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May 31, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of May 30

by Kevin Goldstein

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Leonys Martin, OF, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 2-for-4, HR (2), 2 R, RBI, K.

It's not even July 1, and Martin is looking like one of the best international signing of the year. In his first 17 games as a professional, he's hitting .353/.438/.588, but the most impressive number might be the three (count 'em three) strikeouts in 68 at-bats. An above-average defender with plus speed and a true leadoff man's approach, Martin has the potential to be the answer to the center field question in Texas by turning into a better version of what Julio Borbon was supposed to be.

Others Of Note:

  • Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, BB, K. 14 hits and 23 total bases in last seven games; .292/.394/.472 overall and franking it's surprising that he's still here.
  • Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 2-for-4, 2 R. It's what he does; .404/.448/.587 in 51 games.
  • Joe Benson, OF, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 1-for-4, HR (5), R, 2 RBI, 2 K, SB. 12-for-24 during seven game hitting streak and .289/.376/.480 overall; won't hit for a high batting average in the big leagues, but power, patience, speed and defense will more than make up for it.
  • Bobby Borchering, 3B/1B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 3-for-5, 2B, RBI. Hitting .322 in May and .287/.327/.480 overall; pretty swing with power, but approach and defense need significant work.
  • Gary Brown, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB. Hitting .407 in May in .374/.440/.537 overall; only knock against his game is a minor league leading 12 caught stealing in 42 attempts.
  • Ryan Buch, RHP, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 6.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 3 K. 2009 draftee has good body, decent stuff; future bullpen possibilities.
  • Daniel Butler, C, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 7 RBI, BB, K, SB. Red Sox best sleeper is an undrafted free agent with power and patience; .252/.356/.496 in 40 games as has future backup possibilities if receiving skills improve.
  • Garrett Claypool, RHP, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K. 2.00 ERA in 12 games and 66 strikeouts in 54 innings; A 22-year-old with outstanding command who doesn't belong at this level.
  • A.J. Cole, RHP, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Best start of year for seven-figure 2010 draftee; 23 strikeouts in first 21.1 innings as a pro.
  • Chelsor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals (Low-A Kane County): 2-for-5, RBI. 18-year-old Nicaraguan has impressed with both the bat and the glove in his first ten days in a full-season league; .314/.368/.543 in nine error-free games.
  • James Darnell, 3B, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 3-for-5, R. Hitting .337/.424/.594 in May, and that's his bad month; .369/.468/.642 overall in 47 games.
  • Matt Davidson, 3B/1B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 2-for-5, HR (7), R, 4 RBI, K. Home runs in back-to-back games and .286/.347/.459 overall in 48 games; 58 strikeouts in 196 at-bats is cause for concern.
  • Eduardo Escobar, SS, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K. Needs more days like this; .252/.299/.411 in 49 games.
  • Christian Friedrich, LHP, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Worst start of career followed by best start of year; 4.64 ERA in 10 starts.
  • Garrett Gould, RHP, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Has been remarkably consistent with a 1.83 ERA in 10 clunker-free starts; slight uptick in velocity also improving his cause.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K. Mini-slump ended flirt with .400; still at .373/.439/.660 through 51 games.
  • Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI. Even with this game, he's still at just .204/.287/.293 in 48 games.
  • Adeiny Heccevarria, SS, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 4-for-5, 2B, R. Batting average up 30 points over just five games (11-for-22); .246/.271/.377 in 50 with expected plus-plus defense.
  • Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 1 K. Only 17 of his 50 pitches went for strikes; stretching his arm out for starting is a confusing decision, as his only maintained success was in short stints.
  • Jeff Larish, 1B, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (10), 7 RBI, BB, K. Ex-prospect, huge day.
  • Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB. 21 total bases in last three games and .354/.413/.677 overall; could be in Toronto by second half, but scouts still very down on his defense.
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-for-4, 3 2B, R, RBI, K. Hitting .322/.397/.591 in May with significantly reduced error rate.
  • Ethan Martin, RHP, Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 2.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Former first-round pick is still a mess command-wise; 53 strikeouts in 45.1 innings is the only positive takeaway from 7.35 ERA in 10 games.
  • Francisco Martinez, 3B, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 3-for-4, R. 20-year-old Venezuelan looked over-matched for the level early on, but has made adjustments; hitting .366 in 18 May games and .275/.322/.435 overall.
  • Jared Mitchell, OF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 2-for-2, R, RBI. Showing sings of life finally; still only at .224/.277/.408 in 46 games.
  • Tyler Moore, 1B, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 2-for-2, HR (9), 2 R, RBI, BB. Four home runs in last nine games and .288/.318/.538 overall; Way too free a swinger to profile well in the big leagues.
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R. Hitting .317 in May with more than 40% of his hits going for extra bases and showing much more consistency with the glove as well; in other words, he could be up soon.
  • Kyle Parker, OF, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. While his .297/.362/.479 line is hardly bad, he's shown significant contact issues without hitting for as much power as expected.
  • Wily Mo Pena, OF, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (17), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. 17 home runs in 169 at-bats and .361/.438/.740 overall.
  • Henry Rodriguez, 2B, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 3-for-5, 2 R, HR (6), 2 R, RBI. 12-for-21 in last five games and .340/.379/.498 overall; somewhat unknown second base prospect who deserves more attention because he can really hit.
  • Austin Romine, C, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI. 14-for-32 (.438) during eight-game hitting streak and .301/.366/.434 overall; still struggles against the running game.
  • Adrian Salcedo, RHP, Twins (Low-A Beloit): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K. First career complete game and 3.38 ERA in 10 games; throwing more strikes than missing bats.
  • Scott Sizemore, 3B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-4, 2B, 4 R, 2 BB. On base 11 times in his first three games as an Athletic while playing exclusively at the hot corner.
  • Sammy Solis, RHP, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 7 K. Season-debut for 2010 second-round pick who suffered groin injury during spring training.
  • Matt Szczur, OF, Cubs (Low-A Peoria): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, BB. Home runs in back-to-back games and 18-for-43 (.419) in his last ten; .343/.409/.460 on the season and could be headed to High-A soon.
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 3-for-4, HR, RBI, BB, SB. Was under .300 for a couple of days but back to .305/.413/.512; after stealing six games in his first 33 games, he has seven in his last 12.
  • Jemile Weeks, 2B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-5, 3B, 2 R, BB. 13-for-28 with six walks in last seven games; .335/.427/.470 in 39 games overall and how could he be worse than Mark Ellis?
  • Tim Wheeler, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 3-for-5, 2 R, K. 15-for-29 (.517) in last seven games and up to .337/.416/.643 overall; does Eric Young's promotion help get him to AAA?

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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