I wanted to get some "updated" opinions on Oakland 1B prospect Chris Carter. Last season there was a lot of discussions about this guy and what type of player he might become. I've heard comp's from Ryan Howard to Russell Branyan and everything inbetween. For the most part it sounds like many people think because of the high K rate he has shown over his professional career, and especially last year in the CAL league, that he will end up a low average, solid power guy at best. It also seems that these opinions of Carter change year to year as I recall people being quite high on him after his 2007 SAL league season where he batted .291/.383/.522 with 25 HR and 93 RBI in 126 games. That season he had 112 K's in 467 AB's so it was obvious he struck out his fair share, but last season he K'd 156 times in just 39 more AB's and despite the huge power numbers he put up, many soured on him quite a bit as a result of the jump in K's.
This year, in his age 22 season at AA Midland he is hitting .301/.405/.515 with 9 HR and 46 RBI through 60 games. As expected with a departure from the CAL league his HR numbers have taken a dip, but with his 22 doubles its still obvious the guy has good power but may have changed his approach a little to raise his BA and cut down on his K rate. It seems to be working for Carter as his average is up quite a bit, and he has cut his K rate down with 57 K's in 239 AB's. His walk rate is also up as coming into today he already has 38 on the year. I personally expect him to start hitting for a little more power as we get deeper into summer and warmer weather, and if he maintains the rest of his numbers this will translate into quite a nice, and suprising (to many) season for the young man.
So my question to everyone is has Carter's season thus far increased his stock as a prospect?? If he is able to maintain his higher average, K rate and BB rate throughout the season and comes out with a slash line of something like .295/.400/.530 does he jump into top 50, or even top 25 territory? Obviously there are still questions about his defensive ability, but he has been playing 1B almost exclusively this season and may have found a defensive home there where he can turn himself into at least an average defender. What are peoples thoughts on him at this stage in the season??