Every once in a while, I enjoy checking in on prospects that caused my red flag alarm to chirp. One of these prospects was Josh Vitters of the Chicago Cubs. In 2009, I wrote a Scouting the Unknown article that raised the war banners across the prospecting battlements. He ended that 2009 season on a positive note and followed up in 2010 like Delmon Young did his 2010 season in 2011. Vitters has rebounded nicely at age 21 in Double-A, currently hitting .285/.315/.455 (.297 BABIP) in 376 at-bats with 38 XBH (12 Hr) and 46:15 K:BB ratio. Allow myself to quote the StU article, “[free swinger] … walks less, or about the same as Delmon Young. Folks, that isn’t a compliment … K-rates are similar to Delmon Young too …Not to be a Debbie Downer or to have a Vitters Vendetta, but I don’t trust those peripherals.” Same concerns remain. As a free-swinging, hype driven prospect, his name has quickly become stale, especially when realizing he lacks professional hitting discipline even if his swing is exceptional.
Matt Moore | TB | LHP (SP): Just for schoolgirl giggles, here is Moore’s last two starts: 12 2/3 IP, 9 baserunners (2 BB), 2 ER, 20 Ks. Remember 2010’s rush for Strasburg? Rinse, wash and repeat for Moore, except the puns will only be worse.
Henderson Alvarez | TOR | RHP (SP): Shortly – two days – after I stated he was getting passed over for a start, he gets called up to face the A’s. Pitched 5 2/3 IP with 3 ER, 9 baserunners (1 BB) and 4 K. I feel this would be his typical stat line give or take a few baserunners and a run or three.
Garrett Richards | LAA | RHP (SP): The Angels 7th ranked prospect was dominated by the Yankees lineup on Wednesday to the tune of 6 ER in 5 IP with 8 baserunners (2 BB) and 2 Ks. Up next, the Texas Rangers. I’d avoid his next start. His talent is mid-rotation starter or power reliever. Personally reminds me of a slightly better Scott Baker.
Ryan Lavarnway | BOS | C: Every good captain needs a rude awakening that he’s vulnerable. Jason Varitek’s happens to be a young chap by the name of Ryan Lavarnway. He has 29 home runs in 402 at-bats across two levels. Currently, he is hitting .320/.401/.634 in 194 at-bats with a .373 BABIP at Triple-A (International League). Luck-schmuck, he should still receive a September promotion with that production.
Stephen Strasburg | WAS | RHP (SP): Grey mentioned him in Friday’s Buy/Sell article. At this point, he’s not going to save your team. He might add a few solid starts to solidify your standing. Seems to me he’s rushing. Most TJ pitchers returning in their first year struggle with command. This would be his first year.
Adeiny Hechavarria | TOR | SS: The Blue Jays promoted him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Not that his .235/.275/.347 slash line at Double-A warranted the reward. Best asset is defense and speed (is 19 for 32 on steal attempts), the same can be said for Alcides Escobar. With Yunel Escobar holding the fort, the Jays shouldn’t be rushing this young Cuban prospect.
Yonder Alonso | CIN | 1B/LF: Rotoworld informed that the world that, “Reds manager Dusty Baker said it’s possible Yonder Alonso could be demoted to Triple-A Louisville in order to get some playing time at third base.” I swear Dusty hates young prospects. If he cannot be a Sweatshop Foreman and cause an arm to fall off, he demotes them to waste their talent(s). Bawh!
Kyle Gibson | MIN | RHP (SP): This was not the way to start my work week. The Twins top pitching prospect, and arguably the Twins best prospect, has a partial tear in ulnar collateral ligament.Read: Dr. Freeze will have a new patient in no time. With what happened to Liriano, maybe the Twins shouldn’t assume modern medicine went the way of the dodo bird. Save the future and just have Dr. James Andrews perform TJ surgery. His June and July months have been razztastic (5.17 ERA in June and 13 ER in July over two starts). It’s possible the injury has been bothering him for a while. Here’s to crossing fingers and playing voodoo with GM Bill Smith’s intelligence.
Yasmani Grandal | CIN | C: Before Devin Mesoraco went all Mario on the koopa troopas in 2010, Grandal would have been the Reds top catching prospect when he was drafted in June 2010 – still is the better defender. Nevertheless, Mesoraco’s bat returned from a scurvy ravaged voyage across the Florida State League (2010 season) to steal his title. To further put a damper on Grandal’s season he has been placed on the DL due to a concussion suffered from a foul-tip off his mask. He was slashing .291/.386/.487 in 407 plate-appearances with 14 homers and 60 RBI. I see a Texas Rangers catching situation occurring in 2012. No, I am not saying Mesoraco and Grandal will struggle in the majors. I am saying that one can never have too many catching prospects. You never know if one will actually pan out.
Robbie Erlin | SD | LHP (SP): He’s one (new) Padres pitching prospect that I would love to own in the future. Check this out: 138:13 K:BB ratio in 133 1/3 innings at 20 years of age. Could easily become the present version of Cliff Lee.