When it comes to prospects and stolen bases, Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton gets all the love. However, former first rounder DeShields has been quietly having a nice year in low-A ball. The 19-year-old second baseman is repeating the level (130 wRC+) after struggling there in 2011 (79 wRC+) but he’s already surpassed his steals from all of last year (30) with 51 in 58 attempts. He’s doing a better job of getting on base, both in terms of hitting for average (.274) and walking (13.4 BB%), and he’s starting to chip away at the too-high strikeout rates. DeShields’ development is going to require patience but the reward could definitely be worth the wait.
The Los Angeles Angels club possessed two first round draft picks in 2009 and the organization used its 25th overall pick to select outfielder Mike Trout out of a New Jersey high school. However, the club also had the 24th overall selection and actually took Texas high school outfielder Randal Grichuk one pick ahead of the potential superstar. The Texan’s career has been derailed by injuries and inconsistencies but the good news is that he’s still just 20 years old and is looking much better in June after a dismal May in high-A ball. He has shown some power but the prospect needs a better approach at the plate, which includes more patience and better pitch recognition. Don’t give up on Grichuk just yet but it’s probably safe to say it’s going to be hard to live up to being taken one pick before Trout.
Toronto has some very impressive arms in its system, including the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino, and Aaron Sanchez, but I’m also quite fond of 2011 supplemental first rounder Musgrove, who was taken out of a California high school with the 46th overall selection. The right-hander can fire his heater up into the 95-96 mph range and induces a plethora of ground-ball outs. In two appearances in advanced rookie ball in 2012, he’s struck out nine batters and allowed five hits, without issuing a walk, in 8.0 innings of work. At 6’5” 230 lbs, Musgrove has the build to be a durable innings-eater at the big league level and could eventually become a No. 2 or 3 starter.
Perez is one of those prospects where it feels like he’s been around forever. He was signed by the Rangers in 2007 out of Venezuela but he’s only 21 years old. The southpaw has had an up-and-down year in the potent Pacific Coast League (AAA) but he strung together two impressive starts late this month by allowing just four hits and two runs in 16.0 innings of work. Perez’s command and control remain works-in-progress so he may get hit around a bit in the Majors now that he’s reportedly been called up. He possesses the ceiling of a No. 2 or 3 starter but it might be some time before he realizes that and the bullpen might be a good place for him to get his feet wet.
After an impressive 2011 season in high-A (and then in the Arizona Fall League), which resulted in a 141 wRC+, Atlanta was overly aggressive with an assignment to triple-A for Terdoslavich to begin 2012. He hit just .180 (47 wRC+) in 53 games and was sent down to double-A in June. After struggling early in triple-A and then really pressing, Terdoslavich has relaxed in double-A and has hit .364 in 17 games. Because he typically doesn’t walk a lot and strikes out a fair bit, the infielder is somewhat limited in his overall ceiling. Add in his so-so defense and you have a future offensive-minded, switch-hitting bat-off-the-bench. That’s still solid value for a former sixth round draft pick.