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A mystery wrapped around an enigma

Howie Kendrick>, 2B, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake)
Wednesday’s stats: 4-for-5, R, RBI
I don’t think you can find anyone who projected for Kendrick to be at Triple-A at midseason. He entered the year with a .306 career batting average in the big leagues, and after last night’s four-hit effort, his career minor league average now stands at .360. The .231/.281/.355 average he put up in 51 games for the Angels this year just stands out like a sore thumb and, frankly, looks more than a bit fluky. If the Angels are now committed to Maicer Izturis at second base, teams receiving calls from Anaheim this month will surely be inquiring about Kendrick, hoping to snare him when his value is at its lowest.

Making sure he gets in this time

Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Double-A Trenton)
Wednesday’s stats: 2-for-3, 2B, HR (4), R, RBI, BB

Montero arguably deserved a mention in yesterday’s update with a two-homer effort, so he upped the ante on Wednesday. After going homerless in his first 17 Double-A contests, he has now smacked four in his last three games, and is now batting .319/.395/.542. Have we mentioned that he’s only 19? He still needs to make some massive improvements in his defense to have a chance to stay at catcher, so it’s hard to figure out where he fits into the Yankees future, other than the middle of the lineup.

Out of sight, out of mind?

Yamaico Navarro, SS, Red Sox (High-A Salem)
Wednesday’s stats: 3-for-4, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI

Navarro had a break out campaign in 2008, batting .304/.359/.447 across two levels, but he seems to have been quickly forgotten about when a wrist injury kept him out for most of the first half of the season. Healthy and hitting again, the 21-year-old Dominican has gone deep in back-to-back games and is now 14-for-38 with 25 total bases in eight Carolina League games.

Giving credit where credit is due

James McOwen, OF, Mariners (High-A High Desert)
Wednesday’s stats: 2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI
A sixth-round pick two years ago out of Florida International, McOwen is what is commonly referred to in scouting parlance a “tweener” in the outfield, indicating that he lacks the speed to play center or the power to profile in a corner. Nonetheless, last night’s effort extended his California League record hitting streak to a whopping 38 games, a streak during which he’s been especially hot of late, going 20-for-45 in his last 10 contests.

All he does is hit

Angelo Songco, OF, Dodgers (Rookie-level Ogden)
Wednesday’s stats: 3-for-5, 2B, HR (3), R, 2 RBI, 2 K
One of college baseball’s best hitters, Songco had a fantastic career at Loyola Marymount, but a lack of overall tools and athleticism allowed him to fall to the fourth round. Signed for $225,000, Songco’s pro career is off to a flying start. In his first nine games, he’s batting a healthy .367/.457/.733.

Sleeper Alert!

Tyler Ladendorf, SS, Twins (Rookie-level Elizabethton)

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

Seen as the best junior college player in the country last year, Ladendorf was a second-round pick last year, but had a miserable pro debut that included a paltry line of .204/.308/.293 in the Gulf Coast League. Beginning the season in extended spring training this year, Ladendorf started the year with a 4-for-4 game and has never looked back, now batting .438 (14-for-32) with 10 runs and 11 RBI in just nine games.