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Completing the extended tour of performances to date, here’s a glance at
Double-A and below.

  • The Erie SeaWolves are giving Tigers fans a lot of reasons for hope.
    They’re tearing apart the Eastern League, leading it in runs, BA, walks, and
    OBP, and are in middle of the pack in ERA.

    Shortstop prospect Omar Infante, just 19, is hitting .350/.415/.413
    with a walk every nine or so plate appearances. Center fielder Andres
    Torres
    has a .429 OBP, and most important for him, 12 extra-base hits
    and a .450 slugging average. Power has been the big question for Torres.
    Mike Rivera didn’t hit in his first tour of Double-A, but is now at
    .320/.380/.680, great for a catching prospect, even a 24-year-old one.

    Some teams don’t have three prospects like this in their entire
    organization, and while Infante sticks out for his youth, the other two
    players are legitimate B prospects as well.

  • On the heels of news that
    Ken Griffey
    could possibly be out for
    the season, take a look at Adam Dunn‘s performance. The Reds’ top
    prospect (he and Austin Kearns are 1 and 1A) leads the Southern
    League in OBP and slugging average. Once Jim Bowden gets tired of a center
    fielder who doesn’t hit in two sports, Dunn should be a Red.

    Kearns, by the way, is off to a terrible start: .226/.329/.331.

  • In
    Baseball Prospectus 2001,
    I spoke highly of the Braves’
    pitching staff at single-A Myrtle Beach last season, with the caveat that
    the Pelicans’ ballpark is one of the better pitchers’ parks in the minors.
    Well, the best pitchers on that staff are scuffling a bit at Greenville:

                        ERA      IP    H     BB    SO
    Nathan Kent        4.89    42.1   56      6    39
    Horacio Ramirez    4.91    14.2   17      8    17
    Christian Parra    7.41    34.0   47     23    35
    

  • Tim Redding hasn’t gotten the exposure that Josh Beckett
    had, but the right-hander’s performance isn’t too far behind that of the
    Marlins’ ace-in-waiting. Pitching for the Astros’ Double-A affiliate, Round
    Rock, Redding has posted 1.17 ERA in nine starts, striking out 73 hitters
    and allowing just 33 hits and 17 walks in 61 1/3 innings.

    Within the organization, Roy Oswalt and maybe even Brad Lidge
    have higher profiles, so Redding should stay a stealth prospect for a bit
    longer.

  • Ten months ago, the Red Sox absolutely had to have the collection of
    tissue and bone known as
    Ed Sprague,
    and paid dearly for their
    desire. They sent the Padres a right-hander named Dennis Tankersley,
    who has done nothing but get people out this year at Lake Elsinore: a
    0.39 ERA in 46 1/3 innings, with 60 strikeouts against just ten
    walks.


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

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