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June 1, 2009

Future Shock Blog

June 1

by Kevin Goldstein

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Six entras who just missed the Ten Pack . . .

Slow and steady progress

Jeremy Bonderson, RHP, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo)
Sunday's stats: 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
While there is no precise timetable for his return to the majors (most speculate soon), Bonderman is definitely making slow but steady progress in his return from shoulder surgery. After giving up five runs over six innings in his first Triple-A start, and delivering his first quality start five days ago, Bonderman dominated for this first time in his comeback on Sunday. His velocity is still a bit off from his pre-surgery days, but he's learning to work with it, which could make him even more effective if the fastball makes a full recovery. .

Yawn . . .

Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs (Low-A Peoria)
Sunday's stats: 2-for-4, HR (13), R, 2 RBI, K
Seriously, we're just running out of things to here. I've looked at his daily line pretty much every day to see if he's done it again, and more often than not, the answer is yes. Keep in mind that the guy hit one home run in his first 21 games; now he has 10 in his last 15 while going 26-for-64 (.406) with 21 RBIs.

Finally some power to go with all of the other good stuff

Todd Frazier, LF, Reds (Double-A Carolina)
Sunday's stats: 3-for-4, 2B, HR (3), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB
When Frazier was a left-side infield prospect, he was really interesting. Now as a corner outfielder, he really has to hit, and there's some debate as to whether he's enough of one to profile as an everyday player there. His power has taken a hit this year, but everything else has been really impressive, as the 2007 supplemental first-round pick has gone 21-for-50 in his last 13 games to lift his averages to .326/.363/497 in 47 games for the Mudcats. The jury is still out on this one, but 21 doubles in 187 at-bats helps his cause. .

Overcoming a bad first impression

Brad Holt, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie)
Sunday's stats: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
A supplemental first-round pick last year, Holt created a ton of buzz during his pro debut when he led the New York-Penn League in ERA and strikeouts. His Florida State League debut was a forgettable one, as he allowed nine runs in 3.2 innings, but he's more than made up for it by allowing just six runs in his next seven starts for a 1.19 ERA. His fastball is as good as anyone's in the Mets system, and scouts are seeing good progress on the rest of his arsenal.

Really? A Yankee gem in the rough?

Zach McAllister, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton)
Sunday's stats: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 10 K
Yankee pitchers tend to get overhyped, which is simply a function of the number of fans, but McAllister for some reason remains in the shadows, despite a 1.83 ERA in nine Double-A starts in a line that is most notable for its consistency, as he's yet to allow more than two earned runs in a game all year. .

Sleeper alert!

Drew Cumberland, SS, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne)
Sunday's stats: 3-for-5, 2B, RBI, BB
A supplemental first-round pick two years ago, Cumberland had a bit of a lost season last year, as a variety of health issues limited him to just over 50 games. Repeating Low-A and on a roster filled with plenty of interesting prospects, he's a bit of a forgotten talent, but he's been downright excellent this year, going 20-for-47 (.426) in his last ten games while hitting .365/.450/.469 and making just one error in his last 20 contests. He's a fantastic athlete with the tools to stay at short, and he's going from prospect, to off the radar, to a prospect again.

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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