Don't discount D'Arnaud as right there with the bigger name prospects the Jays received for Roy Halladay. After missing nearly a month with some back issues, the 21-year-old is back to hitting, and hitting in the Florida State League at that, currently at .314/.368/.523 in 22 games. He's one of the best young catchers around, and could be the big league solution as early as 2012.
Who's the biggest strikeout pitcher in the minor leagues? Why, Charlie Furbush, of course. Wait, what? When you think big strikeout guys, you don't think about 24-year-old Tommy John survivors at High-A with 88-92 mph fastballs, but that's what Furbush is. He hits his spots with laser-like precision, he changes speeds effectively and has a nice little breaking ball, and he needs to move up, as in his last four starts he's whiffed 44 over 28 innings while giving up just 12 hits and walking two. Back-of-the-rotation ceiling, but some pretty loud numbers.
In a recent outing when I saw McNutt, a scout I was sitting next to asked me what I knew about the right-handers. My quick answer was, "Real late pick last year, but big arm and the Cubs paid him six figures." The scout's reply, "I can see why." It's was the 32nd round and $115,000 to be exact, and McNutt's arm has definitely been big, as he's been touching 95 mph while sitting comfortably in the 92-94 range and also featuring a nice slider. His command and control comes and goes, but his 1.69 ERA and .191 opponents average prove the stuff out.
In an organization desperate for pitching at both the major and minor league level, Odorizzi is a breath of fresh air. A supplemental first-round pick in 2008, Odorizzi's full-season debut has been a revelation, and the 20-year-old is featuring a fastball, curve, as well as command and control that all rate as plus. His 3.52 ERA doesn't tell a good story, as he's whiffed 52 in 40 2/3 innings while giving up 30 hits and walking just 16. He's not going to help the Brewers' battered pitching stuff anytime soon, but it's still good to know that help is on the way.
An 8th-round pick last year out of a Southern California high school, Singleton had classic first base tools, including plenty of raw power, but also enough hitting mechanics to project as a high-average hitter, but he was also seen as extremely raw. A surprisingly good debut last year excited the Phillies, and after spending the first part of the year in extended spring training, the team opted to test him at Low-A instead of the New York-Penn League, and he's responded by going 19-for-44 (.432) with 34 total bases in his first 13 games. There's explosive potential here.
Others Of Note:
- Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (Low-A Ashville): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 BB. After missing first six weeks of season recovering from groin injury, '09 second-round pick is 8-for-19 in five games.
- Brian Bogusevic, OF, Astros (Triple-A Round Rock): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K. Batting .330/.359/.505 in May; should get a look at some point this year.
- Randall Delgado, RHP, Braves (High-A Myrtle Beach): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 12 K. Starting to move into that special category? 68 Ks and 12 BBs in 59.1 innings and 1.47 ERA in May with a fastball up to 94 mph and two secondary pitches that rate as true plus.
- Kyle Gibson, RHP, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 4 K. See today's feature . . .
- Ryan Goins, SS, Jays (Low-A Lansing): 2-for-3, 2 2B, RBI, K. '09 fourth-round pick is a bit old for the league, but batting .378 in May and .322/.402/.420 overall.
- Adieny Hechavarria, SS, Jays (High-A Dunedin): 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, R, 2 RBI, K. So far so good for Cuban import (.294/.308/.412), but like many from his country, walks are a bit foreign (one in 13 games).
- Scott Mathieson, RHP, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): SV, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Scoreless in 16 of 18 outings and a 0.76 ERA. Could pitching in the big leagues right now according to one scout who recently saw him.
- Kyle McPherson, RHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K. In Low-A during fourth pro year, and more of a strike thrower than a stuff guy, but heck of a line.
- Eric Munson, 1B, Padres (Triple-A Portland): 2-for-3, 2 HR (7), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K. I don't know, I just wanted to put in an Eric Munson line.
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 3-for-4, HR (6), 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, CS. Power and speed outfielder is proving last year's breakout was for real with .299/.335/.481 line; a more patient approach would be nice.
- Rudy Owens, LHP, Pirates (Double-A Atloona): 7 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K. Doubters keep peeling away with his success at the upper levels. Not much projection, but a big leaguer.
- Carlos Santana, C, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 2-for-3, HR (10), R, RBI, BB, K. Obviously he can hit, but scouting reports of the defense have been pretty rough this year.
- Giovany Soto, LHP, Tigers (Low-A West Michigan): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Fantastic command and good secondary pitches; if velocity projects like some scouts think it will, he could turn into something.
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