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May 5, 2009

Future Shock Blog

May 5

by Kevin Goldstein

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Whatever, it still goes in the record book

Aaron Poreda, LHP White Sox (Double-A Birmingham)
Monday's stats: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 8 K
It was a messy five hitless innings for Poreda as beyond the five walks, he also hit a batter and was already up to 85 pitches, with just 46 of them going for strikes. Then the rain came, the rain didn't stop, the game was called, and Poreda suddenly had himself a little piece of history. The 16 walks in 27.1 innings is more than a bit concerning, but at the same time, the Southern League is hitting just .165 against Poreda, and on a pure scouting level, you don't need more than one hand to count the number of lefties who can match his size or velocity.

I know you probably haven't heard of him, but dude can really rake

Chris Pettit, OF, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake)
Monday's stats: 2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, BB
In 2006, Pettit his .346 in two-third of a season for Cedar Rapids, and scouts weren't dismissing him as a college hitter dominating lower level talent as much as how they were wondering how this adept a hitter could last into the 19th round of the draft. After an injury-plagued 2008, Pettit is healthy and hitting once again, only this time at Triple-A. Last night's game extended his current hitting streak to 12 games - a streak that includes ten multi-hit games as part of a ridiculous 27-for-46 run that has risen his averages to .438/.477/.638 in 22 games for the Bees. His favorite book is The Secret of Hitting by Ted Williams, and it seems like he's been studying hard.

A double dip of dominance

Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays (Double-A Montgomery)
Monday's stats: Game 1: 3-for-5, 2 SB, K. Game 2: 3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB
Generally, we like to introduce new names to the update, but with guys like Poreda and Jennings, they're just putting up numbers that are too hard to ignore. Yesterday's double-header gives one of the toolsiest players around three straight three-hit games, five straight multi-hit efforts and eight in his last nine games, a stretch over which he's gone 20-for-40.

Tweener no more?

Gerardo Parra, OF, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile)
Monday's stats: 3-for-5, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI, SB
When Gerardo Parra wins Midwest League batting titles, like he did in 2007, everyone loves him. When he hits .275 with limited power and fringy centerfield skills, as he did last year, he gets labeled as a bit of a tweener who is a good extra outfielder but has to hit .300+ to play every day in a corner. He's doing much more than that this year, going 7-for-12 in his last three games and showing a much more patient approach to lift his season averages to .375/.476/.489.

Give him a mulligan for last year

Ryan Kalish, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem)
Monday's Stats2-for-4, HR (3), R, 4 RBI, BB, K, CS
Kalish had a bombastic 2007 season, earning universal praise from scouts for both his tools and skills as he hit .368/.471/.540 for short-season Lowell. 2008 turned out to be a lost year for him as his recovery from a broken hand was a slow one. Finally healthy, Kalish is once again looking like the '07 version, and he's beginning to show power again with home runs in back-to-back games and an overall line of .300/.452/.488.

Yes, that really is his first name

Jaff Decker , OF, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne)
Monday's stats: 1-for-2, 2B, R, 2 BB
A supplemental first-round pick last June, Decker earned Arizona Summer League MVP honors in his pro debut with a batting line of .352/.523/.541 and a downright stupid 55 walks in just 159 at-bats. The question was, how would that kind of discipline hold up in his full-season debut, as anyone with 20-20 vision and a non-diagnosis of ADD can put up a decent walk in the complex leagues. With 12 walks in 28 at-bats so far in the Midwest League, he's beginning to look like a player with truly special pitch recognition.


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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