In a week where the Angels surprisingly called up stellar top-prospect Mike Trout and the Reds called up Zack Cozart and his 15/30 potential, the Rays continue to be content leaving their top hitting prospect in the minors. The rumor and report out of St. Petersburg is that Desmond Jennings has a bruised right index finger. He will be missing the next several games and the Triple-A All-Star game. This could explain his recently poor slash line of .235./350/.441 in 34 at-bats. Furthermore, he’s striking out more than ever (23.3 K%) but it’s coming with increased power (.183 ISO is a career high too). Injuries have been an issue in the past, yet he has been fairly healthy this year. At this point, his arrival in Tampa is predicated on something more than his Super-Two status. My last and final guess is once his finger is healed and after the All-Star break.
Dayan Viciedo | CHW | 3B/OF: Has four home runs in his last 10 games and is hitting .325/.374/.535 in 342 at-bats. Currently walking at a career high-rate (6.3 BB%) and is keeping his strikeouts in check (19.5 K%). Statistically buoyed with a .367 BABIP, yet remaining numbers are trending positively with improved discipline and efficiency.
James Darnell | SD | 3B: Promoted to Triple-A on Independence Day. Has started 6 for 17 with home runs in three straight games. The Padres 12th ranked prospect has thrived since the beginning of this year. His average power and average defense will be limited in the spacious Petco Park. Could be a 17 to 25 home run player in his prime. September call up appears in line.
Tom Milone | WAS | LHP (SP): His 85 to 90 MPH fastball, in concert with a slow, “funky” delivery and stellar command continues to deceive hitters. He also throws an above-average changeup an average cutter and a fringe curveball. In his two starts this past week, he went 13.1 innings with 12 strikeoust and 9 baserunners (2 walks). Simply stupendous. With 103 IP, a .302 BABIP, a 68.8 LOB%, 9.4 K/9, .6 BB/9 and a 2.11 FIP, Milone has quietly put together a solid season.
Alex Liddi | SEA | 3B: The Mariners called up Kyle Seager to play third instead of Liddi. He has put together a solid season at Triple-A with 42 XBH (17 Hr) and a .257/.329/.480 slash line (346 AB), but has been hindered by his 110 strikeouts (36 BB). This has been his M.O. at each level. Seager has been hot and Liddi has been consistent.
Ryan Lavarnway | BOS | C: Promoted to Triple-A during early June, he has continued to display his hitting ability. Defensively, Lavarnway will always be a liability. With above-average power to all fields and solid control of the strike zone, Lavarnway has the potential to be the perfect fantasy catcher: 15 to 20 home runs with a poor average – a true start and ignore options without the acid-reflex.
Jason Kipnis | CLE | 2B: Has been in a mini-cold streak since the start of July, going 5 for 21 with 7 strikeouts.
The following three pitchers have received great fanfare from me, and will continue to do so. All three had a good week 15.
Eric Surkamp | SF | LHP (SP): 11 strikeouts in 5.2 innings and 5 baserunners (3 walks) and 0 ER. Does have a 85.3 LOB% which would lead one to expect a regression towards the mean.
Matt Moore | TB | LHP (SP): 14 IP, 18 Ks, 9 baserunners (3 BB) and 2 ER. Triple-A should be in his near future. Please, Andrew Friedman, don’t make this another Hellickson time frame with an evil twist of Jennings.
Brad Peacock | WAS | RHP (SP): 6 IP, 7 baserunners (2 BB), 9 Ks, 0 ER. Continues to flaunt his plumage.
Liam Hendriks | MIN | RHP (SP): The Twins will call up Kyle Gibson before Hendriks who is in Double-A. However, I want to get his bandwagon started. He throws a 90 to 93 MPH fastball with good sinking action. His slider breaks late and is considered best pitch and his changeup and curveball are of near equal quality. Scouts often debate which off-speed pitch is his best. Has easy delivery that is easily repeated and good command of all his pitches. Hendriks current line looks something like: 90 IP, 8.1 K/9, 1.80 BB/9, 2.70 ERA/2.82 FIP and a .310 BABIP.
Brett Jackson | CHC | CF: What’s not to like about a potential 20/20 player? Currently in midst of a 14 for 37 stretch with 4 XBH (3 HR). I would not be surprised to see the Cubs promoted him from Double-A to the majors like they did with Starlin Castro last year.
Jaff Decker | SD | 1B/LF: He’s the prototypical sabermetric player and fast aging ballplayer due to skill-set. He has plus-power and strong strike zone judgment (94:76 K:BB in 292 AB – 2011). Struggles on defense and hitting for a high average. While Darnell got the promotion to Triple-A will continuing on improving his .243/.404/.455 slash-line and 32 XBH (14 hr).