August 19, 2009
Future Shock Blog
That's a no-no . . .
Simon Castro, RHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne)
Tuesday's stats: 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K
While it hasn't been the best of years for the Padres on a big-league level, the minor league system has had a wonderful year, as a large number of prospects have taken a big step forward. Add Castro to the list, as the 21-year-old Dominican fired a seven-inning no-hitter, with a hit batter his only flaw on the night. A 6-foot-6 beast who can get up to the mid-90s with his fastball at times while featuring a rapidly developing slider, Castro's 3.71 ERA might not blow anyone away, but his 142 strikeouts in 123 2/3 innings against just 32 walks in borderline eye-popping.
. . . and this is part of one
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs)
Tuesday's stats: 5.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K
The best pitching prospect in the Rockies' system, Chacin made the jump from Double-A to the major leagues in late July, but control troubles (nine walks in 7 2/3 innings) are not the kind of thing to inspire confidence in one's manager during a playoff hunt. He still had control problems in his Triple-A debut, throwing just 38 of 68 pitches for strikes, but at the same time he was unhittable... just like in the big leagues. Beyond the walks, even major leaguers went just 3-for-24 against him.
Brett Wallace, 3B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento)
Tuesday's stats:2-for-5, HR (11), 2 R, RBI
Fine, I'll quit saying there are scouts out there questioning Wallace's power, as he's now hit home runs in three straight games to lift his averages since the trade to .299/.361/.505. No matter what the debate is over his offense, it always comes out as above-average; it's his ability to stay at third base that will define his future as a great player, or merely a good one.
The value of patience
Kyler Burke, OF, Cubs (Low-A Peoria)
Tuesday's stats: 2-for-3, HR (12), 2B, 3 R, 4 RBI
Burke's second-half explosion continued on Tuesday, as he's now hitting .328/.437/.508 since the All-Star break. Beyond the overall averages, the most striking part of the run is that Burke has suddenly turned into a walk machine as he's drawn a pair of free passes in each of his last four games, and 20 in his last 18. It's the perfect combination, as he's waiting for his pitch, and then doing damage when he gets it.
Why doesn't this guy get more pub?
Johermyn Chavez, OF, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing)
Tuesday's stats: 4-for-4, HR (20), R, 3 RBI
Maybe it's because he's repeating the level, but the Venezuelan is still young for that level at 20 years of age, and is undoubtedly having a breakout campaign. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Chavez has always been an impressive physical specimen, and after batting .431 in his last 15 games, he's now batting .287/.349/.493 overall. His approach at the plate is still a bit raw, but his youth and tools are providing plenty of reason for excitement.
Tim Collins, LHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire)
Tuesday's stats: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Generously listed at 5-foot-7 and 155 pounds, Collins has been confused for his team's bat boy more than once. With arm speed that borders on freakish, he delivers fastballs than can get into the low 90s that add extreme deception due to his delivery. Scouts still aren't sure what to make of a player so physically unique, but after striking out 197 is his first 133 pro innings across two A-level clubs, his Double-A debut was as dominating as ever. Although he's one of those guys who needs to prove himself at every level, he's certainly doing that so far.
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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