Welcome back to the final regular season Hotpage of the 2011 season, which believe it or not is our 16th.
Now I go into winter mode, but I will be back the first Monday of November with a review who I liked at the Arizona Fall League.
In the mean time do turn into Mastersball daily as we will continue coverage of football and also keep you abreast of the important happenings in the baseball world.
For now, let's look at a final cluster of prospects, largely pitchers who made some kind of mark over the last week, starting with the awesome Matt Moore of the Rays. Drafted in the eighth round of the 2007 June soiree, Moore has shot through the Tampa Bay system starting with Rookie Ball (2-2, 1.93) over 2007-08, to Class-A (14-16, 3.27) in 2009-10, then blasting through Double-A Montgomery (8-3, 2.20) and Triple-A Durham (4-0, 1.37) this season before his call-up. Moore has minor league totals of 28-21, 2.64 over 497.1 innings, with 338 hits allowed, 212 walks, and an incredible 700 whiffs. Moore is a guy to want to grab and hold going into 2012. Or at least target for next season if you league throws them back.
Pretty much on the opposite end of the draft ladder is Brad Peacock, whom the Nats plucked out of the 41st round of the 2006 June fete. Peacock really broke through this year, going a cumulative 15-3, 2.39 split between Harrisburg (10-2, 2.01) and Syracuse (5-1, 3.19) over 146.2 innings, As a minor leaguer Peacock is 34-38, 3.93, over 584.1 innings, with 540 strikeouts to 533 hits and 199 walks (1.25 WHIP). Wednesday, during Peacock's first major league start, he bested the Mets allowing six hits and a run over 6.1 innings. Peacock is not overpowering like Moore, but on another team working hard at rebuilding from within, everyone merits a look. That includes Peacock.
Everett Teaford is another member of the 2006 draft, having been selected in the eighth round of the affair. The somewhat diminuative (5'11", 155) lefty really broke through last year at Double-A Northwest Arkansas where he went 14-3, 3.36 over 99 innings, then moving through Triple-A Omaha this season with 3-2, 3.36 totals over 35 innings. In the minors Teaford managed 46-29, 3.98 over 625.2 innings (492 strikeouts, 192 walks, and 595 hits allowed). Teaford made his first start last Sunday against the Mariners (that would be September 11) shutting Seattle out on three hits over five innings. Teaford is not dominating, but, this is a team with a lot of prospects and a lot of possibilities and Teaford could fit in nicely in a fourth starter role.
As long as we are looking at the Royals, catcher Salvador Perez has been quietly putting up very nice totals with .322-1-12 totals over 31 games and 118 at-bats (including eight doubles). The 21-year old Venezuelan was also signed in 2006 and as a minor leaguer hit .285-20-177 over 340 games and 1288 at-bats. Perez is somewhat of a free swinger in that over that spread he has just 71 walks to 134 whiffs, but the reality is the young backstop does make solid contact and that is a good thing. And, at 6'3", 230, Perez could still have some emerging power making him worth watching in a Freddy Sanchez kind of way.
Another backstop who merits some attention would be the Rockies Wilin Rosario, another 21-year old catcher who put together .267-61-216 numbers with 66 doubles and nine triples to go with 101 walks to 354 strikeouts. That least a .316 OBP which is a little worrisome, but Rosario also showed emerging power with .285-19-52 totals over 270 at-bats at Double-A Tulsa last year, improving to .249-21-48 this year, also at Tulsa. That means the youngster earned two-thirds of his dingers over the last two seasons, and that, coupled with the fact that Rosario skipped Triple-A altogether when he jumped to Coors Field earlier this season makes him more than interesting.
As long as we are looking at teams looking for new identities with prospects, the Bucs are also in the park and shortstop Pedro Ciriaco might well be their future up the middle. The 25-year old Dominican was originally signed by the Diamondbacks along with Chris Snyder for Ryan Church, D.J. Carrasco, and Bobby Crosby at this year's trade deadline last year. In a season split between Triple-A levels last year, Ciriaco was .265-6-57 over 119 games, with 24 doubles, eight triples, and 19 swipes. This year at Indianapolis the infielder was .231-2-24 before being called up, and if he has a flaw it would be that nagging strike zone judgement as his 110 walks to 510 strikeouts is only good for a .297 on-base percentage as a minor leaguer. Act accordingly.
Though they are hardly rebuilding, Texas still has done brilliantly at drafting and signing promising players, and 20-year old Venezuelan pitcher Martin Perez is the latest to push it to Arlington. Another southpaw, Perez has overall numbers of 20-24, 4.22 over 413.1 minor league innings, with 446 hits allowed to 393 strikeouts with 172 walks. But, remember he is just 20, and this year split between Double-A and Triple-A he was 8-6, 4.33, with 120 strikeouts to 56 walks over 137.2 innings, allowing 156 hits. Expect his control and dominance to emerge and improve.
Let's finish the season within the AL West and Mariners, and their property in Anthony Vasquez, one more left-handed pitcher, originally selected by the Angels in the 49th round of the 2005 draft, then in the 18th round of the 2009 draft by Seattle. Much more of a control pitcher than his pitching mates this week, Vasquez is 25-23, 3.28 as a minor leaguer, with 267 whiffs over 3.84 innings, and just 77 walks to 405 hits surrendered. Vasquez is one of those guys who needs to have his command always to be successful, and judging by his 1-4, 8.25 totals so far at Safeco over 24 innings and five starts, Vasquez has some work to do to be worthy of full time consideration in the majors or on your roto team.