Bogaerts lept into the hearts of prospect watchers (and diehard Boston fans) last season when he took the full-season South Atlantic League by storm and produced a wRC+ of 120 despite his relative lack of experience. Bogaerts, still just 19, is now leaving his impression on the high-A Carolina League. Although he’s currently hitting .278, Bogaerts’ power display is down from last year (.249 to .137 ISO) but he’s a better all-around hitter; his walk rate has increased more than 1% over last year and his strikeout rate has dropped almost 6% to 18.6%. He’s still playing at an above-average level for his league with a wRC+ of 117. The Aruba native’s ceiling remains huge and he’s eventually going to tap back into his above-average raw power.
This former eighth round draft pick out of Arizona State has provided outstanding value for the organization. In less than three pro seasons Calhoun, 24, has reached the Major Leagues and he made his first appearance in the big leagues last night. Prior to his promotion, the hard-nosed outfielder was enjoying his time in the triple-A Pacific Coast League with 21 extra base hits and a .296 batting average. Along with some league-aided pop, Calhoun was showing off his speed with two triples and six steals in eight attempts. His walk rate has been down a bit this year at 8.5% (12.3% last year) but he also made a big jump from high-A ball to triple-A ball, skipping double-A entirely. With three outfielders on the 40-man roster out with significant injuries, Calhoun (and his left-handed bat) has a chance to prove himself as a worthy MLB contributor and could stick with the club even when veteran Torii Hunter is activated from the restricted list but his ultimate ceiling will likely be as a platoon or back-up player.
Gilmartin was the Braves’ first round draft pick in 2011, as well as the 28th overall selection so he has some expectations to carry around. The Florida State alum signed relatively quickly after being drafted so he was able to make six starts in the regular season, split between rookie ball and low-A. He then pitched another eight games in the Arizona Fall League and responded favorably. Aggressively assigned to double-A to begin 2012, Gilmartin has been solid but not flashy. His FIP and ERA are almost identical (3.49/3.38) and he’s provided 56.0 innings of work in nine starts (an average of more than 6.0 IP per start). The lefty has displayed outstanding control (1.77 BB/9) but his strikeout rate is low (5.79 K/9) and he’s inducing fewer ground-ball outs than I like to see from a pitch-to-contact guy. Gilmartin is looking like a third or fourth starter at the big league level, which is not what you want to hear from a prospect that was given more than $1.1 million and came at the expense of a first-round pick.
Chris Hermann, C, Minnesota Twins
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: NR
Current Value: Stock is Rising
Herrmann deserves some attention after scorching the ball over the last two games while going 8-for-9 with two doubles. He’s by far the best catching prospect in the Twins system and could be the heir apparent to Joe Mauer, once the veteran moves to another position in an effort to prolong his career. Herrmann played a number of positions in college and he remains versatile, but he’s only been catching full time for about three years. He moves well behind the plate and has a strong arm but his game calling still needs some work. The 24-year-old prospect makes good contact at the plate and should hit for a solid average but he’s an aggressive hitter (6.0 BB%) with limited power. Even so, left-handed hitting catchers with competent defensive skills are quite valuable. He’s about a year away from being big-league ready.
Jungmann has gone about his first pro season with very little fanfare. The 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft, the former U of Texas hurler has produced a 2.90 ERA in 10 high-A starts. He’s also inducing a high number of ground-ball outs and low walk rates, which are encouraging signs from a 6’6” pitcher – as many taller hurlers tend to struggle with their control and have difficulties getting the ball down in the zone on a consistent basis. On the negative side, Jungmann hasn’t been striking many batters out (5.96 K/9) and his changeup has been slow to develop, as witnessed by his lefty/righty splits (.279 average vs LHB, .205 vs RHB). If he can find a way to miss more bats and polish up a third pitch Jungmann has the potential to be a No. 2 or 3 starter at the big league level.
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