Every other Wednesday through the end of the minor league season, I will be taking a look at some of the top prospects in the three High-A leagues, and how their performance has been so far. As we approach the end of the season, we are starting to see players promoted into the High-A leagues, and a number of the top prospects moved up from the leagues a well.
Yasiel Puig (LAD) - After crushing the Arizona Rookie League to the tune of .400/.500/1.000 with 4 homers and 11 runs batted in, Puig was promoted to the Dodgers' High-A affiliate in Rancho Cucamonga. He went 0 for 2 in his first game last night, and it's going to be a bit hard to tell much of anything from his statistics in the high offense environments of the Cal League, but I will be interested to see if he gets another promotion before the end of the season.
Xander Bogaerts (BOS) - Bogaerts was promoted to AA on the 9th, and has been on a tear in his 4 games there. He finished up his stint in High-A with a .302/.378/.505 slash line and 15 home runs in 104 games. So far he has at least 2 hits in each of his 4 games for Portland, and 2 home runs already. I forget that Bogaerts is still just 19 years old at this point, and could reach AAA by the age of 20.
Anthony Rendon (WAS) - Rendon has missed a majority of the season due to injuries, and it has really become concerning whether or not he will be able to stay healthy for a full season. So far he has played in just 22 games all season, but will be headed to his fourth level this year (AA) shortly. I really, really hope he can stay healthy, but I just don't know if I see it happening any time soon.
George Springer (HOU) - The knock on Springer continues to be whether or not he can adapt his swing enough to not kill your batting average. He's going to fill up the counting stats, as he did in the Cal League (101 runs, 22 HR, 28 SB, 82 RBI in 106 games), but he still struck out in 1 of every 4 at bats at the High-A level. I'm extremely interested to see if he can keep his performance up in AA while reducing the strikeouts even a little bit.
Delino DeShields Jr (HOU) - We would be talking a lot more about DeShields if there weren't some guy named Billy Hamilton stealing even more bases. DeShields was promoted to Lancaster after finishing his second stint in the Sally League with 83 stolen bases in 111 games. Lancaster is another ridiculous offensive environment, but hopefully we will continue to see this performance out of the 2010 8th overall pick.
C.J. Cron (LAA) - Cron will likely be on the short list of players for the Angels' top prospect lists this offseason, as he has had a great year in Inland Empire. He is currently leading all minor leaguers with 110 runs batted in, has 23 home runs, and a .291 batting average. Add in that Inland Empire is one of the few parks in the Cal League that actually plays reasonably close to normal, and I am starting to believe.
Other Items of Note:
- Kevin Goldstein mentioned in one of his articles (or maybe it was Twitter? I'm having a hard time finding it again) that some prospects could see promotions just so they can experience playoff baseball this year.
- Jed Bradley of the Brewers was shut down for the season and placed on the disabled list after reaching his innings limit. His performance this year did not seem to impress particularly, and I would be inclined to believe he will return to High-A for the start of 2013.
- Dylan Bundy was promoted to AA by the Orioles, and the speculation continues that he might see a September call up to work in the bullpen. While I would personally love to see this, it seems pretty clear that it isn't a guarantee that it will happen or even that it is in the best interest of Bundy long-term.
- Marcell Ozuna of the Marlins leads the Florida State League in home runs with 20, but he's also hitting just .244 on the year.