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August 7, 2009

Future Shock Blog

August 7

by Kevin Goldstein

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Finding his way?

Brandon Erbe, RHP, Orioles (Double-A Bowie)
Thursday's stats: 8 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K
Erbe has had an up and down career, and can even be up and down from start-to-start and inning-to-inning. When he's good, he's very good, and that was certainly the case on Thursday night. He lowered his Eastern League ERA to 2.08 while getting his fastball up to 94 mph. While a bout with shoulder soreness has limited him to just 61 1/3 innings this year, Double-A batters are batting just .173 against him, and he's really just a notch below the much more publicized Baltimore pitching prospects.

And the hits just keep on coming

Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics (Double-A Midland)
Thursday's stats: 3-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB, CS
After detailing how hot Carter was yesterday, he decided to get a little hotter. In his last ten games, he's now 23-for-37 (.622) with a 1.000 slugging percentage. Now at .333/.428/.560 for the year, the A's better hope that newly acquired Brett Wallace can stay at third base, or they're going to have some tough decisions down the road.

Beginning to live up to expectations

Ryan Kalish, OF, Red Sox (Double-A Portland)
Thursday's stats: 2-for-4, HR (7), 2 R, 2 RBI, K
Kalish has always been a guy with solid-and-some-plus tools across the board, but a wrist injury bugged him in 2008, and he has been slow to adjust to Double-A since moving up to Portand in mid-May. Finally hot, Kalish is hitting .352/.417/.626 in his last 23 games while also transferring back to centerfield in the last week. Both developments have raised his prospect stock significantly.

Not missing a beat

Mike Montgomery, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington)
Thursday's stats: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K
One of the more impressive arms in the Midwest League during the first half of the season, Montgomery had a 2.17 ERA in 12 starts for Low-A Burlington. His High-A mark is now 2.25 after delivery a career-high in innings on Thursday night. A 6-foot-5 southpaw who combines outstanding athleticism with a fastball than gets up to 94 mph with a solid breaking ball, many are projecting him as at least a number three starter down the road, and possibly much more.

Meanwhile, in other young lefty news

Matt Moore, LHP, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green)
Thursday's stats: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 9 K
I'm not sure how big a concern Moore's control issues are when he's this unhittable. Sure he's walked 58 in 100 2/3 innings, but at the same time, he has struck out 141 and given up just 67 hits. Quick, find a list of guys with twice as many strikeouts as hits allowed - it won't take long. With a fastball that gets into the mid-90s and a true plus curveball, the scouting reports match the stats.

Sleeper alert!

Austin Hyatt, RHP, Phillies (Short-season Williamsport)
Thursday's stats: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K
A 15th-round pick in June out of Alabama, Hyatt was one of those cheap senior signs who throws strikes, has a good changeup and is a solid organization arm. The shocker here is that his fastball is suddenly up to 94 and he has been the New York-Penn League's most dominating arm, allowing just one run in 31 2/3 innings while compiling a 49/5 K/BB ratio and giving up just 14 hits. At 23, he needs to move quickly and is probably no more than a reliever in the end, but he's certainly more than just a solid organizational arm.


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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