JAYPERS (IL): I'm curious as to how Nolan
Arenado missed out this week. Can you clarify this for us? Thanks.
No mystery. No conspiracy. He's a fine
prospect, but in going 9-for-26 (.346) with three doubles in Low-A,
Arenado did not crack a 1.000 OPS, as did every hitter who made the cut
this week. Recognizing just 20 prospects as "hot" in any one week is
going to exclude plenty of good players.
Ben (Leland Grove): What led to Garrett
Richards' exclusion this week?
Richards had a fine a week (6 IP, 4 H, 0
R, 11 SO, 0 BB against cellar-dweller Wisconsin), but we'd like to see
the Angels challenge him with a bump to High-A. He's 22 and has carved
up the Midwest League in May, going 4-2, 2.04 with 37-9 K-BB in 40 IP.
Nate (Maryland): Maybe I'm just nitpicking, but
how is teheran ranked lower than minor this week? He's three years
younger than minor, just one level below him, and had more impressive
numbers this week (setting the myrtle beach single-game record for
Not really a correct answer here. I sided
with Minor because of level of competition, because he 3-hit a quality
Montgomery club, and because he has less experience in pro ball. It
sometimes takes time for even college pitchers to get used to starting
every fifth day and the different seams on the ball.
Nate (Maryland): Who's your pick to win the NL
East this year?
Not really prospect-related, but I'll
bite. I'll take the Braves.
Terry Hogan (Venice Beach, CA): What is your
take on Chris Lubanski? Does the former 5th overall pick have a chance
to be a productive MLB regular?
Nothing I love more than a minor league
free agent sign made good, but in this case I'm not terribly optimistic.
Signing with the Blue Jays has allowed Lubanski to play half his games
in Las Vegas, a hitter's paradise, but it's the other half I worry
about. In road games thus far, Lubanksi has batted .203/.257/.438 in 64
at-bats. Now, that's a small number of at-bats, and I'd expect the
average to come up, but Lubanski's overall Triple-A track record does
not scream big league regular.
Grant (Miami, FL): How close is Stanton to
paying us a visit?
Many who follow the Marlins closely
suggest that a promotion for Stanton is imminent. He'll supplant either
Chris Coghlan or Cameron Maybin. But the bigger losers will be us minor
league devotees. Now we'll never know how many home runs could he have
hit in 550 plate appearances for Jacksonville.
Jean-Paul (Springfield, IL): No Dustin Ackley?
He's never had a better week so far than this week. Was it a lack of
XBH's that led to his missing out?
Ackley's fine week did not go unnoticed.
He had his best week as a pro with Double-A West Tenn, going 10-for-19
(.526) with two doubles and seven walks. But to answer your question,
yes, the missing extra-base hits sealed his fate.
Eric K (Chicago): What can you tell me about
Lefty-hitting second sacker with
above-average power for the position. Not a lot of speed, and probably
more of a .260 hitter with plenty of walks. Enough range to play up the
middle but not a Gold Glove contender.
Brandon (So Cal): Where would you rank Mike
Trout in the top 100 next year?
It's tough to say right now, but with
natural prospect attrition due to big league callups, plus a
mediocre-at-best draft class, I think Trout is, at worst, a Top 20
prospect. And even that's conservative.
paul (seattle): Who do you think has the better
potential in the long run Noland Arenado or Matt Davidson?
I may be biased, having ranked Arenado in
the Pioneer League last year, but I'd go with Nolan. You may not be
buying as much power, but what you are getting is a strong hitter and
third-base defender. Arenado has the size, but we may be looking more at
15-19 HR when he's fully mature. That puts him at 50 on the scouting
brian (washington dc): Feel for hitting from a
high schooler? How about Joe Mauer? He batted .400 with a .498 OBP in
the appalachian league at 18 years old fresh off of high school
Ah, a worthy candidate. At the conclusion
of the '02 season, Mauer had amassed 606 PA in the Appy and Midwest
leagues and had a .322 average. That Trout sits at .363 underscores what
a remarkable ride it's been. But we also have to put Mauer's average in
context — he didn't benefit from the Arizona League, as Trout did, and
he also had to learn to catch every day. And this is just a hunch, but
I'm guessing his Quad Cities pitching staff had more quality stuff than
his St. Paul, Minn., staff.
Chris (Pittsburgh): When my Pirates finally get
around to calling up Brad Lincoln, what kind of ceiling does he offer?
Could he profile as a #2 starter?
Not sure what Pittsburgh is waiting for.
They traded for Dana Eveland, which might buy a Triple-A reprieve for
Charlie Morton, but surely there's room elsewhere in the big league
rotation. Lincoln's ceiling? I think more along the lines of No. 4
starter or a power reliever, because he'd have better velo out of the
BLUE (Dallas): Hmm, Engle Beltre...is he a punk
or was that just a weak moment?
In case you missed it, Bakersfield's
Engel Beltre incited a brawl with Visalia after hitting a walk-off home
run yesterday. (Link below.) Well, taunting the opposing dugout, the
opposing pitcher and the opposing infielders on a romp around the bases
does not argue strongly for his competitive makeup. Plus, his resume as a
power hitter is not such that he should be jawing with anybody.
Greg34 (Palm Springs): The middle infield
prospects getting some love this week. Of those mentioned, just looking
at their bats, who would you prefer long-term between Franklin, Havens,
Cumberland and Green?
Tough call at this stage, but it's hard
to argue with the overall package that Franklin offers . . .
switch-hitter who makes good contact and hits for power.
Koko Ware (Detroit, MI): Where is James
He's on the San Antonio disabled list. A
friendly notice: You can stay current on minor league injuries by
perusing Minor League Transactions each week.
Brian (Milwaukee): Any consideration for Brett
Lawrie? Only 20 at AA, seems like he's having much better command of
the strike zone lately, walking more, striking out less, with plenty of
extra base hits. What's his power projection?
Along with the Astros' Koby Clemens,
Lawrie is one prospect who just missed the cut this week. He went
8-for-25 (.320) with a homer, a double and two triples this week for
Double-A Huntsville. Not bad at all for a 20-year-old with no High-A
experience. Clemens batted 10-for-23 (.435) with three homers for
Double-A Corpus Christi this week.
Savage (Toronto, Canada): You asked about he
last HS hitter to have such a good feel for hitting as Trout, was Ben
Revere good enough in 07-08?
Jim Shonerd, is that you? This is a good
contribution, seeing as Revere batted .360 in 590 PAs in 2007-08, plus
he gets bonus points for having played in the Gulf Coast League.
Jay (Madison): Adam Loewen is playing pretty
well at AA but he's 26. Though it's a nice story, I'm surprised you are
projecting him as a MLB corner outfielder. Are you expecting a jump in
Note the absence of the words "big
league" in that sentence. But playing well in Triple-A, and maybe making
some money and getting a few cups of coffee while doing so, is not out
of the question.
Tim C. (Chicago): What are you thoughts on
Johnathan Singleton long-term? I have heard he had a rough senior year
and that really hurt his prospect status.
Yes, this is true. Also true, Jon
Singleton is quite possibly the most popular prospect in Hot Sheet
history. Thank you, Jayson Stark for singing his praises. But yes, the
Phils were able to grab Singleton in the eighth round last year because
he hit just .321 as a high school senior. They had seen him much better
than that, though, as an underclassman and on the showcase circuit. For
Low-A Lakewood this week, he went 8-for-23 (.348) with three doubles,
six walks and three strikeouts.
Hey, that'll do it for today. We'll be
back next Friday to answer more Jon Singleton questions.