Fun with numbers

Grant Desme
, OF, Athletics (AFL: Phoenix)
Yesterday’s stats: 2-for-4, HR (8), R, 3 RBI

At this point it’s getting a bit wacky, as Desme has gone deep in five straight games and seven of his last eight. His .442/.500/1.047 line is insane enough, but one can have even more fun with the small sample sizes once splits enter the picture. My current favorite is that with runners in scoring position and two outs, the 23-year-old outfielder is 3-for-6, with all three hits going over the fence. Any way you look at it, it’s been an remarkable two weeks. Now we just have to figure out what it means for his prospect status. It’s a move up; the question is just how big of one.

A lot of glove, and just enough bat

Zack Cozart
, SS, Reds (AFL: Peoria Saguaros)
Yesterday’s stats: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB, K

Cozart’s solid offensive showing during his pro debut in 2008 was tempered by the fact that he was a bit advanced for Low-A, but a two-level jump to Double-A gave scouts a much better opportunity to figure out what the Reds have here, and more and more think that while he’s not a star, he’s a legitimate big league shortstop. An above-average defender, Cozart doesn’t hit for much average, but he makes up for it with a solid number of walks and double-digit power. After slugging two home runs on Friday, Cozart followed that up with another good game with the bat. While he’ll start 2010 at Triple-A, he has a good chance to finish it in the majors.

Finding his groove

Zach Putnam
, RHP, Indians (AFL: Peoria Saguaros)
Yesterday’s stats: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Few players in the 2008 draft generated more wide-ranging opinions than Putnam, whose maddening inconsistency led to several teams changing up their scouting schedules in order to see him as many times as possible to get an accurate evaluation. Fears of high bonus demands dropped him to the fifth round that June, but his over-slot $600,000 bonus fell somewhere around the median for how teams valued him. After impressing as a starter to begin the year, Putnam moved to the bullpen at Double-A Akron, and while his 4.13 ERA fails to impress, he came on strong late in the year when he began mixing in a true four-seam fastball that can get up to 95 mph with a plus splitter that he was beginning to depend on too much. The bullpen move was a temporary measure to see if he had any chance of helping a big league team desperate for relief help, and he’ll return to starting next year.

Looking like an early steal

Aaron Miller
, LHP, Dodgers (AFL: Peoria Javelinas)
Yesterday’s stats: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Many pro scouts in baseball have little or no amateur coverage, so many are seeing Miller for the first time, and you know a player is gaining helium when a scout says to you, as one recently did about Miller, “How did this guy get past the first round?” A big, very athletic left-hander, Miller doesn’t have monster velocity, but it sits about average and can get up to 92-93 mph when he needs to dial it up a bit, and his power breaking ball is a true plus offering. He cruised at Low-A after signing, with a 2.08 ERA in seven Midwest League starts, and he should reach Double-A at some point in his full-season debut.

Others of Note

  • Domonic Brown
    , OF, Phillies (AFL), 2-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, K: Eight of his 13 hits have gone for extra bases so far, but scouts still have debates as to the size of the gap between his raw and present power.

  • Starlin Castro
    , SS, Cubs (AFL), 2-for-5, R, K, SB: In June, there wasn’t much of a debate as to who the top prospect in the Cubs system was, but now Castro is making it interesting.

  • Ruben Tejada
    , SS, Mets (AFL), 2-for-3, BB, SO, SB: Batting .344/.417/.438 in eight games without an error, Tejada boasts outstanding fundamentals and average tools.