Midseason Review: Position-By-Position Prospect Audit




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One of the great challenges in evaluating prospects is placing minor league performance in context. For example, we know the California League favors offense to a much greater extent than does the Florida State League. Both leagues operate at the high Class A level, yet a player with a .700 OPS in the FSL has attained the league average, while in the Cal League he's 63 points below the norm and, if he's not a star catcher or middle infielder, he's probably watching most games from the bench.

Still, there's something spellbinding about key performance barometers—such as a .300 average or double-digit home run totals—that cloud our interpretation of minor league statistics. Consider that as of Independence Day, 17 qualified Cal Leaguers had hit .300 this season, while the number of .300 hitters in the Florida State League was less than half that (eight). Ten or more homers? The ranks numbered 28 in the Cal League, while just nine players had reached double digits in the FSL, and that league's leader—Jupiter's Marcell Ozuna (Marlins) with 16—would have ranked sixth in the Cal League. It's not a matter of sheer volume, either. Despite having one-third as many double-digit sluggers, the FSL actually has two more teams than does the Cal League. 

As a general rule of thumb, the California and Pacific Coast leagues hover in an orbit far removed from the other eight full-season leagues when it comes to sheer offense, with averages of 5.4 and 5.3 runs per game. The Texas and South Atlantic leagues are essentially at the minor league average, while the Eastern, Carolina and Southern leagues favor pitchers. The Midwest League favors them a bit more, and the International League a little more still. At the far end of the spectrum is the Florida State League, which favors pitchers most of all and features about 4.4 runs per game. (For more on minor league context, please see this feature from last fall.)

In an attempt to quantify prospect performance, then, we've endeavored to place in minor league context all the players from our most recent Prospect Handbook and then stack them up position by position. To do this, we took all first-half statistics (through June 19, the date by which six of 10 full-season leagues have played their all-star games, after which many players earned promotions) and determined the number of runs above or below average (RAA) each player contributed based on league run-scoring context. Thanks to the fine work at FanGraphs, we had an easy-to-reference framework for making these calculations. In a nutshell, each player's contributions—singles, walks, home runs, stolen bases, etc.—are weighted based on the expected number of runs produced and then scaled to his number of plate appearances. That quotient is then compared with the league average (or averages, if the player has played in multiple leagues) in a two-step process you can read much more about here.

Please don't fixate on the RAA tallies below. "Average" is a difficult standard to meet, especially for players who are young for their level of competition, so any player who hovers near "0" is not necessarily in danger of demotion or release. Plus, a productive second half could change the complexion of any season. We're most interested in the players at the extremes with large positive or large negative RAA values. That's why we don't present all 900 players from the Handbook; instead we've opted to include the top 10 or so prospects in the minors at each position (In The Black) and the bottom 10 or so at each position (In The Red) based on RAA values. 

The positions are presented from most demanding (where even good teams may sacrifice offense for strong defense) to least demanding (where the offensive expectations can be enormous for players on first-division clubs). Note that RAA totals encompass two league contexts in the case of the following players: Nick Castellanos, Evan Gattis, Wil Myers and Joey Terdoslavich.

CATCHER PROSPECTS

IN THE BLACK
CATCHER AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Evan Gattis 25 Braves Mississippi SL AA 163 .336 .417 .714 22
Travis d'Arnaud 23 Blue Jays Las Vegas PCL AAA 280 .336 .386 .598 20
Will Swanner 20 Rockies Asheville SAL LoA 171 .333 .418 .612 17
Gary Sanchez 19 Yankees Charleston SAL LoA 252 .313 .361 .545 16
Chun Chen 23 Indians Akron EL AA 274 .318 .405 .427 13
Ryan Lavarnway 24 Red Sox Pawtucket IL AAA 237 .292 .384 .460 10
David Freitas 23 Nationals Potomac CAR HiA 197 .291 .401 .406 8
Welington Castillo 25 Cubs Iowa PCL AAA 79 .328 .468 .590 8
Rob Brantly 22 Tigers Erie EL AA 245 .314 .363 .438 7
Yasmani Grandal 23 Padres Tucson PCL AAA 198 .291 .399 .485 7
Carlos Perez 21 Blue Jays Lansing MWL LoA 237 .271 .353 .433 7

Evan Gattis hit .385 with power in 21 Carolina League games prior to a bump to Double-A, where he authored a .928 OPS in 16 games before straining tendons in his wrist. Given his age, 25, and the fact that he's learning to play left field (and also lists first base on his résumé), Gattis could be close to seeing big league time once he mends . . . A torn posterior cruciate ligament in his knee will keep Travis d'Arnaud off the field for six weeks to two months, potentially delaying his big league debut with Toronto until next season. He mashed even away from his home base of Las Vegas this season, batting .343/.381/.577 with seven of 16 homers . . . Most Asheville players receive a significant power boost from their home yard, but Will Swanner actually has batted .340/.421/.566 with four of 11 homers on the road, meaning his power is most likely legit . . . Chun Chen has spent all but seven games at first base or DH this season with Akron, so we're being generous by listing him at catcher.

IN THE RED
CATCHER AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Kyle Skipworth 22 Marlins Jacksonville SL AA 222 .216 .279 .367 -5
Ramon Cabrera 22 Pirates Altoona EL AA 192 .246 .305 .326 -6
Ryan Ortiz 24 Athletics Midland TL AA 152 .167 .298 .270 -6
Pratt Maynard 22 Dodgers Great Lakes MWL LoA 155 .219 .297 .270 -6
Tommy Joseph 20 Giants Richmond EL AA 216 .246 .292 .347 -6
Mike Kvasnicka 23 Astros Lexington SAL LoA 215 .218 .265 .386 -7
Christian Vazquez 21 Red Sox Salem CAR HiA 215 .225 .310 .294 -7
Christian Bethancourt 20 Braves Mississippi SL AA 155 .255 .283 .276 -8
Tomas Telis 21 Rangers Myrtle Beach CAR HiA 249 .249 .286 .348 -8
Martin Maldonado 25 Brewers Nashville PCL AAA 138 .198 .270 .347 -9

What's most puzzling about Martin Maldonado's Triple-A performance is that he's actually batted a respectable .255/.313/.406 with five homers in 118 trips to the plate in Milwaukee this season . . . Christian Vazquez's feel for the strike zone ought to allow him to pull out of his tailspin, and he had gotten off to a fine start in the second half with Salem.

SHORTSTOP PROSPECTS

IN THE BLACK
SHORTSTOP AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Brad Miller 22 Mariners High Desert CAL HiA 322 .326 .414 .535 24
Billy Hamilton 21 Reds Bakersfield CAL HiA 313 .322 .408 .441 21
Alen Hanson 19 Pirates West Virginia SAL LoA 301 .316 .377 .561 18
Eugenio Suarez 20 Tigers West Michigan MWL LoA 316 .311 .401 .449 18
Jason Martinson 23 Nationals Hagerstown SAL LoA 321 .272 .391 .449 17
Nick Franklin 21 Mariners Jackson SL AA 239 .322 .394 .502 15
Jurickson Profar 19 Rangers Frisco TL AA 311 .290 .369 .476 14
Xander Bogaerts 19 Red Sox Salem CAR HiA 271 .295 .369 .485 14
Chris Owings 20 D-backs Visalia CAL HiA 257 .324 .362 .544 14
Trevor Story 19 Rockies Asheville SAL LoA 265 .261 .355 .496 12
Jace Peterson 22 Padres Fort Wayne MWL LoA 233 .277 .371 .416 12
Josh Rutledge 23 Rockies Tulsa TL AA 304 .303 .336 .486 12
Javier Baez 19 Cubs Peoria MWL LoA 76 .328 .421 .578 10

Pirates breakout prospect Alen Hanson has kept pace with Brad Miller and Billy Hamilton despite being two to three years younger and despite not benefiting from the extreme hitting conditions of the Cal League. Only Wil Myers and Miles Head have struck more extra-base hits this season than has Hanson, who has 50 . . . Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor finished just off the list with 8 RAA in 284 plate appearances for low Class A Lake County, but give him the playing-time edge and he's been just as impressive as fellow 2011 first-rounder Javier Baez of the Cubs.

IN THE RED
SHORTSTOP AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Dixon Machado 20 Tigers Lakeland FSL HiA 247 .212 .313 .274 -9
Tony Wolters 20 Indians Carolina CAR HiA 262 .224 .290 .325 -9
Carlos Triunfel 22 Mariners Tacoma PCL AAA 283 .243 .305 .373 -9
Yordy Cabrera 21 Athletics Stockton CAL HiA 106 .196 .264 .216 -10
Rosell Herrera 19 Rockies Asheville SAL LoA 185 .211 .277 .295 -10
Mike Antonio 20 Royals Kane County MWL LoA 273 .231 .267 .325 -11
Jeudy Valdez 23 Padres San Antonio TL AA 271 .220 .270 .351 -11
Marco Hernandez 19 Cubs Peoria MWL LoA 193 .215 .247 .294 -12
Ehire Adrianza 22 Giants Richmond EL AA 248 .189 .273 .249 -15
Ozzie Martinez 24 White Sox Charlotte IL AAA 186 .174 .224 .233 -17

One of the players received from the Marlins for manager Ozzie Guillen, Ozzie Martinez played his way right off Chicago's 40-man roster, and it will take a huge second half to play his way back into favor.

SECOND BASE PROSPECTS

IN THE BLACK
SECOND BASE AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Alex Castellanos 25 Dodgers Albuquerque PCL AAA 137 .368 .445 .744 19
Kolten Wong 21 Cardinals Springfield TL AA 284 .294 .363 .435 11
Danny Mateo 20 Royals Kane County MWL LoA 293 .302 .366 .434 11
Ryan Brett 20 Rays Bowling Green MWL LoA 248 .314 .363 .432 10
Eddie Rosario 20 Twins Beloit MWL LoA 271 .293 .362 .473 10
Tommy La Stella 23 Braves Lynchburg CAR HiA 268 .271 .372 .422 9
Rougned Odor 18 Rangers Hickory SAL LoA 214 .293 .357 .482 8
Cord Phelps 25 Indians Columbus IL AAA 300 .270 .350 .437 8
Delino DeShields 19 Astros Lexington SAL LoA 309 .265 .369 .365 7
Tyler Bortnick 24 Rays Montgomery SL AA 278 .253 .348 .394 7
Nicky Delmonico 19 Orioles Delmarva SAL LoA 271 .264 .358 .421 7
Carlos Sanchez 20 White Sox Winston-Salem CAR HiA 296 .327 .386 .412 7

If Alex Castellanos can prove his worth defensively at the keystone, then he could make for an attractive alternative to Elian Herrera or Ivan De Jesus Jr. as the Dodgers' long-term regular. Yes, Castellanos plays for Albuquerque, and no he's not a future Gold Glove winner, but give him credit for hitting .340 or better each month with an OPS north of 1.000 at every split (home/road, left/right) . . . The next wave of standout second-base prospects might be playing in the Midwest League right now, though they all have work to do on defense. The Royals' Danny Mateo plays almost as much third base as he does second, and the switch-hitter doesn't hit with much authority from the right side (.466 OPS), but scouts like his lefty swing. The Rays' Ryan Brett sports a career .308 average and has the speed to be a difference-maker on the bases. The Twins shifted Eddie Rosario from center field to second base this season and he hasn't lost an ounce of offensive production, though he will miss time in the second half after being struck in the face by a ball during batting practice.

IN THE RED
SECOND BASE AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Jon Schoop 20 Orioles Bowie EL AA 252 .250 .308 .346 -5
Reese Havens 25 Mets Binghamton EL AA 167 .174 .303 .290 -6
Brandon Loy 22 Tigers West Michigan MWL LoA 286 .240 .300 .336 -6
Sean Coyle 20 Red Sox Salem CAR HiA 267 .207 .281 .339 -6
Heiker Meneses 21 Red Sox Salem CAR HiA 172 .230 .308 .296 -7
Adrian Sanchez 21 Nationals Potomac CAR HiA 194 .256 .289 .344 -8
Ronald Torreyes 19 Cubs Daytona FSL HiA 225 .225 .287 .305 -8
Noah Perio 20 Marlins Jupiter FSL HiA 265 .239 .288 .305 -9
Hernan Perez 21 Tigers Lakeland FSL HiA 241 .242 .276 .291 -10
Eric Farris 26 Brewers Nashville PCL AAA 253 .245 .297 .275 -15

Reese Havens has managed to stay relatively healthy thus far, but his offensive production has been underwhelming given his pedigree (2008 first-rounder) and the fact that he's now older than the median Double-A age of 24 years old . . . Of all the things the Cubs might have expected to receive from 5-foot-9 sparkplug Ronald Torreyes, a .225 average wasn't one of them. Acquired from the Reds in the offseason Sean Marshall trade, Torreyes hit .356 last year in low Class A, demonstrating a feel for hitting that has deserted him thus far.

CENTER FIELD PROSPECTS

IN THE BLACK
CENTER FIELD AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Jackie Bradley 22 Red Sox Salem CAR HiA 304 .359 .480 .526 33
Adam Eaton 23 D-backs Reno PCL AAA 332 .378 .461 .510 29
Oscar Taveras 20 Cardinals Springfield TL AA 292 .327 .384 .590 25
Matt den Dekker 24 Mets Binghamton EL AA 299 .332 .389 .574 24
Jordan Danks 25 White Sox Charlotte IL AAA 234 .302 .419 .516 19
George Springer 22 Astros Lancaster CAL HiA 291 .303 .381 .559 19
Travis Witherspoon 23 Angels Inland Empire CAL HiA 306 .319 .399 .470 16
Jared Mitchell 23 White Sox Birmingham SL AA 287 .265 .394 .440 14
Christian Yelich 20 Marlins Jupiter FSL HiA 184 .274 .350 .506 11
Brian Goodwin 21 Nationals Hagerstown SAL LoA 148 .308 .429 .475 11
Xavier Avery 22 Orioles Norfolk IL AAA 247 .272 .384 .406 11

Jackie Bradley leads the minors in on-base percentage, and it's safe to say he would have gone much higher than 40th overall in last year's draft had he been completely healthy as a South Carolina junior . . . An unheralded 19th-rounder from Miami (Ohio) in 2010, Adam Eaton has done nothing but hit since turning pro, batting .351/.456/.507 in more than 1,200 plate appearances. Playing in the Pioneer, California and now Pacific Coast leagues has helped, but a career as at least a quality backup or second-division starter awaits . . . The Mets bumped Matt den Dekker to Triple-A following a productive first half, and the Angels did the same with Travis Witherspoon, promoting him to Double-A.

IN THE RED
CENTER FIELD AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Aaron Shipman 20 Athletics Burlington MWL LoA 193 .217 .323 .265 -6
Kevin Mattison 26 Marlins New Orleans PCL AAA 267 .246 .317 .403 -8
Gary Brown 23 Giants Richmond EL AA 315 .240 .316 .305 -10
Jake Skole 20 Rangers Myrtle Beach CAR HiA 241 .199 .297 .282 -10
Chuckie Jones 19 Giants Augusta SAL LoA 114 .129 .219 .228 -11
Kyrell Hudson 21 Phillies Lakewood SAL LoA 206 .202 .262 .271 -11
Jordan Akins 20 Rangers Hickory SAL LoA 230 .207 .235 .346 -12
Donavan Tate 21 Padres Fort Wayne MWL LoA 194 .193 .280 .222 -12
Dave Sappelt 25 Cubs Iowa PCL AAA 280 .236 .296 .331 -14
Mycal Jones 25 Braves Mississippi SL AA 241 .194 .286 .233 -14

Gary Brown began to right the ship in June, but his first half was a huge disappointment on the heels of a dynamic .336/.407/.519 batting line with 53 steals last year in the Cal League. That same jump from San Jose to Richmond also tripped up Giants catching prospect Tommy Joseph (above) . . . The third pick in the 2009 draft, Donavan Tate stayed healthy for the first half but showed little of the power (one homer, six doubles) or speed (10 steals in 15 tries) that made him so attractive as an amateur. San Diego nevertheless moved him to high Class A Lake Elsinore at the end of June . . . Another piece of the Cubs-Reds offseason trade that sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati, Triple-A center fielder Dave Sappelt spent the first half mired in a similar slump as second baseman Ronald Torreyes.

THIRD BASE PROSPECTS

IN THE BLACK
THIRD BASE AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Miles Head 21 Athletics Stockton CAL HiA 293 .382 .433 .715 40
Mike Olt 23 Rangers Frisco TL AA 300 .311 .420 .610 31
Nick Castellanos 20 Tigers Lakeland FSL HiA 284 .376 .426 .506 30
Matt Skole 22 Nationals Hagerstown SAL LoA 296 .296 .444 .540 27
Ryan Wheeler 23 D-backs Reno PCL AAA 288 .371 .410 .575 20
Matt Davidson 21 D-backs Mobile SL AA 290 .274 .379 .532 20
Miguel Sano 19 Twins Beloit MWL LoA 296 .237 .351 .490 15
Jedd Gyorko 23 Padres San Antonio TL AA 301 .294 .359 .500 15
Kaleb Cowart 20 Angels Cedar Rapids MWL LoA 290 .293 .348 .479 13
Kyle Kubitza 21 Braves Rome SAL LoA 276 .248 .370 .448 9

No other position but third base featured three prospects with 30 or more runs above average during the first half. All three play at the Double-A level, following the promotions of Miles Head (Athletics) to Midland and Nick Castellanos (Tigers) to Erie in June. Mike Olt has spent all year with Frisco, where he led the Texas League with 22 homers . . . For an illustration of league context on batting lines, consider the case of Diamondbacks hot-corner prospects Ryan Wheeler (Triple-A Pacific Coast League) and Matt Davidson (Double-A Southern League). Despite the fact that Wheeler's raw OPS for Reno was nearly 75 points higher than Davidson's mark for Mobile, each player contributed 20 RAA with the bat during the first half. Davidson actually had an edge in homers (15-9) and extra-base hits (33-31).

IN THE RED
THIRD BASE AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Brandon Laird 24 Yankees Scranton/W-B IL AAA 277 .228 .292 .340 -7
Christian Villanueva 21 Rangers Myrtle Beach CAR HiA 265 .251 .311 .372 -7
Jason Esposito 21 Orioles Delmarva SAL LoA 270 .236 .300 .329 -8
Cheslor Cuthbert 19 Royals Wilmington CAR HiA 246 .226 .297 .308 -8
Edinson Rincon 21 Padres San Antonio TL AA 263 .252 .278 .356 -9
Zack Cox 23 Cardinals Memphis PCL AAA 204 .219 .265 .370 -11
Maikel Franco 19 Phillies Lakewood SAL LoA 260 .207 .269 .338 -12
Vinnie Catricala 23 Mariners Tacoma PCL AAA 278 .224 .273 .340 -16
Matt Dominguez 22 Marlins New Orleans PCL AAA 269 .221 .277 .336 -17
Brandon Drury 19 Braves Rome SAL LoA 260 .187 .226 .270 -24

Two breakout prospects from 2011 have fallen on bleak times this season. The Braves' Brandon Drury ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Appalachian League last year—behind only the Twins' Miguel Sano—but he managed a mere .495 OPS for Rome during the first half. Drury's still young, and he started the second half in fine form by going 16-for-42 (.381) with four extra-base hits. The Mariners' Vinnie Catricala seemed like a 10th-round steal a year ago when he reached Double-A and put up a cumulative 1.021 OPS, but the hits haven't been falling in Triple-A, though he began July on an 8-for-22 (.364) kick . . . The Marlins recently included Matt Dominguez in their trade with the Astros for Carlos Lee.

CORNER OUTFIELD PROSPECTS

IN THE BLACK
CORNER OF AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Wil Myers 21 Royals Omaha PCL AAA 288 .336 .413 .715 39
Tyler Austin 20 Yankees Charleston SAL LoA 259 .336 .409 .655 31
Marc Krauss 24 D-backs Mobile SL AA 281 .275 .395 .511 20
Roger Kieschnick 25 Giants Fresno PCL AAA 231 .319 .390 .623 17
Blake Smith 24 Dodgers Chattanooga SL AA 259 .298 .382 .480 15
Jorge Bonifacio 19 Royals Kane County MWL LoA 295 .314 .369 .465 14
Scott Van Slyke 25 Dodgers Albuquerque PCL AAA 187 .329 .412 .584 14
Oswaldo Arcia 21 Twins Fort Myers FSL HiA 245 .306 .373 .519 14
Tyler Collins 22 Tigers Lakeland FSL HiA 279 .299 .380 .422 13
Marcell Ozuna 21 Marlins Jupiter FSL HiA 271 .258 .332 .500 12
Michael Taylor 26 Athletics Sacramento PCL AAA 259 .316 .421 .460 12
Domingo Santana 19 Astros Lancaster CAL HiA 226 .289 .363 .532 11
Bryce Brentz 23 Red Sox Portland EL AA 257 .292 .346 .479 10
Nick Weglarz 24 Indians Akron EL AA 196 .251 .357 .497 10
Drew Vettleson 20 Rays Bowling Green MWL LoA 277 .289 .357 .434 9
Kole Calhoun 24 Angels Salt Lake PCL AAA 219 .305 .370 .513 9
Cory Vaughn 23 Mets St. Lucie FSL HiA 262 .227 .336 .440 9
Jarrett Parker 23 Giants San Jose CAL HiA 218 .264 .392 .455 8
Rymer Liriano 21 Padres Lake Elsinore CAL HiA 281 .304 .363 .458 8
Khris Davis 24 Brewers Huntsville SL AA 86 .324 .442 .479 8

Given that he led the minors with 27 homers and that he's a 21-year-old who has thrived in Triple-A, the Royals' Wil Myers would have been a frontrunner for Minor League Player of the Year honors—at least through the date of the Futures Game. We'll see if he gets to add to his credentials in the second half or if Kansas City awaits.

IN THE RED
CORNER OF AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Ramon Flores 20 Yankees Tampa FSL HiA 297 .264 .329 .347 -1
Jaff Decker 22 Padres San Antonio TL AA 192 .181 .361 .289 -1
Kyle Jensen 24 Marlins Jacksonville SL AA 262 .202 .309 .368 -2
Michael Crouse 21 Blue Jays Dunedin FSL HiA 158 .212 .310 .328 -2
Juan Lagares 23 Mets Binghamton EL AA 263 .264 .317 .356 -4
Oscar Tejeda 22 Red Sox Portland EL AA 202 .253 .287 .389 -4
David Lough 26 Royals Omaha PCL AAA 279 .273 .321 .418 -4
Randal Grichuk 20 Angels Inland Empire CAL HiA 299 .263 .296 .417 -5
Adam Milligan 24 Braves Lynchburg CAR HiA 235 .215 .286 .354 -6
J.B. Shuck 25 Astros Okla. City PCL AAA 189 .284 .351 .331 -6
Jonathan Garcia 20 Dodgers R. Cucamonga CAL HiA 186 .244 .263 .406 -8
Juan Duran 20 Reds Bakersfield CAL HiA 204 .230 .275 .382 -8
Kevin Keyes 23 Nationals Potomac CAR HiA 196 .188 .255 .358 -8
Guillermo Pimentel 19 Mariners Clinton MWL LoA 195 .213 .262 .317 -8
Kent Matthes 25 Rockies Tulsa TL AA 241 .191 .251 .364 -10
Chih-Hsien Chiang 24 Mariners Jackson SL AA 247 .242 .273 .342 -10
Caleb Gindl 23 Brewers Nashville PCL AAA 240 .229 .275 .363 -11
Francisco Peguero 24 Giants Fresno PCL AAA 289 .245 .279 .390 -12
Yorman Rodriguez 19 Reds Bakersfield CAL HiA 94 .156 .181 .200 -12
Chris Dominguez 25 Giants Fresno PCL AAA 269 .221 .249 .295 -22

A pair of high-dollar international acquisitions have floundered in the first half at the low Class A level. Reds $2.5 million man Yorman Rodriguez (signed in 2008) earned a demotion back to Dayton following a .381 OPS effort in the Cal League. He's batting .258/.304/.376 in a four-year pro career. The Mariners signed Guillermo Pimentel for an even $2 million in '09 and he's flashed power (11 homers in the Appy League last year, for example), but not an excess of hitting prowess with a career .251/.288/.415 batting line . . . The Mariners acquired Chih-Hsien Chiang in the three-team deal last July that shipped Erik Bedard and Josh Fields to Boston, but he hit just .228 and slugged .294 in 309 plate appearances prior to being outrighted off Seattle's 40-man roster in June.  

FIRST BASE PROSPECTS

IN THE BLACK
FIRST BASE AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Jonathan Singleton 20 Astros Corpus Christi TL AA 278 .281 .392 .494 16
Clint Robinson 27 Royals Omaha PCL AAA 276 .319 .424 .513 16
O'Koyea Dickson 22 Dodgers Great Lakes MWL LoA 165 .331 .442 .564 16
Lars Anderson 24 Red Sox Pawtucket IL AAA 247 .266 .389 .478 14
Brandon Waring 26 Orioles Bowie EL AA 249 .259 .363 .481 12
Tyler Moore 25 Nationals Syracuse IL AAA 115 .307 .374 .653 12
Jesus Aguilar 22 Indians Carolina CAR HiA 262 .291 .374 .463 11
Matt Adams 23 Cardinals Memphis PCL AAA 152 .340 .375 .603 10
Hunter Morris 23 Brewers Huntsville SL AA 277 .281 .339 .470 10
Mark Canha 23 Marlins Jupiter FSL HiA 207 .297 .386 .429 9

The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo absolutely demolished the Pacific Coast League for the second consecutive season, putting up 33 RAA for Triple-A Iowa in the first half. In two years and 697 plate appearances of PCL play he's batted .336/.405/.670 with 49 homers, 52 doubles and 163 RBIs in 163 games. Rizzo mashed four homers in his first 11 games with Chicago, and because we're looking forward with this exercise, we're considering only those who are still prospect eligible. Still, his first-half showing merits mention . . . The Astros' Jonathan Singleton continues to grow as an offensive player as a 20-year-old cub in Double-A. His enhanced his power output and walk-to-strikeout ratio this season and profiles as first-division regular at a position where only the best offense is acceptable.

IN THE RED
FIRST BASE AGE ORG TEAM LGE LVL PA AVG OBP SLG RAA
Nick Ramirez 22 Brewers Wisconsin MWL LoA 143 .250 .287 .409 -1
Jose Osuna 19 Pirates West Virginia SAL LoA 270 .267 .322 .399 -1
Neftali Soto 23 Reds Louisville IL AAA 263 .238 .289 .381 -4
Joe Mahoney 25 Orioles Norfolk IL AAA 288 .248 .299 .346 -6
Aaron Westlake 23 Tigers West Michigan MWL LoA 288 .199 .276 .340 -9
Joey Terdoslavich 23 Braves Mississippi SL AA 261 .207 .265 .312 -12

The Braves skipped Joey Terdoslavich over Double-A to start the year, but he felt Mississippi's inexorable pull following a two-month stint with Triple-A Gwinnett resulted in a .515 OPS. Back at Double-A, he was batting .291/.336/.417 with 11 extra-base hits through 27 games. Terdoslavich will get another crack at Triple-A either later this season or next.