Minor League Monitor - Midwest League:

Jake Marisnick - Blue Jays  CF  DOB: 03/30/91 .291/.372/.462, 16/5 SB/CS

Marisnick is now 39/8 on the basepaths in two seasons as a pro. He is also hitting for some power while drawing a decent amount of walks. He still has flaws and will need to cut down on the strikeouts if he wants to have a high AVG at higher levels. Still only 20, Marisnick has time to develop and could become a good #1-2 hitter if he can fix the strikeout woes.

David Holmberg - Diamondbacks  SP  DOB: 07/19/91  3.14 ERA, 58/13 K/BB, 63 IP

Holmberg has an excellent 4.46 K/BB rate and has managed to become less hittable this year. After allowing 11.5 H/9 in 2010 he has kept the opposition to 8.6 H/9 this year. He has mid-rotation upside after looking like a back-end type earlier in his career. If he can maintain a high K/BB he should reach his peak.

Carlos Martinez - Cardinals SP  DOB: 09/21/91  3.74 ERA, 28/8 K/BB, 21.2 IP

The strikeout artist formerly known as Matias can thank one bad start for an ERA that should be much lower. He has been dominant in 4 of 5 starts and is looking like he is going to follow Shelby Miller on the fast track to St. Louis.

Billy Hamilton - Reds  SS  DOB: 09/09/90  .219/.291/.313

Hamilton hit .282/.293/.754 over the past 2 weeks with 3 doubles and 2 triples on 11 hits. He was 6 of 7 on the basepaths but his super-speed is going to waste with the low OBP. Despite a .291 OBP on the year he has stolen 44 bases in 53 games. He is also struggling at shortstop with an .896 FLD% and may need to move back to second where he has a .979 FLD%

Nick Castellanos - Tigers  3B  DOB: 03/04/92   .253/.304/.363

Strikeouts have been the main culprit for Castellanos sub-par numbers. He is not making solid contact when he does connect either. He would be a freshman had he opted for college so it is still a long way off before we can call him a bust but he will need to start standing out from the crowd of teenagers in the Midwest League.

Yazy Arbelo - Diamondbacks  1B  DOB: 04/07/88  .277/.385/.586

Arbelo has shown outstanding power this year while maintaining his solid plate discipline. He strikes out a bit too often to have a high AVG but is rounding into one of the better power hitting prospects in the minors.

Marcus Knect - Blue Jays  LF  DOB:06/21/90  .337/.417/.558

His .337 AVG ranks third among Midwest League regulars and his .975 OPS is second. Knect has solid upside and by the end of the year he should  be a top 10 prospect in a talented Blue Jays farm system.

James Paxton - Mariners  SP  DOB: 11/06/88  2.11 ERA, 6.6 H/9, 5.9 BB/9, 12.7 K/9

Paxton played independent ball last season after the Blue Jays failed to sign him. The Jays may regret that decision as Paxton is proving to have dominant stuff. He can be wild at times but allows so few hits and homers that the free passes don't hurt him. That will change as he rises through the minors and he may be converted into a reliever. For now he is one of the better starters in the Midwest and could be due for a promotion where he will be tested against players his own age.

Taijuan Walker - Mariners  SP  DOB: 08/13/92  3.00 ERA, 10.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9

The youngest pitcher in the Midwest League has had little trouble with the older competition. His stuff is electric and as he learns how to use it he will get even better. Walker has front-of-the-rotation ability and may one-day join Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda atop a Mariners rotation that would be one of the best in baseball. That time is still a few years off but so far things look good.

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