This weekend's action featured a couple of lesser-known prospects who are having big Augusts. Here's a look at some of the stars of the weekend.
Tyler Moore, 1b, Nationals. Since July 15, the hottest hitter in the minors is a 23-year-old first baseman who you may not have noticed.
On July 15, Moore was hitting .196 with a .381 slugging percentage for high Class A Potomac, but on that day he homered and raised his average to .200. Since then Moore is hitting .424 with 18 home runs and 17 doubles, raising his overall averages to .265/.313/.552.
This weekend Moore homered once on Friday and twice on Saturday. He's now homered 11 times in 20 August games. The 2008 16th-round pick from Mississippi State had only nine home runs all of last season.
“I’m just glad he’s on our team. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a streak like this in a six-week period," Potomac manager Gary Cathcart told the Prince William News and Messenger. "We’ve been riding him as a team in the second half, and he is certainly a big reason we are where we are today. He’s made himself into a strong candidate (for MVP), but we are honestly not thinking about that right now.”
Cody Puckett, 2b, Reds. Puckett doesn't look like a power hitter—he's a 5-foot-10, 185 pound second baseman. But stretches like this one reinforce the fact that Puckett is one of the better sleeper prospects in the Reds system. Puckett homered for a fourth straight game on Sunday, and during his hot stretch Puckett is 8-for-18 with three doubles and four home runs. The hot streak has raised his slugging percentage to .500 and has given him a solid shot at a 20-20 season. He now has 17 home runs and 17 stolen bases (in 20 attempts).
Kyle Lotzkar, rhp, Reds. Two years ago, Lotzkar could have made the case for having the best stuff in the Reds system. He was an impressive 2-3, 3.58 at low Class A Dayton as an 18-year-old. But he missed the second half of the 2008 season and all of ’09 with an elbow fracture. He's finally back on the mound, and the results are somewhat promising.
Lotzkar allowed two hits and one walk while striking out nine in five scoreless innings for Billings. It was his first start in the Rookie-level Pioneer League after eight outings in the Arizona League. Lotzkar has lost nearly two years of development because of injuries, and he has to prove that he can remain healthy, but it's a positive sign that he's finally back on the mound.
Michael Choice, of, Athletics: Unlike many first-round picks, Choice signed quickly enough to see significant action this season. It took him a couple of days to get acclimated (he went 0-for-13 to start his pro career), but since then Choice has showed the kind of bat that made him a first-round pick. Choice tripled and homered on Friday, hit another home run on Saturday and doubled on Sunday. He now has 12 extra-base hits in 14 games with short-season Vancouver.
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