Since his return from elbow surgery last summer, Betances has allowed six hits in 18 innings, while striking out 21 and walking just two. Just as scary, one of baseball's most notable high-risk/high-ceiling pitchers is impressing with his stuff as well, sitting comfortably at 93-95 mph with his fastball, throwing his plus curve for strikes, and showcasing a surprisingly solid changeup.
It's the most exciting kind of performance when a player who is already an outstanding prospect is having a breakout season. In his last seven games, Brown has slugged five home runs, and his .325/.395/.614 batting line is without fault, as he's walking, has a reasonable strikeout rate, runs well, and has zero platoon issues. If you are a big Jason Werth fan in Philly, get ready to say your goodbyes, as one way or another the Phillies are not going to block Brown in 2011.
For now, he's a third baseman. The fact that I have to use 'for now' is why Gyorko slid to the 59th overall pick earlier in the month. The bat was late first-round worthy, but nobody knew where he'd fit defensively, other than something other than shortstop, his position at West Virginia. Nobody is even sure third base is going to work, but it's pretty clear that the bat is as good as advertised.
You have to give it to this guy, as after years of struggles, he's back in the bullpen, back in good physical condition, and back to showing the impressive stuff he had back in his Clemson days. With a 1.45 ERA and 18 saves, he's ready for a bigger challenge, and might just be ready to join the cavalry come September.
Others Of Note:
- J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-3, 2 2B, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB. 25-for-58 (.431) in last 14 games with 54 total bases; .293/.345/.582 overall.
- Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, SV. I don't know, maybe it's progress. Sure is better than him getting lit up again.
- Cory Brown, OF, Athletics (Double-A Midland): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI. Demoted after doing nothing (.156/.207/.275) at Triple-A but hitting .352/.423/.565 in 28 Texas League games.
- Tyler Flowers, C, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 3-for-5, HR (15), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Well, if you are a big fan of isolated power, Flowers certainly provides that with a line of .230/.326/.505.
- David Holmberg, LHP, White Sox (Rookie-level Great Falls): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 8 K. '09 second-rounder has crazy polish for a teenage lefty; scouts would like to see more velocity.
- Brett Lawrie, 2B, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 2-for-3, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 BB. On base 16 times in last five games; up to .301/.362/.500 although defensive reviews remain poor.
- Chris Marrero, 1B, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 2-for-4, HR (10), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K. Shades of 2007 breakout? 2006 first-round pick is hitting .408/.451/.579 in last 20 games; up to .294/.341/.460.
- Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (18), R, 3 RBI, BB. It just never stops; 15-for-30 in last six games with five doubles and three bombs for season line of a ridiculous .361/.427/.721.
- Telvin Nash, OF, Astros (Rookie-level Greenville): 2-for-3, 2 2B, R, BB, K. '09 third-round is big and toolsy, extremely raw.
- Rudy Owens, LHP, Pirates (Double-A Atloona): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Average stuff/outstanding command lefty's ERA by month: 3.57, 2.75, 2.16.
- Gregorio Petit, SS, Rangers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 3-for-5, 2 HR (5), 2 R, 8 RBI. Slick fielder has utility-man potential at best, but you have to give it up for two grand slams in a game.
- Sean Ratliff, OF, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 3-for-5, 2 HR (3), 3 R, 5 RBI, 2 K. Big, athletic, free-swinger outfielder has three home runs in seven game since promotion; some scouts see too much of an all-or-nothing hitter.
- Trayvon Robinson, OF, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI. Continuing to improve and adjust as the season goes on; batting .365/.429/.432 in June.
- Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B, Mets (Rookie-level Kingsport): 3-for-4, 2 HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI. Signed for $600K in '08; can hit, and hit for power, but other tools aren't so great.
- Adrian Salcedo, RHP, Twins (Rookie-level Elizabethton): 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K. The two walks are a shock as he walked three in 62 innings last year; lanky righty is loaded with projection.
- Jerry Sands, OF/1B, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 1-for-2, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K. Midwest League home run leader hits the only bomb in the circuit's All-Star game.
- Scott Schnieder, RHP, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Nice High-A debut for interesting sleeper; not much stuff-wise, but throws strikes, gets tons of groundballs and just knows how to pitch.
- Donavan Tate, OF, Padres (Rookie-level AZL Padres): 2-for-4, SB, 2 K. First two pro hits.
- Juan Urbina, LHP, Mets (Rookie-level GCL Mets): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. $1.2 million dollar 17-year-old (and son of Ugueth) with sparkling stateside debut; sat at 89-91 mph with developing changeup.
- Brett Wallace, 1B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-5, R, K. 10-for-21 in last five game to put slugging over .500, average creeping closer to .300 (.293/.353/.502).
- Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, Blue Jays (Short-season Auburn): 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Supplemental first round pick three weeks ago had one of the better arms in the draft; secondary stuff needs work.