PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 10: World Future's All-Star Liam Hendriks #13 of the Minnesota Twins throws a pitch against the U.S. team during the 2011 XM All-Star Futures Game at Chase Field on July 10, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Tyler Saladino - A+ / SS / 07-20-89
Saladino automatically gets points for being a shortstop who actually could stay in the middle infield. Defensive ability aside, Saladino is turning into a fantasy asset due to his bat as well. In 342 plate appearances at High-A he has 15 home runs and a very good .233 ISO. A .261 BABIP is keeping his AVG down to .236. If you are looking for a middle infielder with some pop Saladino certainly fits the mold. You may be able to use the low AVG to pry him away in a trade. He strikes out too often but not enough to expect the AVG to remain this low. Eduardo Escobar is the same age as Saladino and two levels ahead but he doesn't possess the same offensive upside. Alexei Ramirez has the Sox SS job for the time being but when he moves aside there should be quite the duel for the opening.
Juan Silverio - A+ / 3B / 04-18-91
Saladino may have some pop but it could be Silverio who has more down the line. In 88 games at A he hit .289 with 29 2B, 6 3B and 5 HR. He was promoted to A+ and in 19 games has a .319 AVG with 4 2B, 2 3B and 2 HR. His combined BB/K is 21/102 which clearly needs work. The gap between his walks and strikeouts has widened since arriving in High-A and it will continue to grow as he moves up unless he adjusts his approach.
Thomas Neal - AAA / LF / 08-17-87
The Giants weren't happy with the direction Neal's bat was headed so they shipped him off to Cleveland. The Indians will be more than happy to take a chance on Neal who has the potential to hit for above average power with a solid AVG. In 6 pro seasons he is hitting .296 with a .150 ISO. His ISO peaked at .242 in 2009 then dropped to .148 last year before a further dip to .114 in 2011. His BB% and K% numbers have went from above average to average. One bad season isn't enough to write off a once promising prospect. However, his performance has suffered as he gets closer to the majors and it's looking like he may end up as a 4th outfielder type.
Nick Castellanos - A / 3B / 03-04-92
Castellanos has gone homerless in 27 straight games and could be slowing down as a result of his first full season of professional baseball. Even with the power outage the 19 year old has had an excellent season at the plate. In 110 games he has 29 doubles, 6 home runs and a .302 AVG. Strikeouts are to be expected with a teenager in full season baseball and Castellanos has gone down on strikes 109 times so far. He will have to cut down on his Ks because he won't be able to rely on a .399 BABIP to hit for AVG in the big leagues. Even with all those strikeouts his line drive percentage will keep that AVG from sinking too low.
Greg Billo - A / SP / 07-15-90
Billo's command continues to get better and better to the point that he is one of the best control pitchers in the lower minors. He is walking only 5.2% of the batters he faces and has a 1.48 ERA to show for it. He is pitching deeper into games which could be a sign the Royals are considering a promotion. He has been pegged for a home run in 4 of his last 5 games but those dingers account for 80% of his season total. I can't say for sure why he has come down with gopheritis but he has been giving up an increasing amount of flyballs so it's not like the balls are going to stop clearing the fences. The Royals will probably wait for him to keep the ball in the park before giving him the green light to High-A.
Salvador Perez - MLB / C / 05-10-90
The Royals have continued their youth movement by calling up a promising young catcher named Salvador Perez. Baseball Mogul fans may be familiar with him since he always seems to be rated highly in that game. In real life he is quite good too and could be a sneaky good pick-up down the stretch. He has average power for a catcher and an advanced hit tool that should mean a decent batting average. The Royals will be looking for a solution at catcher for when they're ready to compete and the incumbents aren't the answer. This should mean Perez will be given playing time. He puts the ball in play so he could be a fortunate BABIP swing away from becoming a championship run bargain.
Liam Hendriks - AAA / SP / 02-10-89
The Aussie pitcher got walloped in his last start, giving up 7 earned runs in 2 innings. The control artist has allowed more than 1 walk in 1 of his past 13 starts. Only 2 of those starts failed to last 6 innings. Hendriks, much like most Twins pitching prospects, lacks major upside. He should work his way into the Twins rotation and provide solid innings but will be too hittable to dominate.