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Minor League Monitor - Texas League: Shelby Miller One Step Closer To Majors

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Mike Trout - Angels  CF  DOB: 08/07/91  .303/.417/.509  16/5 SB/CS

Trout has taken another step forward in 2011 by increasing his power output. He has the potential to put up multiple 20-40 seasons in his career. If you drafted him in your keeper league this year you're probably feeling really good about yourself right now. Good job you!

Robbie Erlin - Rangers  SP  DOB:  10/08/90  2.15 ERA, 4.7 H/9, 0.9 BB/9, 9.4 K/9, 9 A+ starts, 2 AA starts

I'm a big fan of Erlin because he limits hits, walks and homers like few others in the minors. He has allowed 1.2 HR/9 this year so he is lacking in that area. However, when you're only allowing 4.7 H/9 you can afford giving up a few extra homers.

Matthew Adams - Cardinals  1B  DOB: 08/31/88  .354/.397/.677

Adams leads the league in SLG and ranks third in OPS. He hit .310 with 63 extra base hits in the Midwest League last year and a .947 OPS the year before so his dominance this year shouldn't come as a surprise. His MiLB triple slash in 994 plate appearances is .332/.376/.572. If Pujols decides to walk, the Cardinals will have an able replacement in Adams.

Wilin Rosario - Rockies  C  DOB: 02/23/89  .262/.301/.482

Rosario's bat has cooled but his overall power numbers remain solid with a .220 ISO. Over the past 10 games he has a triple slash of .238/.273/.381.

Jaff Decker - Padres  LF  DOB: 02/23/90  .236/.383/.453

Decker was a machine over the first two weeks of the season but has fallen hard since. In May he hit .170/.333/.260 and hasn't fared much better in June.  The OBP has remained stellar but something has gone seriously wrong with his power and he hasn't had an extra base hit in 14 games.

Martin Perez - Rangers  P  DOB: 04/04/91  2.60 ERA, 7.7 H/9, 8.9 K/9, 3.6 BB/9

Perez has cut his ERA in more than half from last year's 5.96. His WHIP is 0.43 lower. His ERA is third among starter. With Juan Nicasio promoted to the majors I had Perez briefly ranked as the Texas League's top pitching prospect until Shelby Miller was promoted.

Shelby Miller - Cardinals  SP  DOB: 10/10/90  2.75 ERA, 7.2 H/9, 13.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9

Miller had an insane 13.8 K/9 at High-A before the promotion. In one TL start he went 6 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 walks, 1 earned run with 5 strikeouts. Miller is one of the leading candidates to be the top pitching prospect in the minors at the end of the year. 

James Darnell - Padres  3B  DOB: 01/19/87  .376/.472/.678

Anthony has garnered most of the attention among Padres prospects, however, Darnell may be nearly as good. His .472 OBP is Bondsian as is his .302 ISO. And his numbers are getting better. Over his past 10 games he is hitting .410/.478/.744. His fielding has taken a step forward this year but it's still questionable whether he can stick at third long term. With the way he is hitting it doesn't matter where he plays. His bat will play anywhere.

Jose Altuve - Astros   2B   DOB: 05/06/90  .411/.451/.614, 20/11 SB/CS

Altuve hit .408 through 52 games in the California League and earned a promotion to AA. Through 7 games in Corpus Christi he is hitting .429. He has above average power and speed for a second baseman and should hit for a good, if not great, AVG in the majors. Altuve is under-sized so you have to wonder if he can maintain the power in the majors but he has shown enough to make me a believer. His 20/11 SB/CS ratio has been poor this year and he may not get as many green lights in the majors. Prior to 2011 he was 93/31 on the bases.