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August 10, 2010

Future Shock Blog

Minor League Update: Games of August 9

by Kevin Goldstein

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Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB, K.

A little-known 2009 13th-round pick entering the year, one could make the case that Carpenter deserves consideration for the big league opening at third base created by David Freese's ankle. 13-for-19 in his last five games and up to .341/.436/.520 in 81 Texas League games, scouts are reporting that Carpenter's bat and on-base skills are for real, and enough to make up for power that is a bit below average.

Jesus Montero, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 3-for-4, HR (13), R, 2 RBI.

The question of when we'll see Montero in the big leagues continues to be one I get a lot via email and Twitter. My answer at this point is, why? Between Lance Berkman and on a lesser level Austin Kearns, the Yankees don't really have a need for an extra bat, and while a September addition in recognition for a job well done is in the cards, don't expect too many plate appearances. Still, he's finally hitting like one expected all along, batting .363 and slugging .657 in his last 30 games. Once all the rentals are gone next spring, the Yankees will figure out how to get his bat in the lineup.

Gio Urshela, 3B, Indians (Short-Season Mahoning Valley): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI

Chances are good you've never heard of Urshela, but it's time to change that. Signed out of Columbia for $300,000, the 18-year-old has been more than holding his own of late against the more advanced competition of the New York-Penn League, going 16-for-32 in his last seven games to raise his season average to .301/.335/.398 while also flashing outstanding glove work on the hot corner. Right now, he's a nice sleeper in the Indians system, but he has plenty of time to make his case for the actual prospect list in the offseason.

Others Of Note

  • Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-for-4, 3B, R. Second straight multi-hit game with a triple; up to .299/.388/.483 in 25 games since promotion.
  • Yonder Alonso, 1B, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI, BB. 23-for-49 (.469) in last 12 games and .299/.356/.467 overall; good, but enough to be an elite first base prospect?
  • Matt Angle, OF, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 4-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Little spark plug can play any outfield position and run well; should be a good fourth outfielder done the road.
  • Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins (Rookie-level Elizabethton): 3-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI. Up to .402/.445/.783 as explosion continues.
  • Blake Beavan, RHP, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 5 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 3 BB, 0 K. One good Triple-A start and one bad; if he can't miss more bats (2 Ks in 11 IP), expect more bad.
  • Michael Burgess, OF, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 2-for-3, HR (12), R, 2 RBI. Overall season is a disappointment, but improved approach is finally paying off with .269/.342/.500 line since the All-Star break.
  • Ralston Cash, RHP, Dodgers (Rookie-level AZL Dodgers): 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Second-round pick has very good velocity; career high in innings and strikeouts.
  • Christian Colon, SS, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 2-for-3, 2 R, RBI, BB. Still the highest signed pick from the 2010 draft; third multi-hit game in last four, but still at just .257/.315/.358.
  • Kentrail Davis, OF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB. Seven-figure '09 pick is getting little attention, yet hitting .336/.425/.521.
  • Matt Dominguez, 3B, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 K. 7-for-16 in last four games; .247/.327/.409 line isn't great, but he's 20, has in-game power and plus-plus defense.
  • Wilmer Flores, SS, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI. Mini-slump is over; 10-for-26 during six-game hitting streak and .321/.339/.451 in 43 games since move up to Florida State League.
  • Matt Gamel, 3B/OF/1B, Brewers (Triple-A Nashivlee): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI. First game this year at first base; averages up to .306/.381/.479.
  • Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 3-for-5, R, K, CS. Third three-hit game in last five, averages still don't move much at good-not-great .286/.333/.369.
  • David Holmberg, LHP, Diamondbacks (Rookie-level Missoula): 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Acquired in Hudson/Jackson deal; lefty is very high on polish, but stuff is lacking.
  • Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 1-for-4, HR (9), R, RBI, 2 K. Nine home runs in 97 at-bats since move to Double-A; .299/.364/.629 overall.
  • Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB. What's more interesting – Jackson's .298/.409/.489 line in 36 games or the fact that he's playing in corners as much as center since his promotion?
  • Brian Jeroloman, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 1-for-2, HR (2), 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K. Arencibia's future backup is doing his best impression with two home runs in first three Triple-A games.
  • Ian Krol, LHP, Athletics (Low-A Kane County): 5 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. As if 18 walks in 113.2 innings isn't impressive enough, how about six in his last 75.2 innings?
  • Brett Lawrie, 2B, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 3-for-4, HR (8), 2 R, 3 RBI. 13-for-31 (.419) during seven-game hitting streak and .291/.352/.472 overall.
  • J.D. Martinez, OF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (3), 2 R, 4 RBI, K. Maybe the Astros really have something in this guy; 14-for-26 in last seven games and .326/.404/.489 in 25 Texas League contests.
  • Mike Montgomery, LHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Healthy and back on track as one of the best lefty prospects in the game.
  • J.R. Murphy, C, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 2-for-4, HR (5), 2 R, RBI, K. First real hot streak of the year; five multi-hit games in last ten and “up” to .257/.310/.372.
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Mets (Triple-A Buffalo): 3-for-4, 3 RBI, BB. 7-for-21 since promotion; might not be room for him until 2012.
  • Justin O'Conner, C, Rays (Rookie-level GCL Rays) 2-for-3, 2 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB. First-round pick struggled to reach Mendoza line for first month; now at .238/.326/.398.
  • Jimmy Paredes, 2B, Astros (Low-A Lexington): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB. Former Yankee who came over in the Berkman trade is hitting .357/.372/.524 in ten games since promotion.
  • Wily Mo Pena, 1B/OF, Padres (Triple-A Portland): 4-for-5, HR (5), R, 3 RBI. Up to .385/.438/.631 in 18 games; I just think it's kind of fun.
  • Bruce Pugh, RHP, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Peripherals are significantly stronger than 4.11 ERA; 96 Ks in 87.2 innings and just 67 hits allowed.
  • Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B, Mets (Rookie-level Kingsport): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (11), 2 R, 3 RBI, K. 18-year-old has big power, questionable defensive skills.
  • Kyle Russell, OF, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (7), R, RBI, K. Finally getting some results at Double-A; 12-for-31 (.387) with five doubles and four home runs in nine August games.
  • Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 3-for-6, 2 R, SB. .300/.400/.488 line still impresses, but has just two home runs in last 39 games.
  • Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (Rookie-level Johnson City): 3-for-5, 2 2B, HR (7), R, 5 RBI, K. Breakout player in a system that desperately needs one; 18-year-old Dominican is batting .345/.381/.601 and showing off some massive raw power.
  • Chris Tillman, RHP, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 6.2 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K. Best start since returning to minors; there's still plenty of potential here.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

Related Content:  Triple-A,  Promotion

29 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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"Singed out of Columbia for $300,000..."

Wow, that is a nice bonus for a freshman Ivy-Leaguer, though I'm not sure why the poor kid had to be burned in the process. Pretty harsh hazing, no? ;-)

Aug 10, 2010 08:48 AM
rating: 5

The Ivy League reference was part of the joke, BTW, since Urshela is from Cartegna, Colombia (yes, Colooombia), not the prestigious NYC academic institution. We're halfway to editorial excellence now, since at least young Gio is no longer being singed... though perhaps that was appropriate slip given his hot streak at the plate and manning the hot corner in the field.

Aug 10, 2010 13:39 PM
rating: 1
Greg Ioannou

I thought "will be strange not to see Arencibia mentioned on this list" -- but there he is anyway.

Aug 10, 2010 08:52 AM
rating: 2
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Had to keep the streak going?

Aug 10, 2010 10:44 AM
Dave Holgado

Kevin, do you think there is any chance of a September cup of coffee for Tim Collins, even though he's not yet on the 40-man? And, inspired by his scoreless 3-inning appearance on Sunday, I have to ask: is there any chance that the Royals would be willing to take a closer look at whether Collins could handle a starter's workload?

Aug 10, 2010 08:55 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

It's not broke, don't fix it. I just can't see a 5-6, 145 guy handling 200 innings, or even 100 pitches a night.

Aug 10, 2010 10:45 AM

Hmmm, Bobby Shantz?

Aug 11, 2010 10:21 AM
rating: 0

Shantz had a big year throwing 279 innings in 1952, but did not pitch much or nearly as well in the next few years. Although he had one more good year as a starter, he was mainly a reliever after that, so I think Kevin has a point here.

Aug 11, 2010 10:47 AM
rating: 0

Have you recieved any positive reports from Idaho Falls on Lane Adams? For someone signed to play basketball coming out of high school does his line over the last 10 games (.385/.457/.615, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, and 2 SB) mean his athleticism is starting to become playable tools?

Aug 10, 2010 09:04 AM
rating: 0

No love for toolsy Scott Cousins and the nice little tear he's on? Is he not a real prospect at this point?

Aug 10, 2010 09:05 AM
rating: 1

Russ Canzler for the Cubs AA Smokies is now batting .298/.388/.592 in 309 PA. He's split time between 1B and 3B, but wondering if there's any hope he can stick at 3B to help his prospect status.

Aug 10, 2010 09:09 AM
rating: 0

Canzler is tough to figure. He's been in the system for several years and hasn't really shown much consistency. However, he only just turned 24, his plate discipline has improved, and the power numbers are legit this year. Not a big platoon split this season either. With Vitters struggling and hurt, I have to think Canzler will get a look at 3B in Iowa next year (although Marquez Smith, in limited time, has had a solid offensive year at AAA this season).

Aug 10, 2010 10:22 AM
rating: 0

Well he was drafted out of high school in 2004 and has pretty much been a one level at a time guy. Looks like he started taking walks last year, and this year has been hitting the ball out of the yard. I've never seen a scouting report on him though, so all I can go on is the stats.

Aug 10, 2010 11:15 AM
rating: 0

The Cardinals do well with 13th round third basemen.

Aug 10, 2010 09:29 AM
rating: 5
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Post of the day?

Aug 10, 2010 10:45 AM

Teams seem to run on Murphy a lot: nearly two attempts per game at a greater than 75% success rate. Why do I have a feeling this is another Yankee catcher prospect destined to end up somewhere else on the diamond?

Aug 10, 2010 12:03 PM
rating: 0
Drew Miller

Love this stuff as always, Kevin. One question: Is Arcia's line the best line ever put up (across at least 200 PAs) by a 19-or-younger player in rookie ball?

Aug 10, 2010 12:28 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I highly doubt it.

Aug 10, 2010 12:44 PM
Drew Miller

Hmmmm. I wonder who could have done better (or where to search for such a thing).

Aug 10, 2010 14:41 PM
rating: 0
Drew Miller

I checked each league, starting with the Pioneer League (for some reason). The earliest year that BBRef keeps OPS data for the Pioneer League is 1962, but there are the following gaps:


Nevertheless, according to the available data, no one has had a better OPS at 19 or younger in the Pioneer League than Arcia.

Doing the same for the Appy league (Arcia's league, which has similar gaps in data), we find...Arcia is still #1.

Moving on to the Arizona League...same thing.
Venezuelan Summer League...same.
Gulf Coast League...same.
Dominican Summer League...same.

There are a lot of gaps in the data, and I'm not sure what it means (since most players who destroy rookie ball get promoted quickly), but based on the available data, Arcia has in fact posted the best line (OPS) ever for a 19-or-younger player in rookie ball history.

Aug 10, 2010 15:43 PM
rating: 4
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Research appreciated!

That said, those are some HUGE gaps. From 1963-90, you have four years.

Aug 10, 2010 16:20 PM
Drew Miller

Yep. I didn't look beyond BBRef. I didn't know of a good site offhand for the results I was looking for.

Aug 10, 2010 20:34 PM
rating: 0
Drew Miller

Gamel: "First game this year at first base."

Your 2011 Brewers first baseman?

Aug 10, 2010 12:30 PM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

That's a good guess.

Aug 10, 2010 12:45 PM

I wouldn't read too much into Jackson moving around the outfield. I think the Cubs want to get him used to playing every position because they don't know what OF position is going to be open when they need to call him up. It might even be left field if Soriano gets hurt. Plus, they seem to have an unhealthy Tony Campana fixation, although that dude is fast.

Aug 10, 2010 12:57 PM
rating: 0
Lou Proctor

I was thinking the same thing, that they just want him to fill in at whatever position has an opening. But, even if a corner outfield spot opens up, wouldn't they be better off moving Byrd over and having Jackson in center? Not taking anything away from Marlon Byrd, who I consider to be an average centerfielder, but I think their outfield defense would improve this way. Jim Hendry probably just doesn't want another disgruntled player on his hands.

Or maybe I'm overrating jacksons defense.

Aug 10, 2010 13:49 PM
rating: 0

Your willingness to entertain the thought of JD Martinez as a maybe-real prospect makes me weepy with joy. I refuse to get my hopes up though.

Aug 10, 2010 13:20 PM
rating: 0

Has Tillman's stock fallen a lot this year? I noticed his strikeout rate is down to around 7 k/9 in Norfolk, and last year it was well over 9. What do you think this could be attributed to?

Aug 10, 2010 13:22 PM
rating: 0

I, too, would love to hear more about Tillman. I know he was working on a cutter and possibly the change, amybe that explains the lower K/9 in AAA...but, check the major-league numbers, he wasn't striking out ANYBODY in the majors. This was true even when he had good starts, BTW.

In the majors, his velocity was never as good as advertised, either - he sat 89-91, not 92-94, and the fastball was pretty straight. Frankly, I don't know how that kind of stuff could have generated those minor league numbers, so I have to wonder whether he's hurt, or his mechanics are off, or what.

I don't know whether "pitch-type values" are a valid stat, but they correctly diagnose that Tillman's fastball has not been a major-league-level pitch.

So, any comments here, Kevin? I know it sometimes just all comes together for a guy, and it can be a mysterious process...but do scouts see anything wrong with Tillman (other than the results).


O's fans everywhere

Aug 11, 2010 07:15 AM
rating: 0
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