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How soon is now?


Josh Bell
, 3B, Orioles (AFL: Phoenix)
Yesterday’s stats: 4-for-5, 2B, 3B, 3 R, RBI, K

Things just seem to be lining up better and better for Bell since his trade to Baltimore. Now 8-for-15 with 13 total bases and just two strikeouts, Bell continues to do his best to prove to the team that he deserves a very real look next spring for the big-league third-base job, as the organization certainly isn’t picking up Melvin Mora‘s 2010 option. April might be a bit early, but some within the Orioles organization envision a Nolan Reimold-like scenario, where a hot start at Triple-A could get him there during the first half of the season.


More good news for Baltimore


Brandon Erbe
, RHP, Orioles (AFL: Phoenix)
Yesterday’s stats: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

While Erbe missed a considerable amount of time on the sidelines this year with shoulder soreness, he pitched very well when healthy, putting up a 2.34 ERA in 14 starts for Double-A Bowie while limiting Eastern League to a .170 batting average. He looked especially sharp when he returned at the end of the season, and that stretch continued on Monday, as he retired all six batters he faced while sitting at 92-94 mph with his fastball. He’s a strange prospect who went from underrated to overrated, and now maybe he’s underrated again.


Making the list nearly every day


Scott Sizemore
, 2B, Tigers (AFL: Peoria Javelinas)
Yesterday’s stats: 3-for-4, 2 2B, R, 4 RBI

Sizemore seems to be making the off-season updates on a nearly daily basis, but that’s because he just keeps hitting, and scouts keep coming clean about their own mancrushes for him. The guy can just flat out rake, as evidenced in part by his 17 total bases in his last three games, with one scout saying he could approach .300 in the big leagues right now.


Surging!


Ezequiel Carrera
, OF, Mariners (VEN: Magallanes)
Yesterday’s stats: 2-for-5, 2 3B, 3 R, K, SB

One of the many players who moved in the three-team trade between the Mets, Indians, and Mariners at last year’s winter meetings, Carrera intrigued the Mets with his speed and defense, but he had a true breakout in the Seattle organization this year, winning the Southern League batting title with a .337/.441/.416 line for Double-A West Tenn. Now batting .325/.400/.525 in 10 games for the Navegantes, Carrera is an old-school leadoff man who works the count and sprays line drives all over the place, but the extra-base hits are a pleasant addition to his game, as after accumulating just 18 during the regular season, he already has four in Venezuela.


Others of Note


  • Domonic Brown
    , OF, Phillies (AFL), 2-for-5, HR, R, RBI, K: He’s generating some crazy buzz so far with a .320/.414/.680 line in six games.

  • Grant Desme
    , OF, Athletics (AFL), 3-for-5, 2B, R: He’s gone 9-for-21 (.429) so far, and a big performance here could help alleviate concerns about his contact rate.

  • Jon Jay
    , OF, Cardinals (VEN), 3-for-4, HR, R, 4 RBIs: Jay’s trying to recover from a disappointing Triple-A season, but he could still profile as a good fourth outfielder.

  • Adam Loewen
    , 1B, Blue Jays (AFL), 1-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K: Despite a .236/.340/.355 line at High-A Dunedin during the regular season, scouts saw enough things they liked, and give him at least a fighter’s chance.