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July 15, 2009

Future Shock Blog

July 15

by Kevin Goldstein

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I'm guessing the Indians aren't all that surprised

Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (High-A Kinston)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-5, 2B, HR (15), R, 2 RBI
Many were surprised to see the Indians select Chisenhall in the first round of last year's draft, as most saw him as more of a supplemental type of talent, but it's already looking like one of the round's more astute selections. An assignment to the Carolina League was one level higher than expected, but he has passed the test with flying colors, as he's now batting .288/.364/.515 after going deep in back-to-back games as part of a 14-game hitting streak. Scouts call it one of the league's prettiest swings.

Is there such a thing as taking advantage of road cooking?

Juan Nicasio, RHP, Rockies (Low-A Asheville)
Tuesday's stats: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K
Nicasio struck out more than a batter per inning in the Northwest League last year, and he has been even more impressive since hitting the Sally League in late May. With a fastball that earns plus grades for both its velocity and movement, as well as a solid slider and changeup, the 22-year-old Dominican has a miniscule 1.67 ERA in nine starts. He has really shined in five outings away from the offensive-friendly home park, having yet to give up an earned run in 33 road innings.

He's baaaaaaaaaack (kind of)

Casey Kelly, DH, Red Sox (Rookie-Level GCL Red Sox)
Tuesday's stats: 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, K
Just two days after pitching an impressive inning in the Futures Game, Kelly returned to action, only as a shortstop. As fantastic as he looked on the mound, it's difficult at this point to see the last six weeks of the year as much more than a sideshow. What does he realistically have to do for the Red Sox to decide his best future is as anything but a pitcher? Hit .450? So far, he's at .333.

He's baaaaaaaaaack (really)

Dominic Brown, OF, Phillies, (Rookie-Level GCL Phillies)
Tuesday's stats: 3-for-3, 2 3B, R
One of the toolsiest players in a system loaded with toolsy players, Brown was having a breakout campaign at High-A Clearwater, batting .299/.379/.540 while on pace for more than 25 home runs and stolen bases before getting hit with a pitch and busting his finger a little more than a month ago. Just a warmup game really, Brown spent a day showing the kids how it's done, and he should be returning to Clearwater shortly.

As much buzz as one can generate in the Gulf Coast League

Kelvin DeLeon, OF, Yankees (Rookie-Level GCL Yankees)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-4, 2B, HR (4), R, 3 RBI, 2 K
DeLeon got a $1.1 million bonus before the time when seven-figure checks were handed out in the Dominican like candy. Now in his stateside debut, scouts who have seen him play are relaying stellar reports to go with his .359/.406/.594 batting line, seeing plus-plus raw power, excellent overall athleticism, but also a tendency to swing at anything (23 Ks in 64 at-bats) that needs to be overcome. For now, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

Sleeper Alert!

Destin Hood, OF, Nationals (Rookie-Level GCL Nationals)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K
A second-round pick last June, the Nationals gave Hood a $1.1 million bonus to keep him from becoming a two-sport star at Alabama, and he's a big, projectable athlete with plus power, decent speed, and a whole lot of work to do in translating his athleticism into baseball skills. Back in the Gulf Coast League for his second go-around, the 19-year-old has clearly made progress, batting .333/.406/.579 in 16 games.


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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