July 29, 2009
Future Shock Blog
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.
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.
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.
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