Originally written on hardballchat.com  |  Last updated 10/13/14
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As you might suspect, more of these guys have gotten the call to the big leagues than last time. In particular, Chris Carter and Anthony Rizzo have made their presence known. As with the catchers, we will be looking at strikeout and walk percentage in lieu of simple totals. We will also add strikeouts to the equation. This is all in an effort to add more detail to each update. Matt Adams– St. Louis Cardinals (AAA-ML) PA: 182 AVG: .353 OBP: .379 SLG: .659 SO%: 17% BB%: 5% SB: 0 Adams got 91 plate appearances in St. Louis before being sent back down. Simply put, he didn’t produce enough to hold off Allen Craig. Now, Lance Berkman is coming back, so he will likely stay down in Memphis until September. He’ll get another opportunity to win the first base job next year when Berkman leaves as a free agent. Yonder Alonso– San Diego Padres (ML) PA: 317 AVG: .260 OBP: .339 SLG: .359 SO%: 17% BB: 10% SB: 2 Young players always go through a maturation process. That will include it’s fair share of peaks and valleys. Having a .700ish OPS in San Diego is not the worst thing in the world, but I’m sure the Padres were hoping for more. There is still time for Alonso to have another upswing. Chris Carter– Oakland Athletics (AAA-ML) PA: 324 AVG: .279 OBP: .367 SLG: .482 SO%: 23% BB%: 12% SB: 5 Oakland is the land of opportunity for young players. Daric Barton’s general ineffectiveness has led the Athletics to call up Carter. He has 12 plate appearances so and is making the most of them with two home runs already. Carter has had opportunities before, but sometimes you never know when everything clicks. C.J. Cron– Los Angeles Angels (A+) PA: 349 AVG: .289 OBP: .330 SLG: .465 SO%: 11% BB%: 3% SB: 1 The switch to strikeout and walk percentage crystallizes a player’s skills a lot more than raw numbers. Cron is a high contact guy. High contact guys will usually carry good batting averages and if they have power they can be quite valuable. Cron is a solid hitter, but he hasn’t done anything spectacular yet. Matt Davidson– Arizona Diamondbacks (AA) PA: 352 AVG: .259 OBP: .366 SLG: .498 SO%: 22% BB%: 12% SB: 2 Davidson is settling into his career norms. He is playing third base consistently, so he only has to compete with the inconsistent Ryan Roberts instead of Paul Goldschmidt. His numbers are actually slightly better in AA than they were in advanced A. That’s a good sign moving forward, but he isn’t going to be a stud. Alex Dickerson– Pittsburgh Pirates (A+) PA: 326 AVG: .288 OBP: 355 SLG: .431 SO%: 18% BB: 9% SB: 4 Things are beginning to come together for Dickerson. His average and slugging percentage have both improved immensely since the last edition. He still isn’t going to be a slugger of epic proportions, but he has more than doubled his home run output of a year ago. As a left-handed hitter he might project as a Mark Grace or Sean Casey type. The Pirates would probably take that. Mike Olt– Texas Rangers (AA) PA: 330 AVG: .302 OBP: .409 SLG: .597 SO%: 25% BB%: 15% SB: 4 Both of the Rangers top two affiliates reside in Texas, so Rangers don’t have far to go to see the stars of tomorrow. With 22 home runs, Olt might be the first baseman of the future. He can also play third base, but Adrian Beltre has that spot locked down for a few more years. You always have to stand up and take notice when a player has a 1.000 or better OPS in the high minors. Anthony Rizzo– Chicago Cubs (AAA-ML) PA: 32 AVG: .323 OBP: .344 SLG: .710 SO%: 9% BB: 3% SB: 0 In a way, it’s sad when a player’s promotion causes this much of a stir. Yet, Rizzo has lived up to the advanced billing by slugging three balls out already. Still, he likely will face some adjustments pretty soon. He needs to prove that he has improved his plate discipline to stick at the big league level. Jonathan Singleton– Houston Astros (AA) PA: 320 AVG: .265 OBP: .384 SLG: .474 SO%: 23% BB%: 16% SB: 3 Singleton has slumped big time since we looked in last, but he is representing the Astros in the Futures game and his overall numbers are still very good. Yet, the latest slump may delay his debut in Houston until sometime during the 2013 season. Carlos Lee is now out of the way, so if he gets hot again he might get called up September. Neftali Soto– Cincinnati Reds (AAA) PA: 280 AVG: .239 OBP: .293 SLG: .390 SO%: 25% BB: 6% SB: 1 Soto is making slow and steady progress. At this rate, he will get to .250/.310/.410 by the end of the season. I suppose that is something to write home about given where he began the season, but overall he has to be seen as a disappointment. Plate discipline has to improve before he takes the next step.
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