20 HR season in the majors a plausibility?

May 20, 2011 10:01 AM
rating: 1
 
stepsinsc

From the Rays' top 11:

While scouts think Jennings could hit 10-15 home runs annually in the majors, he hit just three last year, and need to prove that he's fully recovered from a wrist injury...He could be a stud, with batting average, stolen bases, and even a bit of power.

May 20, 2011 10:22 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

And yet, he already has 6 this year. I'm comfortable with the 15 number.

May 20, 2011 11:06 AM
 
AadikShekar

Kevin, are the scouting reports on Gary Brown matching the results? Ie, is he showing the kind of plate coverage / discipline etc that shows he's ready to move up?

May 20, 2011 10:16 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Ready to move.

May 20, 2011 11:06 AM
 
Ian Miller

i've seen him play a few times this year and he looks really good. only obvious shortcoming at this stage -- and given his skill-set, it's kind of a big deal -- is his baserunning. I've seen him get caught stealing, get picked off, and run into outs seemingly from lack of focus. Generally seems like a smart kid, but at times he seems a bit clueless on the basepaths. With time and proper instruction, he's almost certain to improve.

May 20, 2011 12:47 PM
rating: 0
 
mrdannyg

I feel like if Hamilton doesn't show some hitting abilities soon, the Reds should just teach him a simpler position (2B? OF?) and use him exclusively as a pinch-runner. I realize teams don't have unlimited benches, but with 32 steals in 45 times on base, and an 84% success rate, he is running, successfully, when everyone in the building and their mothers know he is running. Could he not be a basestealer at the MLB level right now?

This post isn't actually serious, just making a point. If I'm in charge of an expanded postseason roster, this guy is definitely on it.

May 20, 2011 10:25 AM
rating: -2
 
amazin_mess

Its amazing how the Rays keep on trucking despite holding their prospects back. Right now its Desmond and next year it will be Matt Moore. You watch... Moore will be in AAA at this time next year with 10k per 9 and they'll be trotting out Andy Sonnanstine in the big league rotation.

May 20, 2011 11:59 AM
rating: 0
 
Imperialism32

Just 10? Predicting a down year, huh? :P

May 20, 2011 12:10 PM
rating: 1
 
paulomac77

Good to see Lipka starting to hit for doubles. Does he have a chance to beat Pastornicky to Atlanta? Will either of those guys even make it to Atlanta?

May 20, 2011 12:51 PM
rating: 0
 
Brian Kopec

*SIGH*
I 'm old enough to remember when a K per inning was astounding.

May 20, 2011 12:53 PM
rating: 0
 
Brian Kopec

UI error?

That was posted under Imperialism32, I swear.

May 20, 2011 12:54 PM
rating: 0
 
tommybones

Is Ian Kinsler a good upside comp for Brett Lawrie? I know he's moved to 3rd this year, but as a hitter?

May 20, 2011 17:29 PM
rating: 0
 
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