October 23, 2009
Future Shock Blog
Calm down peopleStephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals (AFL: Phoenix)
Yesterday's stats: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 8 R (7 ER), BB, 4 K
It took less than ten minutes after Strasburg was pulled from yesterday's game for me to get one of those classic "What's wrong with Player X?" e-mails. The answer, of course, is nothing. The difference between the kind of competition in the Arizona Fall League and the kind of talent Strasburg faced in college is massive, and when he starts hanging breaking balls in a highly-inflated offensive environment, this is what happens. There's nothing wrong here; he's just learning.
Teams take risks because of the rewardsTanner Scheppers, RHP, Rangers (AFL: Surprise)
Yesterday's stats: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
In his first three outings, Scheppers has faced 16 batters and retired 14 of them, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out six. As good of reviews as his 95-98 mph fastball obviously generate, his breaking ball is earning nearly equal raves. It's a true power curveball with heavy top-to-bottom action that he delivers at 80-84 mph, the kind of velocity some pitchers have on their slider. Few pitchers in the game need the ol' 'if he can stay healthy' mantra in front of any projection, but if he can stay healthy, he could be elite.
Impossible to ignoreCasper Wells, OF, Tigers (AFL: Peoria Javelinas)
Yesterday's stats: 2-for-3, HR (2), R, 5 RBI, BB
Wells slugged 27 home runs in 2008 as part of a breakout campaign, but 2009 started off on a much different foot when he fractured a bone in his hand during the first week of the season. While he still slugged 15 home runs in 86 games at Double-A Erie, he's taking advantage of his time in Arizona by going 10-for-21 with five extra-base hits and 11 RBI in his first five games, including yesterday's home run off of Strasburg. He'll begin next year at Triple-A Toledo, and scouts who are high on him think he could be a second-division starter in the end.
Keeps putting up zeroesClevelan Santeliz, RHP, White Sox (VEN: Magallanes)
Yesterday's stats: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
In five appearances for the Navegantes, Santeliz has struck out 12 over 9.2 scoreless innings while allowing just four hits and a walk. Scoreless innings are really nothing new for Santeliz, as the 23-year-old had a 0.96 ERA in 40 games for Double-A Birmingham this year, including a 20-game scoreless streak during the second half of the season. His stuff is just as impressive; with a 93-96 mph fastball and plus slider, he just needs to throw more strikes to punch a ticket to the big leagues.
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