Welcome to the second weekly installment of Scouting the Unknown [StU]. Since this is still the beginning of StU, there is an abundance of hidden, hype deserved prospects. Due to the overwhelming list of prospects one may analyze, any requests would be welcomed, but I cannot promise I will designate an article to them. The goal is to locate hidden/non-ESPN hyped prospects. Everyone knows about Wieters, Price, Hanson, etc.

Last week I got a request to look at Madison Bumgarner [AKA – Mad-Bum], and luckily he was on my radar. Along with Mad-Bum, Desmond Jennings of the Rays will be looked at today. Enough with the frivolous formalities, onto the show!

Madison Bumgarner [Mad-Bum] – SP – San Francisco Giants – A and AA (2009)
Though he has no anal fissures, plenty of batters wish they took their Pepto Bismol when facing this hulking lefty. Standing at 6′ 5″ with a 10.1k/9 and 1.5BB/9 in 188 2/3 innings, this young left projects to be Tiny Tim’s partner in crime with better control. Matter-of-fact, most scouts say that if Lincecum wasn’t on the Giants, that Bumgarner would be the ace. Born in ’89, this 19 year old has already seen a promotion from A ball to AA about a month ago (with another young, promising pitcher named Tim Alderson). College recruiters and minor league managers both claim he’s a mature and humble young man (though this has little importance to fantasy baseball, it is nice to see non-egocentric talent).

Mad-Bum has a plus fastball and depending on what site you want to believe, it ranges from 92-99 mph. It has been this pitch that has allowed him to succeed since being drafted 10th overall. His change-up has been improving every day and according to his A-ball pitching coach, has been his biggest improvement. Back when he was drafted, MiLB’s scouting report mentioned that his breaking pitches were lacking, but this was due to his father not allowing him to add stress to his young stud’s elbow. Kudos to daddy! However, this has inhibited his ability to throw a slider or a curve. The slider is better, but they are both junk ball pitches now.

Having similar numbers to Rick Ankiel (when he still pitched), CC Sabathia, and pre-Tommy John’s Francisco Liriano, this young lefty could see stardom as soon as ’10 or ’11. He just reached AA, and seeing the way the Giants handled Tiny Tim, I would envision something similar. San Fran is not in a hurry to rush up their pitching because, well, the Giants are awful. There is good news though, this past spring, he was a late cut and faced a Dodgers lineup that included Manny Ramirez that went down swinging. A late season/September call up could be in line if he continues to pitch like an ace.

Desmond JenningsTampa Bay Rays – OF – AA
No fancy, or rather disturbing nickname for Jennings. As the 5th ranked prospect in the Devil Rays farm, he compares well to possible future teammate – Carl Crawford. A speed demon in the field, and a conniving thief on the base paths, in his last full[er] season he stole 45 bases (in 99 games). He was caught 15 times for a success rate of 75%, which isn’t great, but still pretty stellar as that can improve with practice. This year the ratio stands, or rather, runs at 17:4.

As a stand out, two sport athlete in college (JuCo All-American honors at Wide Receiver) the only knock is his health. His stellar 2007 season was cut short by a left knee injury (meniscus tear) and his 2008 season was decimated by a back injury and later a left shoulder injury. Finally healthy again, D-Jen has posted a 10% BB and 15% K rates with a .366/.433/.586 line all in AA.

Speed is his key asset, but with marginal power potential. So far this season, he is proving many skeptics wrong. However, a torrid .409 BABIP has helped fuel the majority of this year’s stellar performance. (A short disclaimer worth mentioning is that his career BABIP is .325.) As minor league player of the month for the Rays organization this past April, if he keeps this progress up, we could see him in September. With Carl Crawford reaching the end of his deal, it will be interesting to see whether or not the Rays trade him and plug D-Jen into the outfield. His true potential won’t be seen for a few more years, but tracking this prospect could reap benefits when he is called upon.

  1. BigFatHippo says:

    Lets hope D-Jen doesn’t stand for Degenerative hip, seems to be a lot of that going around. On 2nd thought, maybe ya hadn’t ought to call him that Stephen, just a suggest.

  2. Stephen says:

    @BigFatHippo: I didn’t think of “degenerative” at all. Probably should have, but that is beside the point. Plus, reading and writing Jennings or Desmond would have gotten old relatively quick. Anyway, I regress.

  3. nmdunkel says:

    Awesome, Stephen. And this nugget here:

    “With Carl Crawford reaching the end of his deal, it will be interesting to see whether or not the Rays trade him and plug D-Jen into the outfield”

    …is super interesting.

    btw…I still call them the Devil Rays myself. If we have a team called the Angels, it’s discriminatory to not have devils or demons in there somewhere. Or, to keep the christians happy, we could have a doormat team called the shahada’s. Ha!

  4. Stephen says:

    @nmdunkel: It’s a tidbit that I say while reading an article from down in Tampa Bay during spring training.

    They changed their team name from a dangerous fish to a galactic ball of energy… Hmm fair if you really want to argue it. However, on the surface seems pretty pansy to me.

  5. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    Is anyone else confused with the difference between Razzball commenters Stephen and Steve?

    Good article, btw… very well done, non-New Zealand Stephen.

  6. JR says:

    Tim Alderson, unless there’s a play on words I’m missing…

  7. Stephen says:

    @JR: I am confused a bit? Tim Alderson was promoted with Madison to AA from A ball. Would you like a report on him? That is the only thing I can imagine you’re saying.

    Also, an excellent article on Ben McDonald, a former #1 pick whom Stephen Strasburg compares nicely too.McDonald was considered the greatest prospect ever, and now Strasburg gets that title… It’s a bit depressing though. Interesting, Scott Boras also represented McDonald

  8. Infamous says:

    Matt Cain and Corey Hart for Billingsly?

  9. Infamous says:

    Aaron Hill for Wandy or Edwin Jackson?

  10. JR says:

    @Stephen: His name was misspelled. That’s all.

  11. JR says:

    @Stephen: It shouldn’t have been that hard to figure out what I meant, since you did go back and correct the misspelling.

  12. Stephen says:

    @Infamous: I like the Billingsley side.

    @Infamous: I like Wandy over E-Jax, however, you’re trading an over achieving player for another over achieving player.

    @JR: I never changed anything. It was the same the whole time. No biggie though.

  13. Doc says:

    Jose Reyes has a setback. Pulled from extended spring training game

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JR: I fixed the spelling error.

  15. Stephen says:

    @Grey: Thanks.

  16. Steve says:

    @IowaCubs: It’s easy to tell us apart. Stephen knows what he is talkling about.

  17. JR says:

    @Grey: @Stephen: I will write in full sentences from now on. I’m starting to sound like my 13-year old sister sounds when she’s sending text messages. LOL. (Insert emoticon)

  18. joe says:

    Stephen, I’ve got a request: Tim Wheeler…. Since the draft is coming up I thought it would be cool to hear about players not named Steve Strasburg. Its good to know about some of the more hidden players that will be picked in the first round…. As a Sac State student, I’d personally like to request a blurb about Tim Wheeler…. He’s a first round prospect and I’ve watched him excel all season long. I’ve heard he should be going in the first round and as the first CF taken in the draft…. any comments????

  19. Doug Ault says:

    @Doc: Geat news, it was bad enough I have Hamilton and Quentin in the DL.

  20. Doc says:

    Volstad and Bruce for Beckett?

  21. Stephen says:

    @Doc: Truthfully, I am not the one you are wanting to be asking those questions. Head over to the Forums and Grey will answer them there. I don’t like either of them though.

  22. daniel p says:

    breaking news outta hotlanta:

    braves just released glavine, according to ken rosenthal. hanson can’t be far now, right?

  23. Stephen says:

    @daniel p: That seems logical if Rosenthal is right. He may be lights out at AAA, but so was Lincecum and he struggled at first. I would bench his first start if he is called up.

  24. Ham says:

    On WFAN they said Mets game is postponed. Just a heads up for all Wilson Valdez owners who need to take him out of their lineups.

  25. Ken Plane says:

    May be looking to trade McLouth. I could use runs and SB’s, please rank Victorino, Rios and Abreu or keep McLouth.

  26. SamYo says:

    Hanson owners should be happy, think Glavine will pitch for some other team like Smoltz ?

  27. BigFatHippo says:

    @Doc: Aren’t you a harbinger of great news, if you were a Raven, I’d shoot you with my Red Ryder…………

  28. DrEasy says:

    Stephen, nice article! You should call your column Scouting the Farms Unknown, as its acronym alone shall help silent the detractors.

  29. Thoughts on these deals:

    Haren for Prince Fielder

    Wright/Sandoval for Arod/Huston Street

    ??? which side wins in each….?

  30. BigFatHippo says:

    @Stephen: I was just joshing you with the D-Jen remark, keep up the good work. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about Brett Wallace and to go see him play. Not too far from me so I’m gonna try sometime this summer. I’ll give you a scouting report.

    BTW, if your name was Josh, I would have been just You-ing you…………

  31. Any chance haren avoids the second half era slide? he still went 8-3 second half last year, but the era went from 2.72 to 4.18! Same thing in the previous few years…

    In yahoo ranks he’s #10, and i’m trying to move him for a ryan howard, prince fielder ish type guy… I am lacking in power, stacked in pitching…

    Hard to get someone to bite, especially if they check splits HA!

  32. Quintero says:

    Thanks for the great piece, especially the Mad-Bum part.
    Not the most identical players but they play for the same organization at same position, Desmond Jennings and Fernando Pérez, how do you compare these two? (who is the organization favorite, if Crawford does leave?)

  33. Stephen says:

    @Ken Plane: Rios, Victorino/McLouth, Abreu

    @SamYo: He already did that with the Mets.

    @DrEasy: That actually made me laugh aloud. I’ll mention it to Grey.

    @Tony Y: I like the Fielder side because Haren is not a 2nd half pitcher, and the Wright side of the second trade because I don’t trust Streets to pitch all year and Wright should steal more bases than A-Rod.

    @BigFatHippo: Just looking at a few brief pages, I say Wallace has been helped by an extremely high BABIP (near the upper .380’s). Truthfully, he hasn’t slugged well past AA, but he less than 500 AB under his belt. I will be looking forward to reading your scouting report on him.

  34. @Stephen: what about the fact arod has 7 hr’s in like 80 ab’s and wright is being a wimpy wanda….?

    its a 10×10 H2H leage if that makes any diff….

    I own wright, kinda getting sick of the dude this year!

  35. SamYo says:

    @Stephen: oh damn how could I forget that.

    There’s this pending trade in my league, just curious, who wins this trade, Sandoval/Lincecum for Halladay ?

  36. i just have this suspicion in that park AROD is going to go YAYO alot especially between him and big tex? lotsa rbi’s, runs, HR’s….

    wright has hit for no power, i dont know where its went, and beltran is hurting/sick all the time it seems anymore, delgado is DL’d… not thebest protection/lineup right now…?

  37. @SamYo: i think its a wash? if anything the lincecum guy might be winning if its upgrading his catcher position a ton?

  38. SamYo says:

    @Tony Y: He has salty.

  39. Stephen says:

    @Tony Y: If ARod keeps this up, and Wright cannot fix his powerless pansy swing, then ARod wins. But Homers typically come in bunches. I mean just look at Mauer.

    @SamYo: The Halladay side because Pablo is a tub of lard. Lincecum is stellar, but Halladay will end up with more Wins.

  40. SamYo says:

    Hanson starting on Friday ?

  41. Drev says:

    @SamYo: Fantasy impact?

  42. Stephen says:

    @SamYo: For Jeff Locke, Gorkys Hernandez, and Charlie Morton… Locke could become a decent pitcher. His peripherals suggest something like a 4 or 5 starter max. His did two year at rookie ball, and last year in low A. In high A this year he is struggling. Gorkys Hernandez is an inefficient base theft with the speed of a gazzle. And we all should know who Charlie Morton is from last year. His minor league numbers suggest that he will be given Ian Snell’s rotation spot.

  43. Stephen says:

    EDIT: Morton recently hurt his Oblique

  44. @Stephen: I hear ya. Just getting frustrated with Wright. Love the guy… would just like to see some homers.


  45. Quintero says:

    Aaron Poreda(starter, reliever, or someone who tries to roofie me?), Kyle Blanks(country strong or Billy Butlling?), Michael Bowden(stayworth or trading chip?), Justin Smoak(not in yahoo player pool yet, but…er…country strong?), Dayan Viciedo(he is in yahoo player pool) and Lou Marson(er…?). Those are whom interest me a lot due to organization needs. If any of them is on your mind for the next StU, it would be great.

  46. boyle says:

    Oswalt for Lind and Volstad?

    Oswalt for Hunter ?

    Thanks for the advice.

  47. SamYo says:

    @Quintero: How about Junichi Tazawa, this off-season, people are saying his fastballs are mid-90’s, some say low 90’s. I’m confused, so please it would be awesome if he could in the next StU.

  48. Pops says:

    What is McCutchen’s value in that Pitt. outfield?

  49. Quintero says:

    @Stephen: Thanks for the links. Looks like Jennings is the one if he could stay health.

  50. Stephen says:

    @Pops: He should get the call up. That or they might give it to Steven Pearce, bu McCutchen has been playing better than Pearce statistically.

    @boyle: If you’re trading Oswalt, I’d be getting Hunter over Lind and Volstad.

    @Quintero: A few of those were on my mind.

    @SamYo: I’ll look into it.

  51. boyle says:


    I’d be the one trying to acquire Oswalt. He is a big 2nd half pitcher and I need to get trade some of the OF’s I have on my bench.

    I sent over the Lind/Volstad for Oswalt trade, but I think he wont’ bite. I also have Hunter and think that is a fair one for one.

  52. Stephen says:

    @boyle: Yuppers, that sounds about right then.

  53. Wizo says:

    McLouth bat leadoff or bump McCann down?

  54. Stephen says:

    @Wizo: He batted better in the leadoff position last year. I could see them placing him there again.

  55. G says:

    Add Thome and drop Luke Scott? thanks in advance

  56. G says:

    or drop Happ or Chris Davis and add Thome?

  57. Stephen says:

    @G: Luke Scott just went finished going Donkey Kong (ape crazy) on the Tigers. You know what you’re getting with Thome. I think Scott might have higher average than Thome by the end of the year but thats about it.

  58. The Braves will purchase Hanson’s contract prior to Saturday’s game, the Associated Press reports.
    Spin: He draws a tough first matchup in the Brewers. Hanson struck out 90 in 66.1 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett.

  59. Stephen says:

    @G: I dropped Happ for Thome.

  60. What does anyone think of:




    I’d be receiving the 3 players…?

  61. Like Boyle was saying Oswalt is always solid in the 2nd half, haren declines, and street would be nice for saves…. Plus I think Arod out hits wright from now on?

    just my view of it….

  62. F’n kennedy caught in a run down stealing and Holliday stands at the plate and will now come up next inning to lead off!

    F’n perfect….. EFFFFFFFFF

  63. Quintero says:

    @SamYo: OMG, that’s unpirateslike at all for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but very Pittsburgh Pirates indeed.

    And while we all hate Japanese pitchers(over used, over hyped, and over paid..), this KazIwadome might be something special…becasue Junichi Tazawa had only been overused in high school and collage ball but not in pro ball.

  64. Gotta love Hollidays protection batting behind him:


    Thats the 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 hitters right behind Holliday tonight… UNREAL. Get him outta efffff’n OAKLAND! For real why in gods name would you pitch to matt holliday if you know a 40 year old X-roid head is behind him and 4 other little leaguers?

    SAD…. How can a major league team not put anyone in the line up that can hit better than .107 or .146? I could effffn hit that, swear to god, probably blindfolded….

  65. Stephen says:

    I want to know when Jered Weaver decided to be a strikeout machine. 10k’s in 6 innings is pretty impressive against any team.

  66. SamYo says:

    Beckett had a no-no till 7th.

  67. BigFatHippo says:

    @Stephen: I wouldn’t trade my Weaver for your Weaver right now………..

    Wish I had a dime for every dime I have.

  68. Kris says:

    I can grab Hanson with my #2 claim…but I just dropped him on Mon. to pick up Hart due to Beltran’s afflictions. I feel like such an ass wasting my claim on him, i just need someone to tell me its worth it in a WHIP 10-player league where i need K’s.

  69. Stephen says:

    @Kris: I know its worth it. I imagine something similar to Lincecum’s rookie year.

  70. knighttown says:

    The guy I’m targeting has Quentin and Sizemore clogging up his DL and Votto sitting on his bench. I’m leading in HR and was thinking of dangling Jay Bruce for someone a little more well rounded. Would you do Bruce for any of these guys?

    (losing Bruce means my OF would be Upton, Upton, Braun, Choo, Reimold until whomever I get in return is ready)

  71. knighttown says:

    edit: and duh, I also have Ibanez. In the end two of Choo, Reim or beltre will play each day in an 11 team league.

  72. knighttown says:

    I’ve got both Weaver and Beckett going tonight. And just claimed Hanson. Anyone think tomorrow AM might be a good time to sell high on Weaver. Would he and Drew/Peralta get me an upgrade at MI?

  73. Stephen says:

    Quentin is going to be battling his plantar fasciitis all year. Basketball players get this injury and they are often out for several months. Sizemore is more dangerous because he may need season ending surgery. Dizzy-V could take his sweet time and be gone for a while. I think the safest is Dizzy-V. If you’re leading in HRs though, why not find pitching?

  74. Stephen says:

    @knighttown: Seems like your league lacks some talented managers. I would package Peralta and try to get a top tier MI

  75. DrEasy says:

    @Stephen: It’s mostly the Jays making Weaver look even better than he is. Starting any RHP against this Jays lineup is a good idea. They only have Lind and Overbay to counter.

  76. Stephen says:

    @DrEasy: They were the ones that rallied to score a run against him too. The each hit doubles in the 5th.

  77. JR says:

    McCutchen called up!

  78. BigFatHippo says:

    @Stephen: Albert played with plantar fasciitis all year in 04, but then again, he’s a machine. Ask the copier and ESPN.

    You’re right, doesn’t mean Quentin can do it.

  79. Need some major help here:

    here’s my pitching staff:

    Haren, Beckett, Shields, Wainwright, slowey, Carpenter, Jurjjens and Kelvim on the DL plus Qualls, F-cordero, hawkins, and pena…

    Heavy talks of my Haren/Beckett/ and Sandoval for

    Ryan Howard and something like Peralta and possibly Joba, Buerhle (doubtful those two because the dude has a boner over them) or raffy soriano…?

    Haren, beck, sand i’d almost def’ly do for HOWARD/PERALTA and JOBA….

    but…. the real question if i do anything like this is it going to kill my pitching? I’ve been just sick lately pitching!

    I just hate that my staff would be lead by Shields if i did this? and carp, slowey, jurjjens and wainy, but still….?


    the offense is struggling, Votto and Carlos Quentin ailing, dont know whether to grab that big stick HOWARD while i got this guy or wait on my boys to come back…. …..

  80. BigFatHippo says:

    @Tony Y: If the dudes in love with Buehrle you can exploit that, he doesn’t know much about pitching.

    Haren and Carp should be enough to get Howard.

  81. Stephen says:

    @Tony Y: BigFatHippo has it right. You just want Howard. Go for that.

  82. bobbo says:

    Which side are you guys wanting: Rollins/A Jones/Lowell or Hanley/Vlad/Mora ?

  83. Stephen says:

    @bobbo: I want the Hanley side.

  84. @BigFatHippo: @Stephen:

    thats true i do just want Howard…. I doubt he goes for Haren and Carp… I offered Haren/sandoval knowing varitek or hernandez from cincy are on the ww…. a catcher is a catcher to me, sandoval is not setting the world on fire in my eyes….

    I want to do Haren/jrujjens or carp or something…. not my two aces pretty much for howard and something i dont need/want….

    Its funny the guy said he didnt really know who sandoval was hardly, i hate dealing with people who are ill informed, its almost better to try and trade them the 1999 all star team than a new young guy!

  85. It sucks I jsut want howard, but i need to do somethign else with it too balance it out….

    he’s not going for the JUST howard deal…

    right now he has Johan, and giving him Haren and Beckett, plus if i somehow let him keep joba, buerhle….wow

    He’d turn into me minus ryan howard hahaha….

  86. Stephen says:

    @Tony Y: Offer him Haren and Jar jar first. Those managers living in the past typically are harder to trade with because they don’t have much talent to pick and chose from. Usually what ends up happening is they are in last place anyway. In my 20 team league, the last place player took all of ESPN fantasy advice… and is 40 behind 19th place. He wont trade his players and he over values players like Kubel.

  87. and ryan howard 1-1 with a 2 run homer hahaha….

  88. BigFatHippo says:

    @bobbo: It’s too much, Vlad and Mora mean nothing.

    @Tony Y: Sounds like a Haren, Beckett for Howard,Joba deal to me.

  89. DrEasy says:

    Luke Scott with another dinger!

  90. @BigFatHippo: he honestly just told me he see’s beckett and joba as pretty =?

    hahahaha…. this is what i’m dealing with…

    if its not a name or a rank or something i can’t persuade him, sad thing is this dbag won the league last year! SERIOUSLY and its uber competitive, just made some luck sack trades, everything fell into place, and made a run in the playoffs and won… picked pedroia in the 8th round? traded BYRNES pre hammy injury for mcclouth and soria!!! Seriosuly… his first year playing too, he’s not any smarter either, just lucky hahaha

  91. GTG says:

    Razzball commenter league trade in Big Blue Marble:
    Crawford/Capps/Wainwright for Halladay/Qualls/Wells
    Seems fair — at least I hope it’s fair since I’m the recipient of Crawford’s SBs (I’m 11th in SBs depsite having Reyes and Victorino and first in Wins/Saves).

  92. Gareth says:

    Anyone know why LaTroy isn’t pitching in a save situation for the ‘Stros?

  93. DrEasy says:

    Guess Snyder isn’t such a hot property after all, they’re giving a lot of PT to Montero.

    Ichiro just extended his hitting streak.

  94. DrEasy says:

    Bases loaded for Weiters!

  95. Stephen says:

    @DrEasy: and he flames out by GIDP! Start batting Reimold before him. For cripes sake.

  96. Moonlight's Grahams says:

    Lars Anderson went to my high school. Still probably a few years and a Kevin Youkilis away from being relevant but I would love to hear what you think.


  98. BSA says:

    Grey – What are your thoughts on Gordon Beckham’s call up?
    With Iannetta out on the DL and Wakefield pitching tomorrow I dropped Varitek for him giving up catching for 3 days.

    Lack of Reyes and a thin bench have me stretched pretty thin so I figured it was going to be the best out there for SS – now watch ESPN say he only qualifies at 3rd.

  99. DrEasy says:

    @BSA: Gordon Beckham was called up?

  100. DrEasy says:

    It’s confusing tonight, both threads posted today are active! Beckham being recalled is discussed in the other thread.

  101. Mr Baseball says:

    Report: White Sox to call up prospect Beckham

    White Sox infield prospect Gordon Beckham will be called up from Triple-A Charlotte, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Wilson Betemit will be designated for assignment. The Pale Hose didn’t call up their best prospect to ride the pine, so Beckham will likely receive regular at-bats at shortstop, third base and second base. Last year’s first-round pick was hitting a robust .435/.417/.609 since being promoted to Triple-A last week. AL-only leaguers will want to add him as soon as possible. Jun. 3 – 11:33 pm et
    Source: Chicago Tribune

  102. Stephen says:

    @Mr Baseball: I am not expecting great things…… I am a little overwhelmed with all the prospect hype loving going around. Someone is going to contract a STD

  103. DrEasy says:

    Beckham can’t be worse than Adam Kennedy or Chris Coghlan though. He’s worth a pick-up in a reasonably deep league, if only as a look-see.

  104. Grey

    Grey says:

    @GTG: Looks fair, I like your side.

    @Gareth: Pitched three games in a row.

    @BSA: Beckham will be discussed in tomorrow morning’s post.

  105. Prince says:

    @ Stephen: thanks for the writeup. Wondering about Lackey @ Tor and Kershaw @ Phi tomorrow. I’m leaning towards sitting both, but am unbelievably bad at choosing correctly. I am going to start Wandy and Jurrjens. Muchas gracias…

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