Monday, August 16, 2010

Five Prospects Re-Revisited

You can read the original post here, and the revisited post here.

David Adams, 23, Trenton
.309/.393/.507, 3 HR, 32 RBI, 5 SB (2 CS)

Sadly, Adams appears to be done for the season, having not played since May 23 when he suffered a severely sprained ankle. While healthy, however, Adams performed incredibly well with both the bat and the glove ... a silver lining, perhaps.

Eduardo Nunez - 23, SS, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
.288/.340/.382, 4 HR, 50 RBI, 23 SB (5 CS)

Nunez's offensive numbers have been steadily declining over the course of the season, though he has markedly improved as a baserunner (which could be viewed as a net-positive, due to his high contact numbers). Most importantly, however, Nunez has drawn rave reviews for his glovework this season. Baseball America recently named Nunez the best defensive shortstop in the International League, while also crediting him with the best infield arm. Could he be the heir apparent to Derek Jeter? Probably not ... but he could be a more useful Ramiro Pena, which is certainly worth something.

Jose Ramirez - 20, RHP, Charleston
115.0 IP, 105 H, 41 BB, 105 K, 3.60 ERA, 1.11 G/F

Ramirez's progress this season is quite impressive. The slender righty has watched his groundball percentage climb with each passing start, with his groundball to flyball ratio trending into positive territory in July - an incredibly positive sign for a formerly severe flyball pitcher. That Ramirez has garnered more groundball outs without losing any of his dazzling swing-and-miss stuff is tremendous, as well.

Graham Stoneburner - 22, RHP, Charleston/Tampa
Charleston - 39.0 IP, 27 H, 10 BB, 44 K, 2.08 ERA, 2.67 G/F
Tampa - 87.0 IP, 66 H, 20 BB, 79 K, 2.69 ERA, 1.65 G/F

Despite some regression towards the mean in BABIP and HR/FB, Stoneburner's performance has been quite good following his promotion to Tampa. He racks up strikeouts, limits walks, and has continued to induce a solid amount of groundballs (albeit not as prodigiously as his time at Charleston). Many scouts and analysts have noted Stoneburner's impressive season, as well, as his name has popped up several times over the past few weeks.

Adam Warren - 22, RHP, Tampa/Trenton
Tampa - 81.0 IP, 72 H, 17 BB, 67 K, 2.22 ERA, 2.93 G/F
Trenton - 31.1 IP, 31 H, 11 BB, 29 K, 4.02 ERA, 1.76 G/F

Warren hasn't fared as well as I would have liked following his promotion to Trenton. While he is striking out just under a batter an inning, his walks have increased and his groundball percentage has decreased - two worrisome trends, though neither is particularly poor (and the jump from Single-A to Double-A may be the largest in the minors). One a more positive note, there are reports that his secondary stuff is improving ... and that may be the most important sign of a player's development and progress.

As a bonus of sorts, I figured I would make up for the lack of Adams with a brief write-up on an under the radar prospect that has been performing quite well thus far:

Melky Mesa - 23, OF, Tampa
.266/.336/.483, 18 HR, 69 RBI, 30 SB (8 CS)

Yes - he's old for High-A. Yes - he strikes more than is ideal. Yes - he's still raw. While Mesa may never hit for average, he has solid power, great speed, a fantastic arm, and a potentially Gold Glove. He sort of reminds me of Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez (whose average is aided by Coors Field) and Los Angeles's Matt Kemp. Keep an eye on him.

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