Monday, December 28, 2009

Diamondbacks Not Sold On Whitesell

On December 13, Josh Whitesell was non-tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks. What does this mean? It means Whitesell's contract was not renewed and he is now a free agent. It also means that I'll be rooting for him to catch on somewhere else and stick it to the Diamondbacks' organization.

Whitesell will turn 28 in April, so he's still in his prime. The problem lies in is his versatility; he can only play 1st base and DH. And at 1st base, he is just average defensively. I'm thinking the Oakland A's could be a good fit. Jack Cust will likely sign with a new team. Whitesell's main competition would be Daric Barton and Jake Fox, both of whom are unproven players. And we all know that Billy Beane likes guys who can get on base. Whitesell is one of those guys.

Whitesell reminds me a little of Micah Franklin, a JML from the last decade who put up great numbers in the Minors and was only given a taste of MLB in 1997 with the Cardinals. Hopefully, Whitesell's fate will not be the same as Franklin's.

EDIT: Whitesell has signed a Minor League deal with the Washington Nationals, the team that drafted him in 2003 (then the Montreal Expos).

Staying in the NL hurts Whitesell's chances of getting significant playing time, as there is no DH. Still, he would be a defensive upgrade over Adam Dunn at 1st base. As I said before, Dunn is a liability wherever you put him.

If the Nationals moved him back to the outfield and used Whitesell at 1st base, defensively their corner outfielders would take a hit with Dunn and Josh Willingham while their corner infielders would improve with Ryan Zimmerman and Whitesell. And I still believe Whitesell can be a major contributor at the plate if given a fair shake.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sadowski To Play For A Different Giants Team

Earlier this month, unbeknownst to me Ryan Sadowski signed with the Houston Astros. The Astros have since let Sadowski out of his contract, presumably so that Sadowski could sign with the Lotte Giants, a Korean pro baseball club. Sadowski signed a 1-year deal worth $200,000 with an additional $100,000 signing bonus.

Sadowski, 27, had played 6 seasons in the Minors and was called up for the first time in 2009. In 6 starts, he was 2-4 with a 4.45 ERA. Most notably, his first 16 2/3 innings were scoreless.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


To Harry Potter fans, HBP stands for Half-Blood Prince. To baseball fans, HBP stands for hit by pitch. I happen to be a fan of Harry Potter and baseball, but only one of them is applicable to this post.

1. Kevin Youkilis - 16 HBP (Boston Red Sox, 2009)
2. Kevin Youkilis - 15 HBP (Boston Red Sox, 2007)
3. Brad Ausmus - 14 HBP (Detroit Tigers, 1999)
3. Mike Lieberthal - 14 HBP (Philadelphia Phillies, 2002)
4. Mike Epstein - 13 HBP (Washington Senators, 1968)
4. Ryan Braun - 13 HBP (Milwaukee Brewers, 2009)
5. Mike Epstein - 12 HBP (Washington Senators/Oakland Athletics, 1971)
5. Mike Lieberthal - 12 HBP (Philadelphia Phillies, 2003)
5. Kevin Youkilis - 12 HBP (Boston Red Sox, 2008)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Marquis Signs With Nationals

Pending a physical, Jason Marquis has agreed to a 2-year deal with the Washington Nationals worth $15 million.

So, let's break this down. Were the Mets the better option? Statistically speaking, no question about it. Citi Field is a pitcher's dream. Look what it did to David Wright's power. However, don't sell Nationals Park short.

According to MLB Park Factors, it's right in the middle of the pack. And there were actually less home runs hit this year at Nationals Park than at Citi Field, if you can believe it. The Mets and Nats were both terrible defensive teams in 2009, but part of that has to be due to the perfect storm of injuries the Mets had to endure this season.

Defensively, the Nats will be better than they were last year, which is important for someone like Marquis who pitches to contact. Marquis' groundball rate in 2009 was 56%, a career-high. On the Rockies, Marquis had a strong middle infield behind him in Troy Tulowitski and Clint Barmes. He also had solid corner infielders in Todd Helton and Ian Stewart/Garrett Atkins. Brad Hawpe and Dexter Fowler weren't terrific in the outfield, but Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez, and Ryan Spilborghs were all very good.

One significant upgrade Marquis will have defensively is at catcher. I wouldn't call Yorvit Torrealba and Chris Iannetta slouches, but between them they only threw out 20% of baserunners who ran on them in 2009; that's well under league average.

On the Nats, Marquis will be working with one of the greatest defensive catchers of all time: Ivan Rodriguez. Pudge may be past his prime and off the juice, but in 2009 he threw out 35% of baserunners who ran on him in 115 games. For his career, he's thrown out 46% of baserunners. Marquis will also be pitching to up-and-comer Jesus Flores, whose scouting report describes him as a good receiver who has a "great arm that can singlehandedly curb the running game."

In addition, Marquis will benefit from Ryan Zimmerman's play at the hot corner. Zimmerman won a Gold Glove for his efforts at third base this year, but don't be fooled by Gold Gloves generally only being awarded to offensive players. Zimmerman is an outstanding third baseman.

In the outfield, Marquis will have Nyjer Morgan patrolling center field. Morgan can go get 'em with the best of them. Morgan is definitely an upgrade over what Marquis had last season. I assume Justin Maxwell will also log some innings in the outfield in 2010. If so, he projects to be a good outfielder.

Now comes the bad. I love Adam Dunn, but he is an awful defensive baseball player. Doesn't matter where you put him. He is a liability at first base and in the outfield. With Nick Johnson out of the picture, Dunn will primarily play first base. Josh Willingham and Elijah Dukes also don't bring much to the table defensively, although Dukes could still develop.

Marquis' middle infield will, in all likelihood, be a downgrade from what he had with the Rockies. Rookie Ian Desmond projects to start at shortstop while veteran Cristian Guzman will be moved to second base. The Nationals are said to be interested in second baseman Orlando Hudson. Hudson is a bona fide Gold Glover and is a groundball pitcher's best friend.

To summarize: Pudge, Flores, Zimmerman, and Morgan are all defensive upgrades over what Marquis had last year. One corner outfield position could be stabilized with Maxwell while the other will almost certainly suffer. First base with Dunn is always an adventure, and the middle infield is still a question mark. Marquis will also have a lot less run support than he had with the Rockies.

One cool thing about this move is Marquis will be the elder statesman on the Nats' rotation. This means he could very well become Stephen Strasburg's mentor. Strasburg's off-the-charts ability is well-documented. I believe Jordan Zimmerman will also emerge as a quality starter. John Lannan is a proven young southpaw whose career ERA+ is 108. Add Marquis into the mix, and you've got a decent rotation 1-4, assuming Strasburg sees time in The Show next season.

I'm not going to lie. New York would have been neat. Obviously, it's a much bigger market, and Marquis grew up there. With the Nats, Marquis' remarkable postseason streak of 10 years is now in serious jeopardy, as is his 6-year run of 11 or more wins per season.

Coming into 2009, many thought Marquis would struggle pitching at Coors Field. That proved not to be the case, as his 3.92 ERA there demonstrates. I wouldn't count on the Nats vying for a playoff spot, but consider the turnaround the Seattle Mariners had last year. In 2008, they won 61 games. Last year, they won 85 games. Maybe, just maybe, the Nationals can also turn it around. And maybe Marquis can help them do it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Heavy is the Head that Wears the Triple Crown

Sandy Koufax won 3 (count 'em, 3) Triple Crowns as a pitcher. In 1963, 1965, and 1966 he led all of baseball in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. To say nothing of other statistical categories. Only Grover Alexander and Walter Johnson have equaled the feat.

But as impressive as winning the Triple Crown is, doing it as a hitter and doing it as a pitcher aren't analogous. In the last 40 years, 7 different pitchers have won the Triple Crown. Roger Clemens did it twice, making it 8 pitchers altogether. In the last 40 years, no hitter to date has won the Triple Crown (count 'em, 0).

In fact, the last man to do it was Carl Yastrzemski. That was way back in 1967. Yaz is in good company. Rogers Hornsby, Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Frank Robinson are all previous winners. Incidentally, Hank Greenberg led the AL in home runs and RBIs on 3 separate occasions (1935, 1940, 1946). He finished 7th in batting average in 1935 and 5th in 1940.

Al Rosen, if you can believe it, was 1 hit shy from joining this legendary list in 1953. And it's a hit that he may have actually gotten, but didn't get credit for.

Everyone knows Rosen won MVP in 1953. He led the AL in home runs (43) and RBIs (145) and finished 2nd in the batting title to Washington's Mickey Vernon. Rosen's robust .336 average missed the mark by a mere percentage point.

What everyone doesn't know is the controversy surrounding Rosen's last AB of the season and Vernon's would-be last AB. It's a good story, one you can find by following this link.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Scheyer On Fire

Duke senior guard Jon Scheyer had the game of his life against Gardner-Webb. Scheyer narrowly missed a triple-double; he had 36 points, 9 assists (both career-bests), and 8 rebounds. He was 11-13 from the field, 7-7 from the stripe (91.8% on the season), and 7-9 from behind the arc. His seven 3-pointers were also a career-best.

Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi scored a season-high 20 points against the San Antonio Spurs last week. Casspi's 3-point field goal percentage (49%) ranks 2nd in the NBA.

In his last 9 games, Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar is shooting 52.5% from the field and 43% from behind the arc.

Montreal Canadiens left wing Michael Cammalleri has 8 points in his last 6 games. On the season, he has 18 goals and 12 assists. Cammalleri ranks 6th in goals and 10th in shots on goal (114). He leads the NHL in even strength goals (15), which is kind of funny because last year he was 2nd in power play goals (19).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Going The Distance

1. Sandy Koufax - 137 complete games - 40 shutouts
2. Ken Holtzman - 127 complete games - 31 shutouts
3. Dave Roberts - 77 complete games - 20 shutouts
4. Joe Horlen - 59 complete games - 18 shutouts
5. Saul Rogovin - 43 complete games - 9 shutouts
5. Steve Stone - 43 complete games - 7 shutouts
6. Barry Latman - 28 complete games - 10 shutouts
7. Harry Eisenstat - 11 complete games - 1 shutout
8. Ross Baumgarten - 10 complete games - 6 shutouts
9. Jason Marquis - 6 complete games - 3 shutouts
10. Jose Bautista - 4 complete games - 0 shutouts

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009-10 Hot Stove Report

Right now the frontrunners for acquiring Jason Marquis appear to be the Mets and Nats. The Phillies, Mariners, and Yankees have also shown interest. Technically, the Rockies are in the hunt as well, but I don't think they're serious bidders. Marquis is looking for a multi-year deal and will likely get one, although it will be nothing like what the Cubs gave him.

Brad Ausmus is getting up there in years and can only be considered a backup catcher at this point in his career, but by the looks of things his list of suitors hasn't been deterred by this. Teams reportedly interested in Ausmus include the Dodgers, Giants, and Padres. So pretty much the entire NL West. The Nationals are also said to be looking at him.

The Padres are an intriguing possibility, as Ausmus and Aaron Poreda would form a Jewish battery. And if the Nationals wind up with Marquis, Ausmus and Marquis would form a Jewish battery should they also sign Ausmus. Just another wrinkle that makes this offseason interesting.

To my knowledge, 36-year old journeyman Scott Schoeneweis isn't in high demand. But over the course of his career, he's held lefties to a .606 OPS. Schoeneweis is the epitome of a lefty specialist, and every bullpen needs one of those.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cammalleri, Casspi, and Farmar

On the night of the Montreal Canadiens' 100 Year Anniversary, Michael Cammalleri scored 3 goals against the Boston Bruins. It was Cammalleri's 2nd hat trick of the season (Here is his 1st) and the 4th of his career. Through 29 games, he has 15 goals and 10 assists. He currently ranks in the top 10 in the NHL in goals, even strength goals (12), and shots on goal (102).

Omri Casspi, a product of Maccabi Tel Aviv, is having a very good rookie season with the Sacramento Kings. Through 18 games, he is averaging 10.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in 23:36 minutes while shooting 51.5% from the field and an incredible 51.2% from behind the arc. Unfortunately, he's also shooting 50% from the free throw line. Casspi has scored in double figures 10 out of the 18 games he's played. His high for the season is 18 points, which also happens to be his jersey number. Here's a cool buzzer beater from Casspi.

Jordan Farmar has picked up his production off the bench of late for the Los Angeles Lakers, scoring in double figures 4 out of the last 5 games, including a season-high 15 points against the New Jersey Nets. During that 5-game stretch, Farmar has shot much better from the field (56.7%, including 9 for 19 from behind the arc). Through 19 games, he's averaging 6.8 points, 2.3 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game in 17:41 minutes. And he's doing it in style. Here he is dunking with authority on a breakaway against the Suns.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Obscure But Impressive Stat of the Month

Ron Blomberg will forever be known as baseball's first designated hitter, but did you know his numbers were actually much better when he played in the field?

As a DH, his career line was .259/.319/.431 for an OPS of .749 in 655 PAs.

As a 1B, his career line was .311/.394/.512 for an OPS of .905 in 495 PAs.

As a RF, his career line was .339/.390/.504 for an OPS of .894 in 265 PAs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Minor Leaguers in 2009

(A special thanks to the Jewish Sports Review for compiling this list.)

Scot Drucker (RH SP - 27) Tigers - In Triple-A, he was 8-3 with a 4.78 ERA and a 1.363 WHIP in 113 innings, 9.2 H/9, 1.0 HR/9, 3.0 BB/9, 6.1 K/9, 2.03 K/BB. Was dominant at the University of Tennessee in 2004. He pitched in Triple-A and had a winning record. That has to count for something, right?

Sam Fuld (OF - 28) Cubs - In Triple-A, he put up a line of .284/.358/.415 for an OPS of .772 in 370 PAs, 23 SBs. A patient hitter and an outstanding outfielder who has solidified himself a spot on the Cubs' Opening Day roster in 2010. Had a good career at Stanford. He led the Pac-10 Conference in hits and total bases in 2002 and triples in 2003.

Jason Hirsh (RH SP - 27) Yankees - The 6' 8" righthander wasn't sharp in the Rockies' farm system the last few years, but seems to have found himself again in the Yankees' farm system. In 6 starts (26 2/3 innings), he was 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.125 WHIP in Triple-A. If this turnaround is legit, Hirsh could see a few spot starts next year. Can't be any worse than Sergio Mitre.

Brian Horwitz (OF - 27) Giants - In Triple-A, he put up a line of .290/.367/.414 for an OPS of .781 in 237 PAs. The Giants' outfield was abysmal last year. The FO should be looking for players with more plate discipline and more power. Horwitz doesn't possess a whole lot of the latter, but he boasts a career .387 OBP in the Minors. At the very least, he deserves a chance to be a backup outfielder.

Aaron Poreda (LH SP - 23) Padres - Splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A, he was 5-7 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.477 WHIP in 107 innings, 7.0 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 6.3 BB/9, 9.1 K/9, 1.44 K/BB. What happened to his command? In 2008, his BB/9 was 2.2 in 161 innings. He had a superb career at the University of San Francisco. The 6' 6" southpaw led the West Coast Conference in ERA in 2006. Baseball America has him ranked as the 10th best prospect (4th best pitching prospect) in the Padres' farm system.

Ryan Sadowski (RH SP - 27) Giants - Splitting time between Class A-Advanced and Triple-A, he was 7-3 with a 4.72 ERA and a 1.395 WHIP in 95 1/3 innings, 8.4 H/9, 1.3 HR/9, 4.2 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, 1.84 K/BB. Pretty underwhelming. It's amazing he got 6 starts with the Giants this year. Still, he wasn't too bad when called upon. Maybe he can build off his experience in the Majors.

Adam Stern (OF - 29) Brewers - Splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A, he put up a line of .285/.349/.377 for an OPS of .726 in 546 PAs, 31 SBs. It seems like Stern has been around forever. He's clearly still a threat on the basepaths.

Danny Valencia (3B - 24) Twins - Splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A, he put up a line of .285/.337/.466 for an OPS of .803 in 534 PAs. He hit 14 HRs, 38 doubles, and 4 triples. He drove in 70 runs and scored 79 runs. He was teammates with Ryan Braun at Miami.

Jake Wald (SS - 28) Giants - In Triple-A, he put up a line of .234/.322/.349 for an OPS of .671 in 293 PAs. His .832 OPS in 2005 looks like an aberration now. Must be a good shortstop to have hung around for so long.

Josh Whitesell (1B - 27) Diamondbacks - In Triple-A, he put up a line of .293/.398/.471 for an OPS of .869 in 274 PAs. Success in the Minors hasn't translated to the Majors yet, but then again it's a small sample size to draw from.

Double-A/Class A-Advanced

Eric Berger (LH SP - 23) Indians - Splitting time between Class A-Advanced and Double-A, he was 10-9 with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.292 WHIP in 144 innings, 7.8 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 8.3 K/9, 2.18 K/BB. His scouting report says he could develop into a crafty middle of the rotation starter. Given the sad state of the Indians' rotation now that Sabathia and Lee have flown the coop, Berger's ETA to MLB could be accelerated.

Jeremy Bleich (LH SP - 22) Yankees - Splitting time between Class A-Advanced and Double-A, he was 9-10 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.517 WHIP in 144 1/3 innings, 10.2 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 3.5 BB/9, 7.2 K/9, 2.07 K/BB. Pitched well in Class A-Advanced. Not so much in Double-A. Has a better arm and arsenal than these numbers show. Baseball America has him ranked as the 9th best prospect (4th best pitching prospect) in the Yankees' farm system.

Ike Davis (1B - 22) Mets - Splitting time between Class A-Advanced and Double-A, he put up a line of .298/.381/.524 for an OPS of .906 in 488 PAs, 20 HRs, 31 doubles. Mets fans need something to be excited about. Davis could be that something. Hit 20 or more doubles each year at Arizona State. His father, Ron Davis, was a decent relief pitcher back in the day. Baseball America has him ranked as the 4th best prospect in the Mets' farm system. Davis is also rated the organization's best power hitter.

Jonathan Fixler (C - 23) Astros - Splitting time between Class A-Advanced, Double-A, and Triple-A, he put up a line of .203/.275/.429 for an OPS of .704 in 207 PAs, 10 HRs. Not much to write home about, but 10 HRs in 182 ABs speaks to some power. However, I'd say Jason Castro has the catching job locked up in Houston. If all goes well, Fixler could be his backup.

Ryan Kalish (OF - 21) Red Sox - Splitting time between Class A-Advanced and Double-A, he put up a line of .279/.364/.457 for an OPS of .820 in 580 PAs. He hit 18 HRs, 24 doubles, and 6 triples. He drove in 77 runs, scored 84 runs, and stole 21 bases (only caught 6 times).

David Kopp (RH SP - 24) Cardinals - Splitting time between Class A-Advanced and Double-A, he was 6-4 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.472 WHIP in 90 1/3 innings, 9.6 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 3.7 BB/9, 6.4 K/9, 1.73 K/BB. The Clemson product pitched well in Class-A Advanced and poorly in Double-A. As long as Dave Duncan is the Cardinals' pitching coach, there's hope for anyone who is on that staff. All Kopp has to do is get there.

Jim Rapoport (CF - 24) Cardinals - In Double-A, he put up a line of .255/.358/.343 for an OPS of .700 in 543 PAs, 6 triples. He appears to possess some speed and athleticism, but it's usually not a good thing when your SLG is lower than your OBP. Was teammates with Bleich at Stanford.

B.J. Rosenberg (RH RP - 24) Phillies - Splitting time between Single-A and Double-A, he was 7-3 with 22 saves, a 1.18 ERA, and a 1.000 WHIP in 61 innings, 6.9 H/9, 0.0 HR/9, 2.1 BB/9, 10.8 K/9, 5.21 K/BB. These numbers are outstanding across the board. No home runs allowed in 61 innings jumps out at you.

Michael Schwimer (RH RP - 23) Phillies - Splitting time between Class A-Advanced and Double-A, he was 4-2 with 20 saves, a 3.20 ERA, and a 1.113 WHIP in 64 2/3 innings, 7.1 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 2.9 BB/9, 12.4 K/9, 4.24 K/BB. You've got to like the 12.4 K/9. Had a sensational career at the University of Virginia. The 6' 8" righthander led the Atlantic Coast Conference in saves and H/9 in 2008.


Daniel Berlind (RH SP - 22) Twins - In Single-A, he was 5-13 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.453 WHIP in 128 2/3 innings, 9.2 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 3.9 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, 1.73 K/BB. Hmm, not too good. But his record probably should have been a little better. And his 6' 7" frame should allow him to throw downhill.

Richard Bleier (LH SP - 22) Rangers - Splitting time between Single-A and Class A-Advanced, he was 9-12 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.243 WHIP in 167 1/3 innings, 9.9 H/9, 0.5 HR/9, 1.3 BB/9, 6.7 K/9, 5.21 K/BB. I'm digging the 1.3 BB/9. And apparently so are the Rangers; he's one of their top prospects. He led the Atlantic Sun Conference in wins, WHIP, and complete games in 2008. Bleier is a fan of Mark Buehrle (which makes me a fan of Bleier) and believes his style is similar.

Charlie Cutler (C - 23) Cardinals - Splitting time between Single-A and Class A-Advanced, he put up a line of .322/.408/.430 for an OPS of .839 in 459 PAs. And he's a catcher. Baseball America recently rated him with the best strike zone discipline in the Cardinals' farm system. Only problem is Yadier Molina stands in his way. Or rather crouches in his way.

Ben Guez (OF - 22) Tigers - In Single-A, he put up a line of .275/.320/.483 for an OPS of .802 in 438 PAs, 12 HRs, 7 triples, 34 doubles, 11 SBs. Looks like Guez has some speed and athleticism but is still a little raw.

Jeff Kaplan (RH SP - 24) Mets - Splitting time between Single-A and Class A-Advanced, he was 7-7 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.254 WHIP in 114 innings, 8.4 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 2.8 BB/9, 7.4 K/9, 2.61 K/BB. Seems like he's a fairly polished pitcher. He was a workhorse at Cal State Fullerton. The Mets currently have one reliable starter in Johan Santana. Kaplan has pitched well at every level so far. If that trend continues next season, I could see him in The Show as early as 2011.

Jason Knapp (RH SP - 19) Indians - In Single-A, he was 2-7 with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.237 WHIP in 97 innings, 6.8 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 4.4 BB/9, 11.4 K/9, 2.62 K/BB. I've read that he throws hard and has a very high ceiling. It must be true, as he was the centerpiece in the Cliff Lee trade. A power pitcher who is still developing. What applies to Berger also applies to Knapp; his ETA to MLB could be accelerated. Baseball America has him ranked as the 4th best prospect (2nd best pitching prospect) in the Indians' farm system.

Tyler Kolodny (3B - 21) Orioles - In Single-A, he put up a line of .226/.332/.372 for an OPS of .704 in 429 PAs. According to his scouting report, he has power, patience, a little speed, and terrific work ethic. Hasn't put it all together yet.

Ryan Lavarnway (C - 22) Red Sox - In Single-A, he put up a line of .285/.367/.540 for an OPS of .907 in 466 PAs, 21 HRs, 36 doubles, 87 RBIs. Outstanding production for a catcher. This Yale grad is one of the top prospects for the Red Sox. Big time power. Went to the same high school as Kolodny. He led the Ivy League in BA in 2007 and OPS in 2007 and 2008.

Brett Lorin (RH SP - 22) Pirates - In Single-A, he was 8-5 with a 2.20 ERA and a 1.049 WHIP in 123 innings, 6.9 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 2.6 BB/9, 8.5 K/9, 3.31 K/BB. His 6' 7" frame is imposing. He's drawn comparisons to the Padres' Chris Young. Was teammates with Berger at the University of Arizona. Another season like this one, and I think we're looking at Lorin's debut as a Buc in 2011. But I wouldn't rule out next September, either.

Ari Ronick (LH SP - 23) Giants - In Single-A, he was 7-6 with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.066 WHIP in 136 innings, 7.6 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2.2 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, 3.35 K/BB. If Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are any indication, the Giants' organization is pretty good at developing pitchers. Ronick and Poreda competed against each other in the same conference in college. It looks like they might also compete against each other in the same division in the Majors.

Josh Satin (2B - 24) Mets - Splitting time between Single-A and Class A-Advanced, he put up a line of .288/.389/.426 for an OPS of .815 in 548 PAs, 40 doubles. Was teammates with Cutler for 3 years at the University of California. Could Satin wind up being Luis Castillo's replacement at 2nd base?

Rookie League/Short-Season A

Mike Brownstein (INF - 22) Brewers - Splitting time between Rookie League, Single-A, and Double-A, he put up a line of .299/.410/.382 for an OPS of .792 in 297 PAs, 22 SBs. If he can get on base and keep swiping bags, he may have a bright future. He led the Mountain Valley Conference in hits, runs, doubles, and triples in 2009.

Nate Freiman (1B - 23) Padres - In Short-Season A, he put up a line of .294/.364/.484 for an OPS of .849 in 324 PAs, 11 HRs, 22 doubles, 68 RBIs. Listed at 6' 7" 240 lbs, he is a big man with big power. Hit 20 HRs as a senior at Duke. If Adrian Gonzalez is dealt and Kyle Blanks doesn't pan out, he could be next in line.

Casey Haerther (3B - 22) Angels - In Rookie League, he put up a line of .350/.386/.456 for an OPS of .842 in 225 PAs, 18 doubles. His brother, Cody, is in the Blue Jays organization. Casey's alma mater, UCLA, has produced some good third basemen (Troy Glaus and Garrett Atkins) in the last decade.

Jason Kipnis (2B - 22) Indians - In Short-Season A, he put up a line of .306/.388/.459 for an OPS of .847 in 129 PAs. Kipnis manned center field at Arizona State, where he was teammates with Ike Davis. However, Kipnis' days in the outfield could be over, as the Indians are intent on making him a second baseman. And he projects to be a good one. He led the Pac-10 Conference in triples in 2008 and hits, runs, doubles, total bases, walks, and stolen bases in 2009. Baseball America has him ranked as the 10th best prospect in the Indians' farm system.

Justin Milo (OF - 22) Yankees - Splitting time between Rookie League and Short-Season A, he put up a line of .256/.432/.389 for an OPS of .821 in 119 PAs, 6 SBs. Must have pretty good plate discipline. Went to Cornell before transferring to the University of Vermont. Led America East Conference in triples in 2008. Also played hockey in college.

Daniel Rosenbaum (LH SP - 22) Nationals - In Rookie League, he was 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 1.027 WHIP in 37 innings, 7.1 H/9, 0.2 HR/9, 2.2 BB/9, 9.2 K/9, 4.22 K/BB. If there is any team that needs starting pitching, it's the Nationals. Was teammates with Fixler at Indiana University in 2007 before transferring to Xavier.

Josh Zeid (RH SP - 22) Phillies - In Short-Season A, he was 8-5 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.054 WHIP in 79 2/3 innings, 7.2 H/9, 0.1 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 8.1 K/9, 3.60 K/BB. Didn't do much at Vanderbilt. Came into his own at Tulane.