@Jaypers413 (IL): How close did James Darnell come this week? You've got to be impressed with his BB:K ratio thus far, no?
Padres Double-A 3B James Darnell came
very close to cracking the Hot Sheet. He's showing early that he's over
the wrist injury that cut into his production last year by batting
.500/.596/.727 through his first 12 games for San Antonio. And how about
a 12-to-1 walk-to-strikeout ratio? Darnell went 12-for-19 (.632) last
week, but his four extra-base hits (all doubles) didn't compare with
others who made the cut.
Tom (Cinncinati): Eric Campbell (Reds, third
baseman) is hitting the ball amazing this year. Does he still have a
future after spending last year in independent baseball?
Before his career got interrupted by
releases by the Braves and Phillies, Campbell had stalled at Double-A,
so that's going to be the real test. But if he truly has matured, then
he ought to get a shot at redemption later this season. We really can't
tell a whole lot about a hitter's true ability when he plays his home
games in Bakersfield, but of course it's better to hit than not.
Keith (NJ): Is Eric Thames for real and when will he be called up?
All of the Blue Jays' top lefty power
hitters — OK, their only two in Adam Lind and Travis Snider — are
clustered near the bottom of the defensive spectrum, making
left-fielding, lefty-swinging Eric Thames an imperfect fit. I'll
cautiously say that, yes, Thames has a major league caliber bat, let's
say .270, 12-15 HR with solid batting eye.
Ben (Leland Grove): What led to Goldschmidt's exclusion this week?
The sky-high standards of Hot Sheet.
Double-A Mobile 1B Paul Goldschmidt had a fine week, going 8-for-27
(.296) with three homers and eight RBIs, but he just wasn't as
productive on a PA basis as the others.
richard (brooklyn): what is the ceiling for Mark cohoon?
We may be witnessing the best three
starts of LHP Mark Cohoon's season — 19 innings, 20 strikeouts, three
walks — but that's nothing to be ashamed of. Like Mets big league RHP
Dillon Gee, Cohoon's best pitch is "control." That plus control will
keep him alive as a No. 5 starter candidate, but the Mets will take that
from their 2008 12th-round selection.
DrewBoke (IL): Best case scenario for Brett Jackson, ..... a healthy Grady Sizemore?
I really Cubs Double-A CF Brett Jackson's
well rounded game, but I think a Sizemore-in-his-prime comp is a bridge
too far. I'm tempted to say that Jackson could be a Curtis Granderson
type as a lefty hitter who's athleticism and defensive range might be a
bit undersold. Granderson had similar over-the-fence power at Jackson's
age. Oh, and the strikeouts are always going to be part of the package.
bardin (San Diego): Any hot-sheet consideration
given to Jonathan Garcia? Slugging over .800 as a teenager in a
full-season league... that's pretty impressive.
I'm glad you mentioned Dodgers Low-A RF
Jonathan Garcia because like many of the organization's prospects who
play for Rookie-level Ogden, he seems to out-perform his scouting
reports. I'm not saying he's as good as Jerry Sands or Brian
Cavazos-Galvez from the 2009 club, because he probably isn't, but Garcia
had a fine week, batting 8-for-20 (.320) with three homers and six
RBIs. As with anyone who just misses Hot Sheet, he may have the gaudy
counting numbers, but he just wasn't as productive per trip to the plate
as others were. But that's a nice start in the Midwest League: six
homers and seven doubles in 15 games.
Brandon Wood (Purgatory): Is there any hope for me, or will I be the poster boy for why top prospects are still no guarantee?
We'll know a lot more about Brandon Wood
after he gets a shot to play every day for the Pirates, where media
reports have pegged as his next destination via a waiver claim. A change
of scenery will do him good. But even if he doesn't quite break
through, he'll have a long Triple-A career if he wants one. It's hard
for organizations to find true power bats on the minor league free agent
market who can also play a skill position like third base or shortstop.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Was it purely Mother Nature's fault Martin Perez missed out this week, or was it the low K rate?
Official Hot Sheet shout-out for Rangers Double-A LHP Martin Perez: Perfect for five innings, three whiffs.
Pauly (NJ): How did Gary Brown miss out this week?
Giants 2010 first-rounder Gary Brown
batted .448 (13-for-29) sure, but with just two extra-base hits (double,
triple) and a 3-for-6 showing stealing bases. That's perfectly fine,
but was it really one of *the* best weeks?
Adam (Harlem): Why do some players excel in AAA and the rest of the minors but not the majors?
This is a story idea we've kicked around
for years, but all we can do is hypothesize. If teams truly knew exactly
what to expect from prospects once they reached the big leagues, I
think it would take the air out of prospecting and following the minor
leagues. The sense of novelty and the unknown is one of the key
attractions to me.
David (Hartford): You're suddenly in Jed
Hoyer's seat. If you see another week of Zombie-Hawpe and Zombie-Cantu,
do you go to Rizzo or Blanks first (or stick with the deadly duo)?
The San Diego Zombies, eh? Well, I think
you have to give the nod to Jorge Cantu at this point because he's been
effective more recently than has Brad Hawpe. But I think you're right in
that one of them must go. In the world of 12-man pitching staffs, how
can a club justify a first base platoon. That's the one position where
you need offensive certainty. But for Kyle Blanks' sake, I hope he gets a
long look this season, if only because his window may close once
Anthony Rizzo is deemed MLB ready.
Adam (Harlem): Where would Brandon Wood rate on your biggest busts list?
If you're a BA subscriber, you can read
Ben Badler's even-handed analysis here:
Don (Tampa): Has Josh Sale started playing this year and where is he playing?
The Rays probably will follow the Todd
Glaesmann-Jeff Malm precedent and send 2010 first-rounder Josh Sale to
Rookie-level Princeton in June. That's great news if you live in the
Appalachian mountain region of Virginia or West Virginia, where the
P-Rays schedule is concentrated.
Keith (Providence, RI): I was surprised that
Charlie Furbush didn't make the list. He pitched a complete game (7
innings - only 86 pitches) 1 hit shutout, striking out 9 and walking
none. On the season, he has a 33.9 K%, a 6.5 BB%, and a 1.17 FIP (1.62
ERA). He really impressed the Tigers in camp this spring as well. What
do you think about his chances to stick in the majors as a mid-rotation
I may regret omitting him from my
ranking, but you're right in that Tigers Triple-A LHP Charlie Furbush
has flat-out dominated this season, allowing just 12 baserunners in 16
2/3 innings to go with 21 strikeouts. The swing-and-miss stuff's there,
but I guess I still have reservations about the 25-year-old's command.
Last year with Toledo he got hit hard in nine starts (10.9 hits and 1.7
homers per nine innings). Soon enough we'll know which was the fluke
performance, late 2010 or early 2011.
Ed (Los Angeles): Do you think the Padres farm
players that have gotten off to hot starts: J.Decker, J.Darnell,
A.Rizzo, S.Carroll and Forsythe are going to be contributing to the big
league club in the next year?
The Padres farm system seems to alternate
good years with bad, which defies logic, but so far in 2011 they're on a
roll. My gut feeling is that the righty-swinging, line-drive types are
going to have the most success in Petco, so that would be Logan Forsythe
and Jedd Gyorko. But I'm also very encouraged by Anthony Rizzo's early
showing, and as much as I like James Darnell's offensive profile, I
doubt he'll ever play third base for an organization that has Chase
Headley, Forsythe and Gyorko. Will he hit and field enough to play right
Poolie (Big Smoke): I'm in a keeper league and I
can only keep one hitter and one position player of these 4 ultra
picks. Who do I keep?
Tony Sanchez, Brett Jackson, Jameson Taillon and Casey Kelly. I'm not
worried about a timeline, just who will be of more value for me.
For me, in order of highest ceiling:
Taillon, Sanchez, Jackson, Kelly. Injury caveats for the pitchers, of
course. That's probably how they ranked in the Top 100, I'm not sure.
Dooby (Cologne, Germany): While the big league
opening has been awful, it does seem that the number of Mets prospects
appearing on this list or coming close is much higher than in recent
years ? Is it more due to the talent being better or the development
track slowed down by the Alderson administration vs. the ultra
aggressive Minaya administration ?
Also, would you rank the 2011 St.Lucie Mets as one of the most
prospect-ladden team in the minors right now ?
The biggest difference for the Mets is
that all their power pitching prospects have gotten off to fast starts,
in direct contrast to last year when Jeurys Familia, Robert Carson, Brad
Holt and Jenrry Mejia all underwhelmed. Plus, this year they have Matt
Harvey in the fold. Check back at midseaosn, but so far so good.
Thanks for the great questions. Hot Sheet will return next Friday.