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August 20, 2009

Future Shock Blog

August 20

by Kevin Goldstein

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Now this is a hot streak

Brett Wallace, 3B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento)
Wednesday's stats: 3-for-6, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, BB
After going deep in three straight games, Wallace decided to up the ante a bit on Wednesday, slugging a pair of bombs while adding a double to the mix as well. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 11-for-20 with five home runs in four games, and overall averages of .311/.368/.573 for the River Cats.

And for the first time in MLU history . . . teammates

Adrian Cardenas, 2B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento)
Wednesday's stats: 3-for-5, 2B, R
One of the best hitters for average in the minor leagues, Cardenas hit just .177 in an 18-game stint at Triple-A in May, but after going down to Double-A Midland, he went back to his raking ways, batting .326 before getting another chance with Sacramento. Adjustments have clearly been made, as he's now 13-for-24 in his last six games.

Moving up, breaking out, but questions remain

Juan Francisco, 3B, Reds (Triple-A Louisville)
Wednesday's stats: 2-for-4, HR (3), 2 R, RBI, 2 K
Nobody in the Reds system can match Francisco's raw power, and he had 22 home runs at Double-A Carolina before moving up to the International League last week. Hitting the ground running, Francisco has slugged a home run in three straight games while going 8-for-19 (.421) overall, but there are still plenty of questions about his defense, as well as a highly impatient approach that has resulted in just 17 unintentional walks all year.

Let's face it; he deserved the win

Zach McAllister, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton)
Wednesday's stats: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K
A limited pitch count kept McAllister from getting the final out necessary to be credit for the win, but 14 outs was all he needed to establish a new career high in whiffs, a number made all the more impressive by the fact that he's now a pure power pitcher. A 6-foot-6 righty built to eat up innings, McAllister's fastball has only average velocity, but it plays up due to outstanding location and a seeming inability to throw anything straight. With a 2.13 ERA, McAllister has been good all year. He could be worthy of a big league look at some point in 2010.

Always bet on the tools

Roger Kieschnick, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose)
Wednesday's stats: 3-for-3, 3 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
A third-round pick last June out of Texas Tech, Kieschnick was one of those guys with first-round tools but fifth-round performances, which is why he ended up going in the middle of those two ways to measure talent. Those that believed in his athleticism are turning out to look awfully astute, as Kieschnick is batting .450 (18-for-40) during a ten-game hitting streak and .302/.350/.544 overall.

Sleeper Alert!

Yohan Pino, RHP, Twins (Triple-A Rochester)
Wednesday's stats: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K
Pino earned some attention when he was first coming up after putting up sub-two ERAs at both Low- and Hi-A, but scouts wondered if his combination of outstanding command and sub-par stuff would play at the upper levels. Those concerns turned out to be legitimate, as Pino struggled at Double-A for two years while also dealing with the occasional injury, but he's beginning to put together his first impressive run at the upper levels. Scouts don't see him as much more than a workhorse type of middle reliever, but at least things are moving in the right direction.


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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