Buster Posey, C, Giants (Triple-A Fresno)
Monday’s stats: 3-for-5, 2B, RBI, K
With a .326/.428/.540 batting line at High-A San Jose, Posey was clearly ready for a new challenge for some time, and a two-level jump occurred as the Giants wanted to leave defensive specialist Jackson Williams at Double-A to work on his offense. After going 2-for-13 in his first three games for the Grizzlies before getting a day off, Posey had his first big Pacific Coast League game on Monday night. He is lined up for a September look and the full-time job in 2010.
Taking it all in stride
Kelly Johnson, 2B, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett)
Monday’s stats: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 7 RBI
Technically, Johnson is at Triple-A on a rehab assignment for a wrist injury. In reality, he has lost his job to Martin Prado after hitting .214/.286/.359 in the first three months of the season. Either way, Johnson isn’t pouting, as he’s 7-for-13 in his last three games, including a pair of bombs off Baltimore lefty prospect Troy Patton on Monday.
Jon Gaston, OF, Astros (High-A Lancaster)
Monday’s stats: 2-for-2, 2 HR (25), 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB
A seventh-round pick out of Arizona last year, Gaston didn’t even hit his weight in the New York-Penn League last year, but now his has some of the most impressive numbers in the minors, batting .307/.393/.659 while leading the minor leagues in home runs, runs and total base. He’s also showing off some intriguing athleticism, including 12 stolen bases and 13 triples, which ties him for another overall minor league lead. Playing in the bandbox that is Lancaster sure helps, but there’s something real here as well.
Shutting them down
Casey Crosby, LHP, Tigers (Low-A West Michigan)
Monday’s stats: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K
After missing all of 2008 recovering from Tommy John, Monday’s effort was really just an exclamation point on what has been an outstanding full-season debut for the 19-year-old. In a system filled with big guys who throw hard, Crosby still stands out as a strong 6-foot-5 lefty who consistently pumps out mid-90s gas, and that has been enough to record 94 strikeouts in 81.1 innings so far this year, as his secondary stuff and command still lag a bit behind.
Ben Revere, OF, Twins (High-A Fort Myers)
Monday’s stats: 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI
Revere isn’t the kind of guy who’s had those one big day, so he has rarely shown up in the Minor League Update, but he’s 12-for-28 in his last six games and batting .312/.374/.385, so here’s a note for an overall job well done. Revere has made significant progress is nearly every aspect of his game this year, drawing more walks, striking out rarely (just four times all month), and improving his base running, while scouts are convinced he’s going to run into more power down the road.
Ryan Westmoreland, OF, Red Sox (Short-season Lowell)
Monday’s stats: 3-for-3, 3B, HR (3) 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB
Westmoreland’s .293/.412/.489 line is impressive enough for a pro debut. In 25 games, he has hit for power, drawn 19 walks, and stolen eight bases without getting caught, but it’s the scouting reports that are really moving him up prospect lists. While he has yet to take the field because of his surgically repaired shoulder, every other tool is grading at least plus, and his $2 million bonus is looking like a bargain already.