CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Midseason Review (07/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock: Represen... (07/02)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Young Bi... (07/07)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: Bombe... (07/06)

July 6, 2009

Future Shock

Monday Ten Pack

by Kevin Goldstein

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Daric Barton, 1B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento)
It almost seems as if Barton is washed up at this point. The former top prospect in the system flamed out last year when given the big-league job at first base, and then he followed that up with a miserable start at Triple-A when he was sent back down to the minors to begin the year. After spending much of June in back in the big leagues more out of necessity than anything else, Barton is now trying to hit his way back, going 7-for-21 with three home runs since his return to Sacramento. He's still a relatively young 23, and he still has some kind of a chance.

Reymond Fuentes, CF, Red Sox (Rookie-level GCL Red Sox)
As with any 2009 draftee, small sample sizes greatly lessen the impact of any numbers put up. Good starts are better than bad ones, however, and Boston's first-round pick definitely falls into the former category, as he had one hit in his pro debut, two in his second game, and three more yesterday to make him 6-for-10 after three contests. This year's workout king still needs to improve his base-stealing instincts, as he's been caught twice in three attempts, but that's really just another small sample, and the point is, so far, so good.

Greg Halman, OF, Mariners (Double-A West Tenn)
In his last 11 games, Halman has gone 16-for-48 with seven home runs, including two bombs on Saturday and two more yesterday to give him a Southern League-leading 20. The bad news is that he needed that kind of streak to get his batting average back up over the Mendoza line, and in 267 at-bats, he's struck out 111 times while drawing just 15 unintentional walks. All of the tools are there, and are clearly often showing up in games, but this one aspect is almost destroying his future. It's just hard to figure out what to make of Halman, and plenty of scouts seem confused as well, with one stating, "See him on the right day, and you'd put him down as a 'strong acquire,' see him the next day, and you might put him down as a 'no prospect.'"

James McOwen, OF, Mariners (High-A High Desert)
If anything, McOwen is kind of the anti-Halman in the Mariners system. He has just four home runs in 264 at-bats this year, and that's playing in the best home-run park in baseball, but he's also batting .352 and in the midst of a remarkable 42-game hitting streak, establishing a new Cal League record. If you could combine his swing with Halman's tools, you'd have one heck of a player, but while he's twice the hitter Halman is, he's still half the prospect, as he lacks the speed for center and doesn't profile well for a corner.

Jiovanni Mier, SS, Astros (Rookie-level Greenville)
The Astros' first-round pick was supposed to be a slick-fielding shortstop who was expected to struggle a bit with the bat, but nobody told Mier. With two-hit efforts in each of the three weekend games, he's now batting .308/.386/.538 in his first nine professional contests. Given his three triples and a pair of stolen bases, Mier's speed is evident in the statistical line, and the glove is reportedly every bit as good as advertised.

Logan Morrison, 1B, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville)
One of the brightest hitting prospects around, and one who was coming off of a monster showing in the Arizona Fall League, Morrison missed nearly two months early in the season with a fractured wrist, but he's beginning to find his swing again. After going deep on Saturday, the 21-year-old had one of the best days in the minor leagues yesterday, going 5-for-6 with two doubles and a homer, upping his season averages to .278/.381/.515 in 25 games. If the Marlins decide to be aggressive, he could be up by September, and their starting first baseman next spring.

Derek Norris, C, Nationals (Single-A Hagerstown)
If we measure talent-to-hype ratios, is this the most unrecognized prospect in the game? With a home run on Saturday and two more on Sunday, the 20-year-old Norris is now batting .314/.406/.569 with 17 home runs and 40 walks in 77 games while showing solid (and rapidly improving) defensive skills. At the same time, and maybe it's because he's with the Nats, nobody really gives him much attention. Until Strasburg signs, he's the best prospect the Nationals have, and that's not damning with faint praise, as he'd be No. 1 in plenty of other systems as well.

Rudy Owens, LHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia)
A month or so ago, he was a nice little sleeper, but now Owens is a very real prospect. A big, physical lefty, he has been in the low 90s with his fastball this year while also showing off a solid breaking ball, plus change, and outstanding command. Owens fired five more scoreless innings on Sunday, running his shutout streak to five starts, a span of 31 innings over which he's allowed only 14 hits and one walk while striking out 30. He's certainly ready for a crack at High-A Lynchburg, although it would be understandable for Pirates fans to be a bit cautious considering the organization's recent history with pitching prospects.

Robbie Ross, LHP, Rangers (Short-season Spokane)
A second-round pick last year out of a Kentucky high school, Ross signed for an over-slot bonus of $1.575 million, but the deadline deal prevented him from making his pro debut until this year. Despite being a 5-foot-11 southpaw, Ross is actually a power arm with plus control, as he has been clocked up to 94 mph so far this summer while showing potential will his slider and changeup. He struck out 10 over five innings on Sunday, and has 34 whiffs against just four walks in 20 1/3 innings on the season, so he is definitely someone worth keeping an eye on.

Danny Valencia, 3B, Twins (Triple-A Rochester)
Joe Crede is just a one-year fix (and I use the term lightly) at best, as Valencia is the guy in line for the job in 2010, if not earlier. Seen as little more than an organizational player when drafted in the 19th round three years ago, all Valencia has done since signing is hit, and it's something he's been doing more than ever since getting promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago. With a trio of multi-hit games over the weekend, the former University of Miami star is batting .370/.375/.609 in his first 12 International League games. A solid defender, there are questions about Valencia's power upside, but his ability to hit for average is universally praised.

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

Related Content:  Danny Valencia

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

BP Comment Quick Links

DGBL

Where would Norris rank among catchers in the minors? Behind just Posey and Santana, perhaps?

Jul 06, 2009 10:38 AM
rating: 2
 
SC

And a related question, can Norris stay behind the plate?

Jul 06, 2009 10:46 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Definitely. He didn't grow up catching, and he's already pretty much average there and getting better.

Jul 06, 2009 12:32 PM
 
wonkothesane1

You can probably add semi-catcher Montero to that list. I assume Castro the Astro is also a nice prospect at this point. I'm not claiming I know where he ranks, just that those guys might be in the discussion. Jeff Clement might fit in there somewhere too.

Jul 06, 2009 13:31 PM
rating: -2
 
Dougie4512

Jeff Clement is no longer catching at the same time his organization was running sub-mendoza line guys out there while Johjima was hurt (who isn't exactly crushing the ball either). Jeff Clement does not fit in there somewhere too.

Jul 07, 2009 13:31 PM
rating: 0
 
JD Sussman

KG, I love Ross, but how hard is he throwing? I heard he sat in the low 90s.

Jul 06, 2009 12:13 PM
rating: 0
 
JD Sussman

I meant to say, how hard will he be throwing. Like when he fills out. Sorry for such an incomplete question.

Jul 06, 2009 12:14 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He's 5-11, so it's not like he oozes projection. That said, the velo is already good, the control is well above-average for his age and the secondary pitches have a good chance to be quality.

Jul 06, 2009 12:32 PM
 
G. Guest

Is Halman looking like a Jonny Gomes type?

Jul 06, 2009 13:00 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Not really. Other than the HRs and Ks. He's 20x the athlete, so it's a different profile.

Jul 06, 2009 16:30 PM
 
JoshC77

Ryan Thompson?

Jul 07, 2009 04:22 AM
rating: 0
 
awaggoner

Have to consider Montero for this list

Jul 06, 2009 13:54 PM
rating: -2
 
dcarroll

Happy to see that there is still a little love left for Daric Barton.

Jul 06, 2009 13:59 PM
rating: 0
 
mwashuc06

What do you think of Alex Avila in AA.

Jul 06, 2009 14:31 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I wrote about Avila recently as a sleeper on the Minor League Update. Like him as, well, a sleeper!

Jul 06, 2009 16:30 PM
 
tercet

Anyone love for Marc Rzepczynski?

Their was an interesting article out last week that compared him to Brandon Webb.

Hes getting a start tommorow due to the Curse of Brad Arsnberg or whatever you wanna call it.

Jul 06, 2009 17:12 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He's had a couple appearances here or in the update. I like him plenty. Brandon Webb comparison is more than a bit much, but I like him.

Jul 06, 2009 18:03 PM
 
Brian Cartwright

Clement's bat is better than average for a catcher, but below average for first base. In his time in the majors, he has been horrible defensively at catcher, both at preventing wp and pb and also stolen bases.

Jul 07, 2009 15:02 PM
rating: 0
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Premium Article Midseason Review (07/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock: Represen... (07/02)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Young Bi... (07/07)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: Bombe... (07/06)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Rounders: The Young and the Splitles...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, May ...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Bummed!
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, May 22
West Coast By Us: Day 1: In The Land Where E...
Premium Article Rubbing Mud: The Quarter-Season Odds Report
Going Yard: The Near Perfection of Pederson

MORE FROM JULY 6, 2009
Premium Article Under The Knife: Bombed Out
Premium Article Midseason Review
Premium Article Prospectus Today: The All-Star Selections
The Week in Quotes: June 29-July 5

MORE BY KEVIN GOLDSTEIN
2009-07-08 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: July 8
2009-07-07 - Premium Article Future Shock: Young Birds Taking Wing
2009-07-07 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: July 7
2009-07-06 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
2009-07-06 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: July 6
2009-07-03 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: July 3
2009-07-02 - Premium Article Future Shock: Represent!
More...

MORE FUTURE SHOCK
2009-07-09 - Premium Article Future Shock: Big Steps Backwards
2009-07-08 - Premium Article Future Shock: Great Leaps Forward
2009-07-07 - Premium Article Future Shock: Young Birds Taking Wing
2009-07-06 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
2009-07-02 - Premium Article Future Shock: Represent!
2009-07-01 - Future Shock: Dream Crushing
2009-06-29 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
More...