Prospect three-day weekend

As the major league playoff races (or lack thereof) begin to take shape, the minor leagues are winding down and preparing for their playoffs.

The Harrisburg Senators, the Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, had assumed that they would be without one of their best hitters, Bryce Harper, after an injured hamstring had left him on the disabled list and caused the organization to say that right fielder Harper would be shut down for the remainder of the season. But there is the possibility that, if the Senators make the Eastern League playoffs, Harper could return to action.

Already returning to action is Cardinals top prospect Shelby Miller. Miller was suspended by the Cardinals for an alcohol-related incident, which apparently was not his first, but given that the suspension ended up costing Miller only one start, the team likely saw it as an opportunity to teach a young player a lesson while also limiting his innings.

Speaking of injuries and suspensions, Donavan Tate knows about both. The third overall pick in the 2009 draft, who was suspended for 25 games earlier this season due to testing positive for a banned substance, has injured his wrist and is done for the season. Tate, considered a raw player with huge upside upon being drafted, and a player who would need about 1,500 minor league at-bats before reaching the majors, has recorded only 285 plate appearances as a pro.

Also out for the season is the Rockies’ newest prospect, Drew Pomeranz. He joined his new organization a few weeks after the trade-deadline blockbuster between the Rockies and Indians, delayed by the rule that prohibits players from being traded within the first year of signing their initial professional contract. Pomeranz made one dominant start for the Rockies, then underwent emergency appendectomy surgery. Pomeranz had a stellar first professional season, posting a 1.84 ERA between High-A and Double-A, and should begin next season back at Double-A Tulsa.

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1500 at bats for Tate?  That would imply a bit of the fast track.  Raw high school products need way more than 1500 at bats.  2000, or around four full seasons, is the benchmark for most high schoolers; less than that is for the extremely polished.