Minor League Monitor - International League

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 03: Zack Cozart #60 of the Cincinnati Reds turns a double play as Ivan De Jesus #65 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides into second base at Goodyear Ballpark on March 3, 2011 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Devin Mesoraco leads all qualifying hitters with a .955 OPS followed by Justin Maxwell (.945), Jeremy Hermida (.939), Dayan Viciedo (.913), Brandon Guyer (.912) and Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.908). Ezequiel Carrera, a fourth outfielder type, leads the speedsters with 23 swipes. Chase d'Arnaud (13/3), Desmond Jennings (12/1), and Jason Kipnis (10/0) are the top prospects among the top 10 in steals. Former Mexican League power star Jorge Vazquez is leading the league with 20 homers, followed by Justin Maxwell at 16. Josh Bell is tied for fourth with 12, with Dayan Viciedo (11), Todd Frazier (11) and Lucas Duda (10) trailing him.

Brian Gordon leads the league with a 1.14 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. Julio Teheran (1.78), Mike Minor (2.23), Jeanmar Gomez (2.28), Andrew Miller (2.47) and Rodrigo Lopez (2.59) are the next best at keeping runs off the board. Yunesky Maya ranks second with a 0.99 WHIP but has an unlucky 3.79 ERA at AAA and 6.86 with the Nationals. Teheran (1.02) and Minor (1.04) follow Maya while Tom Milone ranks 5th with a 1.05 WHIP and first with 76 strikeouts. Kyle Gibson and Kyle Weiland have amped up their strikeout rates to rank second and third with 74 and 73 respectively.

Player profiles after the jump...

Zack Cozart - Reds  SS  DOB: 08/12/85  .328/.371/.514

Cozart has been on fire with a triple slash of .462/.512/.744 over the past 10 games. Cozart has above average power for a shortstop and is very efficient on the basepaths with a minor league career 53/11 SB/CS ratio. The .328 AVG is a bit surprising considering he had hit .255, .262, .280 and .239 the previous 4 seasons. I wouldn't expect an AVG much higher than .270 in the majors but he is capable of hitting 15 HR with 30+ doubles and 10 SB. His career years should top those numbers.

Scott BarnesIndians  SP  DOB: 09/05/87  3.59 ERA, 67.2 IP, 84 K

Barnes' first two pro seasons went great until he reached AA near the end of the second year. His struggles in the Eastern League continued last year when he posted a 5.22 ERA. He had no such problems this year when he struck out 17, walked 2, allowed 5 hits in 11 innings before being promoted to AAA. In the IL only Charlie Furbush's 10.7 K/9 tops Barnes' 10.6 among starters. Barnes allows too many hits to walk 4.3 per 9 innings. Luckily he keeps the ball on the ground and manages to avoid damage despite the high number of baserunners. He is still only 23 but moving quickly and should see the majors either this year or next.

Dave Sappelt - Reds  CF  DOB: 01/02/87  .360/.421/.605

A side muscle strain kept Sappelt out for all of May and part of June but he has picked up where he left off. In 7 games since returning he is 13-33 with 2 doubles, a triple and a home run. He hit .342 across the three highest minor league levels last year but saw his base stealing efficiency drop to 25/18 after stealing 47 the year before. For fantasy purposes he doesn't have huge upside but he is capable of having a few 15-15 seasons while hitting for a high average.

Chris Schwinden - Mets  SP  DOB: 09/22/86  3.06 ERA, 70.2 IP, .226 AVG, 62 K

Schwinden has pitched his way near the top of the Mets minor league pitching depth chart this year and could be in line for a call-up should a spot on the Mets staff open up. He has used excellent command and low home run totals to produce some good looks FIPs in the past. This season he is walking more and giving up more long balls but has allowed few hits. If he can re-gain his command he could excel at Citi Field and be a worthwhile fantasy option in deep leagues. Low strikeout totals will keep him from being anything more than a fringe starter in most standard formats.

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