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Leonys Martin, OF, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 2-for-4, HR (2), 2 R, RBI, K.

It's not even July 1, and Martin is looking like one of the best international signing of the year. In his first 17 games as a professional, he's hitting .353/.438/.588, but the most impressive number might be the three (count 'em three) strikeouts in 68 at-bats. An above-average defender with plus speed and a true leadoff man's approach, Martin has the potential to be the answer to the center field question in Texas by turning into a better version of what Julio Borbon was supposed to be.

Others Of Note:

  • Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, BB, K. 14 hits and 23 total bases in last seven games; .292/.394/.472 overall and franking it's surprising that he's still here.
  • Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 2-for-4, 2 R. It's what he does; .404/.448/.587 in 51 games.
  • Joe Benson, OF, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 1-for-4, HR (5), R, 2 RBI, 2 K, SB. 12-for-24 during seven game hitting streak and .289/.376/.480 overall; won't hit for a high batting average in the big leagues, but power, patience, speed and defense will more than make up for it.
  • Bobby Borchering, 3B/1B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 3-for-5, 2B, RBI. Hitting .322 in May and .287/.327/.480 overall; pretty swing with power, but approach and defense need significant work.
  • Gary Brown, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB. Hitting .407 in May in .374/.440/.537 overall; only knock against his game is a minor league leading 12 caught stealing in 42 attempts.
  • Ryan Buch, RHP, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 6.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 3 K. 2009 draftee has good body, decent stuff; future bullpen possibilities.
  • Daniel Butler, C, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 7 RBI, BB, K, SB. Red Sox best sleeper is an undrafted free agent with power and patience; .252/.356/.496 in 40 games as has future backup possibilities if receiving skills improve.
  • Garrett Claypool, RHP, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K. 2.00 ERA in 12 games and 66 strikeouts in 54 innings; A 22-year-old with outstanding command who doesn't belong at this level.
  • A.J. Cole, RHP, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Best start of year for seven-figure 2010 draftee; 23 strikeouts in first 21.1 innings as a pro.
  • Chelsor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals (Low-A Kane County): 2-for-5, RBI. 18-year-old Nicaraguan has impressed with both the bat and the glove in his first ten days in a full-season league; .314/.368/.543 in nine error-free games.
  • James Darnell, 3B, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 3-for-5, R. Hitting .337/.424/.594 in May, and that's his bad month; .369/.468/.642 overall in 47 games.
  • Matt Davidson, 3B/1B, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 2-for-5, HR (7), R, 4 RBI, K. Home runs in back-to-back games and .286/.347/.459 overall in 48 games; 58 strikeouts in 196 at-bats is cause for concern.
  • Eduardo Escobar, SS, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (4), 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K. Needs more days like this; .252/.299/.411 in 49 games.
  • Christian Friedrich, LHP, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Worst start of career followed by best start of year; 4.64 ERA in 10 starts.
  • Garrett Gould, RHP, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Has been remarkably consistent with a 1.83 ERA in 10 clunker-free starts; slight uptick in velocity also improving his cause.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K. Mini-slump ended flirt with .400; still at .373/.439/.660 through 51 games.
  • Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI. Even with this game, he's still at just .204/.287/.293 in 48 games.
  • Adeiny Heccevarria, SS, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 4-for-5, 2B, R. Batting average up 30 points over just five games (11-for-22); .246/.271/.377 in 50 with expected plus-plus defense.
  • Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 1 K. Only 17 of his 50 pitches went for strikes; stretching his arm out for starting is a confusing decision, as his only maintained success was in short stints.
  • Jeff Larish, 1B, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (10), 7 RBI, BB, K. Ex-prospect, huge day.
  • Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB. 21 total bases in last three games and .354/.413/.677 overall; could be in Toronto by second half, but scouts still very down on his defense.
  • Alex Liddi, 3B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-for-4, 3 2B, R, RBI, K. Hitting .322/.397/.591 in May with significantly reduced error rate.
  • Ethan Martin, RHP, Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 2.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Former first-round pick is still a mess command-wise; 53 strikeouts in 45.1 innings is the only positive takeaway from 7.35 ERA in 10 games.
  • Francisco Martinez, 3B, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 3-for-4, R. 20-year-old Venezuelan looked over-matched for the level early on, but has made adjustments; hitting .366 in 18 May games and .275/.322/.435 overall.
  • Jared Mitchell, OF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 2-for-2, R, RBI. Showing sings of life finally; still only at .224/.277/.408 in 46 games.
  • Tyler Moore, 1B, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 2-for-2, HR (9), 2 R, RBI, BB. Four home runs in last nine games and .288/.318/.538 overall; Way too free a swinger to profile well in the big leagues.
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R. Hitting .317 in May with more than 40% of his hits going for extra bases and showing much more consistency with the glove as well; in other words, he could be up soon.
  • Kyle Parker, OF, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. While his .297/.362/.479 line is hardly bad, he's shown significant contact issues without hitting for as much power as expected.
  • Wily Mo Pena, OF, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (17), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. 17 home runs in 169 at-bats and .361/.438/.740 overall.
  • Henry Rodriguez, 2B, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 3-for-5, 2 R, HR (6), 2 R, RBI. 12-for-21 in last five games and .340/.379/.498 overall; somewhat unknown second base prospect who deserves more attention because he can really hit.
  • Austin Romine, C, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI. 14-for-32 (.438) during eight-game hitting streak and .301/.366/.434 overall; still struggles against the running game.
  • Adrian Salcedo, RHP, Twins (Low-A Beloit): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K. First career complete game and 3.38 ERA in 10 games; throwing more strikes than missing bats.
  • Scott Sizemore, 3B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-4, 2B, 4 R, 2 BB. On base 11 times in his first three games as an Athletic while playing exclusively at the hot corner.
  • Sammy Solis, RHP, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 7 K. Season-debut for 2010 second-round pick who suffered groin injury during spring training.
  • Matt Szczur, OF, Cubs (Low-A Peoria): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, BB. Home runs in back-to-back games and 18-for-43 (.419) in his last ten; .343/.409/.460 on the season and could be headed to High-A soon.
  • Mike Trout, OF, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 3-for-4, HR, RBI, BB, SB. Was under .300 for a couple of days but back to .305/.413/.512; after stealing six games in his first 33 games, he has seven in his last 12.
  • Jemile Weeks, 2B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-5, 3B, 2 R, BB. 13-for-28 with six walks in last seven games; .335/.427/.470 in 39 games overall and how could he be worse than Mark Ellis?
  • Tim Wheeler, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 3-for-5, 2 R, K. 15-for-29 (.517) in last seven games and up to .337/.416/.643 overall; does Eric Young's promotion help get him to AAA?
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Swingingbunts
5/31
Hi Kevin, Would Leonys Martin made your top 101 list? If so any idea what range he would have ranked on the list?
kgoldstein
5/31
Maybe, but towards the bottom.
jrmayne
5/31
Is that referencing the start of the season? Would he rank higher now? (BTW, like everyone else, I love this feature.) --JRM
donwinningham
5/31
If martin were draft eligible would he be among your top 20 draft talents?
ndcohn
5/31
How bad is Ackley's D? can he ultimately be average?
kgoldstein
5/31
I think he can ultimately be below average but acceptable there.
uptick
5/31
Hi Kevin, Even though Chris Davis was hitless yesterday, he has been en fuego since getting demoted to RR...if the Rangers don't have any space for Davis, surely he should net something decent in a trade...and as shaky as the Ranger bullpen is, you'd think that they would be receptive to trading him for some relief help
kgoldstein
5/31
Are you really that sure? If he's so good, why isn't he in the big leagues, where he hasn't been able to stick for three years now? That's going to be the question teams ask before acquiring him. I think there is some value, but not a lot for a guy that has gotten nearly 1,000 big league PA without establishing himself.
hyprvypr
5/31
This is like a heroine spike after 96 hours of withdrawel. Kevin, you make my day with this reports! Speaking of defense Kevin, is Darnell so brutal at 3B he can't play there regularly in the bigs? Seems like his bat at 3B would be plus or better.
kgoldstein
5/31
Before I say what I'm about to say, I want to make one thing very clear. I AM NOT COMPARING JAMES DARNELL TO RYAN BRUAN. Now, with that out of the way, he is like Braun in that all of the tools and athletic ability to be a good third baseman are there, but he's just not.
donwinningham
6/01
You hear that everyone? Kevin says James Darnell is the next Ryan Braun!
MEDAFAP
5/31
Thanks for the daily reports... I really enjoy your work. Two questions: 1) Does Ackley stay at 2B? I've hear rumors of a move to LF and his value really takes a hit there, doesn't it? 2) Does Sizemore replace Kouz at 3B soon? The Tigers aren't very smart, are they?
kgoldstein
5/31
Obviously a LF that does what Ackley does is way less valuable than a 2B, but I think Ackley can play CF, which is where a lot of teams wanted to put him out of the draft. As for Sizemore, I broke down the trade on Friday, and yes, I think he'll be at 3B for them.
crperry13
5/31
Any noise about an Altuve promotion? Or are the Astros taking the "we really suck, so why rush things" approach?
crperry13
5/31
To AA I mean, not the majors.
kgoldstein
5/31
Not talk yet. Maybe an August thing. No need to rush.
prhood
5/31
How does he rank compared to Rodriguez?
timber
5/31
The Royals aren't stretching Jeffress out for starting. He is starting because it forces him to relearn to use his full repertoire of pitches, something he wasn't doing in the bullpen. It's a d3evelopment tactic; they don't intend to use him in the rotation.
escapeNihlism
5/31
Jack Zduriencik was on WFAN New York over the weekend and stated that Ackley will likely be promoted "in June or July"
Scott44
5/31
KG, I know you weren't especially high Szczur coming into the year, any change based on what scouts may be saying?
GregLowder
5/31
KG, it seems like we hear several scenarios where a team tries a player out a more premier position before moving him down the defensive spectrum. It sounds like it's going to happen with Ackley, last I heard reports on Lawrie are improving but still not to the point of comfort, and then there's Montero who needs no additional discussion. Can you think of any players who were asked to play a more premium position (that's not their "traditional" position) and they actually flourished?
Scott44
5/31
Not KG obviously, but Craig Biggio comes to mind.
Scott44
5/31
in fairness Biggio was a catcher, which might actually be a lateral type of move to 2nd base.
crperry13
6/01
And also, I haven't heard that he was a bad catcher, just that since he had a bat, they wanted to save his knees. Seemed to work out.
BillJohnson
5/31
Rookie (just barely) Allen Craig is currently being tested for this role at St. Louis. He was a lousy defender at each of the corner positions, yet is getting time now at 2B, where statistically he's a below-average defender, but not as experiment-terminating bad as he was expected to be. If he can actually stick at the position, he'll qualify. Note that the defensive standard for a Cardinals second baseman is not high at the moment, courtesy of the unfortunate precedent set by Skip Schumaker, himself a convert from generic outfielder.
dethwurm
5/31
Corey Hart was drafted as a 1B, moved to third, and eventually RF (actually played..... stood around in CF a little bit in the Majors).
mrdannyg
6/01
Too recent to say "flourished", but Jean Segura made the unusual move from 2B to SS, and reports have been that he's handling the position fine this year.
hyprvypr
5/31
Liddi's gotta be a better option then 0-for-figgins...
ChrisCalo1
5/31
"Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI. Even with this game, he's still at just .204/.287/.293 in 48 games." //// I've never seen a guys numbers dramatically change with a 2-4 when he is 48 games into the season. Just sayin'. Could last year have been a complete fluke (serious question)?
kringent
6/01
It can't be that uncommon for guys who have success in rookie ball to fail to translate that to full-season leagues. That doesn't make last year a fluke, it just makes it not predictive.
dianagramr
6/01
Jason Collette just tweeted that Altuve got promoted to Double-A! Yay!
drewsylvania
6/01
Wondering what the Red Sox saw in Kolbrin Vitek to make him a first-rounder. He's really shown just about nothing other than patience, and it was seen as a somewhat odd pick given his lack of defensive value.