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BA's Prospect Hot Sheet


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1. Justin Upton, of, Diamondbacks (high Class A Visalia)

 

Sure, Upton is in the Cal League. Sure, the ball flies there like crazy. But after the 2005 first-rounder's average bottomed out at .152 on April 15, he flipped the switch and has been on fire ever since. Upton currently owns a 12-game hit streak and has homered in his last five games. During the streak, Upton is hitting .510 with all those home runs and 11 RBIs. Overall, the 19-year-old outfielder is hitting .366/.443/.622 in 82 at-bats.

 

2. Tim Lincecum, rhp, Giants (Triple-A Fresno)

 

Last week's No. 1 moves down a spot, though you could go either way. After walking six on April 23, Lincecum bounced back to whiff 14 over six innings on Sunday. He's allowed just one earned run in 31 innings. If Brian Sabean doesn't have Lincecum's cell number on speed-dial, he should now.

 

3. Steven Pearce, 1b, Pirates (high Class A Lynchburg)

 

Eight home runs in a week is impressive enough, but consider that three of those came in Myrtle Beach and it's even more so. When does the 24-year-old infielder replace 29-year-old Randy Ruiz in Double-A?

 

4. Jacoby Ellsbury, of, Red Sox (Double-A Portland)

 

Just keeps doing it. Leading the minors in batting with a .455 average, Ellsbury also reach double-digits in doubles last week.

 

5. Gio Gonzalez, lhp, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham)

 

Chalk one up for Kenny Williams. Gonzalez racked up 25 strikeouts in his last two starts and now has 43 in 28 innings.

 

6. Wade Davis, rhp, Devil Rays (high Class A Vero Beach)

 

Davis allowed one run over his last 14 innings and now has a 28-7 strikeout-walk ratio in 29 innings.

 

7. Andy Sonnanstine, rhp, Devil Rays (Triple-A Durham)

 

Twin seven-inning, one-run outings were good for just one win. Though an IL-leading 18 strikeouts meant Sonnanstine's week was anything but ordinary. Both runs he allowed last week came on solo homers.

 

8. Travis Snider, of, Blue Jays (low Class A Lansing)

 

Putting questions about his speed aside, Snider stole three bases in three attempts. He also smacked four doubles in a 13-for-25 showing at the plate. The Midwest League's triples leader (4) is now batting .392/.407/.649 through 74 at-bats.

 

9. Carlos Rosa, rhp, Royals (Double-A Wichita)

 

Dominated the Carolina League so quickly that the Royals moved him to Double-A before April ended. Won his first Texas League start by tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

 

10. Chris Mason, rhp, Devil Rays (Double-A Montgomery)

 

Mason's won three straight starts and now holds a 26-4 strikeout-walk ratio in 29 innings.

 

11. Clayton Kershaw, lhp, Dodgers (low Class A Great Lakes)

 

He struck out 12 of the 19 batters he faced while walking one and allowing three hits in six innings of work. The lefty owns a 1.42 ERA and 28 strikeouts vs. 12 walks in 19 innings this season.

 

12. Eric Hurley, rhp, Rangers (Double-A Frisco)

 

Quietly dominating the Texas League, Hurley is now 3-0, 1.50 with a 23-4 strikeout-walk ratio in 30 innings

 

13. Jordan Brown, 1b, Indians (Double-A Akron)

 

Brown batted .520 last week and had six doubles. He's also being super-selective at the plate with 10 walks compared to seven strikeouts.

 

14. Wladimir Balentien, of, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma)

 

Balentien's loud Triple-A overture continued last week with an 11-for-24 performance (.458) and two home runs and nine RBIs. Just 22, he jumped to the PCL despite a so-so performance in the Texas League last year.

 

15. Adam Miller, rhp, Indians (Triple-A Buffalo)

 

Miller augmented his already-impressive game log with seven two-hit, shutout innings. Eight strikeouts and two walks improved his season ratio to 23-8 in 25 innings. Better still, he's yet to allow a home run.

 

16. Clint Sammons, c, Braves (high Class A Myrtle Beach)

 

Sammons hit a pair of home runs on Myrtle Beach's last homestand and batted .381 with nine RBIs.

 

17. John Mayberry, Jr., of, Rangers (high Class A Bakersfield)

 

Might not be hitting for high average, but the power is coming around--Mayberry hit three homers last week.

 

18. Nevin Ashley, c, Devil Rays (low Class A Columbus)

 

Seems to have a 2-for-4 night every night. Ashley is now hitting .325/.376/.446 in 83 at-bats.

 

19. James Boone, of, Pirates (low Class A Hickory)

 

If he wasn't a 24-year-old in low Class A, Boone would likely be much higher on this list. The 2005 third-round pick batted .391 with three homers.

 

20. Daryl Thompson, rhp, Reds (low Class A Dayton)

 

Hasn't given up in run in his last 18 innings--only run allowed all season was back on April 9th. Allowed one hit in six innings while striking out six. Season total of 11 hits allowed in 23.0 innings with one walk and 19 strikeouts (0.39 ERA).

 

NOT-SO HOT

Jason Neighborgall, rhp, Diamondbacks (low Class A South Bend)

 

When five outings equals just one inning, you know there are issues. Over that one inning, Neighborgall has walked 12 which turned into 12 earned runs and hit three batters. Don't be surprised if he gets shipped out to extended soon for a mechanical overhaul.

 

Daniel Bard, rhp, Red Sox (high Class A Lancaster)

 

22 walks, nine strikeouts, 21 hits, 15 earned runs in 13 innings. Is there anything else to really say?

 

Andrew Miller, lhp, Tigers (high Class A Lakeland)

 

Not a good week for 2006 draft picks from North Carolina--Miller allowed 11 runs on 19 hits over his last two outings.

 

Steven Jackson, rhp, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre)

 

Jackson's allowed five homers in four starts and 10 earned runs over his last eight innings.

 

Sendy Vasquez, rhp, Tigers (high Class A Lakeland)

 

Vasquez ranked 12th in Detroit's system coming into this season, but will sit out for the next 50 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. And it's not like they were helping based on the 0-3, 8.20 numbers the 24-year-old put up in 19 innings this season.

 

HELIUM WATCH

 

Taylor Wilding, rhp, Giants (high Class A San Jose)

 

A 13th-rounder in 2005, Wilding struck out 12 in six innings last week.

 

David Hernandez, rhp, Orioles (high Class A Frederick)

 

A 2005 16th-round pick, Hernandez struck out 15 and walked two over his two starts.

 

Rafael Lluberes, lhp, Brewers (high Class A Brevard County)

 

Left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft last year, Lluberes whiffed 11 over 12 innings and won both his starts last week.

 

Jeff Stevens, rhp, Indians (high Class A Kinston)

 

17-inning scoreless streak; allowed just three hits and struck out 22 over that span.

 

BLAST FROM THE PAST

 

Lou Palmisano, c, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville)

 

Palmisano fell off the prospect radar somewhat over the last two seasons, but he's doing his best to get noticed again. The 2003 third-rounder batted .421 with a pair of homers and drove in 10 for the Stars last week.

 

Nate Spears, 2b, Cubs (high Class A Dayton)

 

Spears was on a steady climb through the Orioles system before being sent to Chicago in the Corey Patterson deal. After that, he hit just .246/.323/.308 for Daytona last year. Not sure a 21-year-old guy is a true 'Blast From The Past,' but Spears, who turns 22 on Thursday, batted .417 last week in his return trip to the Florida State League.

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I dont see any reason why 2 of Talbot/Howell/Sonnastine/Davis wont be in there along with Kazmir/Niemann/Price.

 

They have alot of pitching depth and there would be no reason to add average FAs when you could get more out of the arms they have in their system for the same or lesser price.

 

BTW, when Zobrist finally starts hitting, they will have officially fleeced the Astors in the Huff deal.

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Devil Rays 2009 rotation: Kazmir/Niemann/Sonnastine/Howell/Talbot?

 

i see Shields sticking, that change up is nasty and he is going longer into games with his velocity. I don't forsee him getting away from the long ball but so long as he isn't walking people infront of said long ball he'll be fine. Hes also been showing a good curve with + potential. hes forth overall in both MLB and the AL in SO 37 in 36IP.

 

this is how i see their rotation shaking out

Kazmir/Sheilds/Niemann/McGee/Price

 

and possibly their BP

 

CL ?

SU Hammel

SU Salas

MR Townsend

MR Davis

LO Howell

LR Jackson

 

i think between now and 09 they'll be drafting a fair share of college closers and fast tracking them to the ML level, that or trading some pieces from the farm to get one.

 

there line up is stacked and they shouldn't move anyone unless they get the moon in return.

 

2B Upton R

3B Iwamura L

RF Young R

LF Crawford L

DH Dukes R

SS Brignac L

1B Longoria R

C Navarro S

CF Baldelli R

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Devil Rays 2009 rotation: Kazmir/Niemann/Sonnastine/Howell/Talbot?

 

 

David Price will be in the D-Rays rotation by 2009. Kamir Niemann Price FA FA. Devil Rays will be absolutely loaded and no longer the laughing stock of baseball in a year or two.

 

Do you really see them topping the Yanks or the Red Sox? They are doomed to mediocrity for the forseeable future as long as they remain in the AL East.

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Devil Rays 2009 rotation: Kazmir/Niemann/Sonnastine/Howell/Talbot?

 

 

David Price will be in the D-Rays rotation by 2009. Kamir Niemann Price FA FA. Devil Rays will be absolutely loaded and no longer the laughing stock of baseball in a year or two.

 

They are doomed to mediocrity for the forseeable future as long as they remain in the AL East.

That team by 2009 will be one of the best money can buy, and they won't be expensive. The amount of talent they are stockpiling is absurd.

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Devil Rays 2009 rotation: Kazmir/Niemann/Sonnastine/Howell/Talbot?

 

 

David Price will be in the D-Rays rotation by 2009. Kamir Niemann Price FA FA. Devil Rays will be absolutely loaded and no longer the laughing stock of baseball in a year or two.

 

They are doomed to mediocrity for the forseeable future as long as they remain in the AL East.

That team by 2009 will be one of the best money can buy, and they won't be expensive. The amount of talent they are stockpiling is absurd.

 

No question they have much young talent stockpiled. But can that defeat the cash AND the young talent the Yanks and Red Sox have stockpiled? I don't think so. Moreso when you think about the people running that organization. Friedman is a joke.

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Devil Rays 2009 rotation: Kazmir/Niemann/Sonnastine/Howell/Talbot?

 

i see Shields sticking, that change up is nasty and he is going longer into games with his velocity. I don't forsee him getting away from the long ball but so long as he isn't walking people infront of said long ball he'll be fine. Hes also been showing a good curve with + potential. hes forth overall in both MLB and the AL in SO 37 in 36IP.

 

this is how i see their rotation shaking out

Kazmir/Sheilds/Niemann/McGee/Price

 

and possibly their BP

 

CL ?

SU Hammel

SU Salas

MR Townsend

MR Davis

LO Howell

LR Jackson

 

i think between now and 09 they'll be drafting a fair share of college closers and fast tracking them to the ML level, that or trading some pieces from the farm to get one.

 

there line up is stacked and they shouldn't move anyone unless they get the moon in return.

 

2B Upton R

3B Iwamura L

RF Young R

LF Crawford L

DH Dukes R

SS Brignac L

1B Longoria R

C Navarro S

CF Baldelli R

 

My guess would be:

C-Navarro

1B-Bankston

2B-Brignac

3B-Longoria

SS-Zobrist

LF-Crawford

CF-Dukes

RF-Young

DH-Upton

 

Kazmir/Niemann/Sonnastine/Howell/Talbot

 

 

Older pitchers in the rotation get traded, along with Baldelli.

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Do you really see them topping the Yanks or the Red Sox? They are doomed to mediocrity for the forseeable future as long as they remain in the AL East.

 

Honestly yes, even though the yankees have a good farm system now, they're getting very old. By 09 i can see them falling to the middle of the east possibly even this year. Their staff is in shambles and its going to take a while for Huges and company to develop and contribute at the ML level, Wang is a solid middle of the rotation pitcher but he isn't a staff ace, and the book is still out on Igawa.

 

That team by 2009 will be one of the best money can buy, and they won't be expensive. The amount of talent they are stockpiling is absurd.

 

Their line is going to be even better than the mid 90's Indians, and their staff is going to be something to behold. They will have have mid to early picks in the draft from here till 09 only strengthening that amazing farm.

 

My guess would be:

C-Navarro

1B-Bankston

2B-Brignac

3B-Longoria

SS-Zobrist

LF-Crawford

CF-Dukes

RF-Young

DH-Upton

 

Kazmir/Niemann/Sonnastine/Howell/Talbot

 

 

Older pitchers in the rotation get traded, along with Baldelli.

 

Honestly if the Rays want to contend in both the AL east and far east they're going to have to keep Iwamura. Hes only 28 and plays GG 3B and is relatively cheap and under contract till '10, he could even be extended by 09 he'll only be 30. even though he is on the DL when he comes back i expect him to come back and catch fire again.

 

Longoria has a good arm and is a good defender at 3B, but if you move him to the right side of the infield he becomes a possible GGer. Also 1B is an organizational weakness and i highly doubt Bankston sticks at the ML level for them, he doesn't draw enough walks or hit for enough power to be even a mark grace comp.

 

I think they're going to let Upton iron out all of his defensive issues at 2B since they're not going to be contenders for a season or two, and he'll more than make up for any defensive indifferences with his bat at second base.

 

Brignac is their future SS, Sickels has compared him to Chipper Jones; hes got a chance to be something special at SS. As for Zobrist and Harris, they're simply spare parts or trade bait and they're a bit older.

 

I think they'll DH/CF platoon Dukes and Baldelli in order to keep both their bats in the line up and Baldelli healthy. He is only 25 years old and is signed to a ridiculously friendly contract.

 

Rocco Baldelli of

3 years/$9M (2006-08), plus club options (2009-11)

 

* agreed to extension 11/05 (avoided arbitration)

* 06:$2M, 07:$0.75M, 08:$2.25M, 09:$6M club option ($4M buyout), 10:$8M club option, 11:$9M club option ($2M buyout - 2010 & 2011 options must be exercised together)

* $4M escalator if Baldelli has 600 Plate Appearances in 2006

o $1.75M in 2007, increasing 07 salary to $2.5M

o $2.25M in 2008, increasing 08 salary to $4M

* performance bonuses for 2007 & 2008 if Baldelli fails to reach 600 PAs in 2006

* may earn as much as $32M from 2006 to 2011

* 1 year/$0.369M (2005)

* 1 year/$0.32M (2004), renewed 3/04

* Devil Rays took $20,000 incentive off the table when Baldelli balked at having his contract renewed

* 1 year/$0.3 M (2003)

* drafted 2000 (1-6)

* $2.25M signing bonus (paid over 5 years for 2-sport athlete)

* 1 year/$0.3M (2003)

* agent: negotiated extension himself (hired Casey Close to review contract language) (formerly represented by Scott Boras)

* ML service: 4.000

 

As for Sheilds he too is only 25 years old and isn't going to hit ARB till he is 27, if he continues to develop at the ML level like he is, hes going to be a staple in that rotation for a long time.

 

I can see them moving Rocco or Dukes, but he along with crawford and kazmir are the face of that franchise. the only real FA signings i could see them getting in the near future is a someone like Pudge(he has an option left with the tigers for '08) when they're ready to contend to help keep them focused and add that veteran presence as a DH and back up catcher or possibly getting someone like Adam Dunn he would add a very nice dynamic to that line up; Dunn is also a FA entering the '08 offseason.

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