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June 8, 2009

Future Shock Blog

June 8

by Kevin Goldstein

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Great, more Orioles pitching

Jake Arrieta, RHP, Orioles (Double-A Bowie)
Sunday's stats: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Arrieta had an on-and-off beginning to the year, but he's definitely on a roll of late, as last night's effort was has second seven-inning complete game shutout in five efforts. When you add it all up, the former TCU star has a 2.59 ERA, 70 strikeouts in 59 innings and is limiting the Eastern League to a .208 batting average. He could be in Triple-A soon, and in the Orioles revamped rotation at some point next year. .

His ERA is lower than Stephen Strasburg's

Travis Wood, LHP, Reds (Double-A Carolina)
Sunday's stats: 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K
A second-round pick in 2005, Wood lost a lot of velocity when the Reds revamped some big mechanical issue in his delivery, and as a guy with fringy velocity, a great change and control problems, he put up a seven-plus ERA last year at Double-A. This year, the 22-year-old has dropped nearly six runs off that mark, as in his last four starts, he's given up two runs over 29 frames. He still doesn't throw especially hard, but he's added a 2-seamer and a cutter to his mix, and he's looking very much like a guy who could fit in towards the back of a rotation.

Hitting the ground running

Jemile Weeks, 2B, Athletics (High-A Stockton)
Sunday's stats: 2-for-2, 2B, RBI, 3 BB, SB
After missing the first six weeks of the season while getting healthy, Oakland's 2008 first-round pick has been doing it all in the California League, hitting for average (.344), drawing walks (eight in 10 games for a .453 on-base percentage), showing surprising power (three home runs in 44 at-bats as part of a .591 slugging percentage), and now finally using his wheels to steal his first base of the year. Basically, all systems are go.

Look, it wasn't that bad a pick

Jason Castro, C, Astros (High-A Lancaster)
Sunday's stats: 2-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB
Yes, they should have taken Justin Smoak instead, but it's not like Castro is some kind of dog. Actually, he's one of the hotter hitters in the California League, batting .309/.399/.517, including a 23-for-56 mark (.411) in his last 15 games, during which he's scored 13 runs and driven in 16. Add in absolutely fantastic defense (he's cut down nearly 60% of opposing base stealers) and you have a pretty rare prospect. How many catchers can you name that help a team both offensively and defensively?

Something goes wrong again . . . and again

Michael Main, RHP, Rangers (High-A Bakersfield)
Sunday's stats: 4 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 2 BB, 5 K
A broken rib limited Main to less than 60 innings last year, but he showed so much promise in them that Texas felt comfortable advancing their 2007 first-round pick to High-A despite the lack of experience. This year, the wheels have fallen off, particularly on a mechanical level, as his velocity has slipped to merely average at 88-92 mph and his command has deserted him. He's allowed five or more runs in five of 12 starts this year, walked 36 in 54 innings and the league is teeing off on him to the tune of a .323 batting average with nine home runs. One scout who recently saw him said, "I know he's supposed to be something special, but to me, he looked like just another righty."

Sleeper alert!

Daniel Descalso, 2B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield)
Sunday's stats: 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, HR (5), 3 R, RBI
A third-round pick in 2007, Descalso was drafted for his bat, as he'll never blow anyone away with his tools or athleticism. A .243/.313/.372 line at High-A last year all but took him off anyone's radar, but the 22-year-old has found his stroke in the Texas League thanks to higher hands and a quicker step in his swing, now batting a healthy .332/.398/.543. .

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

JD Sussman

Kevin, is there a mix up in wood's line?

Jun 08, 2009 09:49 AM
rating: 1
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff


Jun 08, 2009 10:07 AM
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Kevin, I really love your daily prospects updates. But, I'd like to see a little more love for some Red Sox minor leaguers! What about Lars Anderson (2-for-3, 2 2B, yesterday; looking like he's finally putting it together in AA)? Or Mark Wagner (2-for-3, 2B, raising his OPS to .990 at Portland)? Or Casey Kelly (6 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K, in his 2nd start for high-A Salem on Friday)? I know I'm whining, but I'm dying for some analysis on the Sox farmhands. What else do I have to live for???

Jun 08, 2009 09:52 AM
rating: -9
Matt Kory

"What else do I have to live for???"

Not to speak for Kevin, but I don't imagine that is anything he can help you with.

Jun 08, 2009 10:04 AM
rating: 2

Just trying to give my comment an added sense of urgency, while tapping into my abundant existential angst. And boredom at work.

Jun 08, 2009 10:20 AM
rating: -1

I wonder how many guys went 2-for-3 yesterday? Do we really want a blurb for yet another BoSox prospect, when he has a solid day at age 25 in AA? Let's try to contain our homerism just a LITTLE, eh? The other guys, yeah, they had nice days, too. My vote is for guys with even better days, esp. from players or systems with less recognition.

Jun 08, 2009 17:14 PM
rating: 3

Yeah, I'm a homer, I don't deny it. But don't be so quick to dismiss Wagner. He's old for the league (turning 25 later this week), but he's also a catcher, and reputedly is strong defensively. According to the Davenport peak projections, he ranks as the 8th best hitter in the Eastern League right now. I'm not saying he's an elite prospect, but I'd like to hear Kevin's thoughts on his chances of eventually breaking into the big leagues.

Jun 08, 2009 18:38 PM
rating: 0

Assuming the Orioles draft a pitcher at #5 overall, is this be the most lopsided system in baseball?

Depending on how highly you rate Snyder, the Orioles top 10 prospects could all be starting pitchers.

Jun 08, 2009 09:56 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Snyder would be in the top 10, but yes, it's VERY lopsided.

Jun 08, 2009 10:11 AM

dang, thought for sure brad mills outing yesterday would get a mention.

Jun 08, 2009 10:28 AM
rating: 0

Kevin, how worried should we be about Main? Its so weird, because over the entire offseason, the glowing reports on him just kept coming and coming. And to have a season like he's had so far...extremely dissapointing. On a side not, have you heard any scouting reports on Fabio Castillo this from this year? Very impressive start in Hickory.

Jun 08, 2009 10:51 AM
rating: 1

Where is Jenrry Mejia? No runs allowed in his first AA start!

Jun 08, 2009 11:10 AM
rating: -3

Jason Castro is now a Corpus Christi Hook, making his debut on Wednesday.

Jun 08, 2009 12:48 PM
rating: 1
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