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August 17, 2011

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of August 16

by Kevin Goldstein

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  • Chad Bettis, RHP, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K. Outstanding fastball and decent secondary pitches have led to 165 strikeouts in 154.2 innings; Double-A will be bigger test for depth of arsenal.
  • Dante Bichette, 3B, Yankees (Rookie-level GCL): 2-for-3, RBI, BB, K. Hitting machine with plenty of walks and a .344/.458/.519 line as a pro; third base is still a work in progress.
  • Sean Gilmartin, LHP, Braves (Low-A Braves): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. It's not a huge shock that he's dominating the Sally League, but he's looked exceptionally sharp in two brief outings.
  • Robbie Grossman, OF, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB. Hitting .326/.453/.527 in his last 50 games. There are worse things than on on-base machine with gap power and average-to-above speed.
  • Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas); 3-for-4. 12-for-21 in the Pacific Coast League with five straight multi-hit games; what do you mean a .667 BABIP isn't sustainable?
  • Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 2-for-5, R, 2 RBI, K. Snaps out of 1-for-13 slump but has still whiffed nine time in last four games and 42 times in 118 at-bats; .297/.382/.576 overall.
  • Tommie Joseph, C, Giants (High-A San Jose): 2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, K. Among the hottest hitters around by going 15-for-28 with six home runs in his last six games; .271/.312/.465 overall with improved defense.
  • Jake Lemmerman, SS, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K, SB. Nine total bases in four Southern League games after hitting .293/.379/.420 in Cal League; the bad news is that he's probably a second baseman in the end.
  • Mark Lombardozzi, SS/2B, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 3-for-5, 2B, 3 R, RBI. Third three-hit game in last five and .326/.367/.446 overall; now where does he fit in Washington?
  • Manny Machado, SS, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 2-for-3, 2B, RBI. First multi-hit game in two weeks; .256/.328/.402 in 44 Carolina League games.
  • Starling Marte, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, SB. 18-for-32 (.563) during seven-game hitting streak to lift batting average 18 points to .330/.363/.496; approach is only concern in offensive game, but it's a big one.
  • Francisco Martinez, 3B, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 4-for-5, RBI. Best game since arriving from Detroit via trade; .276/.300/.414 in 15 games.
  • Tyler Matzek, LHP, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 7 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 7 BB, 6 K. Certainly progress; but hardly without some bumps in the road.
  • Logan Morrison, 1B, Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans): 1-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB, K. First minor league game since controversial demotion.
  • Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves (High-A Lynchburg): 3-for-5, 3 R, K, SB. .303/.341/.388 line remains among the most pleasant surprises in the Braves system; true shortstop with plus range, hands and arm strength.
  • Trevor Story, SS/3B, Rockies (Short-season Casper): 2-for-5, HR (4), 2 R, 3 RBI. Home runs in back-to-back games and .305/.390/.505 overall; supplemental first-round pick is outstanding athlete with no tool that's below average.
  • Matt Szczur, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 3-for-5, 2B. .252/.282/.395 line in month-plus of Florida State League play has cooled hype down to more appropriate levels.
  • Josh Vitters, 3B/1B, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. .287/.321/.452 line at Double-A qualifies as progress, but is it enough?
  • Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 3-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI, SB. The 28 stolen bases in 33 attempts might be a bigger surprise than the .306/.377/.466 batting line; scouts are convinced more power is coming.

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)

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CRP13

Dante Bichette. Now why couldn't my parents have named me something like that?

Aug 17, 2011 09:49 AM
rating: 2
 
Peter7899

Since when did Vitters start playing 1B?

Aug 17, 2011 10:06 AM
rating: 0
 
ttt

~30 games there this year.

Aug 17, 2011 10:06 AM
rating: 0
 
Peter7899

Is he still able to play average defense at 3B? Why the games at 1B?

Aug 17, 2011 10:28 AM
rating: 0
 
philly

Ok, Hechavarria can't sustain a .667 BABIP or the accompanying .500+ BA. But the last couple of weeks in AA and his first week in AAA he's hit like crazy after four months of stinking. What is a current assessment of his bat now and into the future?

Aug 17, 2011 10:32 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think he ceiling (and hope) is to be an every day shortstop who hits ninth in the Toronto lineup.

Aug 17, 2011 12:48 PM
 
mmontice

If Vitters can end the year ~.300/.335/.450, not sure I would say its for sure "enough", but its a solid step in the right direction, and that I will take after last year's debacle.

Another positive is that, even though he's now spent more than a full year at AA, he will have played the vast majority of this season as a 21 year old, so he's still pretty young.

On the other hand, with the continued lack of walks, plate discipline still remains a serious red flag.

Aug 17, 2011 10:33 AM
rating: 1
 
jhagan2

Assuming that Marte's approach isn't fixed next season, how much consideration do the Pirates give to calling him up next June? Are the combination of his bat and glove enough to force his way into the outfield? If so, where do they stick him? Thanks

Aug 17, 2011 10:43 AM
rating: 1
 
pobothecat

(Also would like to hear an answer to this.)

Aug 17, 2011 11:31 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I could see him up next year, but it would have to be in a corner, as McCutch isn't going anywhere.

Aug 17, 2011 12:49 PM
 
pobothecat

(Interesting write-up on Lombardozzi in this year's Prospectus for those who, like me, have whiffed on him up until now.)

Aug 17, 2011 11:27 AM
rating: -1
 
Benjamin Harris

Kevin, thanks for all your work. I know you've been exceptionally busy this year with the draft, the trade deadline, traveling, and now the signing deadline.

Are you still planning on writing up n NL West draft recap? It won't have to be as long now, I know at least Peter O'Brien did not sign.

Aug 17, 2011 11:28 AM
rating: 1
 
cchatham

Also, Grossman continued his on-base streak, reaching base for the 40th straight game yesterday.

Aug 17, 2011 12:31 PM
rating: 0
 
deacs471

Isn't the Nats IF Steve Lombardozzi, not Mark?

Aug 17, 2011 14:14 PM
rating: 0
 
ramtax

Has to be, as there's no other Lombardozzi in organized baseball that I can find. As to Kevin's rhetorical question, If Danny Espinoza has the range for SS, why not move him there and see if Lombardozzi can hold down 2B and fill the Nats' glaring need for a leadoff hitter?

Aug 17, 2011 19:59 PM
rating: 0
 
Jason Wojciechowski

Hilarious and/or sad that 7 BB in 7 IP is progress for Matzek.

Aug 17, 2011 17:53 PM
rating: 0
 
Agent007

Regarding Machado : You missed one key event. He was also tossed from the game.

Aug 18, 2011 08:15 AM
rating: 0
 
bozarowski

LoMo is playing 1B in the minors? Interesting...

Aug 18, 2011 08:33 AM
rating: 0
 
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Premium Article Prospects Will Break Y... (08/16)
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Future Shock Blog: Ten... (08/15)
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Spinning Yarn: Why are... (08/17)

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