Surprise Prospects

This week's podcast of Baseball HQ Radio had Dereck McKamey giving his surprise pitching and hitting minor league prospect at the quarter point pole of the 2008 season.  For the pitcher, he chose Philadelphia Philles lefty Antonio Bastardo, and, for the hitter, he selected Toronto Blue Jays' SS Justin Jackson.

Bastardo has split 2008 between Hi A and AA.  His combined numbers in 48.1 innings are impressive - 62 K versus 15 walks and just 36 hits allowed.  Jackson has spent all of 2008 in the Midwest league where he has a slash stat line of 269/382/413.

To get a better idea of what the pre-2008 prospect reports said about each player, I checked The Baseball Prospect Book 2008 by John Sickels.  Here is what he had to say about Bastardo and Jackson.

Bastardo: SLEEPER ALERT!...had an impressive season in the Sally League posting strong K/IP ratio and being very tough to hit...his stuff is trong: 90-93 MPH fastball, impressive slider, decent change-up...Grade C+, with higher potential if he can remain healthy and refine his control.

Jackson:  He is an excellent defensive shortstop with above average attributes in all respects, especially his arm...He makes an attempt to work the count and has enough strength to hit for power eventually...could end up being an All-Star shortstop if the bat comes around...very much a high risk.high reward type player.  A top percentile outcome would be something like Barry Larkin...Grade C+ pending more data.

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