As of May 13th, Eric Hosmer has started his early MLB career slashing .280/.387/.600 in 25 at-bats with 2 home runs, 5 RBI and a 7:5 K:BB ratio. Granted, it’s a small sample size but his start reminds me of two recent rookies who were similarly hyped: Jay Bruce and Ryan Braun. Bruce was called up and went 15 for 29 with 3 home runs, 7 RBI with a 2:7 K:BB ratio from late May to the first two days of June. Bruce’s June slash-line: .223/.274/.340 in 103 ABs. By year end, he finished with a .254/.314/.453 slash line for the year. Braun started 6 for 27 with 1 home run, 4 RBI with a 8:0 K:BB ratio. Braun went on to hit .382/.435/.716 in 102 at-bats during June and finished with a .324/.370/.634 in 451 at-bats (2007). I wouldn’t be surprised to have him perform at a level between the beginnings of Braun and Bruce rookie years. But, and there’s always a but, keep expectations tempered and be prepared for pitchers start finding his weaknesses. Other notable prospects to watch for:
Mike Minor/Julio Teheran | ATL | SP (AAA): With Brandon Beachy straining his oblique in his Friday start, it’s speculated that Minor or Teheran fill-in while Beachy is on the DL. Either pitcher should be picked up.
Domonic Brown | PHI | RF (AAA): Sprained UCL in right thumb – same hand with broken Hamate bone. He will miss 5 to 7 days.
Anthony Rizzo | SD | 1B (AAA): With 10 home runs and a slash of .377/.447/.708 in 131 at-bats. He has been slowly regressing towards the mean while staying hot. Grey made recommendation to pick up in NL-Only leagues for the time being, until he’s called up. Concur, with the addition of deep leagues. As June nears, I would start eying the possibility of picking him up.
Desmond Jennings | TB | CF (AAA): Has hit two home runs in last two games and is proving he belongs in the majors. His K:BB ratio is 28:21 in 130 at-bats. The strikeouts are uncharacteristically high for Jennings. The power potential scouts have been hoping for is starting to show with 5 home runs, not to mention eight steals in as many attempts. Expect a June call-up. He’s deserving.
Bryce Harper | WAS | RF (A): He should be promoted to High-A soon as he has 19 XBH (8 Hr) with 6 steals and a .390/.467/.686 slash line in 118 at-bats. He’s been everything everyone had expected.
Brett Jackson | CHC | CF (AA): Was placed on DL with strained ligament in left pinky caused by sliding into second base on 5/11/11. Time frame is currently unknown.
Fernando Martinez | NYM | CF (AAA): Called up for Friday’s game to fill Angel Pagan’s roster spot and hit a pinch-hit home run. Collins plans to use him as a bench player. You’d think that a solid prospect hitting .292/.361/.477 would at least get a chance to plan more than occasionally. Expect to see him sent back down when Pagan returns from the DL.
Andy Dirks | DET | OF (AAA): With Magglio Ordonez going on the DL, he received the call up after .328/.375/.527 with six home runs. A good contact hitter with gap power (12 to 15 home run ceiling). Struggles versus left-handed pitchers. Upside for career is fourth-outfielder. For more information see Detroit Tigers 2010 Minor League Review.
Brett Lawrie | TOR | 3B (AAA): Has hit 4 home runs in last 10 games as his average is regressing to the mean. Still a strong play for third when called up. Think Pedro Alvarez. (Rudy to Grey: So does that mean Lawrie will f*** our 2012 teams like Alvarez has f***ed our 2011 teams? If so, now we just need to not draft him and “the next Morneau” and we’re set!)
Trayvon Robinson | LAD | OF (AAA): Not sold on him contributing this year with 38 strikeouts in 122 at-bats with only average power and 4 SBs (Rudy: He has 7 HRs in PCL but that league is like Coors Field pre-humidor. Wily Mo Pena has 13 HRs so far this year!). Defensively has good range but a fringe-average arm. If Robinson starts to make more contact, could be a Rajai Davis or Willy Taveras type player. Don’t expect until September as his game needs more refinement.
Jesus Montero | NYY | C/DH (AAA): The smooth hitting Montero has been lacing base-hits all over the field this year hitting .325/.350/.421 in 121 at-bats. His 2 home runs, 5 doubles and 25:5 K:BB ratio are disappointing. At only 21 years old, the power should develop but at this point he’s a poor man’s Joe Mauer. With Jorge Posada showing his age (Rudy: and grumpy old manness on Saturday), Montero could provide a jolt of youth and minor pop in the near future.
Brandon Allen | ARI | 1B (AAA): Has warmed up after starting slowly. Has 2 home runs, 2 triples and 2 doubles, 10 RBI and hitting .355/.475/.742 in last 31 at-bats (10 games). Overall, hitting .313/.413/.531 in 128 at-bats with 5 home runs but with 34 strikeouts. The average wont stay this high, the strikeouts are expected, and the power is starting to come around. (Rudy: That said, the Diamondbacks still prefer Juan Miranda, Russell Branyan, Xavier Nady, and Gerardo Parra. Grrr!)