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July 13, 2009

Future Shock Blog

July 13

by Kevin Goldstein

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Not a great line, but hey, he's in the big leagues

Clay Buchholz, RHP, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket)
Sunday's stats: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K
On the day it was announced that Buchholz was finally returning to the big leagues, he responded with his worst start of the year. The numbers overall remain outstanding, with a 2.36 ERA in 17 games and only 67 hits allowed in 99 innings. Whether his start on Friday is either a showcase or a symbol of things to come is still to be determined.

Reclamation Project

Trevor Bell, RHP, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake)
Sunday's stats: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K
A supplemental first-round pick in 2005, Bell is one of the thousands of arms out there whose velocity peaked in high school. To his credit, he's refashioned himself as a command and control type who can place his 89-92 mph fastball effortlessly while backing it up with a solid slider/changeup combination. In the midst of a breakout year, he now has a 1.57 ERA in six Pacific Coast League starts, and could be seeing the big leagues soon.

The forgotten one

Guillermo Moscoso, RHP, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City)
Sunday's stats: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K
While most of the focus for the Rangers of late has been with players acquired from Atlanta in the Mark Texiera trade, they've made other astute trades as well, including the pickup of Moscoso (along with young righty Carlos Melo) from the Tigers for catcher Gerald Laird. He won't impress anyone on pure stuff, but the command of his 90-92 mph fastball is outstanding, and nothing comes out his hand straight. Many scouts like him better as a potential reliever, but with a 1.04 ERA in five games for the Redhawks, there's no reason to move him there yet.

Upgrade, from sleeper to legitimate prospect

Daniel Descalso, 2B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis)
Sunday's stats: 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, SB
A third-round pick in 2007 out of Cal-Davis, Descalso hit .243/.313/.372 last year at High-A, and didn't come close to sniffing any prospect lists coming into the year. A .323/.396/.531 start at Double-A was backed up by scouts who saw a much quicker bat, significantly improved plate recognition, as well as a willingness to use all fields. Now batting .324 in his first nine Triple-A games, he's on a lot of radars as a guy to talk about when the Cardinals look for trade deadline reinforcements.

Finally coming around?

Eric Hosmer 1B, Royals (Low-A Burlington)
Sunday's stats: 2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 BB
One of the bigger disappointments from the top of the 2008 draft class, the third overall pick was seen as a lock to hit for both average and power when the Royals made him the third overall pick last June, but he has done little of either so far this year, including a 21-game June during which he hit .211 and went 76 at-bats without a home run. Some adjustments in his stance have brought him closer to the plate of late, and we might finally be seeing some results. In 12 July games, he's batting .333/.420/.524.

Sleeper alert!

Anthony Capra, LHP, Athletics (Low-A Kane County)
Sunday's stats: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K
A fourth-round pick last year out of Wichita State, Capra already has two dimensions of pitching figured out, as he effectively works both sides of the plate with his upper 80s fastball gives him the side-to-side aspect, while his plus changeup takes care of the back-and-forth and can make hitters look silly when he's on. His breaking ball is average at best, but as it is, he's limited Midwest League hitters to a .199 batting average. Not a future stud, but he looks like a big leaguer.


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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