September 1, 2009
Future Shock Blog
New level? No problem
Chris Carter, 1B/LF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento)
Monday's stats: 3-for-5, 3 HR (3), 7 RBIs
Carter hadn't gone deep for six games since moving up to Triple-A, but he more than made up for it on Monday, as he crossed the 300 total base mark for the second straight season. He's arguably the most dangerous slugger in the minor leagues right now, and now he's a darkhorse candidate for 2010 Rookie of the Year honors.
More good news for Royals fans
Mike Montgomery, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington)
Monday's stats: 6.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K
It seems like almost every night some young Royal arm is having a good night, and on Monday it was Montgomery's turn. Montgomery retired 20 of the 22 batters he faced, 12 via the whiff. He's a scout's dream at 6-foot-5 with lots of athleticism, a fastball that gets up to 94, and a quality breaking ball. With his performance of late, Montgomery could be on the fast track and begin next year at Double-A as a 20-year-old.
Not really a sleeper anymore
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Mets (Double-A Binghamton)
Monday's stats: 3-for-5, 3B, 2 K
One of the hottest bats in the Florida State League during the month of August, batting .345/.406/.647, Nieuwenhuis took step one in proving that it wasn't a fluke with three hits in his Eastern League debut. All of the tools are certainly there, and to give him a sleeper tag is an insult . . . this one is legit.
Mastering his domain
Clevelan Santeliz, RHP, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham)
Monday's stats: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Santeliz' 0.85 ERA in 36 games for the Barons certainly catches your eye, as does a fastball that gets into the mid-90s. The only problem is that he rarely throws it for strikes. He issued 27 walks over 35 innings in the first half of the season. Since then, things are starting the click, as the 23-year-old Venezuelan issued just four walks during the month of August while moving into the closer role, going 8-for-9 in save opportunities. The stuff has certainly always been there, and if he can stay in the strike zone, it could be his ticket to the big leagues as early as next year.
Making up for lost time
Kyle Lobstein, RHP, Rays (Short-season Hudson Valley)
Monday's stats: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K
A second-round pick last year, Lobstein signed for a $1.5 million bonus at the deadline, but as he signed so late, he was unable to make his pro debut until this year. With outstanding mechanics and plus command of three solid offerings, Lobstein has been adding himself to the long list of impressive Rays pitching prospects of late, striking out 27 over just 18 innings in his last three outings.
Dillon Baird, 1B, Angels (Short-Season Orem)
Monday's stats: 4-for-6, HR (5), R, 2 RBI
If you like numbers, than Baird is your guy. He put up a 1220 OPS this year at the University of Arizona this year, but a lack of tools dropped him to the 11th round this June. Now the Pioneer League is a wonderful place to put up some big numbers, but so far Baird is certainly keeping up his end of the bargain, now batting .386/.456/.571 in his first 50 pro games.
Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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