An encouraging sign

Fausto Carmona, RHP, Indians (Low-A Lake County)
Thursday’s stats: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K
Now of course, a guy like Fausto Carmona is supposed to dominate in the Sally League, but at least he did. His fastball sat in the low 90s with its signature sink, while his command and secondary pitches were surprisingly sharp. With the big league club losing eight of ten games and suddenly 12 games out, they’ll take all the good news they can get.

We should point out when he’s doing well, too

Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates (Double-A Altoona)
Thursday’s stats: 2-for-4, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 3 RBI

Alvarez was featured in our daily look just two days ago, when he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his Double-A debut. Since then, he’s more than made up for it, going deep in each of his last two games. He’s certainly struggled more than expected this year, but the power and plate discipline are both very impressive and, again, nobody is writing him off.

Picking up the pace

Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves (High-A Myrtle Beach)
Thursday’s stats: 3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI

Freeman had a breakout season in 2008, but the pitching haven that is Myrtle Beach turned out to be a challenge, at least initially for Freeman, who hit just .253 in his first 20 games. Now 12-for-24 in his last six games and batting .317/.395/.474 overall in 63 games, he’s back to looking like one of the best pure hitters in the Carolina League.

It’s what he does . . .

Nick Weglarz, OF, Indians (Double-A Akron)
Thursday’s stats: 1-for-1, HR (11), R, RBI, 4 BB
Home runs and walks are what Weglarz brings to the table, and he showed why on Thursday night by going deep for the third straight game and is batting a healthy .324/.471/.634 in 22 games this month. He’s a hard prospect to truly evaluate, as he’s a 21-year-old player already with a old player skillset, but it’s a pretty nice skill set to have.

Activate the Minor League Update early warning system!

Kelvin DeLeon, OF, Yankees (Rookie-level GCL Yankees)
Thursday’s stats: 1-for-1, HR (1), 2 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB
Signed for over $1 million in 2007, DeLeon had an excellent debut in the Dominican Summer League last year, showcasing plenty of power, a good approach at the plate, and an impressive arm. Now in the States as an 18-year-old, DeLeon has begun his Gulf Coast League season by reaching base nine times over 12 plate appearances in his first three games.

Sleeper alert!

Blake Tekotte, OF, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne)

Thursday’s stats: 2-for-3, HR (8), 3 R, 4 RBI, BB

A third-round pick last year out of Miami, Tekotte was a fireplug at the top of the University of Miami lineup but, for the most part, his full-season debut has been a sizeable disappointment. For whatever reason, he’s finally caught fire, and is now 14-for-31 in his last seven games with three home runs and nine runs scores. One scouts who recently saw him walked away impressed, stating, “He has a nice swing, plays a solid center field, and can do a lot of things to beat you.”

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I thought Scott Elbert might get a mention today. Finished his AA stint with at least 9 K in his last 5 starts and then followed that up with 6 one hit innings in AAA last night. Any word on his stuff returning to pre-surgery levels? Has he turned the corner to comfortable project as a #2/3 starter or still more likely to be a power releiver? Thanks.
Hard to say. He still throws a bit lighter than pre surgery days, but it's much cleaner arm action and his control is a bit better as well. I can see him going either way, starter or reliever down the road, but it's hard to see him as a 2.
About Elbert: Fastball consistently in the lower 90's (from a left-hander), a killer breaking ball, a change-up that is certainly better than Kershaw's, and a minor league strikeout-per-9-innings rate that is better than Billingsley's ever was. I am not sure skepticism about whether Elbert can be a #2 starter is really warranted. He seems a lot like Mark Langston to me. Like Langston, or Billingsley for that matter, Elbert will walk a lot of guys, but he'll rack up the K's and not exactly be easy to hit. Heck, at Elbert's age (23), Randy Johnson walked about as many guys as he struck out playing for Double A Jacksonville.
Repeat after me, Randy Johnson is not a valid comp for any pitcher, especially if you are trying to comp career path.
Thanks for the updates. I see that DeLeon is playing in RF. Have you seen anything on his defense out there? If he's already in a corner at 18, is he in danger of growing out of the OF altogether and becoming a 1B/DH type?
Well, only one guy can play CF every day, and that doesn't mean all of the corner guys are potential 1Bs. Everything on a tools and athleticism level screams prototypical RF.
Kevin, I have heard a Jermaine Dye comp for DeLeon. Do you see that, or do you think he compares to anyone else? Thanks.
Kevin, I'd love to hear your take on Giants LHP Craig Clark. Granted he's a bit old for his league, but he's put up some great numbers the last year and a half: 192/35 K:BB in 187 IP. I watched him pitch last night in San Jose and was very impressed: low 90s fastball with excellent command, and two quality off speed offerings. I'm throwing down a Ted Lilly comp on him. Why's there no buzz?
Your take on Starlin Castro of the Cubs? He seems well advanced for his tender age in the tough Florida State League, and his MVP performance in the All-Star game was prety special. Is he an Andrus-type talent?
What about De Leon's fellow GCL outfielder Eduardo Sosa? Who's the better prospect of the two?
I believe coming in to the season Sosa was ranked slightly ahead of De Leon primarily on the fact that he has better defense in CF (and is likely to stick there).