A big week in prospect news as Anthony Rizzo, Dee Gordon, Jemile Weeks, Charlie Blackmon and Mike Moustakas received their respective invitations to the majors. Not to mention Brett Lawrie and his broken hand causing the the frequent waiver wire add/drop addicts to learn delayed gratification. Then there’s the psychotic mind-tease of the Rays, Diamondbacks, and Twins. Here are some other names to keep an eye on in the up coming weeks and year.
Desmond Jennings | TB | OF: How bad does Sam Fuld have to play before Jennings receives his call-up? He’s on a legitimate tear! Shows more power, continues to play excellent defense and remains a top prospect. Any day now, Rays. You can’t keep a 20/20 type player in them minors forever.
David Cooper | TOR | 1B: What do you call a first base prospect that has a plus .400 BABIP with only three home runs and gap power? A product of the PCL. He’s a .275, 15 home run hitter. So James Loney. There isn’t a place for him in the majors, but his early season call up is not indicative of his talent. Neither are his numbers this year at Triple-A.
Jose Altuve | HOU | 2B: I’ve been keeping a close eye on this young second base prospect for nearly two years. The epitome of a Sparky Anklebiter at a listed 5′ 7″, 166 lbs. Plays great defense, gap power, 10 to 15 home run potential, excellent baserunner and the prototypical number two hitter. He was recently promoted to Double-A after hitting ..408/.451/.606 (.295 BABIP) at High-A Lancaster, a notorious hitting environment. Currently sustaining similar success in a small sample size. Could be a Luis Castillo type player with slightly more power. ETA, 2012.
Jesus Montero | NYY | C: The power and plate discipline has been in remission while his strikeouts have increased. Then combined with the fact the Yankees have to stroke the ego of Posada, I don’t expect Montero to be up until the rosters expand in September.
Kyle Weiland | BOS | RHP (SP): The Red Sox recently called up Michael Bowden, even though he’s been pitching well this year, his history suggests otherwise. Next prospect could be Weiland who projects as a reliever, but has started at each level. Currently at Triple-A, he’s striking out over nine batters per nine-innings. He has a mid-90s sinking fastball and hard biting curve; changeup is still a work-in-progress. The perfect combo for a reliever.
Paul Goldschmidt | ARI | 1B: Another week, another home run. Okay, two more home runs. Blah, blah, blah. Be nice to see him called up but I wouldn’t hold my breath for one in June.
James Darnell | SD | 3B: Speaking of prospects who perform well but aren’t getting promoted. Darnell has done everything (.363/.459/.656, .379 BABIP) to be promoted to Triple-A. There are rumors of the Padres moving Chase Headley for some prospects. If this occurs, I would expect Darnell to see PT in the majors.
The next three prospects most likely won’t see time in the majors this year, at most, in September.
Austin Hyatt | PHI | RHP (SP): Has continued and improved upon his impressive 2010 season. With 9.9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9, Hyatt has stymied Double-A hitters. Not a top-flight prospect, I do believe he has the ability to be a number four fantasy starter, or number three or four start in a normal rotation.
Eric Surkamp | SF | LHP (SP): I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves: 10.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, .4 Hr/9, 2.60 FIP. He has a heavy sinking fastball, a plus curveball and plus changeup. The Giants are breeding pitchers. Not as dynamic as Matt Moore, but equally as intriguing.
Edwar Cabrera | COL | LHP (SP): Slightly old for his level (22 at Single-A), he signed a contract when he was only nearly 21. He’s posting Matt Moore type numbers (11.9 K/9 [101 K's], 1.9 BB/9 in 78 IP) with a 91 to 92 MPH fastball with a deceptive and plus changeup. Scouts praise his ability to pitch and setup his changeup. He’s still refining his breaking pitch. I believe if he continues to pitch this well by year’s end, he’ll be raising sharply up prospect boards.