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Warming up with the weather

Jeff Clement, C, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma)
Sunday’s stats: 3-for-5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI
Clement got off to a slow start after not making the big league club in spring training, beginning the year in a miserable 1-for-20 slump. The good news is that scouts said he has still hitting the ball hard and just in a run of bad luck. That luck has turned around, as Clement is 13-for-28 in his last six games with six doubles and two home runs – raising his season averages to a solid .269/.358/.521.

Big guy, big arm

Cody Scarpetta, RHP, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin)
Sunday’s stats: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K
An 11th-round pick in 2007, the Brewers signed Scarpetta knowing that he’d need surgery to repair a tendon in his pitching hand. Since getting healthy, the 20-year-old has showcased a 91-94 mph power sinker and plus hard curveball, and he’s overpowering Midwest League hitters, limiting them to a .194 batting average on the season while recording 38 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. At six-foot-three and 240 pounds, he’s built to last, and if he can harness his control a bit more, he could move way up the prospect charts.

Sleeper alert

Calvin Anderson, 1B, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia)

Sunday’s stats: 1-for-3, HR (7), R, 2 RBI

A 12th-round pick last June out of Southern University, Anderson was a big raw power hitter in high school who became even bigger in college. Now at six-foot-seven and roughly 250 pounds, Anderson has plenty of raw power to spare, and is batting an impressive .324/.382/.622 in 31 games this year. His approach, which has led to just seven walks and 32 strikeouts in 111 at-bats could also be described as raw, but it’s hard to walk away from guys with this kind of physicality.

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billm21
5/18
Kevin, Calvin Anderson is a new name for me, so thanks once again for your daily updates. I know how much you like to follow these behemoth hitters. What's the best comp for Anderson from past jumbo-sized first baseman --- Kyle Blanks, Calvin Pickering, Walter Young, or ______ ?
kgoldstein
5/18
Those honestly are all good . . . as they say, he was a 12th round pick for a reason. And we're talking about a college guy busting up the Sally League, so there is certainly a lot of perspective required. Still . . . worth keeping an eye on.
chriscaroy
5/18
love these updates kevin! i was hoping wilkin ramirez might make the cut (7-8 with 3 hr's over the weekend) to hear your thoughts. he's up to 325/389/500 in toledo with 14-17 sb's. any chance he can break in to detroit's OF, or is he destined to 4th outfielder status? i find it surprising the tigers would be happier with josh anderson and/or clete thomas just because they are lefties...
gwguest
5/19
Do you think Clement is going to need a trade or position change to get an everyday shot in the bigs?
smallflowers
5/19
I only watch Seattle from afar, but my guess is that the reason they have taken such strides to improve their defense is to make SPs like Washburn, Bedard, and Silva more tradeable (masking a few of their issues). Two of them have been gowing pretty well -- Z is actually out-Beaning Beane thus far if that's his plan. I assume the same fate for Johjima. Despite his awful contract, Z sure has to be thinking about moving him at any cost if he becomes a valid option for anyone. Then I assume Clement re-enters the picture, mid-season, and becomes the starting catcher.
mymrbig
5/19
I agree with your analysis to some extent, though I would say that I think improving Washburn, Bedard, and Silva's value would be a by-product of the improved defense, not the motivation behind improving the defense. Silva seems like sunk cost right now, but Bedard and Washburn could be moved. That said, I disagree on Clement. I follow the M's reasonably closely and they haven't given any indication that they think Clement has improved enough defensively to be a starting major league catcher.