Prospect Breakdowns, Notes, and Additions – 6/18

Looking for more prospect info? Find out where every prospect fits into the The Hardball Times ongoing Top 100 Prospects List.

New Player Breakdowns

Michael Saunders / OF / Seattle / Triple-A / 11/19/86 / ETA: 2010 / High: #26 / Low: #49 / This Week: +7
2009 Thoughts:
Saunders has come back masterfully from a shoulder injury that had sidelined him for the first month of the season. Look for a call up sometime this summer.
Average Year Projection:
.271 / .336 / 18 HR / 33 2B / 6 3B / 86 RBI / 86 R / 61 BB / 112 SO / 13 SB / 5 CS
Prime Year Projection:
.282 / .362 / 22 HR / 34 2B / 7 3B / 95 RBI / 93 R / 71 BB / 102 SO / 16 SB / 6 CS
6/13/09 – Saunders is one of the few true potential 30/30 players in the high minors. He has the potential to hit .300 too. But I need to see more development before I believe any of it. I love his ability to recover from injuries, but his injury history is of concern heading forward. I don’t think he’ll reach his ultimate potential, but he has a bright future ahead of him.

Jhoulys Chacin / SP / Colorado / Double-A / 1/7/88 / ETA: 2010 / High: #33 / Low: #35 / This Week: +1
2009 Thoughts:
Don’t expect Colorado to be too aggressive with Chacin. They haven’t been so far, and it has paid off. He may get a taste of Triple-A, but the Rockies certainly want to see even more success before he gets a glimpse of the majors.
Average Year Projection:
Too early to tell.
Prime Year Projection:
Too early to tell.
6/13/09 – Chacin’s utterly dominant Advanced-A performance from last year hasn’t exactly translated, but he is experiencing another strong season. He is still very young, and with another all-around uptick in his development he will join the absolute elite pitching prospects in the game.

Jeremy Hellickson / SP / Tampa Bay / Double-A / 4/8/87 / ETA: 2011 / High: #34 / Low: #35 / This Week: +1
2009 Thoughts:
I anticipate that Tampa will keep Hellickson in the high minors for the rest of the year so they can play it easy with his sprained shoulder. Tampa has that luxury due to their outstanding organizational rotation depth.
Average Year Projection:
190 IP / 3.79 ERA / 1.29 WHIP / 13 W / 11 L / 180 SO / 180 H / 65 BB
Prime Year Projection:
199 IP / 3.33 ERA / 1.21 WHIP / 16 W / 9 L / 204 SO / 181 H / 59 BB
6/13/09 – Hellickson is well on his way to returning to the mound after sustaining a shoulder sprain in early May. He is not in David Price’s class, but he sports three strong pitches – a low-90s fastball along with a changeup and curveball that have the potential to be plus pitches. Everything could eventually add up to Hellickson dealing like an ace. His great minor league career seems to indicate as much.

New Prospect Notes

Tommy Hanson / SP / Atlanta
6/13/09 – The Braves couldn’t hold back any longer. Hanson has made two major league starts, neither one all that impressive; although, in his latest outing he was able to overcome five walks on his way to allowing only two runs over five and two-thirds innings. The strikeouts are there and, long-term, I have zero worries about two tough outings to start his career.

Matt LaPorta / OF/1B / Cleveland
6/13/09 – LaPorta is back in Triple-A doing his thing. Expect him to be back with the Indians sometime this summer.

Madison Bumgarner / SP / San Francisco
6/13/09 – His Double-A stint has been every bit as dominating as I expected. Keep it up, Mad Man.

David Price/ SP / Tampa Bay
6/13/09 – His four-game big league stint has been a mixed bag. He has shown tremendous competitiveness and tenacity, resulting in only five earned runs in nineteen innings of work. But his control issues are still there, and, frankly, they scare me. Stay tuned.

Travis Snider / OF / Toronto
6/13/09 – Snider was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas in late May. He put up some lackluster stats over the period of a week before heading to the DL due to a bad back. Right now, it’s hard to get a gauge on the extent of the injury. Here’s to hoping that some news is on its way.

Jarrod Parker / SP / Arizona
6/13/09 – A recent bout of walks brought some of his stats back to human level. Hopefully his most recent outing, where he didn’t issue a walk and K’d nine batters over six innings, is a sign that the roadblock is behind him.

Jesus Montero / C/1B / NY Yankees
6/13/09 – Montero was promoted to Double-A recently, to mixed results. Essentially, he has been catching then DHing off and on all year. It will be interesting to see whether that trend continues or if he will slowly get more playing time behind the plate. It’s the hope that he will stay at catcher that has him riding this high on my board.

Mike Moustakas / 3B / Kansas City
6/13/09 – Moustakas’ game has stagnated a bit over the last few weeks. Most importantly, his plate discipline hasn’t progressed the way I was expecting. Last year’s breakout came during the second half of the year, though. We’ll see what happens this summer.

Tim Alderson / SP / San Francisco
6/13/09 – Alderson has been downright dominant over the last month. He gets a boost accordingly. All he is missing is the premium strikeout numbers. They may not be far away.

Angel Villalona / 1B / San Francisco
6/13/09 – Where is your plate discipline, Angel? He was showing signs of a dramatically improved approach at the plate in April, but things have dropped off since then. He needs to get his focus back on track.

Retroactive Review: Ace
Looking back at some of Justin Verlander's most interesting moments.

Jordan Zimmermann / SP / Washington
6/13/09 – Zimmermann’s big league performance has fallen off, but not off the cliff. His strikeouts and strikeout to walk ratio have been impressive. Look for his ERA to catch up.

Gordon Beckham / SS/3B / Chicago White Sox
6/13/09 – Beckham has pushed himself all the way to the big leagues in a short period of time. Unfortunately, his 28 at-bats have only resulted in two hits. Even more concerning, it looks like the White Sox might be serious about keeping him at third base.

Michael Stanton / OF / Florida
6/13/09 – It’s time to start really paying attention. Stanton is getting his shot at Double-A pitching. So far his bat has been quiet, but for how long? It’s exciting seeing his huge power potential on display against good secondary stuff.

Logan Morrison / 1B / Florida
6/13/09 – Morrison is back, and it looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. Watch his Double-A development closely.

Neftali Feliz / SP/RP / Texas
6/13/09 – His walk rate is starting to slow, but so is his strikeout rate. Feliz is always unpredictable. Combine that fact with his electric stuff and you have one of the more exciting pitchers in minor league baseball. In Feliz’s case that’s not a good thing. Pennant-chasing Texas wants consistency before they hand him a slot in their rotation.

Brian Matusz / SP / Baltimore
6/13/09 – He has been the most dominant Advanced-A pitcher in recent weeks. When is the promotion coming? I’m salivating.

Hector Rondon / SP / Cleveland
6/13/09 – Rondon’s bullpen assignment didn’t last long, but his last two starts have been lackluster. Is it a bump in the road or a true trend?

New Players Added to the Bubble

Zach Stewart
Derek Norris
Vincent Mazzaro
Matthew Moore
Logan Forsythe
Chris Withrow
Evan Anundsen
Sean Rodriguez
Eric Arnett
Kasey Kiker
Tony Sanchez
James Darnell
Wily Peralta

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Matt Hagen
Matt Hagen

Check out the site’s ongoing Top 100 List for your Kyle Blanks query.  An update on his major league prospects is coming soon.

A link to the Top 100 List is also located at the very top of this page.

Jamey Feuer
Jamey Feuer
“Filling in the Blanks?” I’m still new to your site, but … where’s highly-touted 22 year-old Padre prospect Kyle Blanks on this list? Dude JUST got the call to the BIGS last night. The Pads’ 6’6/285 Kyle Blanks AKA “The Tank,” a 1B by trade, was sped through small ball and now finds himself manning LF with Adrian Gonzalez capably occupying 1B. After swatting a solid .283/12/35 at Trip’ A Portland, talent-strapped San Diego opted to promote Blanks and shift him to the Outfield. Your thoughts on this man-mountain trundling through Left Field? Although he does move well for a… Read more »
Leo Walter
Leo Walter

I would have thought you would have added Brad Lincoln to this list.One of the best AA pitchers I have seen since 1999,which covers roughly 750 games…and any number of top notch ML pitchers.