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Tuesday 22nd Aug 2017

What a week it was this past seven days, for prospects being promoted to the big leagues. Never in my memory have more highly touted/potential impact players been summoned, so let's jump right into it, starting with the Mariners, who advanced . Signed as a 17-year old out of high school, Greg Halman has toiled in the minor since, with .247-116-340 totals, showing similar traits to his rookie teammate, Carlos Peguero. Over 545 minor league games, 47% of Halman's hits have gone for extra bases, although on the other side he has whiffed 725 times to just 147 walks. Halman has gotten off to a hot start hitting .444-0-2 over six games so far, and the outfielder actually did make an appearance last year going .138-0-3 over nine September games. The Mariners probably cannot afford to keep both rookie bats in the starting lineups at the same time, but their youth movement is in full swing, in fact expect Dustin Ackley at second base by month's end.

Speaking of second base, Oakland brought forth their #1 pick of the 2008 draft, Jemile Weeks,to spell the keystone while incumbent Mark Ellis recovers from a fussy hamstring. Weeks is another--like most on this list--drafted several times, his first being in the 8th round of the 2005 June fete by the team who presently have the rights to Jemile's brother Rickie. He played 19 games at Midland in 2008 (.297-1-8), then two levels in 2009 (.278-9-44), then two levels in 2010 (.272-3-34) and really excelled this season in the PCL at Sacramento, hitting .3w21-3-22 with ten swipes. An auspicious (.353-0-1) first week at the plate and in the field has new Oakland manager Bob Melvin with a poser when Ellis, who has not played more than 125 games since 2007, and only managed that feat twice over his career. There is a strong local sentiment to keep Weeks at second and spell the other infield spots with Ellis, who has been struggling at the dish this year.

The Indians have a nice treasure trove of infield prospects, and their transmogrification has also begun with the import of another second-sacker, Cord Phelps . A third round pick of the 2008 draft, the Stanford alum has a fine minor league resume of .288-21-169 over 340 minor league contest. Phelps spent part of 2010 at Triple-A Columbus, hitting .317-6-31 over4 273 at-bats, then .299-7-40 this season, and his 184 minor league walks to 244 strikeouts (.379 OBP) suggest a good eye, and though Phelps has started slow (.091-0-1) look for him to establish himself as the double play counterpart to Asdrubal Cabrera.

Yet another 2008 draft pick, Dee Gordon was promoted by the Dodgers to begin the week. A shortstop, Gordon signed with the LA after two years at Seminole Community College,  then moving up a level a year starting with 2008 at Rookie ball (.331-2-27), to A ball (.301-3-35), then Double-
A (.277-2-39) Chatanooga last year, and this year at Triple-A Albuquerque, hitting .315-0-18 over fifty games. Obviously speed is the thing, and Gordon has 166 as a minor leaguer, with a .353 OBP. The 23-year has gotten out of the blocks quickly with .304-0-0 numbers, that include four runs and two steals over his first week.

Next we can look at the hot corner, where the Royals, who are bringing up a different future star each week it seems, have upped the ante with the promotion of Mike Moustakas. "Moose" was the Royals first round pick in 2007, and out of high school the third sacker turned pro, going .293-0-10 over 11 games, then .272-22-71 at Burlington in 2008. In 2009 Moose hit the Carolina League (.250-17-86), but last year, split between AA and Triple-A, the then 21-year old rocked the house with .323-36-124 numbers that included 41 doubles and a solid 34 walks to 67 strikeouts, meaning he makes solid contact most of the time. Moose was hitting .287-10-44 at Omaha when called up and he has already knocked his first major league dinger. Jump on him.

The struggles of Jason Bay for the Mets hand as they brought up outfielder Lucas Duda, a seventh round selection of the Metropolitans out of USC. With .286-57-262 numbers in the New York system, Duda has 123 doubles and a good .383 on-base percentage with 244 walks to 376 strikeouts, Duda made a showing last year at Citi Field hitting .202-4-13, but chances are Duda, who is a big chap at 6'4", 255 pounds, is here to stay.

Colorado brought up their second selection in the 2008 draft in Charles Blackmon. Blackmon was originally selected out of high school by the Marlins in the 28th round of the 2004 draft, then the following year by the Red Sox in the 20th round, but instead the outfielder chose attending Georgia Tech. Since signing with the Rockies, however, Blackmon has been an offensive force, hitting .316-20-206 over 345 games. Blackmon shows some nice increasing power potential with 96 doubles. Better, he could be a fine table setter with 76 minor league swipes and a fine OBP of .376, with 106 walks to 197 strikeouts.

The Padres hope to fill the first base void left with the departure of Adrian Gonzalez with that of newcomer, Anthony Rizzo. In fact, the 21-year old was a seventh round pick of the BoSox in 2007, and was subsequently traded as part of the Gonzalez deal in the off-season. Rizzo has ..297-54-234 basic numbers as a minor leaguer over 344 games, with a fine .508 slugging percentage and more than acceptable .386 OBP (.894 OPS) Rizzo has started strong at PETCO, hitting .429-1-1 over his first week.

Finally, let's look at two major leaguers who were dropped this week, and then quickly snatched up by new clubs, starting with Bill Hall, whom the Giants plucked from Houston, hoping to fill some of the Freddy Sanchez void (something hard to do as Freddy is the Giants best hitter). Hall is a career .249-124-438 as a major leaguer, but his .308 OBP is bothersome. Still, since he plays short and second and in the outfield, Hall could be a valuable part of the Giants holding pace as they wait for their injured stars to return. He is, however, only worthy of consideration in a tight NL configuration.

Then, Jose Lopez, performing terribly at Colorado (.208-2-8) was released and then grabbed by the Fish. Still just 27, Lopez is just a couple of years removed from a fine .272-25-96 year, with 42 doubles. Like Hall, the OBP (.296, with 137 walks to 417 strikeouts) is the issue, but, often just a change of scenery makes such a difference for a struggling player. Note that Lopez is in the minors for now, but track him. It is baseball and you simply never know.

 

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