A subscriber named Gerry writes:
Random fun idea: Pick a date 10, 20 or 25 years in the past, and do a flashback Future Shock Minor League Update for it. I'm sure if you had access to all the box scores, you could fill it with some incredible capsulized stories of future major leaguers and/or washouts.
If it's dumb or impractical (or not interesting to you), let me at least say I'm a huge fan.
I actually love this idea, but there are some data issues. I have game logs running back to 2001, so I could re-create one, but the update is really a very organic thing, and while the readers might not see it, there is a flow to going through every box score, league-by-league. I only have complete data for that since 2006. So here we go with a five-year-old Minor League Update, filled with excitement, fun, and hopefully a bit of humor.
Minor League Update: Games of July 29, 2006
- Erick Aybar, SS, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 3-for-5, R. Gunning for a return to the big leagues come September by going 17-for-35 in last eight games; .324/.368/.487 overall.
- Ryan Braun, 3B, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 3-for-3, HR (5), R, 2 RBI, BB, SB. Has no weaknesses offensively with .304/.355/.549 line, but with nine errors in 27 games, questions about defense remain.
- Michael Brantley, OF, Brewers (Low-A West Virginia): 2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Outfielder with speed and on-base stills but very little power; .292/.389/.335 overall.
- Clay Buchholz, RHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Has allowed two or fewer runs in eight of his last nine starts; 2.89 ERA in 18 games with 97 strikeouts and just 25 walks in 97.1 innings.
- Billy Butler, OF, Royals (Double-A Wichita): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R. Outfield has been an adventure but he sure can hit; .320/.376/.477 overall.
- Jeremy Brown, C, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-5, HR (7), 2 R, RBI. Wouldn't it be hysterical if they made a Moneyball movie one day? Wouldn't it be even more hilarious if they got some fat guy to play DePo?
- Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 7 K. Nineteen-year-old Venezuela has been the best pitcher in the Sally League; 2.41 ERA while limiting the league to a .193 batting average.
- Johnny Cueto, RHP, Reds (High-A Sarasota): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Not missing bats following promotion due to lack of secondary pitches; with small frame and just a fastball, he projects best as a reliever.
- Eddy Fernandez, LHP, Mariners (Rookie-level DSL): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K. 19-year-old with a 0.92 ERA in ten games, how can he not be a prospect? DSL numbers are always something to get really excited about! There's no way this guy is done by 2008 having never gotten past Low-A!
- Gavin Floyd, RHP, Phillies (Triple-A Scranton): 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Still a 4.35 ERA after losing big league rotation job; stuff is still good, but Phillies are frustrated.
- Zack Greinke, RHP, Royals (Double-A Wichita): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Best start of the season lowers ERA to 5.37; where it goes from here is anyone's guess.
- Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Indians (Triple-A Buffalo): 2-for-4, HR (6), R, 2 RBI, BB. Failed during brief time in big leagues, but scouts still love the defense and think he could become a good fourth outfielder, maybe a bit more.
- Alex Gordon, 3B, Royals (Double-A Wichita): 2-for-4, 2B, R; 2-for-3, HR (), 2 R, RBI, SB. Home runs in five of last six games and up to .315/.416/.558; the best prospect in baseball and a potential MVP.
- Deolis Guerra, RHP, Mets (Low-A Hagerstown): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Big-budget international signing has been every bit as good as advertised; 2.45 ERA in 14 starts while getting up to 95 mph and features an already plus changeup.
- Tommy Hansen, RHP, Braves (Rookie-level Danville): 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K. Sleeper Alert! A 22nd-round draft-and-follow has pro body and impressive stuff; 2.61 ERA in first eight starts.
- J.A. Happ, LHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K. 2.17 ERA in six starts; scouting reports don't match the numbers as he projects as a back-end starter.
- Phil Humber, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K. 2004 first-round pick was promoted to Double-A after game; projects as solid big league starter five years from now once he changes organizations three times.
- Eric Hurley, RHP, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Just second Double-A start; should be mainstay in Texas rotation by 2008.
- Hernan Iribarren, 2B, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 2-for-3, R, SB. Underrated hitting machine with line-drive bat and good wheels; 14-for-29 during eight-game hitting streak and .335/.379/.415 overall.
- Dan Johnson, 1B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-5, HR (6), 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, K. Killing it since demotion to minors; .450/.521/.833 in 15 games.
- Jair Jurrjens, RHP, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 K. Still struggling since moving up to Double-A; scouts wonder if command-over-stuff style will work at upper levels.
- Kila Kaiaihue, 1B, Royals (Double-A Wichita): 1-for-1, HR (3), R, 3 RBI, BB. Hitting just .194/.292/.289 but could develop enough power and patience to end up horribly overrated down the road; in other news, Royals scouts are hot on some Florida high school sophomore named Hosmer.
- Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers (Rookie-level GCL Dodgers): 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 10 K. Seventh overall pick is one of the best high-school lefties in recent memory; 1.29 ERA in first six games with 31 strikeouts in 21 innings.
- Evan Longoria, 3B, Devil Rays (High-A Visalia): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 K. Third overall pick last month continues to mash with .361/.439/.680 line; should move up to Double-A in a few days while the Rockies still think they made the right pick with Greg Reynolds at No. 2.
- Jed Lowrie, SS, Red Sox (High-A Wilmington): 2-for-4, R. This 2005 supplemental first-round pick is struggling with bat and doesn't have the range for shortstop; just .236/.342/.315 in 66 games.
- Fernando Martinez, OF, Mets (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-for-5, 2B. 17-year-old continues to blow away scouts with his combination of skills and tools; .326/.383/.474 in 41 games and will be a monster if he can stay healthy.
- Cameron Maybin, OF, Tigers (Low-A West Michigan): 2-for-5, RBI, BB, K, SB. Last year's first-round pick is among the hottest bats in the Midwest League; six straight multi-hit games (16-for-26) and up to .333/.417/.490 overall.
- Joey Metropoulos, 1B, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 4-for-5, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, K, SB. No idea how a 270-pound first baseman steals a base, but scouts like his power and patience; .281/.411/.446 in 84 games.
- Nyjer Morgan, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-5, 2 R, SB. 9-for-17 in last four games and .310/.376/.398 since promotion to Eastern League, playing more left than center, where he doesn't profile well.
- Jeff Niemann, RHP, Devil Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K. Twelve shutout innings over last two starts and 2.93 ERA in eight; just needs to stay healthy to reach the big leagues.
- Chris Parmelee, OF, Twins (Rookie-level GCL): 2-for-4, HR (6), R, 2 RBI. First-round pick exciting scouts by already showing plenty of in-game power; .303/.366/.607 in first 27 pro games.
- Oliver Perez, LHP, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 0.1 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 0 K. I get the feeling he just might never figure out these control issues.
- Martin Prado, 2B/3B, Braves (Triple-A Richmond): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI. Lack of secondary skills shows with .292/.321/.348 overall line, but versatility should lead to at least a future utility role.
- Sean Rodriguez, OF, Angels (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 1-for-4, HR (21), R, 2 RBI, 2 K. At some point, people will start paying attention; .358 in July and .310/.383/.547 overall.
- Ricky Romero, LHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, K. Clearly doesn't belong at Double-A in first full season with 7.76 ERA in six starts and more walks than strikeouts; already looking like one of the bigger busts from last year's draft.
- Sergio Romo, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Has dominated the level with a 2.89 ERA, but is old for the level and has more command than stuff; scouts would like him better if he grew a thick, lustrous beard.
- Billy Rowell, 3B, Orioles (Rookie-level Bluefield): 3-for-5, 2B, RBI. First-round pick has yet to show power while really struggling with the glove (errors in three straight games); .263/.358/.316 overall.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 2-for-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB. Needs more games like this to regain title as best catching prospect around; just .217/.340/.372 in 81 games.
- Pablo Sandoval, 1B, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI. Bad-bodied corner infielder with hacktastic approach and limited power; .262/.310/.327 in 89 games and a fringy prospect at best.
- Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 0-for-0, HBP. Left game after being hit by pitch. I predict he'll return on August 6th, go 3-for-5 with two doubles and hit the big leagues by the end of the month.
- Justin Upton, OF, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 1-for-4, HR (8), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Last year's first overall pick remains a big disappointment in full-season debut; .259/.343/.399 in 82 games.
- Danny Valencia, 3B, Twins (Rookie-level Elizabethton): 4-for-4, 2 2B, HR (4), 3 R, 4 RBI. 19th-round pick has 18 total bases in last three games and his hitting .354/.425/.646 in his debut; college players beat up the Appy League all the time, and scouts see little more than an org player.
- Neil Walker, C, Pirates (High-A Lynchburg): 2-for-5, R, RBI, K. Former first-round pick finally showing some life with the bat; 8-for-15 in last three games and .275/.333/.374 overall, but still struggling behind the plate.