May 122011

Player Name / Position / Current Level

1. Domonic Brown, RF A+/AAA

I think his rehab has been encouraging. It seems like his plate approach he’s good, he’s making nice contact and hitting for power. It’s just minor league pitching, but it’s been said a lot that his injury can sap a player’s power for a year, so hopefully it doesn’t affect Brown too much. I know people say he looked overmatched last year, but to adjust to ML pitching, he needs to face it every day, not once or twice a week in a pinch hitting experience like the end of 2010.

Potential ETA: Bring him up

2. Jonathan Singleton, LF A+

Singleton is having a bit of a unique season. His transition to left field is apparently going very well, and that’s probably the most important thing. His patience at the plate is still there which sets him apart from other toolsy, athletic prospects, and he’s hitting for a high average. One weird thing about his statline is his OBP is higher than his SLG which is pretty unusual and usually only light hitting middle infielders “accomplish” something like that. The power will almost certainly return, and he’ll need to cut down on his strikeouts.

Potential ETA: Late 2013

3. Brody Colvin, RHSP A+

Colvin was only able to make one (brief) start this year before being placed on the DL with a back injury. He’s been pitching in extended spring training and should be close to returning, and at that point he’ll be able to build on his strong final 2/3 of a season from 2010. It’s possible that he could still make 18-20 more starts this season, and that should be enough for him to continue developing and making progress.

Potential ETA: Late 2013

4. Jarred Cosart, RHSP A+

It’s been a very mediocre start to the season for Cosart whose statistics are down in pretty much every category. He’s walking more batters and allowing more hits, and perhaps the most concerning number is the decrease in strikeouts. After striking out nearly 10 batters per 9 innings with Lakewood last year, Cosart is down to 6.2 per 9 with Clearwater. One positive is that he’s been healthy so far, and it’s important that he’s able to survive a full season. It’s possible that they’ve made changes to his mechanics or arsenal to reduce injury risk, and that could take some time to adjust to, but of course that’s just speculation on my part.

Potential ETA: Late 2013, maybe sooner if he ever moves to the bullpen

5. Trevor May, RHSP A+

This is May’s second crack at Clearwater, and things are going a little better for him this time around. He still walks far too many (4.9 per 9 which is actually a career best over a full season) and his strikeouts are a bit down (but still very good), but at the very least, he’s getting shelled and removed from every game early like last season. He’s going to take some time, more than the other top pitcher prospects in the system, and the chances of him never making it are higher than others, but the potential to be a #3 starter or so is still there.

Potential ETA: 2014 at the earliest

6. Sebastian Valle, C A+

It’s been the usual season for Valle with extreme hot and cold streaks. The power is down a bit, but like I’ve said before, hitting for power in the Florida State League isn’t easy. An already aggressive and impatient hitter has somehow become even more aggressive and impatient with his strikeouts up and walks down. Reports last year indicated his defense behind the plate is improving, but right now he’s not having much success throwing out basestealers. He’s still young, so there’s plenty of time to improve his game, but I doubt his plate approach will ever get much better.

Potential ETA: 2014

7. Jiwan James, CF A+

The athletic outfielder is 22 which is generally the average age for this level, but since he began his career as a pitcher, he might take some more time than others. James’ season is roughly the same as last year’s so far, striking out quite a bit and walking very little. He’s been hitting much better left handed which I think has been consistent for him in his career, so I wonder if they’d give up on switch hitting eventually. After attempting 53 steals last year, he’s only tried six times this season.

Potential ETA: Late 2014

8. Jesse Biddle, LHSP A

Biddle got off to a rough start this year, but he has a couple consecutive decent starts. This is around the time Colvin got going at the same level last year, and while it’s dangerous to expect Biddle to end up dominating the way Colvin did last year since that’s not the norm, it’s encouraging. He’s going to be inconsistent like any young pitcher is, but I think he’ll be able to hold his own at this level this season. He’s striking out a good number of batters, but the walks and hits are both going to have to come down in future years.

Potential ETA: 2015

9. Domingo Santana, OF A

Santana burst onto the scene in the Gulf Coast League as a 16 year old showing great power and the ability to take walks despite being so young. He has weaknesses; he’s inconsistent and strikes out way too much, but the potential is there. He started last season at Lakewood, but he struggled and went back to Williamsport the second half of the year where he was okay. He returned to Lakewood this season, and it’s a bit concerning. He’s still striking out way too much, but his walks are down by a lot too. He won’t be 19 until August so he’s still very young, so it’ll be best to remain patient with him.

Potential ETA: Late 2016

10. Aaron Altherr, OF A

The Phillies were raving about Altherr to any analyst that would listen this offseason, and the results so far have been disappointing. He’s a really toolsy player like so many others in this system, but many thought he was starting to turn the corner last year when he really improved his stock. He has a quick swing, he’s a good athlete, and he could have average paper. He’s playing CF now, but he’ll likely end up in LF or RF if he develops. Right now, he’s only hitting .200, striking out a ton and not showing any power.

Potential ETA: 2016

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Scott Grauer writes for PSC and Bus Leagues Baseball – check him out!  Scott also regularly updates the PSC Minor League Thread with player stats, game results, and more…

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