A former top prep pitcher, Grimm’s inconsistency in college slid him down the 2010 draft’s depth chart and he landed in Texas’ lap in the fifth round. The right-hander has been on cruise control since turning pro and reached double-A in just his second season (He signed too late to play in ’10). Grimm has shown above-average control and has walked just eight batters in 45.1 innings this season. He does a nice job of commanding the ball down in the zone and he has produced solid ground-ball rates. The 23-year-old prospect is not far from being MLB-ready and he could eventually settle in as a No. 3 starter. With some other higher ceiling arms in the system Grimm could eventually be trade fodder.
The Yankees organization has one of the most prospect-laden teams in minor league baseball with its low-A affiliate in Charleston. Gumbs was overshadowed at the beginning of the season but he’s starting to come into his own. A second round selection out of a California high school from the 2010 draft, the infielder is enjoying his first taste of full-season ball. Just 19, Gumbs strikes out too much (32 Ks in 31 games) but he’s starting to turn his athleticism into baseball skills. He’s hitting .364 with 10 walks in his last 10 games. Overall, Gumbs is 19-for-20 in stolen base attempts. He’s a long way away from reaching his ceiling but could eventually become a solid big league regular.
Rodriguez is a favorite of minor league stats watchers. The right-hander has posted very impressive numbers in his career despite an average repertoire and fringe-average fastball velocity. Rodriguez, 21, blew through the low minors due to his above-average command and solid control. He’s found the going a lot tougher in double-A in 2012 as his walk rate has jumped way up while facing more advanced hitters (5.00 BB/9). His ERA of 2.24 is midleading and his FIP sits at .378. An extreme flyball pitcher, the Puerto Rico native has given up just one home run this year. Rodriguez’s future will likely involve a role in a big league bullpen either as a middle or long reliever.
The Brett Wallace experience did not work out as well as expected but the Astros club likely has its first baseman of the future in the form of a former Philadelphia Phillies prospect. Singleton, 20, has spent the 2012 seaason in double-A and absolutely tore the cover off the ball. Fifteen of his 34 hits have gone for extra bases and he’s currently hitting .296. He also has 23 walks compared to 28 strikeouts. Singleton hit .350 in April but has found the going a lot tougher in May (.171). The left-handed hitter has also struggled against southpaws all year (.184 vs RHP/.351 vs RHP). Once he irons out his issues against same-handed pitchers Singleton could assume the starting first base job in Houston.
Spangenberg was taken in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Padres and is perfectly geared to succeed in San Diego’s home park thanks to his quickness, athleticism and line-drive swing. Moved from third base to second base the infielder already boasts a career batting average of more than .300 in parts of two seasons. Spangenberg has been playing in the California League (high-A) this year but the potent league has not inflated his power numbers; Only 11 of the 21-year-old prospect’s 46 hits have gone for extra base hits. He’s also not doing the best job of controlling the strike zone with seven walks and 26 Ks in 37 games, something he’ll want to focus on as he projects to develop into a top-of-the-order hitter and needs to get on base at a consistent clip to maximize his value. Spangenberg, a left-handed hitter, has not had the best luck against southpaws (.182 vs LHP, .355 vs RHP). He’s had success on the base paths, though, with 15 steals in 18 attempts.
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