June 11, 2009
Future Shock Blog
Time for a change of scenery?
Buster Posey, C, Giants (High-A San Jose)
Wednesday's stats: 2-for-4, HR (10), 2 R, 3 RBI, K
When a number of top prospects in the Giants system moved up to Double-A, the 2008 first-round pick was left behind, but he should be joining them soon. Batting .353 in his last 15 games and .311/.405/.528 overall, Posey is simply no longer challenged by the California League, but could be challenged with a shot at the big league job during next year's spring training.
Don't write him off
Nick Schmidt, LHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne)
Wednesday's stats: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K
The Padres' first-round pick in 2007, Nick Schmidt continued the long run of bad luck among top San Diego picks when he missed all of 2008 recovering from Tommy John surgery. This year didn't really start any better, as he had a 5.94 ERA in four starts before going on the disabled list with more soreness in his surgically repaired elbow. Since returning however, he's showing the form that get him selected that high in the first place, mixing four solid pitches, throwing strikes and keeping hitters off balance. With zero earned runs allowed in his last four starts over 20.1 innings, he's suddenly worth keeping an eye on.
A Vitters-esque streak
Grant Desme, OF, Athletics (Low-A Kane County)
Wednesday's stats: 1-for-4, HR (11), R, 2 RBI
Alright, Vitters-esque might be a bit strong, but Desme is certainly on a power surge, going deep for the second straight game and giving him five home runs overall in his last ten contests, a period over which he's driven in 15 runs and raised his OPS nearly 100 points with an overall line of .280/.333/.518, while going a perfect 18-for-18 in stolen bases. It's a power/speed combination that is awfully intriguing, and he'll likely move up to the California League soon.
The bounce back continues
Ike Davis, 1B, Mets (High-A St. Lucie)
Wednesday's stats: 2-for-5, HR (5), 2 R, 2 RBI
Mets fans can officially end their panic over the 2008 first-round pick's pro debut, when he hit just .256/.326/.326 in the New York-Penn League. The former Arizona State star has been hitting for average all year, and now the power is coming, as he's amassed three home runs in his last seven games to up his season line to .286/.368/.474 in a tough hitting environment.
Beware of speeding tickets in Baltimore
Xavier Avery, OF, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva)
Wednesday's stats: 5-for-5, 2 2B, HR (2), 4 R, RBI
A second-round pick last year out of a Georgia high school, Avery is an absolute burner and easily one of the best athletes in the system, but he entered professional baseball as an extremely raw product. After hitting just .185 in April, and looking every bit as unrefined as advertised, everything has been clicking for Avery, who is hitting .371 since April and .310/.346/.421 overall; going from a bit of a sleeper to one of the better positional prospects in the Baltimore organization.
Jake Smolinski, 2B/3B, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro)
Wednesday's stats: 2-for-4, 2 HR (5), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, CS
A second-round pick in 2007 by the Nationals, Smolinski was a little-known name in the trade that sent Scott Olson and Josh Willingham from Florida to our nation's capital. With the skills to play second or third base, and good approach and surprising power, Smolinksi is hitting .267/.353/.489 in his second go-around in the Sally League, including a 12-for-26 (.462) mark in his last eight games with three home runs.
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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