Here’s a look around the minor leagues, similar to what I did
for the AL
and NL
last week. I’ll focus mainly on Triple-A today, then the rest of the
minors tomorrow. (Honest.)

  • Alfonso Soriano
    has gotten a lot of attention for his play, and
    Tino Martinez
    has managed to be adequate so far, but the Yankees could do themselves a
    huge favor by simply trading left sides of the infield with Triple-A Columbus.

                        OBP    SLG
    Alfonso Soriano    .291   .406
    D'Angelo Jimenez   .350   .380

    OBP SLG Tino Martinez .360 .481 Nick Johnson .451 .571

    Soriano’s BA has slipped to .284, dragging his nearly-walk-free OBP with it.
    It’s nearly impossible to help your team if your OBP is under .300.

    Jimenez and Johnson are the only real position-player prospects the Yankees
    have above A-ball, although a healthy Drew Henson would change that.
    Juan Rivera is hammering the Eastern League for Norwich, but with
    just six walks in 165 plate appearances, skepticism is warranted.

  • If the Expos continue to get nothing out of their left fielders, look
    for Brad Wilkerson‘s stay in Ottawa to be brief. He’s a doubles
    machine whose season is only now getting started due to an off-season
    shoulder injury. He’s the left-handed power hitter the Expos have
    desperately needed since
    Larry Walker

    What I’ll want to see is whether Wilkerson continues to show good plate
    discipline when he gets to Montreal. He’s had good walk rates coming through
    the system, but Expo prospects haven’t maintained that skill upon reaching
    the majors.

  • The best player in the International League–a league very thin on
    prospects–so far this year is probably
    Israel Alcantara,
    who is hitting .321/.392/.672 as Pawtucket’s DH. Given Jimy Williams’s
    problems with Alcantara last season and Williams’s preference for glove men,
    Alcantara looks like a good bet to win league MVP honors, because he should
    be there all year.

  • Not only are the Phillies getting good pitching at the major-league
    level, but their top prospects are having good years. The rotation core at
    Scranton/Wilkes-Barre–Evan Thomas, Dave Coggin, Brandon
    , and Nelson Figueroa–has a composite strikeout-to-walk
    ratio of better than 3-to-1, and all of the four have ERAs of 3.68 or below.
    This depth could help the Phillies trade to patch their holes at second base
    and catcher, and is even more reason why the Braves need to be worried.

  • Exactly how did
    Ramon Castro
    clear waivers? He’s now hitting .390/.446/.720 for Calgary, with pretty
    much no chance of returning to the Marlins anytime soon. He deserves a
    major-league job.

  • The Cardinals’ nine-game winning streak has taken attention away from
    the lousy job their rotation had been doing, but if Andy Benes and
    Dustin Hermanson continue to struggle, the pressure to bring up
    Bud Smith will increase. Smith is taking apart the PCL, with a 2.25
    ERA in 52 innings, a 43/9 strikeout-to-walk ratio and just two home runs

  • Chad Hermansen
    may officially be done. He’s at .202/.287/.321 through 84 at-bats, with
    28 strikeouts.

    A few years back, we did a feature here at the Web site in which everyone
    submitted their top 20 prospects. Clay Davenport took all kinds of heat for
    being the only staff member who did not include Hermansen on that list. His
    reasoning was that Hermansen was such a bad defensive player that his
    deficiencies would prevent him from developing as expected.

    If meteorologists could only predict the weather this well…

  • More evidence that Billy Beane is smarter than everyone else: Eric
    , acquired for
    Matt Stairs
    in the off-season and widely referred to as "who?", has an ERA of
    2.92, 34 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 52 1/3 innings.

  • It’s not just happening at Safeco. The Tacoma Rainiers, the Mariners’
    Triple-A affiliate in the PCL, have an ERA of 2.79, which leads the league
    by nearly a full run.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. Contact him by

clicking here

You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe