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August 3, 2009

Future Shock Blog

by Kevin Goldstein

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The next big thing?

Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory)
Sunday's stats: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K
Only 18 years old and already heading a full-season team's rotation, the Rangers had strictly managed Perez' workload this year. He has been limited to just five innings all year, which has rarely allowed him to have the one huge day on a statistical level. His season totals loom awfully large, as he has a 2.33 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings, and is limiting the Sally League to a .233 batting average. A bit small for a power pitcher, any concerns about his size are quickly brushed aside once he unleashes his sinking fastball and power curve, but of which already rate as plus offerings.

Making a good first impression

Jess Todd, RHP, Indians (Triple-A Columbus)
Sunday's stats: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
The player to be named later from the Cardinals in the Mark DeRosa deal, Todd was converted to a closer role this year and was on the brink of the big leagues before being sent to Cleveland. So far, he has retired 12 of 13 batters he faced since the trade, including seven by strikeout, and his short, stocky frame and impressive sinker/slider combo had one scout comparing him to a right-handed Randy Myers.

Big step backwards

Josh Fields, RHP, Mariners (Double-A West Tenn)
Sunday's stats: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K
A first-round pick as a college senior last year, Fields' mid- to-upper-90s velocity and wipeout slider had many believing he could reach the big leagues by the end of the year. Instead, we enter the last month of the season and his Double-A ERA sits at 6.48. Even more a matter of concern is the fact that the fastball has generally been in the 88-91 mph range, leaving scouts wondering what the big deal was in the first place.

Finally finding a home?

Todd Frazier, 2B, Reds (Double-A Carolina)
Sunday's stats: 2-for-4, 3B, RBI, K
A supplemental first-round pick in 2007, Frazier was a shortstop in college and began there as a pro, but since than he's taken a slow road on the downside of the defensive spectrum, moving to third base, followed by an outfield corner outfield and, at times, first base. As an infielder he was an impressive offensive prospect, but as a left fielder or first baseman he was average at best. Suddenly at second base since the end of July and hitting .302/.357/.497 overall, the Reds suddenly are dreaming on Frazier turning into a Jeff Kent-esque offensive-oriented second baseman.

Batting average isn't everything

Reese Havens SS, Mets (High-A St. Lucie)
Sunday's stats: 4-for-6, 2B, HR (10), 2 R, 4 RBI, K
A first-round pick last June out of South Carolina, Havens' full-season debut hasn't been filled with a lot of highlights, save for last night's onslaught. He's missed significant time to injuries and is hitting just .237 on the year, but a closer look gives you reasons to be an optimist, including ten home runs and 37 walks in 241 at-bats. There's no reason to write him off at this point.

Sleeper alert!

Koby Clemens, C, Astros (High-A Lancaster)
Sunday's stats: 3-for-4, 2B, HR (14), 2 R, 3 RBI, K
The fact that Clemens was the son of Roger certainly played a role in the Astros selecting Koby in the eighth round in 2005, and he did little to justify the selection, nor his $380,000 bonus, until this year. The offensive haven that is Lancaster's Clear Channel Stadium is a perfect place for a breakout, and the 22-year-old converted third baseman is doing just that, batting .340/.415/.617 with 88 RBI in 84 games. The ballpark is certainly playing a role, but there is some kind of real progress being made here as well.

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

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

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dzzard
(805)

Kevin,
Have you had any scouting feedback on Madison Bumgarner’s last start on Saturday? It appears from the box score and recap to have been relatively uneventful, especially in light of his previous outing.
It was also his birthday, and I believe it included souvenir M.B. bobble heads.

Aug 03, 2009 11:30 AM
rating: 0
 
G. Guest

Bumgarner was mentioned on Thursday.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9309

Aug 03, 2009 13:49 PM
rating: 0
 
G. Guest

and I realize that your question was about Saturday's start, but there's good info in there from Thursday's MLU.

Aug 03, 2009 13:50 PM
rating: 0
 
Max

In your opinion, when is the right time to move Havens to 2nd base?

Aug 03, 2009 11:41 AM
rating: 0
 
BaseballNUT2009

I like Frazier`s bat at 2B, but he is blocked by Brandon Phillips, who is also a good bat and a golden glover at that.

Unless the the Reds plan to trade Phillips for a good starting pitcher, I think his future is as a utility.

Aug 03, 2009 11:46 AM
rating: -1
 
billm21

Could Phillips go back to Shortstop at this point in his career? Maybe not, but it's just a thought.

Aug 03, 2009 13:22 PM
rating: 0
 
ofMontreal

I think the idea is that Frazier is a couple of years away. Not THAT big a fan of Phillips that he can't be sent off in a few years.

Aug 03, 2009 18:32 PM
rating: 0
 
BaseballNUT2009

I second the question on Bumgarner!!.

He is taking a beating in another board I frequent. He was just ranked 23 in their top 25 prospects. There are a lot of complains about his fast ball being down to low 90s or lower, his lack of strikeouts and increased walks rate.

Any inside info would be helpfull.

Aug 03, 2009 12:01 PM
rating: 0
 
basejaw

Bumgarner has had a significant workload over the last couple seasons...wonder if that has anything to do with a drop in velo?

Aug 03, 2009 12:22 PM
rating: 0
 
BillJohnson

I'm curious why it took you so long to notice Todd, Kevin. He's just continuing to do what he'd been doing at Memphis before the trade. The only thing different is that now Cardinals minor-league followers are cursing having let him get away.

Aug 03, 2009 13:11 PM
rating: 0
 
DGBL

Josh Fields = bust.

Aug 03, 2009 13:21 PM
rating: 0
 
billm21

Bavasi's last "gift" to the new regime, although at the time I thought that Jack Z and company could have just walked away from signing Fields and get the compensation pick instead.

Aug 03, 2009 13:23 PM
rating: 0
 
Fresh Hops

I hope not. Still, it's not promising when a first round college pick can't be a pretty dominating reliever in AA. It would be one thing if he were supposed to be a starter, but as a reliever, your really expect the stuff to be pretty dominating when he's taken in the first round. Indeed, I'm ready to write off any GM that takes a reliever in the first round as mildly retarded. (I know that Bavasi was.)

On the other hand, he's seen just 33 inning in AA. That's not meaningful.

Aug 04, 2009 22:03 PM
rating: 0
 
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