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Minor League Monitor - A+ California League: Say Yes To Yasmani Grandal

SBNation could use more pictures of Minor League ballplayers so I don't have to use pics like this.
SBNation could use more pictures of Minor League ballplayers so I don't have to use pics like this.

Yasmani Grandal  - Reds  C   DOB: 11/08/88

The Reds first pick in last year's draft is off to a blazing start to his pro career. He is among the league leaders in home runs and walks with 7 and 23. The Reds have a wealth of catching in their system and Grandal is adding a great deal to the depth. He could move quickly through the Reds system but may be blocked by Devin Mesoraco. If he continues to hit like he has he shouldn't have to worry.

Matthew Davidson  - Diamondbacks  3B/1B  DOB: 03/26/91

Davidson has spent the year splitting time at 1B and 3B with Bobby Borchering. As one of the youngest players in the league, Davidson is keeping his head above water. He has 4 home runs and doubles to go along with a .282 AVG.

Jonathan Galvez - Padres  2B/SS  DOB: 01/18/91

Writing these updates has made me appreciate the Padres farm system. Another player of theirs who caught my eye is Galvez. The Dominican middle infielder has good power for a player his age and above average speed. He is prone to strikeouts but draws a fair amount of walks. In 2011 he has 4 doubles, 4 home runs and a triple to go along with 8 steals in 9 attempts.He is striking out about 30% of the time while drawing a walk nearly 10% of the time.

Edinson Rincon - Padres  3B  DOB: 08/11/90

Rincon has moved steadily through the Padres system since joining it as a 16 year old in 2007. He doesn't have great home run power for a third baseman but he hits plenty of doubles. Those doubles may turn into home runs as he ages. He may need them to start going over the fence if he hopes to be a MLB regular, he has already made 10 errors in 16 games at third base and will likely have to learn a new position. He is batting .339 with 11 doubles and 2 home runs this season as a 3B/DH.

Tyler Skaggs - Diamondbacks  SP  DOB:  07/13/91

The youngest pitcher in the California League has not been over-matched. In fact, it's opposing hitters who are being over-matched. Skaggs has 12.7 K/9 in his first 6 games.

Jose Altuve - Astros   2B   DOB: 05/06/90

Altuve is definitely a player to keep an eye on. After hitting 15 HR with 42 SB and a .301 AVG last season. Altuve has spent 2011 hitting .387 with 7 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, and 16 SB. He is also in possession of a good eye at the plate as evidenced by his career 124/149 BB/K ratio. He is less talked about than fellow California Leaguer Jean Segura but possibly just as talented.

Jean Segura  - Angels  SS  DOB: 03/17/90

Segura has hit 4 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR with 15 SB in 19 tries. He has done well in his transition to shortstop, making only 3 errors in 27 games.

Chad Bettis - Rockies  SP  DOB: 04/26/89

Bettis had a 1.07 ERA in 67 innings last season. In 7 starts this season he has a 3.38 ERA and has struck out 47 and walked 10 in 40 innings. He has the potential to work his way into a talented Rockies rotation in a few years.

Adam Eaton  - Diamondbacks  CF  DOB: 12/06/88

After an excellent debut in Rookie Ball in which he hit .385/.500/.575, Eaton is hitting .338/.442/.488 in High-A. Eaton could develop into a fantasy player that provides a little bit of everything like Shane Victorino.

Jedd Gyorko - Padres  3B   DOB: 09/23/88

Gyorko excelled in his Northwest League pro debut before being promoted to A ball and see his power disappear. 2011 brought another step up the organizational ladder and a return of his power. He has 14 doubles and 5 home runs while batting .366 with 18/23 BB/K. 

Zack Wheeler - Giants  SP  DOB: 05/30/90

Wheeler has look phenomenal this season. He is striking out 11.3 batters and walking 3 per 9 innings while limiting the opposition to 6.3 hits per 9.

Nick Franklin - Mariners  SS/2B   DOB: 03/02/91

Franklin's power has been missing this season as he has just 1 home run. He has drawn 20 walks and has stolen 6 bases in 7 tries.