Archive for May, 2014

Rendon Wreaks Havoc On Rangers

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Anthony Rendon blasted four hits, seven hits in his last two days against Ranger pitching to lead the Nationals to a 10-2 spanking of the Texas Rangers.  He also did it with the glove, robbing Adrian Beltre of a hit in the third inning.  The loss to the Marlins on Wednesday when the Nationals could not cross the plate after a bases loaded no out situation seems to have awakened the Nationals bats.  Or it could just be the Rangers pitching.

Rendon got things started early with a line drive solo homer off Nick Tepesch into the Rangers bullpen in the first inning on a 3-2 count to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.  Denard Span had opened the inning with a walk, but then got picked off at second.  It was the only run Rendon drove in for the day, but he hit singles in his next three at bats, resulting in three more runs crossing the plate.

Jayson Werth had a big hit in the second with a RBI single down the left field line, scoring Denard Span with Rendon just arriving ahead of the ball with the second run after an error by Shin-Soo Choo.  The two runs ended a four run inning.  Jose Lobaton sent a Tepesch pitch into the right field bleachers for a 2-run homer earlier in the inning.

In the fourth Elvis Andrus lost a Doug Fister pop up in the sun.  Rendon singled and Werth hit a hard ground ball to Andrus that should have been a double play to end the inning, but Andrus bobbled the ball, getting only one out.  Adam LaRoche made the Rangers pay for the misplays, sending a second ball into the right field bleachers for a three run homer off reliever Scott Baker.  Even though the three runs were earned Baker should have been out of the inning without giving up a run.

Doug Fister had a good outing.  He worked six innings, but with a big lead Matt Williams pulled him early.  He retired the first ten hitters he faced, but struggled a bit after that.  A leadoff walk to Alex Rios in the fifth and a bloop double by Roughned Odor on a ball that just nicked off the glove of Danny Espinosa scored the first run.  Earlier Denard Span made a nice catch of a Robinson Chirinos fly ball, crashing into the scoreboard in right field to rob him of a double.

Fister gave up his second run in the sixth after a double by Shin-Soo Choo to start the inning.  Mitch Moreland drove one into the right field scoreboard to drive in Choo, but Jayson Werth held him to a single by getting to the ball quickly.  This proved crucial when Adrian Beltre grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Scott Hairston pinch hit for Jayson Werth in the bottom of the sixth and extended the lead to 10-2 with a 2-run homer.

Game Notes: The blow out gave the Nationals an opportunity to rest Werth and Desmond late in the game, with Espinosa going to short and Nate McLouth moving to right while Scott Hairston played left…Nate McLouth has been one of the Nationals hottest hitter, but in this 12 hit game he went 0 for 4…The Scott Hairston homerun was his first of the season and 13th pinch hit homerun of his career.  That is the most of all active players.  He is also hitting .450 in limited at bats.  Matt Williams puts him in the lineup to face lefthanders, but with both Harper and LaRoche out the Nationals were not seeing a lot of lefties.  With LaRoche back the Nationals could see a few more lefties…The Rangers used pitcher Nick Martinez to pinch hit for Nick Tepesch in the third inning, Ron Washington saving his bench…Ryan Zimmerman is expected to join the Nationals next week.  He is playing two rehab games with Potomac.

Lotte Giants Break KBO Record

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

The Lotte Giants broke a KBO record for most hits in a game in their 23-1 victory over the Doosan Bears.  They collected 29 hits, breaking the record of 27 hits set in 1982.  The first two Giant hitters in the lineup, Hoon Jung and Jun-Woo Jeon scattered six hits apiece.  Leadoff hitter Jung crossed the plate five times.  Jeon led the Giants with six RBIs, including a 3-run homer in the seventh.

Chris Volstad had a rough start for the Bears, giving up eight runs on 13 hits.  His last two outings he has given up 23 hits in only eight innings of work.  Korean teams do not show a lot of patience with foreign players turning sour.

Shane Youman got the win for the Giants, working eight innings.

Despite the loss the Bears are hanging onto third place, two games ahead of the Nexen Heroes.  The Giants are in fifth place, three games back of the Heroes.  The top four teams make the playoffs, with the three time defending champs Samsung lions occupying the top spot and the expansion team NC Dinos two and half games behind in second place.

Kaneko No Hitter for Nine

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Chihiro Kaneko threw 144 pitches, striking out 11 and walking four, but not giving up a hit in his nine innings of work.  Unfortunately, his Orix Buffaloe teammates did not give him any run support.  The Yomiuri Giants got their first hit in the eleventh on a single by Yasuyuki Kataoka.  The Buffaloes loaded the bases with one out in the bottom frame and pinch hitter Wily Mo Pena did not fly out deep enough to score the run.  In the 12th and final inning Yoshiyuki Kamei hit his first homerun in his first game of the year and Yuya Kuba retired the Buffaloes in order in the bottom frame of the 12th to get the win.

Cuban Frederich Cepeda is finding Japanese pitching tough to hit.  He is hitting only .175, but a couple days ago he hit a grand slam homerun, his third homerun of the year.  With Leslie Anderson coming back from injury soon the Giants will have to make a decision about either dropping a pitcher (Chris Seddon) or a position player (Jose Lopez) to meet the four player minimum requirement for foreign players.  Scott Mathieson, their closer is a keeper.

Yulieski Gourriel has arrived in Japan and will play a couple minor league games (Ni-gun) before he makes his major league debut on June 6.  In an interview he said he hopes to lead the Yokahama DeNA Bay Stars to the Climax Series but is a bit concerned.  He is not fond of Japanese food.  The last time he was in Japan he lost 5 kilograms.  Myworld expects the Bay Stars to find him a chef to his liking.  The Japanese are quite fond of Cuban players because of the dominance they showed for so many years in international tournaments.

Andrew Jones broke a 0-0 tie with a walk off three run homer to lead the Rakuten Golden Eagles to a 3-0 win over the first place Hiroshima Carp.

International All Stars

Friday, May 30th, 2014

The major leagues will always have the American league play the National League in their All Star game.  Prior to the All Star game there is a prospect game that pits the best prospects from the United States against the best prospects outside the United States.  It would be similar to the World Baseball Classic, but what if you had a three day event pitting the best of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the rest of the World and the United States play in a single elimination event.

Using only the All star ballots the rosters would look like this.  To fill the bench each manager could pick an player from outside the All Star ballot.

Cuba

Not a lot of depth here and the pitching staff would be short.  But some solid bats to be competitive.

Catcher - Yasmani Grandal, First base - Jose Abreu, Second Base - Yunel Escobar, Shortstop - Alexei Ramirez, Third Base - Dayan Viciedo or Adeiny Hechavarria, Designated Hitter - Yonder Alonso, left Field - Yoenis Cespedes, Centerfield - Leonys Martin, Right Field - Yasiel Puig

The bench would be non-existent.  You would have to find some names outside the All Star Ballot.  The pitching staff without Jose Fernandez and Miguel Gonzalez would be Roenis Elias and Aroldis Chapman.  Cuba has seen a down trend in their pitching prospects, but some names are trying to trickle in from the minor leagues.  Carlos Rodon is another name to watch.  He will be a first round draft pick this year.

Other World

Catcher - Yadier Molina, First base - Adrian Gonzalez, Second Base - Jurickson Profar (though he has been injured), Shorstop - Andrelton Simmons, Third Base - Xander Bogaerts, Designated Hitter - Carlos Beltran, Left Field - Norichika Aoki, Centerfield - Armando Rios, Right Field - Shin-Soo Choo

You have a little more depth here with Joey Votto and Justin Morneau to play first base or DH.  Evereth Cabrera is an extra middle infielder and can play second base.  Yan Gomes and Geovany Soto would make nice backup catchers.  Armando Rios would make a good backup outfielder, or stick him in left field instead of Aoki.  The Yankees did not list Ichiro Suzuki for the All Star ballot.

The pitching staff would be led by Julio Teheran, Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma, Koji Uehara, WeiYin Chen, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenley Jansen.  That is a pretty good eight man staff.

Venezuela

Catcher - Salvador Perez, First Base - Miguel Cabrera, Second Base - Jose Altuve, Shortstop - Alcides Escobar, Third Base - Pablo Sandoval, Designated Hitter - Victor Martinez, Left Field - Carlos Gonzalez, Centerfield - Avisail Garcia, Right Field - Oswaldo Garcia

The team would have a number of backup catchers in Wilson Ramos, Miguel Montero and Dioneer Navarro.  Elvis Andrus, Omar Infante and Martin Prado would be the backup infielders.

Pitching staff would be a little short.  Felix Hernandez, Anibal Sanchez and Francisco Rodriguez would form the foundation of the staff.

Dominican Republic

Catcher - Wilin Rosario, First Base - Albert Pujols, Second Base - Robinson Cano, Shortstop - Jose Reyes, Third Base - Adrian Beltre, Designated Hitter - David Ortiz, Left Field - Starling Marte, Centerfield - Carlos Gomez, Right field - Melky Cabrera

You have two pretty good shortstops on the bench in Erick Aybar and Hanley Ramirez, but Ramirez could also play third base.  Aramis Ramiriez is another third baseman.  Alfonso Soriano could see the outfield and Edwin Encarnacion needs to get his bat in the lineup.  Almost forgot Nelson Cruz.  Too many talented players to fill a 15 man roster, and those are just the players named on the All Star ballot.

Pitchers would include Johnny Cueto, Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Fernando Rodney and Rafael Soriano to name a few.

United States

Catcher - Buster Posey, First base - Paul Goldschmidt, Second Base - Dustin Pedroia, Shortstop - Troy Tulowitski, Third Base - Josh Donaldson, Designated Hitter - Chris Davis,  Left Field - Bryce Harper, Centerfield - Mike Trout, Right Field - Giancarlo Stanton.

Take your pick of the All Star ballot here.  Jacoby Ellsbury could be a better option than Harper for the outfield.  Chase Utley would make a nice second base alternative.  Evan Longoria and Manny Machado could be at third.  Matt Wieters and Jonathan Lucroy would be two pretty good catchers.  Andrew McCutchen, Ryan Braun and Adam Jones could fill the outfield.

The pitching staff would be tough with Zach Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Adam Wainwright, Craig Kimbrel, Joe Nathan, Trevor Rosenthal, Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg to name a few.

We’ve probably missed a few names here, but the single elimination games would create some international excitement.

Minor League Pitchers to Watch in the “A” Leagues

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Myworld will focus more on strikeouts and WHIP when looking at the pitchers.  These are the pitchers to watch for 2015.

Carolina League

Christian Binford (Royals) RHP - He leads the league in strikeouts with 64.  Three Royal teammates follow him on the league leaderboard, Miguel Almonte (57), Jonathan Dziedzic (54) and Seth Manaea (53).  Binford leads that group with a 2.20 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.  In four of his last five games he has struck out eight batters.  The Royals selected Binford in the 30th round of the 2011 draft.

Ryan Merritt (Indians) LHP - He leads the league in ERA at 1.71, has a 6-2 record, with his six wins being more than any other Carolina League pitcher and he has an impressive 0.95 WHIP not topped by any other pitcher.  Ryan has not given up more than three runs in any of his 10 starts.  His six wins have already equaled his career high in the minor leagues.  Ryan was a 16th round pick in the 2011 draft.

California League

Ben Lively (Reds) RHP - Ben has been one of the more dominant pitchers in baseball with his 8-1, 1.48 ERA, putting him on top in wins and ERA.  He didn’t allow a run in his first four starts covering 23 innings.  The opposition is hitting only .182 against him, with right handed bats squirming for a .142 average.  Ben was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft out of the University of Central Florida and is due for a promotion to AA.  Other areas Ben leads is in strikeouts with 79 and WHIP at 0.84.

Josh Hader (Astros) LHP - The Orioles drafted Josh in the 19th round of the 2012 draft.  The Astros acquired him for Bud Norris.  He has not lost a game yet in the California League (4-0) and his ERA is 2.64.  He combined with two other pitchers on a no hitter in May.  The Astros rotate him back and forth between starting and relief, which they do with all their pitchers in the lower leagues.  He seems to fare much better as a starter (1.59) than out of the bullpen (5.27).  The opposition is hitting him at only a .190 clip with 60 whiffs in just 47 plus innings.

Florida State League

Daniel Norris (Blue Jays) LHP - Daniel Norris has been unhittable with the Blue Jays (4-0, 0.72) with the opposition hitting him at a .200 clip.  In five of his ten starts he has not given up a run, but his wins are limited because of his pitch count.  The second round 2011 pick has 60 strikeouts in his 50 innings of work and has yet to give up a homerun.

Taylor Cole (Blue Jays) RHP - We hate to take two Blue Jays from the Florida State League, but both have been so dominant.  Taylor leads the league in whiffs (82) with a 4-2, 2.31 ERA.  Taylor pitched seven shutout innings in his last start and has struck out 19 in his last two starts with only one walk, covering just 13 plus innings.  Taylor was a 29th round pick in 2011.

South Atlantic League

Matt Milroy (Marlins) RHP - Matt has pitched both from the bullpen and in the rotation.  He has a 0.85 WHIP, limiting the opponents to a .177 average against him.  Lefthanders are only hitting .119 against him, even though he throws right.  Matt is 5-3, 2.01 ERA with 67 whiffs in just 49 innings.  In his last nine appearances, three of them in relief he has struck out at least five hitters.  Matt was an 11th round pick in the 2011 draft.

Matthew Lujan (Giants) LHP - Matthew leads the league in ERA (1.44) with a 5-2 record.  He has yet to give up a homerun in his 50 innings of work.  Lefthanders struggle against him (.182) , but he must do a better job retiring righthanders (.276).  In his last four starts he has only given up one run or less, striking out at least six.  He is a bit old for Low A (25) but he was never drafted, pitching at the University of San Francisco.  This is his second year in the South Atlantic League, so he is due for a promotion.

Midwest League

Austin Kubitza (Tigers) RHP - At 6′5″ 225 he looks pretty intimidating when staring down from the mound.  He has not seen a loss this season (5-0, 2.08) with the opposition hitting him at a .197 clip.  His 65 whiffs are third in the league, including a 12 strikeout performance in seven innings of work on the first day of May.  Austin was a fourth round pick of the 2013 draft out of Rice.

Robbie Aviles (Indians) RHP - His first five appearances were in the pen, but his last five have been as a starting pitcher.  One of those starts he threw six no hit innings.  In high school he got some publicity for throwing back to back no hitters.  Robbie is 1-1, 1.45.  His only downfall is his lack of strikeouts (31 in 49 plus innings) but the opposition has trouble making hard contact, hitting him at a .192 clip.  The Indians drafted him in the seventh round of the 2010 draft.  He failed to win a game until his third season in the minor leagues, going 0-4 in two seasons of short season ball.

Bat Flipping Maestros

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Yasiel Puig is criticized for flipping his bat after he hits a homerun, or thinks he hits a homerun.  If you see him in the dugout he hangs around Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu too much.  Ryu has probably shone him vidoe of the kings of bat flipping.  They hang out in Korea, where the KBO has the best bat flippers in baseball.

Just go to http://www.mykbo.net/KBO_news and see some of the best in action.  While you’re watching find some appropriate music to bring the bat flipping to life.  Myworld finds bat flipping kind of cool.  If pitchers can pump their fist after a strikeout players are allowed to flip their bat after an impressive homerun.  Or if you are a player like Jose Altuve and stand only 5′5″, any homerun.

Tournament 12 Rosters

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Tournament 12 is an opportunity for Canadian high school players to show their draft eligible stuff for 2015.  It is named after the uniform number Roberto Alomar wore when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays.  Last year was the first year the tournament was held.  Eight rosters will compete at the Rodgers Center, home of the Toronto Blue Jays to display their talent from September 16-20.  The two big names most scouts will be watching are outfielders Josh Naylor and Demi Orimoloye.  The two top pitchers in the game will be Mike Soroka and Matt Ianni.

You can see the rosters for the eight teams here: http://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/articles/tournament-12-rosters-2/.  The eight teams are the Ontario Green, Ontario Black, Futures Navy, BC Orange, Alberta Red, Prairies Purple, Atlantic Gray and Quebec White.

Baseball in Kosovo

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Not a country many of us are familiar with.  It is also a country that is not familiar with baseball.  Michael Johnstone would like you to go to his website http://www.kosovobaseball.org/, introducing you to Kosovo.  In return he hopes to introduce the sport of baseball to Kosovo.

Some of the things they need in Kosovo to get started is baseball equipment.  It is a country that was torn apart by wars a decade ago with Yugoslavia, which treated Kosovo as their own but had conflicts with the largely Albanian population.  Slobodan Milosevic and others were prosecuted for war crimes for the actions they took against the Albanians in Kosovo.

As Kosovo develops as a country their ability to engage in sports is limited.  Earning incoming and creating jobs is the first step in their development.  Leisure activities come later.  Soccer and basketball are currently the most popular sports in Kosovo, but if Michael Johnstone has his way he would like to add baseball to that love. To start any training he will have to be satisfied with converting soccer fields to baseball fields to begin this training.

To assist in this venture he has provided an open invitation to any players or coaches to help with the teaching.  Don’t expect any financial motivations.  Any teachings will have to be done with the heart.  The one caveat is they are a Christian organization.  With more than 90 percent in the country practicing Islam, this could create a challenge in itself.  It would be nice if they could teach the sport without forcing the students to change their religious beliefs. There is room in this world for many sports as there is room in this world for many religions, and those who prefer to just worhip Karma.

Marlins on the Rise; Nats Continue Slide

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

These are two franchises running in opposite directions.  Coming into this season fan’s expectations for the Nationals were high.  Those expectations are dropping faster than the batting averages of Danny Espinosa and Anthony Rendon.  Injuries have been a factor, but they acquired players to give their bench depth.  That depth has been absent.

The Marlins were all about Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez and wait for some of the youth to develop.  Any hope for a playoff run was for 2015, not 2014, especially after Fernandez blew out his elbow ending his year with Tommy John surgery.  The surprise is the youth are developing faster than any one expected.  The Marlins have a way of manufacturing runs to win ball games.  The Nationals find ways to spoil rallies with poor at bats with runners on base.

It all came down to a team’s ability to drive in runs with the bases loaded and less than two out.  The Nationals had the bases loaded with no one out in the bottom of the eighth.  Anthony Rendon failed to make contact after fouling a number of balls for a strikeout, Jayson Werth hit a gigantic popup to the infield that even if dropped was an infield fly, and Adam LaRoche grounded out to first to end the rally.

The Marlins loaded the bases in the top of the tenth with one out.  They did what the Nationals failed at.  Casey McGehee drove a deep drive to left that hit the wall to score one.  Reed Johnson laced a double into the corner to score two.  Donavan Solano hit a pinch hit single to score a fourth run.

The Nationals were able to tally a run in the bottom of the tenth, but by then it was too little too late.  The Nationals seem to always be late for dinner and by the time they sit at the table the food is cold and the company, meaning the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins have eaten and left for better things.

Jordan Zimmermann did not pitch well and with an ERA now above 4 this is not an aberration for 2014.  He was fortunate to have baserunning mistakes squelch Marlin rallies.  Christian Yelich led off the game with a double.  He broke for third when Derek Dietrich hit a hard grounder to Ian Desmond.  Desmond easily threw him out at third.  Giancarlo Stanton lined a single up the middle which may have scored Yelich from second, or at least advance him to third with less than two outs.  Instead it left the Marlins with first and second, inviting Casey McGehee to ground into a double play.

In the fourth the Marlins raked Zimmermann for four runs on five hits and one walk.  It could have been worse, but Giancarlo Stanton was caught between second and third when Derek Dietrich was held up at third after a Casey McGehee single.  This did not stop the Marlins from continuing their onslaught of Zimmerman.  Singles by Garrett Jones, Marcell Ozuna and Adeiny Hechevarria drove in three runs and a poor throw to the cutoff man by Jayson Werth allowed Ozuna to race home with the fourth run.  Another case of sloppy Nationals fielding digging them a deeper hole than they need to be in.

The Nationals had their share of baserunning blunders.  Ian Desmond was thrown out at first after Giancarlo Stanton made a nice running catch of a Kevin Fransden line drive.  The Nationals put runners on first and second with two outs against Henderson Alvarez but failed to come up with the big hit.  Wilson Ramos grounded back to the pitcher in the first inning and Anthony Rendon lifted a lazy fly ball to center in the fifth.

Fortunately for the Nationals, Henderson Alvarez had to leave the game after five innings because of tightness in the elbow.  They got to relief pitcher Chris Hatcher for three in the sixth.  Back to back singles by Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos and a walk to Ian Desmond loaded the bases with one out.  Kevin Fransden struck out, but the man who appeared to be an automatic out, Nate McLouth came through with a two run double.  The Nationals were gifted their third run on a throwing error by Marlins first baseman Garrett Jones.

Wilson Ramos hit his first homerun of the year with two out in the seventh to tie the game.  The ball landed into the Marlin bullpen.  The homerun was hit off his name sake A.J. Ramos.

Game Notes:  Wilson Ramos picked off Casey McGehee in the top of the ninth with runners on first and second with two out.  In the bottom of the ninth he popped a single down the right field line, but tried to motor to second.  For Wilson, that motoring is always in fifth gear and Giancarlo Stanton easily threw him out…The Nationals were able to get a couple two out singles from Kevin Fransden and Nate McLouth in the bottom of the ninth to put runners on first and third with two outs.  Ex-Marlin Greg Dobbs came up to pinch hit and get some revenge for his release by the Marlins and finish the game with a walk off hit.  He popped to first instead to send the game into extra innings…A kid ran out on the field for twenty yards and then raced back to the lower right field bleachers by the left field foul pole.  He thought he was home free once he got back into the stands, but the hefty security guard defied gravity and was able to pull herself over the fence.  The kid then knew he was in trouble and the fence was not going to act as a force field.  He tried to run away, but a fan stopped his advance.  Here is hoping his dad is subject to a large fine and the kid has to work his tail off to pay it…With the Nationals down 4-0 and a runner on second Tyler Moore swung at a 2-0 pitch and lifted a lazy fly ball to center.  In that situation you want to get on base so taking a strike was the operative action.  One of many reasons why the Nationals have difficulty manufacturing runs…Nate McLouth was hit by a foul ball struck by Anthony Rendon when taking his lead off third base.  Rendon battled, fouling off six or seven two strike pitches, but in the end he struck out.  With the bases loaded and two out in the sixth inning he flied out to the right field warning track.  He finished the night 0 for 5 to further drop his batting average…Rafael Soriano comes into the game with a 0.87 ERA, but there are calls to replace him.  He puts a lot of men on base, but very few of them score.

Single A Hitters to Watch

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Myworld took a look at A ball and identified two to three players in each league we felt were making an impact in the 2014 season.  They may not be the best prospects in the league, but the players are certainly making their mark.  While this may not be good enough to put them on a major league roster in 2014, watch for them in 2015.

Carolina League

Joey Gallo (Rangers) 3B - When Adrian Beltre is ready to hang it up the Rangers will have Joey Gallo ready for this position.  His 18 homeruns is a minor league high and despite his 55 whiffs in 49 games he is hitting .323.  He has also drawn 44 walks, but that is because pitchers fear pitching to him.  Look for a promotion soon to AA.

Jose Peraza (Braves) 2B - He was moved from shortstop because he wasn’t going to beat out Andrelton Simmons.  He leads the Carolina League in stolen bases with 25 and is second in the league in hitting with a .330 average.  The Venezuelan does not hit for a lot of power, but he makes contact, a new skill major league teams may want to focus on in this age of strikeouts.

California League

Corey Seager (Dodgers) SS - The son of Kyle who occupies third base for the Mariners, Corey could also occupy third base, but the Dodgers hope he meets the shortstop requirements.  He is tearing up the California League with a .361 average and his 1.003 OPS leads the league.

Teoscar Hernandez (Astros) OF - This is the definition of a five tool player.  The Dominican is hitting .291 with 12 doubles, seven triples and eight homeruns.  His 43 RBIs is second in the California League.  Teoscar also has 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts, but as a teammate of Carlos Correa his exploits may be getting over looked.

Anthony Kemp (Astros) 2B - At 5′6″ he could be a Jose Altuve clone.  His .340 average is second to Seager and his 20 stolen bases is second in the league.  Despite his small frame he has hit three homeruns.  The 2013 5th round pick has an impressive 29/23 walk to whiff ratio, showing an ability to get on base.

Florida State League

Brandon Nimmo (Mets) OF - The first round pick in the 2011 draft is finally starting to make waves.  The Florida State League is not an easy league for launching balls out of the park, so Nimmo is content with the gappers, hitting .340 with a 45/43 walk to whiff ratio to give him a league leading .952 OPS. The lefthanded hitter is hitting .357 against lefties.

Dalton Pompey (Blue Jays) OF - The Canadian will be a player to watch next year for myworld’s top ten Canadian prospects list.  Somehow we missed him last year.  The 16th round 2010 pick is hitting .333 with 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts.  His .899 OPS is second to Nimmo.

South Atlantic League

J.P. Crawford (Phillies) SS - The cousin of Carl is second in the league in hitting with his .344 average.  He also is showing good patience at the plate with a 25/24 walk to whiff ratio.  With Jimmie Rollins getting long in the tooth, the Phillies could be in the need for a shortstop in a couple years.  The lefthanded hitter rakes much better against right handed pitching (.359) than lefties (.281), especially when you consider slugging percentage (.531 vs. .313).

Carlos Asuaje (Red Sox) 3B - Listed at 5′9″ the Venezuelan packs a powerful punch.  His .990 OPS leads the league, fueled by a .313 average and a .447 OBA.  His 31/25 walk to whiff ratio shows patience and an ability to get on base.  His .543 slugging percentage is benefited by his seven triples.  Carlos has sent only three balls over the fence.  The left handed stick needs to improve his production against lefties (.229, .257 slugging).

Midwest League

Sebastian Elizalde (Reds) OF - Myworld missed out on him when putting together our top ten Mexican prospects list.  All he has done this year is lead the Midwest league in OPS (.995) with a .318 average and a 32/31 walk to whiff ratio.  He has also slugged seven homeruns.  The Reds signed him in 2013 after the 22 year old played four seasons in the Mexican League.  The lefthanded hitter is only hitting .148 versus lefties with a .259 slugging percentage, otherwise his numbers would be really impressive.

Herschel Powell (Athletics) OF - The 2012 20th round pick leads the Midwest League in hitting with a .337 average.  He also has a .456 OBA with a 38/36 walk to whiff ratio.  In his first two years in the league Herschel did not hit a homerun, but he already has two this year.  The down side is a 9 for 19 success rate in stolen bases, something that would not make Billy Beane happy.