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July 29, 2009

Future Shock Blog

July 28

by Kevin Goldstein

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Panic on the streets of San Fran

Madison Bumgarner, LHP, Giants (Double-A Connecticut)
Tuesday's stats: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 0 K
One of the top pitching prospects in the game, Bumgarner only retired half of the batters he faced on Tuesday, got ejected in the second inning for delivering one behind a batter's head, came close to making physical contact with not one, but two umps, and here's the thing: that is not the bad news. The scary part is that one scout in attendance said he sat only in the upper 80s with his fastball, and that his command was erratic. It could just be the grind of a full season catching up to him. At the same time, he hasn't even thrown 100 innings this year, yet there are some whispers of him getting shut down soon.

Almost perfect

Sean O'Sullivan, RHP, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake)
Tuesday's stats: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K
Sullivan is not a monster prospect by any means, but he has done a serviceable job as the Angels' extra starter this year. He had the best outing as a pro on Tuesday, with only a walk in the seventh preventing the perfect game. A wide-bodied righty who pounds the strike zone with three solid offerings, he'll likely be a permanent part of the back of the Angels' rotation in 2010.

This is getting a bit ridiculous

Jason Heyward, OF, Braves (Double-A Mississippi)
Tuesday's stats: 1-for-3, HR (3), R, 2 RBI; 3-for-3, RBI, BB
After getting rained out in his last two games, Heyward made sure people didn't forget about him with a monster double-header against West Tennessee on Tuesday. In 20 games with the M-Braves, Heyward has reached base 44 times, nearly half (15) of his 31 hits have gone for extra bases, and he has struck out only five times. It's as if he's almost daring the Braves not to call him up soon.

Almost as good as O'Sullivan, and a better prospect overall

Trevor Reckling, LHP, Angels, (Double-A Arkansas)
Tuesday's stats: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 9 K
Scouts are still baffled as to how Reckling lasted into the eighth round of the 2007 draft, as he was the talk of the Midwest League and is now limiting the Texas League to a .238 average as a 20-year-old. Highly athletic, Reckling has an average fastball, but two plus secondary pitches in his changeup and curve. Only some occasional control issues have kept him from really taking off.

Big kid, big arm

Simon Castro, RHP, Padres, (Low-A Fort Wayne)
Tuesday's stats: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K
A 20-year-old Domincan who cuts an imposing figure on the mound with his 6-foot-5 frame, Castro has been coming into his own of late and generating as much buzz as any pitching in the Midwest League of late. His fastball gets into the mid-90s at times, and his power slider has come leaps and bounds since early in the year. In his last six starts, he has struck out 44 in 30 1/3 innings while limiting batters to a .187 batting average.

Sleeper alert!

Alexander Torres, LHP, Angels (High-A Rancho Cucamonga)
Tuesday's stats: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
Let's face it, it was about as good a night as you can get when it comes to Angels pitching, as O'Sullivan, Reckling and Torres combined for 24 shutout innings while giving up just seven hits. A 21-year-old Venezuelan, Torres' fastball and curve both rate as a tick above average, and he's striking out more than a batter per inning while ranking second in the California League with a 2.74 ERA.

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

kddean

Not sure where to ask this, but looks like the Astros are going to call Bud Norris soon. Any updates on him? Thanks.

Jul 29, 2009 08:53 AM
rating: 1
 
gregorybfoley

Hey Kevin. Thanks for these informative daily updates. I know you already put a ton of work into them, but one thing that would provide more context and make them even more useful (for me at least) would be adding each players age and vital 2009 stats to the heading section where you already indicate their position and level.

Jul 29, 2009 09:40 AM
rating: 1
 
G. Guest

In a previous MLU, KG commented that he adds ages when a player's age is unusual for the level.

Jul 29, 2009 11:13 AM
rating: 0
 
SC

Do you think Heyward is ready to contribute to the Braves now? With the team in the playoff race, it seems like giving 30 games to Heyward, if he struggles as most do when they first arrive in the majors, could be costly. I presume there are also service time considerations that will keep him down until Sept. 1?

Jul 29, 2009 11:21 AM
rating: 2
 
Adam Hobson

I'm pretty sure that unless they plan on waiting until June next year to call him up, there's no difference between calling him up this year or just letting him start the season with the big league club next year.

Jul 29, 2009 15:24 PM
rating: 0
 
tballgame

Similar thought to SC, opposite slant. If Heyward is ready to come up now, not unlike Beckham earlier this year, are the Braves limiting themselves by waiting until September to make the call? Particularly when their biggest need is more offense?

Jul 29, 2009 13:37 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

SC and tballgame, you are BOTH right, and that's why running a team ain't easy.

Jul 29, 2009 13:55 PM
 
Nick Feely

I'm no Kevin Goldstein, but I'm a Braves fan, so far what it's worth I'll throw in my two cents.

My vote is to keep him down. Especially with the Phils getting Lee, I think the East is out of reach. We have a good chance at the WC now and I don't think Heyward gives us enough of a boost (because we aren't even sure if it will be a boost at all) to justify starting his service time clock before Sept 1.

I say: stand pat, play through August, assess where we are then. If September comes and we're still only 3-5 games out, let the kid see if he can get us to the postseason. If we're out of it, then give him regular AB's to see where he's at.

I'd rather have him come in fresh next season, at 20 years old, and be given a chance at the full-time job next spring.

Jul 29, 2009 14:29 PM
rating: 0
 
jlefty

I'm no scout, but I got to see Arodis Vizcaino (milb.com and bp spell it arodys, but the si yanks gameday program/scoreboard/website spell it arodis) pitch on tuesday. For the first 5 innings, he was amazing. IIRC, 1 (blooper of a) hit, 1 BB, 0R and a coupla Ks. He sat at 92/93 and the Renegades could not TOUCH his off speed stuff. the he lost his command and walked a few guys but still left the game with a 1 hitter and 0 runs.

Kevin, I've heard you call him the yanks' best prospect (not named jesus or austin), so I was just wondering what kind of ceiling he has? I was awfully impressed by his stuff especially considering his age.

Jul 30, 2009 09:06 AM
rating: -1
 
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