Rookies 2006


                                                          Pitching Line = IP H R ER BB SO


20 October, 2006

    Arizona Fall League ... CF Mitch Maier KC, leadoff, 4-5, double & 1-4, .333 ... shortstop Troy Tulowitzki SS COL 2-5 & 2-4, .360 ... Travis Buck OAK 2-4, walk, .357 ... catcher Curtis Thigpen TOR 3-4, double, homer, walk & 1-4, double, .308 ... 3B Chad Spann BOS 2-4, homer, walk & 0-4, .407 ... Manny Parra MIL, again on the comeback trail (from injuries) 2.0 1 1 1 4 3 ... Hunter Pence OF HOU 2-4, walk, 3 SBs & 3-4, 2 doubles, .333 ... Matt Albers HOU 4.0 0 0 0 0 2 ... Darrell Rasner NYA 4.0 3 0 0 0 5 ... Sean Henn NYA 3.0 1 0 0 0 5 ...

    Hawaii Winter League ... superb for three appearances, then - Henri Vanden Hurk FLO 3.1 4 7 7 4 7 ... OF Chris Rahl ARZ 1-4, homer, .280 ... Wardell Starling PIT 3.1 5 5 4 2 5 ... CF Nyjer Morgan PIT 3-4, triple, .378 ... Ian Kennedy NYA 4.0 2 0 0 3 7

    Venezuela ... Josh Fields CHA, learning the OF, 1-4 ... Carlos Gonzalez ARZ 0-4, .273

    Mexico ... Brian Bannister NYN 5 8 2 2 1 2 ... CF Choo Freeman COL 3-4, 2 doubles

    Dominican ... Joey Votto CIN 1-3, homer ... Ryan Garko CLE 1-2, walk

    Cameron Maybin continues to impress.

" ...  This was Maybin's second stint in instructs, as he got his feet wet there last year after signing. "He's a fine young player, but his character is as good as his talent -- he has wonderful talent and is a wonderful young man," Ezell (Tigers farm director Glenn Ezell) said. "He likes to play, he's open to learning and he has good aptitude." Maybin, 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, boasts the whole package when it comes to the proverbial "five-tool talent," but Ezell found out quickly that he's not content to rest on that natural ability. Before the Instructional League began, Ezell talked to the teenager about what he wanted to accomplish there and was surprised and impressed by the answer. "He said he wanted to learn how to bunt for base hits," Ezell said. "He felt that there would be times when that would help him get out of slumps."  ( 

18 October, 2006

    If you notice that your cheque of late in the season hasn't been cashed ... they've been ripped up given the lengthy breaks I've had to take along the way ... however, the thought much appreciated. 

    Arizona Fall League ... Kevin Slowey MIN 1.1 3 1 1 0 1 ... Kevin Kouzmanoff CLE 1B 3-5, 2 doubles ... Jarrod Saltalamacchia ATL 2-4, walk ... 3B Scott Moore CHN 2-4, homer ... CF Fernando Martinez NYN 2-4 ... shortstop Brendan Ryan STL 3-5, double ... CF Brett Gardner NYA 3-4, double, 2 walks ... yikes, Dustin McGowan TOR 2.1 4 6 6 5 2 ... JA Happ PHI 2.0 2 0 0 1 2 ... Zach Segovia PHI 2.2 1 0 0 1 2 ... Troy Tulowitzki COL 2-4, SB ... Mark Reynolds ARZ 2-4  ... Mexicoo ... Ryan Doumit PIT 1B 1-3, homer, 2 walks  ...

    PIT catcher among those saluted in the Hawaii Winter League :

" ... Honolulu Sharks teammates Steve Lerud, Kanehisa Arime, and Takanobu Tsujiuchi have been named Position Player and co-Pitchers of the Week for October 10-14. Lerud, a catcher from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, is currently batting .500 on the season. Though he only played in two games this week, he made his plate appearances count, going 5-for-8 with one home run"  (Hawaii Winter League) 

    Another possible entry for the 2007 draft :

" ...  Yakult Swallows are prepared to let power-hitting third baseman Akinori Iwamura bolt to the major leagues through the posting system, sources told the Yomiuri Shimbun on Monday. The 27-year-old Iwamura has been wanting to play in the majors for years, but the Swallows had repeatedly declined his request to put him up for bidding. However, a club official has said that Yakult, which finished fourth in the Central League this year, will finally relent. "If he has a strong desire, then he will be allowed to go," said the official. Iwamura, who batted .311 this season with 32 home runs, 77 RBIs and 84 runs, is expected to meet with the club president this month, upon which he will receive the official greenlight."   (The Daily Yomiuri)

17 October, 2006

    Arizona Fall League ... Jeff Niemann TB 3.2 5 2 2 1 4 ... shortstop Brendan Ryan STL 3-5 ... OF Travis Buck OAK 3-6, double, homer, 4 RBI ... Chip Cannon TOR 3-3, 2 homers, 2 walks ... CF Jacoby Ellsbury BOS 2-6, triple ... Yunel Escobar SS/2B ATL 4-6, 2 doubles ... Trevor Crowe CLE 1-3, 3 walks ... Jarrod Saltalamacchia ATL 2-3, double, homer, walk ... 3B Matt Moses MIN 3-5, 2 doubles ... oops, Luke Hochevar 2.1 6 7 5 1 2 ...  catcher Neil Walker PIT 3-5, double ... Ryan Braun 3B MIL 2-4, double

" ... outfielder Michael Wilson has been named the Arizona Fall League's first 2006 player-of-the-week. One of the Seattle Mariners' top prospects, Wilson, who plays all three outfield positions, belted two grand-slam home runs during the first week of play to help him amass a league-leading total of 11 runs batted in. The 23-year-old Wilson, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, hit .315 with nine home runs in 52 games for Class-A Inland Empire in the California League and .245 with 12 home runs in 67 games for Class-AA San Antonio in the Texas League in 2006 ... Wilson was the Mariners' second-round selection in the June, 2001 Draft ."  (Arizona Fall League)

" ... Phoenix INF 26 Wes Bankston (TB) suffered a severe ankle sprain and is out for the rest of the fall. Bankston was injured on a play at second base on 10-13 vs Scottsdale. A replacement has yet to be announced."  (AFL)

    Venezuela ... OF Alex Romero MIN 2-5, walk ... Carlos Gonzalez ARZ 2-4, walk

    Mexico ... Ryan Doumit PIT 1-4 ... Andy Sisco KC 4 1 0 0 2 5

    Adam Foster, Project Prospect, moves on to highlight the top prospects in each MLB division.  Delmon Young, Alex Gordon, Brandon Wood are among the picks, along with :

" ... Chris Young ...  One of the few 21-year-olds in Triple-A, Young did not disappoint in his new franchise. His .276/.363/.532 line brought him from Tucson across the desert to Phoenix by the middle of August. The 16th round 2001 draft pick – he severely broke his left forearm a few days before the draft – ... was also on the verge of going 20/20 in Tucson before he was called up. He had 20 home runs to go along with 17 steals in 22 attempts. Young looks like a very special talent, drawing comparisons to Carlos Beltran, Eric Davis, and Mike Cameron."

" ... Homer Bailey ...  started the season in High-A Sarasota and aced that test with a 10.06 K/9 ratio and a paltry 1.00 WHIP. Promoted to Double-A Chattanooga in mid-June, Bailey continued to improve, this time putting up a 10.19 K/9 ratio and a 1.15 WHIP to go along with just one home run in 68.0 innings ... has the build, stuff, and competitive spirit to be a frontline starter as soon as 2007. His fastball touches 97 mph and he offers a plus-plus curveball to go with his changeup and slider ...  After pitching 103.2 regular season innings in 2005 and 138.2 in 2006, Bailey still may not be ready to pitch a full season in the majors, but that won't keep the Reds from giving him a shot at opening 2007 in their rotation."

16 October, 2006

    Arizona Fall League ... no games scheduled.  Top hitters :

                G AB 2B 3B HR  OBP   SLG  AVG 
Yunel Escobar   4 17  1  1  0 .600  .706 .529
Mark Reynolds   3 12  1  0  2 .571 1.083 .500
Seth Bynum      3 10  1  0  0 .643  .600 .500
Kory Casto      5 18  2  0  1 .667  .778 .500
Chad Spann      3 14  2  1  0 .533  .786 .500
Trevor Crowe    4 21  1  1  0 .476  .619 .476
Nolan Reimold   3 11  3  0  0 .571  .727 .455
Matt Tolbert    5 14  1  0  0 .500  .500 .429
Brendan Ryan    4 22  1  0  1 .435  .591 .409
Brett Gardner   5 18  0  1  0 .571  .500 .389

    Hawaii Winter League ... n/a

    Venezuela ... Alberto Callaspo ARZ 2-4, homer, walk ... Jose Tabata NYA 2-4 ... Carlos Gonzalez ARZ 2-5, walk ... OF Alex Romero MIN 3-4

15 October, 2006

   Arizona Fall League ... CF Mitch Maier KC (leadoff) 2-4, double, triple ... Chris Lubanski KC 0-3, walk, 3 Ks ... Ryan Braun MIL 2-4, walk ... Trevor Crowe CLE 2-5 ... Kevin Kouzmanoff CLE 3-4, double ... Chad Spann BOS 2-5, triple ... Phil Humber NYA 2.0 2 1 1 1 3 ... Gio Gonzalez PHI 1.0 2 2 2 1 1 ... Mike Pelfrey NYN 1.0 0 0 0 2 1 ... 2B Eric Patterson CHN 3-4, double, 2 errors ... Kory Casto WAS 2-3, double, 2 walks

   Hawaii Winter League ... catcher Steve Lerud PIT 4-4, homer ... Van Pope 3B ATL 1-5, homer ... Joba Chamberlain NYA picked up the win, 4.0 3 1 1 0 6 ... OF Will Venable SD 3-5, double ... Mike Carp NYN 3-4, double, triple ... John Mayberry TEX 1-5, 3 Ks ...

   At The Baseball Think Factory Dan Szymborski has kicked off his annual projections with four teams posted thus far -- Atlanta, Arizona, Boston and Baltimore. 

   A nice addition to the web for prospectors -- Project Prospect. Denny Foster has a piece up on potential 30/30 guys, headed by Delmon Young :

" ... His combination of power and speed is well beyond his age and continues to be the envy of every Major League General Manager. In 2005, at age 20, Young hit 26 home runs and stole 32 bases (44 attempts; 72.7%), which led to him receiving the 2005 Minor League Player of the Year Award. While he did not show amazing power at Triple-A in 2006, he held his own on the base paths, stealing 22 times (26 attempts; 84.6)  in just 360 plate appearances. At his age, Young should continue to grow physically stronger. His potential could lead to a 30/30 season as soon as next year.'

" ... 2. Chris Young ...  built upon his Double-A numbers by hitting 21 home runs and stealing 17 bases (22 attempts; 77.3%) at Triple-A Tucson in only 402 at-bats. He may not hit over .285 at any point in his Major League career, but his power and speed should give him a chance at a 30/30 season. A 22-year-old, Chris Young may still grow into his 6-foot-2, 170-pounds frame. He is expected to be the Diamondbacks everyday centerfielder in 2007 after getting an extended look in 2006 (70 at-bats)."

   Project Prospect also has prospect reports (Top Threes) for teams in the NL East and AL East :

Red Sox  " ... 1. Jacoby Ellsbury ... made a very smooth transition to professional baseball in his first full season, putting up .303/.382./.425 combined vitals between High-A Wilmington and Double-A Portland. He doesn’t look like the same kind of prospect as Johnny Damon was ... Ellsbury will likely spend all of 2007 in the minors, but he could be ready to make a major league contribution by mid-season."

D'Rays  " ... 3. Reid Brignac ...  rose his stock about as much as any minor league hitter last season. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound left-handed hitter finished the year 6th in the entire minors in total bases (281) and hits (168), putting up .321./376./.539 vitals between High-A Visalia and Double-A Montgomery ... could easily become the top shortstop prospect in the minors. And we’re not knocking the depth at shortstop in the minors; Brignac is that good."

Braves  " ... 1. Elvis Andrus ...  Braves think Andrus, a shortstop out of Venezuela who turned 18 in late-August, can be as good as the recently departed five-tool shortstop if not better. This season Andrus spent the year with Low-A Rome and struggled a bit, putting up .265/.324/.362 vitals and stealing just 23 bases out of 38 attempts (60.5%). But considering his age relative to his competition, “The King” continued to impress the Braves front office with his maturity – especially defensively. Andrus may repeat Low-A to start the season, but if he progresses well and develops the kind of power that the club sees in him, the 6-foot-0, 185-pound righty could be Atlanta’s next home-grown hero by 2009."

Mets  " ... 1. Fernando Martinez ...  the 18-year-old (10/10/88) tore up Low-A Hagerstown before he was awarded a late-season promotion to High-A St. Lucie. His production slowed after the promotion, but he put up .279/.336/.457 combined vitals. Paired with his comparative youth in both the leagues that Martinez played in, the 6-foot-0, 185-pound lefty was also just as productive against left-handed pitchers as he was righties, and his contact numbers were extremely impressive, as he struck out just 61 times in 315 at bats (80.6% contact). It’s hard to project when players as young as Martinez will appear at the major league level, but if he lives up to his considerable promise, the Mets may soon have another offensive messiah."

14 October, 2006

   Arizona Fall League ... lots of offense on Thursday ... Trevor Crowe CLE 3-6, triple, 4 RBI ... Jarrod Saltalamacchia ATL 4-5 ... OF Brett Carroll FLO (.236 during the regular season in A+ & AA) 3-6, double, 2 homers ... Kory Casto WAS 2-4, 2 walks ... shortstop Matt Tolbert MIN 3-4, 2 walks, SB ... Mark Reynolds ARZ 2-4, homer ... Kevin Slowey MIN 2.2 3 1 1 0 0 ... Matt Moses MIN 2-4, double ... Chad Spann BOS 4-5, 2 doubles ... shortstop Yunel Escobar 3-5, double, walk ... catcher Colt Morton SD 2-4, 2 homers ... Kory Casto WAS 2-5, double, walk ... Mark Reynolds ARZ 2-5, double, homer, 4 RBI ... Ryan Braun MIL 3-5, double, homer, 4 RBI

   Hawaii Winter League ... Mike Carp NYN 1-2, 2 runs, 2 walks ... Eric Campbell ATL 2-5, 5th double ... CF Dexter Fowler COL 0-5 ... Rick Vanden Hurk FLO 4.0 0 0 0 1 9 (9 1/3 innings, one hit, no runs, one walk, 18 Ks)

   Troop movements ... CIN acquired SS-CF Jerry Gil from ARZ for RHP Abe Woody

   John Manuel, Baseball America, takes a shot at ranking the Top 50 of the 2007 draft with a pair of college players 1-2.  Lefty David Price remains the likely top pick with catcher Matt Wieters the runnerup.

   Matt Bush - pitcher?  It's a possibility.

" ... The Padres ... taking a hard look at Matt Bush in the instructional league. If Bush can't cut it at shortstop, he may have some possibilities as a pitcher."  (San Diego Union Tribune)

   Aw, not another one.

" ... PITCHING PROSPECT Shane Lindsay, whose 2006 season was delayed because of a partial tear of his right labrum and the terminal illness of his mother, was scratched from the Hawaii Winter League because of shoulder tenderness that flared up when he was warming up for his first start."  (Rocky Mountain News)

13 October, 2006

   Arizona Fall League ... OF Matt Miller COL 3-5, grand slam, 6 RBI ... Trevor Crowe CLE 3-5, double & 2-5  ... Luke Hochevar KC 3.0 2 1 1 1 2 ... Josh Koshansky COL 0-3, 2 walksw & 2-2, double, homer, 3 walks ... Dustin McGowan TOR 3.0 2 1 1 0 2 ... Ryan Braun MIL 0-5, 3 Ks & 2-4, homer ... Mark Reynolds ARZ 2-3, 2 walks ... Kory Casto WAS 0-3, 2 walks & 3-3, grand slam, 5 RBI, 2 walks ... J.A. Happ PHI 1.1 2 3 3 2 1

   Hawaii Winter League ... among the leaders ... OF Dexter Fowler COL .522 (23 ABs) ... Eric Campbell ATL .333 ... Joba Chamberlain NYA 1.50 ERA in 6 innings, 2 walks, 9 Ks

   Troop movements ... Jesse Foppert dropped by SEA ... Merkin Valdez SF, Tommy John ... TEX claimed Francisco Cruceta off waivers from SEA and Mike Wood from KC ... Jason Dubois CLE outright toi AAA

   Could be a big one available in the spring drafts :

" ... Daisuke Matsuzaka moved a step closer to a career in the major leagues Thursday when the owner of his current team said he would do everything possible to allow the Japanese star pitcher make a move to the majors. "We would like to do everything possible to allow him to fulfil his dream," Seibu Lions acting owner Hidekazu Ota said Thursday, adding that a formal announcement will be made after the conclusion of the Japan Series, which starts on Oct. 21. Matsuzaka, who has drawn interest from several major league teams including the New York Yankees, finished the 2006 regular season with a career-high 17 wins against five losses. The 26-year-old right-hander posted a 2.13 earned run average and 200 strikeouts."  (Associated Press)

   Rays get some good news on Wade Townsend, settle on 3B for Joel Guzman and try Sergio Pedroza behind the plate :

" ... The Devil Rays' "new kids on the block" had not only changed their mailing addresses, they were also seeing some time at new -- or at least relatively new -- positions during instructional league play ... Sergio Pedroza ... a 2005 draft pick out of Cal State-Fullerton who had played almost exclusively in right field thus far in his pro career, was getting some work behind the plate. "We're getting a little look to see how he can take to catching," Devil Rays director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics said. "So far so good, but it's in the primitive stages. I think he welcomed the opportunity to give it a try. We're looking for arm strength and how he handles the rigors of the position." If Pedroza can morph into a catcher, it would give the Rays quite an offensive threat at that spot. They are overloaded in the outfield, but Pedroza put up some impressive numbers in 2006, combining to hit .277 with 28 homers and 93 RBIs between Class A Columbus and Class A Advanced Vero Beach for the Dodgers and Class A Advanced Visalia after his trade to the Rays ... Joel Guzman ... Upon his arrival at Triple-A Durham ... installed in left field. He stayed there for just two weeks, though, moving to third base for the final three weeks of the season. And that, for now at least, appears to be where the Devil Rays see the 6-foot-6 slugging prospect. Guzman spent two weeks refining his third base play at instructional before leaving for his native Dominican Republic, where he is expected to play third in winter ball for Estrellas."  (

" ... Wade Townsend ... pitched Wednesday against a group of Phillies minor-leaguers at the Raymond Naimoli Complex. It was his second and final outing for the Devil Rays instructional league team, and it was an OK day: two innings, three runs, a fastball in the high 80s and low 90s, with a knuckle curve and change-up mixed in. All those runs were allowed in his first inning. He was perfect in his second. None of which mattered, because the important thing was his right elbow was healthy again nearly a year after undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. "There's no pain at all," Townsend said. "Now, I can just go out and work on pitching, instead of spending all my time getting my arm ready."  (Tampa Tribune)

" ... " ... One of the major personnel decisions the Rays face is where to play B.J. Upton, who had ups and downs assimilating to third base. He made 33 errors in 106 games at Triple-A Durham - mostly playing shortstop - and was moved to third following the trade of Aubrey Huff over the All-Star break. Upton had a fielding percentage of .906 in 50 games at third base with the Rays while batting .240. "B.J. is one of those guys who is a great athlete who hasn't turned into a great baseball player yet," Maddon said." (St. Petersburg Times)

   The Dayton Daily News checks out the best of the CINCY system :

" ... Help is on the way, as early as 2007. "Over the past three years, we have had really good drafts," Reds farm director Johnny Almaraz said, while shying away from naming names. "The infusion of talent has fertilized our farm system with good quality prospects." Who are they? Who are closest to making the Reds? Here's a good place to start:

1. Homer Bailey, RHP (age 20 when 2007 season begins): Reds would like him to log at least a few games at Class AAA Louisville, but this top-of-the-rotation youngster may force the issue in spring training. At worst, he's a late-season call-up and in the rotation for good in 2008.

2. Joey Votto, 1B (23): Likely to begin 2007 at Louisville. Shows ability at the plate. Still learning how to field his position as a converted catcher.

3. Jay Bruce, OF (20): Owns the five tools and knows how to use them, but might not see Cincinnati until 2008 or '09. Even at his young age, he may need only one more minor-league season.

4. Paul Janish, SS (24): The question was, 'Could he hit?' He has, up through Class AA. Nobody questioned his ability in the field, and the Reds desperately need a shortstop who can play defense. Mid-2007 isn't too early to have him plug that hole.

5. Johnny Cueto, RHP (21): Throws as hard as any player in the organization, although scouts continually question his sub-6-foot body. They project him as a relief pitcher, but he has succeeded as a starter."

   Trevor Crowe CLE, the 2B experiment is over ... Michael Aubrey, dogged by injuries :

" ... Cleveland farm director John Farrell said the team has decided to leave the 2005 first-round draft pick in the outfield. The Indians briefly experimented with converting Crowe to second base in late August as well as during the fall instructional league ... Crowe batted .286 with a .393 on-base percentage this season in 101 Single-A and Double-A games. He hit 22 doubles and stole 45 bases ... Farrell said Crowe will begin next season at either Double-A Akron or Triple-A Buffalo, depending on the makeup of Cleveland’s organizational roster."

" ... Former No. 1 draft pick Michael Aubrey, limited to 14 games this season by back problems, will not report to the Arizona Fall League. Aubrey, plagued by a variety of injuries since being taken from Tulane with the 11th overall pick in 2003, was bothered by a sore rib cage during the fall instructional league."  (Canton Repository)

   Injury woes sideline some top picks from 2006 :

" ... The Pirates have shut down Brad Lincoln, their top pitching prospect, until spring training because of a nagging injury to an abdominal muscle. Lincoln, the team's top pick in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft in June, made one two-inning start in the Florida Instructional League last week, then complained earlier this week after a 13-pitch bullpen session of pain in his left side. He was flown to Pittsburgh Thursday for tests that showed a strained muscle in his left oblique, the same one that caused him to end his season prematurely for Class A Hickory Aug. 6. He will be ready by spring training, said Brian Graham, the Pirates' director of player development. "Brad's going to be fine," Graham said yesterday."  (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

" ... Right- hander Bryan Morris, the Dodgers' second pick (first-round sandwich) in this year's amateur draft, will miss all of next season after undergoing Tommy John reconstructive surgery Tuesday. Morris, 19, was injured in his 14th and final start for Rookie-level Odgen (Utah), where he went 4-5 with a 5.13 ERA. Meanwhile, lefty Scott Elbert, the club's first-round pick in 2004, was scratched from the Arizona Fall League because he pitched a total of 146 innings for Single-A Vero Beach and Double-A Jacksonville. He will be replaced by Jonathan Meloan, who had a combined 1.90 ERA at Single-A Columbus, Vero Beach and Jacksonville and could be a candidate to be called up to the Dodgers next season."  (LA Daily News)

   Kudos for a pair of WAS farmhands :

" ...  Nationals ... named Kory Casto, an outfielder for Class AA Harrisburg, as the organization's minor league player of the year, the second straight year Casto -- who hit .272 with 24 homers and 80 RBI in 140 games -- won the award. Zechry Zinicola, a sixth-round draft pick from Arizona State this year, was the minor league pitcher of the year. Club officials believe Zinicola -- who combined to go 4-1 with a 1.65 ERA and 12 saves at three levels -- could pitch in the big leagues next year."  (Washington Post)

   Baseball America has wrapped up its league-by-league prospect charts .... check 'em out for the full details.  Below just the Top 10s :

 1  Delmon Young OF TB        Stephen Drew SS ARZ
 2  Lastings Milledge OF NYN  Jered Weaver RHP LAA
 3  Jeremy Sowers LHP CLE     Howie Kendrick 2B LAA
 4  Tom Gorzelanny LHP PIT    Chad Billingsley RHP LAD
 5  Ryan Sweeney OF CHA       Andy LaRoche 3B LAD
 6  Josh Fields 3B CHA        Matt Kemp OF LAD
 7  Hayden Penn RHP BAL       Chris Young OF ARZ
 8  Andy Marte 3B CLE         Adam Jones OF SEA
 9  Humberto Sanchez RHP DET  Jason Hirsh RHP HOU
 10 Jamie Shields RHP TB      Carlos Quentin OF ARZ
    EASTERN                   SOUTHERN                    TEXAS
 1  Philip Hughes RHP NYA     Homer Bailey RHP CIN        Alex Gordon 3B KC
 2  Matt Garza RHP MIN        Yovani Gallardo RHP MIL     Brandon Wood SS LAA
 3  Mike Pelfrey RHP NYN      Scott Elbert LHP LAD        Troy Tulowitzki SS COL
 4  Adam Miller RHP CLE       Matt Kemp OF LAD            Billy Butler OF KC
 5  Adam Loewen LHP BAL       Andy LaRoche 3B LAD         Travis Buck OF OAK
 6  Adam Lind OF TOR          Ryan Braun 3B MIL           Ubaldo Jimenez RHP COL
 7  Jacoby Ellsbury OF BOS    Joey Votto 1B CIN           John Danks LHP TEX
 8  Carlos Gomez OF NYN       Jeff Niemann RHP TB         Hunter Pence OF HOU
 9  Humberto Sanchez RHP DET  Anibal Sanchez RHP FLO      Juan Gutierrez RHP HOU
 10 Tyler Clippard RHP NYA    Jarrod Saltalamacchia C ATL Ian Stewart 3B COL
    CALIFORNIA                CAROLINA                    FLORIDA STATE
 1  Reid Brignac SS TB        Chuck Lofgren LHP CLE       Homer Bailey RHP CIN
 2  Carlos Gonzalez OF ARZ    Jacoby Ellsbury OF BOS      Yovanni Gallardo RHP MIL
 3  Franklin Morales LHP COL  Troy Patton LHP HOU         Scott Elbert LHP LAD
 4  Nick Adenhart RHP LAA     Trevor Crowe OF CLE         Ryan Braun 3B MIL
 5  Eric Hurley RHP TEX       Jimmy Barthmaier RHP HOU    Donald Veal LHP CHN
 6  Travis Buck OF OAK        Nolan Reimold OF BAL        Colby Rasmus OF STL
 7  Jose Arredondo RHP LAA    Matt Harrison LHP ATL       Mark Rogers RHP MIL
 8  Greg Reynolds RHP COL     Neil Walker C PIT           Mike Carp 1B NYN
 9  Greg Smith LHP ARZ        Radhames Liz RHP BAL        Blake DeWitt 2B/3B LAD
 10 Jonathan Herrera SS COL   Scott Lewis LHP CLE         Kevin Slowey RHP MIN
    MIDWEST                   SOUTH ATLANTIC
 1  Jay Bruce OF CIN          Andrew McCutchen OF PIT
 2  Cameron Maybin OF DET     Jose Tabata OF NYA
 3  Justin Upton OF ARZ       Fernando Martinez OF NYN
 4  Colby Rasmus OF STL       Elvis Andrus SS ATL
 5  Nick Adenhart RHP LAA     Carlos Carrasco RHP PHI
 6  Jacob McGee LHP TB        Chris Volstad RHP FLO
 7  Jaime Garcia LHP STL      Will Inman RHP MIL
 8  Wade Davis RHP TB         Sean West LHP FLO
 9  Donald Veal LHP CHN       Brandon Erbe RHP BAL
 10 Matt Walker RHP TB        Dexter Fowler OF COL
 1  Jeremy Hellickson RHP TB  Tyler Colvin OF CHN
 2  Pedro Beato RHP BAL       Shane Lindsay RHP COL
 3  Matt McBride C CLE        Matt Sulentic OF OAK
 4  Max Sapp C HOU            Emmanuel Burriss SS SF
 5  Kris Johnson LHP BOS      Cyle Hankerd OF ARZ
 6  Justin Masterson RHP BOS  Tony Butler LHP SEA
 7  Jordan Parraz OF HOU      Kasey Kiker LHP TEX
 8  Adam Ottavino RHP STL     Matt Antonelli 3B SD
 9  Scott Sizemore SS/2B DET  Mark Pawelek LHP CHN
 10 Joe Smith RHP NYN         Jermaine Mitchell OF OAK
    APPALACHIAN               PIONEER
 1  Travis Snider OF TOR      Bryan Morris RHP LAD
 2  Bill Rowell 3B BAL        Josh Bell 3B LAD
 3  Kieron Pope OF BAL        Hector Gomez SS/3B COL
 4  Tommy Hanson RHP ATL      Sean O'Sullivan RHP LAA
 5  Jamie Richmond RHP ATL    Gerardo Parra OF ARZ
 6  Daryl Jones OF STL        Peter Bourjos OF LAA
 7  Desmond Jennings OF TB    Drew Stubbs OF CIN
 8  Chase Fontaine SS ATL     Andrew Fie 3B ARZ
 9  Jon Edwards OF STL        Jeremy Haynes RHP LAA
 10 Zach Britton LHP BAL      Ryan Mount SS LAA
    ARIZONA                   GULF COAST
 1  Hank Conger C LAA         Clayton Kershaw LHP LAD
 2  Jeremy Jeffress RHP MIL   Chris Parmelee OF/1B MIN
 3  Cedric Hunter OF SD       Gorkys Hernandez OF DET
 4  Marcus Lemon SS TEX       Chris Marrero OF WAS
 5  Brent Fisher LHP KC       Jason Place OF BOS
 6  Matt Sweeney 3B/1B LAA    Dellin Betances RHP NYA
 7  Sharlon Schoop SS SF      Adrian Cardenas SS PHI
 8  Kyler Burke OF SD         Neftali Feliz RHP ATL
 9  Jason Taylor 3B KC        Jhonny Nunez RHP LAD
 10 Vladimir Veras RHP LAA    Tom Hickman OF FLO

02 October, 2006

   Opening day of the revived Hawaii Winter League ... Joba Chamberlain NYA 2 2 1 1 2 1  ... Koby Clemens HOU 3-4, double, triple, 3 RBI ... Dexter Fowler CF COL 3-4, 2 RBI ... Jeff Clement SEA 1-3 ... Rick Vanden Hurk FLO 2 0 0 0 0 3

   Baseball America announces its picks as the top prospects from the California League ... Reid Brignac TB, Carlos Gonzalez ARZ, Franklin Morales COL 1-2-3 ... a pair of SPs followed ... Nick Adenhart LAA and Eric Hurley TEX ... Sean Rodriguez LAA ranked No. 12  (neither Evan Longoria nor Tim Lincecum qualified)

   Andrew McCutchen PIT ... oh what a season.

" ...  Only 15 months ago, McCutchen was playing baseball for a small high school in Florida. Now, the 19-year-old is the Pirates Minor League Player of the Year and a can't-miss blue-chip prospect ... amazing ride started in February, when the 11th overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft earned rave reviews from the Pirates coaching staff for his play in the team's big-league Spring Training camp. He followed that up by hitting .291 with 14 home runs and 62 RBIs in 114 games with Class A Hickory and being named by Baseball America as the top prospect in the South Atlantic League. McCutchen was so impressive at Hickory that the Pirates promoted him to Double-A Altoona. As the youngest player in Curve history, the speedy center fielder batted .308 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 20 games."  (

   Another woeful season lands TB another potential prize :

" ...  the Devil Rays will pick first in the 2007 amateur draft ...  Tampa Bay now has its choice of the top prospects in college and high school. The top prospect at the moment is Vanderbilt LHP David Price, who helped Team USA win a gold medal in the World University Championships in Havana this past summer. Others on the Rays' radar are Georgia Tech C Matt Wieters, N.C. State P Andrew Brackman, James Madison CF Kellen Kulbacki and Cal State Fullerton RHP Wes Roemer."  (Tampa Tribune)

01 October, 2006

   A little surprise (no Brandon Wood) as LAA announces its award winners for minor league play :

" ... The Angels announced their minor-league awards Friday and catcher Jeff Mathis was tabbed as the defensive player of the year ... Joe Saunders, the pitcher of the year, and Sean Rodriguez as the player of the year. Rodriguez batted .301 at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga before being promoted to Double-A Arkansas, where he batted .354. Combined, he hit .307 with 29 home runs, 86 RBIs and 94 runs scored in 135 games."  (Orange County Register)

   An update on the league-by-league prospect charts from Baseball America and On Deck :

    BASEBALL AMERICA                      ON DECK
 1  Jay Bruce OF CIN
 2  Cameron Maybin OF DET
 3  Justin Upton OF ARZ
 4  Colby Rasmus OF STL
 5  Nick Adenhart RHP LAA
 6  Jacob McGee LHP TB
 7  Jaime Garcia LHP STL
 8  Wade Davis RHP TB
 9  Donald Veal LHP CHN
 10 Matt Walker RHP TB
 1  Andrew McCutchen OF PIT
 2  Jose Tabata OF NYA
 3  Fernando Martinez OF NYN
 4  Elvis Andrus SS ATL
 5  Carlos Carrasco RHP PHI
 6  Chris Volstad RHP FLO
 7  Will Inman RHP MIL
 8  Sean West LHP FLO
 9  Brandon Erbe RHP BAL
 10 Dexter Fowler OF COL
 1  Jeremy Hellickson RHP TB
 2  Pedro Beato RHP BAL
 3  Matt McBride C CLE
 4  Max Sapp C HOU
 5  Kris Johnson LHP BOS
 6  Justin Masterson RHP BOS
 7  Jordan Parraz OF HOU
 8  Adam Ottavino RHP STL
 9  Scott Sizemore SS/2B DET
 10 Joe Smith RHP NYN
 1  Tyler Colvin OF CHN
 2  Shane Lindsay RHP COL
 3  Matt Sulentic OF OAK
 4  Emmanuel Burriss SS SF
 5  Cyle Hankerd OF ARZ
 6  Tony Butler LHP SEA
 7  Kasey Kiker LHP TEX
 8  Matt Antonelli 3B SD
 9  Mark Pawelek LHP CHN
 10 Jermaine Mitchell OF OAK
    APPALACHIAN                            APPALACHIAN
 1  Travis Snider OF TOR                   Travis Snider OF TOR
 2  Bill Rowell 3B BAL                     Tommy Hanson RHP ATL
 3  Kieron Pope OF BAL                     Jamie Richmond RHP ATL
 4  Tommy Hanson RHP ATL                   Jonathan Edwards OF STL
 5  Jamie Richmond RHP ATL                 Alex Burnett RHP MIN
 6  Daryl Jones OF STL                     Chase Fontaine SS ATL
 7  Desmond Jennings OF TB                 Blake King RHP STL
 8  Chase Fontaine SS ATL                  Tyree Hayes RHP TB
 9  Jon Edwards OF STL                     Michael Broadway RHP ATL
 10 Zach Britton LHP BAL                   Desmond Jennings OF TB
 1  Bryan Morris RHP LAD
 2  Josh Bell 3B LAD
 3  Hector Gomez SS/3B COL
 4  Sean O'Sullivan RHP LAA
 5  Gerardo Parra OF ARZ
 6  Peter Bourjos OF LAA
 7  Drew Stubbs OF CIN
 8  Andrew Fie 3B ARZ
 9  Jeremy Haynes RHP LAA
 10 Ryan Mount SS LAA
    ARIZONA                                ARIZONA
 1  Hank Conger C LAA                      Brandon Morrow RHP SEA
 2  Jeremy Jeffress RHP MIL                Jeremy Jeffress RHP MIL
 3  Cedric Hunter OF SD                    Anthony Varvaro RHP SEA
 4  Marcus Lemon SS TEX                    Brent Fisher LHP KC
 5  Brent Fisher LHP KC                    Jeff Bianchi SS KC
 6  Matt Sweeney 3B/1B LAA                 Hank Conger C LAA
 7  Sharlon Schoop SS SF                   Cedric Hunter OF SD
 8  Kyler Burke OF SD                      Trevor Cahill RHP OAK
 9  Jason Taylor 3B KC                     Chris Huseby RHP CHN
 10 Vladimir Veras RHP LAA                 Matt Sweeney 3B LAA
    GULF COAST                             GULF COAST
 1  Clayton Kershaw LHP LAD                Clayton Kershaw LHP LAD
 2  Chris Parmelee OF/1B MIN               Chris Parmelee OF MIN
 3  Gorkys Hernandez OF DET                Dellin Betances RHP NYA
 4  Chris Marrero OF WAS                   Kyle Drabek RHP PHI
 5  Jason Place OF BOS                     Jason Place OF BOS
 6  Dellin Betances RHP NYA                Chris Marrero OF WAS
 7  Adrian Cardenas SS PHI                 Steve Evarts LHP ATL
 8  Neftali Feliz RHP ATL                  Jeff Locke LHP ATL
 9  Jhonny Nunez RHP LAD                   Colt Willems RHP WAS
 10 Tom Hickman OF FLO                     Gorkys Hernandez OF DET

   The Hawaii Winter Baseball League kicks off today (Sunday) with some interesting prospects scheduled to suit up :

" ... And when the league returns ... after a nine-year absence, Kurisu [Duane Kurisu, league chairman] is anticipating a higher level of play than the league's first run (1993-97), which featured future big leaguers Ichiro Suzuki, Todd Helton, Jason Giambi and Derrek Lee. "We have more high-quality, top-line prospects in one season than we had probably in the whole five seasons," said Kurisu. "We have some incredible players who have been sent from Major League Baseball and from Japan. The quality of play is exceptional, and I think everybody will be able to see that."  ... The league rosters -- which were still being finalized late into the week -- are primarily Single- and Double-A prospects. Seven first-round picks in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft are among the players representing 21 major-league organizations and 10 Japan Pro Baseball teams."   (Honolulu Star Bulletin)

Among the prospects -- 3B Eric Campbell and Van Pope of ATL, OF Ryan Patterson TOR, OF Lorenzo Cain MIL, OF Dexter Fowler COL, OF John Mayberry Jr. TEX, OF Will Venable SD, catcher Jeff Clement SEA, catcher Emerson Frostad TEX, SP Ian Kennedy NYA, SP Joba Chamberlain NYA, infielders Cory Dunlap LAD, Blake DeWitt LAD, Mike Carp NYN, Chris Nelson COL.

   Jonathan Mayo and Lisa Winston,, with updates on the Arizona and Florida Instructional Leagues :

" ... First-rounders galore In just about every camp throughout instructs, teams have invited members of the 2006 draft class to continue the learning process. Different clubs invite a different number of the recently drafted, but one thing is almost certain: The top pick for each organization is almost undoubtedly there. You could, if you so chose, drive around Arizona and see all this first-round talent: RHP Greg Reynolds (Rockies, No. 2 overall); LHP Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers, No. 7); LHP Kasey Kiker (Rangers, No. 12); OF Tyler Colvin (Cubs, No. 13); RHP Jeremy Jeffress (Brewers, No. 16); INF Matt Antonelli (Padres, No. 17); C Hank Conger (Angels, No. 25); RHP Bryan Morris (Dodgers, No. 26); RHP Kyle McCulloch (White Sox, No. 29). The Royals' top pick, No. 1 overall selection Luke Hochevar, will be in Arizona. But he'll be competing in the Arizona Fall League, not in instructs. The Diamondbacks haven't signed their top pick, Max Scherzer (No. 11 overall), but their supplemental first-round pick, Brooks Brown (No. 34) is at instructs. The A's didn't have a first-rounder, but their top pick, Trevor Cahill (second round), is in camp."

" ... After getting their pro debuts under their belts between stints in both the Gulf Coast and Midwest Leagues, the Minnesota Twins' top two picks from this year's draft are back in Fort Myers for instructional league action. Outfielders Chris Parmelee (first round, 20th overall) and Joe Benson (second round, 64th overall) both made good first impressions on the Minnesota staff. Parmelee ...  is a right fielder who was touted for his power and didn't disappoint in the early going  ...  marveled Twins farm director Jim Rantz. "He's got a live bat, I can tell you that. The ball jumps off his bat." Though Parmelee hit a power slump in his last two weeks in Florida before moving to Beloit for the end of the season, he still finished with a .279 average, eight homers and 32 RBIs, ranking third in the league in both of the latter categories and second in slugging (.532). Benson, a center fielder who also saw time behind the plate as a senior at Joliet Catholic High School in Illinois, is a rawer talent with tremendous speed ...  he may need a little more tweaking than Parmelee, but his upside is impressive. He batted .260 with five homers, five triples, 28 RBIs and nine steals and was second in the league with 21 extra-base hits. "He's aggressive in every phase of his game, but he still needs to be refined," Rantz said of Benson."

   Yet another indication of a position switch for Ian Stewart COL :

" ... With Garrett Atkins having a huge season and establishing himself at third base, prospect Ian Stewart might move to the outfield. Stewart, who played with Double-A Tulsa and was visiting the Rockies clubhouse, said he played the outfield in high school and is confident he could do it but has not heard anything from anyone in authority about a position switch. "Until they actually come tell me, 'Hey, you're doing this,' I'm going to keep working hard at third base," Stewart said. "I definitely wouldn't be opposed to it, especially if it helped me get to the big leagues quicker."  (Rocky Mountain News)

   Maybe 2007 will be his year :

" ... Casey Kotchman was in the Angels clubhouse for the first time in months and pronounced himself 100 percent recovered from the virus that sapped his strength this summer. Kotchman met with manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Bill Stoneman to talk about his road to recovery. While getting Kotchman to winter ball would be ideal, those plans have yet to be solidified. Most winter-ball teams have lined up rosters, so Kotchman is looking into getting a spot through coaches Alfredo Griffin and Orlando Mercado, who have connections with teams. "Health-wise, I feel normal right now," Kotchman said. "Obviously, baseball shape, I'm not there." Scioscia expects Kotchman to at least be ready for spring training even if the winter-ball plan doesn't come together. "I think Casey is confident where he is and where his health is, and that's the most important thing," Scioscia said. Kotchman was infected by mononucleosis, which he believes he contracted last offseason."  (LA Daily News)

25 September, 2006

   John Sickels, MinorLeagueBall, crowns Alex Gordon KC as the Minor League Player of the Year :

" ... Award is given to the hitting prospect who has the best combination of in-season current year performance and long-term potential ... Gordon hit .325/.427/.588 on the year with a 1.016 OPS. He hit 39 doubles and 29 homers ... Scouts also praised his defense at third base, his baserunning, his work ethic, his intelligence, and his confidence ... I have no hesitation in naming Gordon the Minor League Ball Position Player Prospect of the Year, and he will rank as the Number One prospect in baseball in the 2007 Baseball Prospect Book."

   Jim Callis, Baseball America, on Jeremy Hellickson TB :

" ...  the Rays kept him in short-season ball in his first full season. Though he’s just 6 feet tall, Hellickson has a quality arm and projects as a possible No. 2 starter. He went 3-3, 2.43 in 15 games (14 starts at Hudson Valley), with a 96-16 K-BB ratio, .193 opponent average and three homers allowed in 78 innings. The New York-Penn League Top 20 hasn’t run on the website yet, but I’ll give you a sneak preview by telling you Hellickson ranked No. 1."

   On Deck and Baseball America have begun their league-by-league prospect charts.  A little catchup, the top 10s:

       Baseball America                       On Deck
    APPALACHIAN                            APPALACHIAN
 1  Travis Snider OF TOR                   Travis Snider OF TOR
 2  Bill Rowell 3B BAL                     Tommy Hanson RHP ATL
 3  Kieron Pope OF BAL                     Jamie Richmond RHP ATL
 4  Tommy Hanson RHP ATL                   Jonathan Edwards OF STL
 5  Jamie Richmond RHP ATL                 Alex Burnett RHP MIN
 6  Daryl Jones OF STL                     Chase Fontaine SS ATL
 7  Desmond Jennings OF TB                 Blake King RHP STL
 8  Chase Fontaine SS ATL                  Tyree Hayes RHP TB
 9  Jon Edwards OF STL                     Michael Broadway RHP ATL
10  Zach Britton LHP BAL                   Desmond Jennings OF TB
 1  Bryan Morris RHP LAD
 2  Josh Bell 3B LAD
 3  Hector Gomez SS/3B COL
 4  Sean O'Sullivan RHP LAA
 5  Gerardo Parra OF ARZ
 6  Peter Bourjos OF LAA
 7  Drew Stubbs OF CIN
 8  Andrew Fie 3B ARZ
 9  Jeremy Haynes RHP LAA
10  Ryan Mount SS LAA
    ARIZONA                                ARIZONA
 1  Hank Conger C LAA                      Brandon Morrow RHP SEA
 2  Jeremy Jeffress RHP MIL                Jeremy Jeffress RHP MIL
 3  Cedric Hunter OF SD                    Anthony Varvaro RHP SEA
 4  Marcus Lemon SS TEX                    Brent Fisher LHP KC
 5  Brent Fisher LHP KC                    Jeff Bianchi SS KC
 6  Matt Sweeney 3B/1B LAA                 Hank Conger C LAA
 7  Sharlon Schoop SS SF                   Cedric Hunter OF SD
 8  Kyler Burke OF SD                      Trevor Cahill RHP OAK
 9  Jason Taylor 3B KC                     Chris Huseby RHP CHN
10  Vladimir Veras RHP LAA                 Matt Sweeney 3B LAA
    GULF COAST                             
 1  Clayton Kershaw LHP LAD
 2  Chris Parmelee OF/1B MIN
 3  Gorkys Hernandez OF DET
 4  Chris Marrero OF WAS
 5  Jason Place OF BOS
 6  Dellin Betances RHP NYA
 7  Adrian Cardenas SS PHI
 8  Neftali Feliz RHP ATL
 9  Jhonny Nunez RHP LAD
10  Tom Hickman OF FLO

   Dodger news ... Loney wins kudos ... LaRoche faces surgery :

" ... Third-base prospect Andy LaRoche ... underwent an MRI this week and is likely to require surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. LaRoche, 23, played 62 games at Jacksonville and 55 games at Las Vegas. He batted a combined .315 with 19 homers and 81 RBIs in 117 games. LaRoche had a .410 on-base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage. In most categories, he posted better numbers after he was promoted to Triple-A. "He's probably going to have (surgery), but it hasn't been confirmed," said Roy Smith, the Dodgers vice president of player development."  (

" ... first baseman James Loney, who split the season between Las Vegas and the Major League club ... 2006 Branch Rickey Minor League Player ... of the Year ... Loney led all of Minor League baseball with a .380 batting average. In 98 games with Las Vegas, the left-handed hitter had 33 doubles, eight homers and 67 RBIs. He won the Pacific Coast League batting title by 43 points." (

   Yovani Gallardo and Ryan Braun saluted as the best of the MIL system :

" ... Gallardo split his Minor League season virtually down the middle between Class A Advanced Brevard County and Huntsville ...  6-3 with a 2.20 ERA over 77 2/3 innings in the Florida State League and managed to improve that at the next level, going 5-2 with a 1.63 ERA and holding opponents to a .185 batting average ...  Overall, opponents hit just .192 against him and struck out 188 times in 155 innings ... Braun, who also performed well at Double-A following his promotion ... combined to hit .289 in 2006 with 22 home runs, 77 RBIs and 26 stolen bases in 118 games. "It's an honor, obviously, considering our organization is pretty talented," Braun said."   (

   Reid Brignac and Andy Sonnanstine the top dogs in TB:

" ...  Brignac, 20, combined to hit .321 with 24 home runs and 99 RBIs at Class A Advanced Visalia and Double-A Montgomery, the fourth-highest average among all Minor League shortstops and second-best among Rays farmhands this season. A second-round round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Brignac ranked in the top 10 among all Minor Leaguers with 167 hits (sixth), 100 runs (ninth) and 281 total bases (sixth). He was named the California League's Most Valuable Player as well as Rookie of the Year, despite a promotion to Montgomery in early August. ... Sonnanstine, a 23-year-old right-hander, was 15-8 with a staff-best 2.67 ERA and a team-high 153 strikeouts with the Montgomery Biscuits." (

   More changes on the way in LAA ?  Erick Aybar might be one on the move :

" ...  Aybar is caught in the middle, so the Angels might move him to center field. Stuck behind Orlando Cabrera, who has two more years on his contract, and super-prospect Brandon Wood, Aybar has been taking fly balls in center. The Angels want Aybar, who hit .283 with 45 RBI for Class AAA, to play a lot of center field during winter ball so they could consider a permanent switch in spring training. "If he can get out there and play some games, it will help him," Roenicke [outfield coach Ron Roenicke] said."  (Riverside Press Enterprise)



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