Exciting news on prospect fronts with the promotions of Julio Teheran and Eric Hosmer. There was also scary news for all Orioles fans as Manny Machado left a game on Thursday with a knee injury. He was later diagnosed with a dislocated knee cap. This puts a damper in his early season success at Single-A and will be placed on the seven-day DL with the expectation that he’ll be off next week. Other minor league news and highlights:
Clay Mortensen | COL | RHP (SP): Technically not a rookie, but was called up on Saturday to replace Esmil Rogers for today’s start. Personally would avoid even in NL-Only leagues.
Paul Goldschmidt | ARI | 1B: The Gold-rush continues as Paul has continued his country-strong campaign. He’s slashing .337/.487/.730 at Double-A with 10 home runs and a 17:27 K:BB ratio. With Brandon Allen still a road block, his promotion to Triple-A will be delayed.
Brandon Belt | SF | 1B/OF: Although it’s a small sample size, his .429/.537/.690 slash-line in 54 AB with 7 XBH (2 Hr) and 14:11 K:BB, ratio brings the excitement back. He’s striking out as much as he was in the majors too. It will only be time before he’s back.
Brett Lawrie | TOR | 3B: Early this week, the Blue Jays brass stated that they have been pleased with Lawrie’s early season. Even his shoddy defense – which has improved since the beginning. I’m starting to believe that come June first, the Jays will promote their top prospect.
James Darnell | SD | 3B: Reviewing his early season numbers (15 XBH (4 Hr) and a 14:23 K:BB ratio in 96 AB (.365/.483/.604) at Double-A) and career numbers (.305/.407/.501 in 1018 AB), I am led to believe that Darnell is another Kevin Kouzmanoff. For fantasy purposes, that’s far from a compliment.
Dee Gordon | LAD | SS: What do you call a strikeout slap hitter? Carlos Gomez? Sure, and they have a lot in common – good defense and strikeouts without good on-base skills. I still really like Gordon. His .303/.355/.364 slash line in 99 AB with 5 XBH (0 Hr) and 12 steals in 14 attempts are enticing. His defense is solid to hold a job, but his 20:7 K:BB ratio at Triple-A and inability to have value without the steals begs the question – Carlos Gomez at SS?
Mike Montgomery | KC | LHP (SP): The Royals are loaded, their fan base skeptical and fantasy players hoping catch the next big prospect. Montgomery has been underwhelming compared to early season expectations. Sans his first start in which he gave up 5 runs, he has pitched better but still struggles with control (24:19 K:BB in33 IP). Even with a positive GO/AO ratio (1.63 GO/AO) he needs to refine his command and control at Triple-A.
Danny Duffy | KC | LHP (SP): As for next Royal pitching prospect to target, Duffy has to be on your radar. With a 33:6 K:BB in 26 innings, he has been their best pitching prospect to date. He’s a flyball pitcher (.63 GO/AO ratio) and will struggle with home runs in the majors. However, his control and strikeout potential could land him as the AL’s Brandon Beachy.
Anthony Rizzo | SD | 1B: Here’s a follow up with a quieter name with as much upside as Hosmer and Belt for this year. At Triple-A, he has hit .308/.364/.615 in the last 10 games (39 AB) with 7 XBH (2 Hr). Overall, he’s slashing .393/.448/.741 with 20 XBH (9 Hr) in 112 AB and a 23:11 K:BB ratio.
Eric Surkamp | SF | LHP (SP): Hard to ignore 41 strikeouts (12 BB) in 26 innings, even if they are at Double-A and from a deceptive delivery. His MLB ETA was delayed due to a hip injury in 2010. If not for that injury he would be at Triple-A, knocking on the door for a MLB rotation spot
Matt Moore | TB | LHP (SP): See 1/8 inch above, remove the injury history and add that Moore is a dominate pitcher with a high ceiling. Currently at Double-A he has a 41:6 K:BB in 29 1/3 innings. Simply, a top two pitching prospect (Teheran is first).
Jean Segura | LAA | SS: Come September, Segura and Trout will be talked about like Moustakas and Hosmer. Just look (at High-A): 9 XBH (2 Hr), 13 steals in 17 attempts, 15:8 K:BB ratio and a .312/.361/.459 slash line in 109 AB. Plus good defense.
Shelby Miller | St.L | RHP (SP): The Cardinals top pitching prospect looks to be growing out of High-A soon. His 42:13 K:BB in 28 innings are exciting. Double-A should be in his near future (late May). A September call up is possible.