Some good news, for a change

Brad Lincoln, RHP, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis)
Wednesday’s stats: 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K
This decade has been littered with pitchers taken by the Pirates in the first round, only to have their careers destroyed by arm surgery before they could make an impact in the big leagues. Lincoln is trying to change all that, as the 2006 first-round pick continued to impress is his return from Tommy John surgery by earning the win in his Triple-A debut. With a fastball that has been up to 94 mph this year as well as two solid secondary pitches, Lincoln is suddenly looking very close to the big leagues, and he can help the Pirates offense as well, as the former two-way star at Houston also had a pair of singles on the night.

In other Triple-A debut news . . .

Marc Rzepczynski, LHP, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas)
Wednesday’s stats: 5 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K

Rzepczynski made the update last week by allowed one run over 20 innings in his last three Double-A starts, and he kept the momentum going with a domination Pacific Coast League debut. He won’t be a dominating force, as his command and secondary pitches are better than his fastball, but he’s looking more and more like a big leaguer, and one who could suddenly be getting a look at the end of the year.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Angel Salome, C, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville)
Wednesday’s stats: 4-for-8, 2B, HR (4), R, 2 RBI, 2 K

He’s looks weird, at 5-foot-7 and 200-plus pounds. He hits weird, with a strange stance and pronounced step before his swing but, in the end, he just keeps hitting. After a slow start, he’s now 13-for-30 in his last five games and batting .283 overall. I spoke to a scout today who summed up Salome better than I ever could: “He doesn’t do anything the way you think a guy should, but he gets it done.”

On a roll, yet again

Michael Taylor, OF, Phillies (Double-A Reading)
Wednesday’s stats: 3-for-5, K
While it was Taylor’s third consecutive three-hit contest, it was almost notable that he failed to go deep, as he did that in his three previous games, lifting his season averages to .340/399/.579. There are still some scouts out there who are on the fence about just what kind of future he has in the big leagues, but that debate is no more if he’ll be average or a star more than anything else, as opposed to anyone thinking he’s not going to get there and be productive.

Built for speed

Josh Prince, SS, Brewers (Rookie-level Helena)
Wednesday’s stats: 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 SB
A third-round pick by the Brewers two weeks ago, Prince led the country with 48 stolen bases for Tulane this spring. His second professional game was more than a little crazy, as he swiped six, including third base twice. A true burner with a leadoff man’s approach, scouts debate Prince’s ability to stay at shortstop, but not his ability to wreck havoc at the top of the order.

Sleeper Alert!

Matt Sulentic, OF, Athletics (Double-A Midland)

Wednesday’s stats: 4-for-5, 3B, 2 HR (5), 4 R, 6 RBI, BB, K

A third-round pick in 2006, Sulentic looked like one of the bright young hitters in the system before having some struggles once he moved to the full-season leagues. He’s bounced back with some solid performances of late, and with last year’s career night, he’s now batting .291/.346/.456 in 55 Texas League games as a 21-year-old. He lacks the power to be an everyday in a corner, but with a sweet swing from the left side, he could end up with a nice career as a bench outfielder.

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Hey Kevin, I asked this yesterday, but since he made the update it's a more appropriate question today. Where would Taylor rank if we redid the top 100?
I'm honestly not sure -- that would require me to not only re-evaluate Taylor, but also every other player in the game. My gut tells me he'd certainly be up, but it might not be as much as you'd expect. Not everyone is convinced he's a big star in the end -- still a lot of scouts on the fence.
It's refreshing to hear about guys who "could end up with a nice career as a bench outfielder." and not tons of hype on every player.
Hey, good call on Prince! :) Can you elaborate on what scouts are saying about his defense? You said in your draft review that he had "true shortstop tools". As for Salome, he's got a 932 OPS in June and 13 XBH, after registering only five in the first two months of the season. The problem, as it always has been, is his defense. Manager Don Money indicated that Salome wouldn't be ready next year even, and only "maybe" ready in 2011.
I think true shortstop tools say it all -- he has the range, hands and arm to stay there. Like pretty much every other guy in the Pioneer League, he's going to need refinement, but he really is a shortstop, which you certainly can NOT say about every guy in the Pioneer League. The scout I talked to didn't think Salome was that bad defensively. A rough receiver for sure, but liked the arm.
saw bowden pitch at norfolk last night. 6 IP 6K 1 run on a HR... he has an odd delivery- look like a relivers motion. strange kick and arm traction. is he a starter long term?
Bowden's delivery has been the subject of a lot of debate since back when he was in high school. It's long in the back, basically, and pretty funky. Now that we're well into his development, he's never been hurt, and while it's funky, he repeats it very well, the concern is minimal, if there at all.
I realize this is the minor league update, but I figured asking here would be fine. Are there any major prospects in the Coastal Plains League? I just moved down to Wilmington, so going to games would be really easy.
I don't know much about the Sharks, but definitely go to Flaming Amy's.
Kevin - while he's currently in the majors, I believe he still qualifies as a prospect - what is your opinion of Brett Cecil and his arm wrap? Will that lead to a few more crooked innings? Is it correctable? Thanks