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Johnny Giavotella, 2B, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (7), 2 R, RBI

When the Royals selection Giavotella with a second-round pick in 2008, it seemed like an overdraft, as the five-foot-eight college product had limited upside. That still seemed like the case after a mediocre full-season debut, but Giavotella is yet another Royal prospect to add to the breakout pile. Batting .404 in August and .323/.395/.448 overall, Giavotella has gap power, and a good approach to go with the kind of scrappy playing style one would expect from a player of his physical stature, and he's firmly back on everyone's radar.

Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 4-for-6, 2B, 3 HR (13), 11 RBI

On the day that he was named Texas League MVP, Moustakas showed why with a career night while also taking over the minor league home run lead with 34 overall. After a slow start with Omaha, Moustakas has gone 11-for-23 with four doubles and six bombs in his last five games, and suddenly his .297/.317/.569 line is right in line, if not exceeding expectations. He's one of the best offensive prospects in the minors, period.

Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 2-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 K

An 18-year-old Dominican who signed for $600,000, Rodriguez was one of the talks of the Appy League with a .312/.352/.556 line in 61 games for Kingsport with 13 home runs, and he continued to hit in his full season debut last night. He's an impressive hitter with plus-plus raw power and a surprising amount of contact ability for a teenage slugger, but he's also a downright bad third baseman who many think project as a one-dimensional slugging first baseman down the road. The good news, of course, is that the one dimension looks like it could be special.

Others Of Note:

  • Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 4-for-6, 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 4 RBI, K, SB. First big Triple-A game for Giants breakout player of the year; was in 1-for-17 slump before last night.
  • Charles Blackmon, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 3-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI. Big, athletic outfielder has decent power and plus speed; .357/.408/.580 line in 27 August games and should have long career as decent starter/outstanding bench outfielder.
  • Simon Castro, RHP, Padres (Triple-A Portland): 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 2 K. So-so Triple-A debut for high-ceiling righty; suddenly on pace for 2011 big league debut after spending last year in the Midwest League.
  • Hank Conger, C, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 4-for-6, HR (10), 4 R, 3 RBI, K. Hitting .328/.394/.531 since All-Star break, but question remains as to whether Mike Scioscia can handle an offense-first catcher.
  • Matt Davidson, 3B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 5 RBI, BB. First Cal League home run after big second-half at Low-A; .188/.316/.271 in 14 games since promotion.
  • Corey Dickerson, OF, Rockies (Rookie-level Casper): 3-for-5, 3B, HR, R, 3 RBI, K. Toolsy eighth-rounder is 13-for-18 with 26 total bases in last four games; .331/.395/.559 overall.
  • Grant Green, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 2-for-4, HR (19), R, 3 RBI, BB, K. 17 home runs in 74 games since calendar flipped to June with .595 slugging.
  • Ismael Guillon, LHP, Reds (Rookie-level AZL Reds): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. 18-year-old Venezuelan was one of the most impressive arms in Arizona; Long, projectable lefty who already has plenty of now stuff.
  • Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 4-for-5, HR (3), 3 R, 3 RBI, K. So good defensively that almost anything he does offensively is gravy; 9-for-17 in last four games and .283/.318/381 in 54 Eastern League games.
  • A.J. Kirby-Jones, 1B, Athletics (Short-season Vancouver): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (13), 2 R, 3 RBI, K. Ninth-round pick has massive power, tons of patience (60 BB in 70 G) and little else; .250/.413/.461 with 13 home runs while playing in a home park where home runs go to die.
  • Rich Hill, LHP, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Keeps getting chances because he's a tall lefty with good velocity and a very good curveball; 30 Ks over 27.2 August innings with .181 opponent's average.
  • Lance Lynn, RHP, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 11 K. Disappointing righty has enjoyed late-season surge; 1.74 ERA over last five starts.
  • Brett Marshall, RHP, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Has dominated in return from Tommy John surgery to give the Yankees yes another starting pitching prospect; 0.50 ERA in six August starts with 17 hits allowed in 36 innings.
  • Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo): 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K. Impressive Triple-A debut; should head into next spring competing for a rotation job.
  • Carlos Melo, RHP, Rangers (Rookie-level AZL Rangers): 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 13 K. 19-year-old Dominican has plus velocity, a good breaking ball and command issues; struck out 65 in 51.2 regular-season innings.
  • Gio Mier, SS, Astros (Low-A Lexington): 2-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB. 2-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB. '09 first-rounder is trying to save miserable full-season debut; .299/.375/.402 in 27 August games.
  • Jean Segura, 2B, Angels (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 2-for-3, 2 R, RBI, SB. Hitting .305/.354/.450 and what's not to love? Athletic second baseman with gap power and projection for more, crazy bat speed and plus-plus wheels.
  • Kyle Skipworth, C, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 4-for-5, HR (17), 3 R, 5 RBI. 2008 first-rounder has had a mild comeback year; up to .253/.318/.439 in 102 games with power really blossoming.
  • Mark Trumbo, 1B, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 3-for-5, 2 HR (33), 5 R, 4 RBI, BB, K. 12-for-23 in last five games with 24 total bases; .302/.369/.574 overall and deserving of a September audition.

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Hechavarria or Iglesias?
I don't know. Will take a lot of talks to figure that one out.
What do you attribute the success of all the Yanks' minor league pitchers to? Good scouting/spending coming to fruition? Exceptional organizational coaching? Planetary alignment?
Part of it, I think, is that the Yankees have heavily focused on drafting pitchers for a number of years, both in early rounds and as signability guys in later rounds (e.g. Bettances).

But it does seem like an exceptionally large number of them have taken a step forward this year.
The only Red Sock on the list is a 30-year-old Steve Blass refugee. :(
Agree, i'm interested on your take KG...i'm sure its hard to say, but in your best estimation, is this the Yankees strategy of taking a lot of high risk high reward arms paying off, a credit to the coaching staff at the different levels, or just plain luck that a whole bunch are having break out seasons?
no love for Montero's 2HR/4RBI game?
Do you really KG to tell you that was a good night? Or that Montero is a good prospect? The best thing about MLU is uncovering new players to follow.
I'm gonna say I prefer to see "best hitting prospect in the minors" as often as possible.
Agree...there's no such thing as being over-convinced of how a good Montero is. by all means KG, pile on the praise.
You know, it really helps to think of people (on the Internet as well as in real life) as finite resources with limited availability and time. Given that, I'll take a writeup on the Giovatellas of the world over yet another fawning piece on Montero that tells me NOTHING I don't already know. Is that really what you want from Kevin Goldstein? Cheerleading?
Wait, you're not interesting in just fawning over your own team's/fantasy team's prospects over and over again?

What are you? Weird?
That's what Yankees fans want. All the mental masturbation they can get.
You saw it today with Mous.
Um . . . Jesus Montero was 0-for-5 last night.
Not in DanLong's dreams!
was referring to Montero's Sunday performance. All kidding aside, i thought it might be significant as he was able to not just meet whats been his full-season quota of 17 HR, but surpass it by 1, after a terrible start that saw him hitting in the low .200s through May.
And @rwebb - I didn't ask for a full write up, but if we're talking about short caption recaps of performances in the games since the prior future shock MLU blog entry, then of course i'm going to prefer to see the names of prospects that i am rooting for as a part of my team as opposed to prospects on other teams (as long as i'm seeing the names for a good reason.
don't misconstrue anything i said as a complaint against the work KG does; i think anyone who takes their own time to make a post here appreciates the work he does in summing up some of the top performances of each day/weekend of the top prospects around all of the minors. but KG is only one person with limited time to make each blog, and i think the comments serve also as a forum for people to bring up performances he may have missed, whether intentionally or not. As a professional, we trust that he has the capacity to determine which comments on the forum warrant response and which can be tossed aside.

Any word on Green's defense at SS? Has it improved? Also, can you give your top 5 INF prospects taking into account offense AND defense?
It's mostly a throwing issue, but it's troublesome. Still, I'd rather have an arm issue to deal with than an range one, and he's going to hit.
Glad you touched on this. This was the defensive issue coming out of college and I'm glad that range isn't an additional question mark with him defensively. Is there much hope that his arm strength will eventually be adequate enough to remain at SS?
Does that mean he could end up at 2B if SS doesn't work out? The bat would play well there, it seems.
That is the position that I have always assumed was next if he moved off of SS. CF is an option I suppose, but 2B is what I'd bet on. Hopefully he can strengthen his arm enough to stay at SS, however.
What have been the reports on Davidson's glove? With all the first base types (including Goldschmidt, Borchering and potentially Krauss), does Davidson have enough glove to stick at 3rd?
He's pretty stiff there. I actually like Borchering at 3rd, better than Davidson, and that ain't saying much.