Hit and Run, June 17, 2009
**Brett Lawrie came off the disabled list at Class A Wisconsin and went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI on June 15th. He'd been out of action for a week following surgery to repair a broken nose. So far, Milwaukee's 2008 first-round pick has looked good with the bat, hitting .277/.344/.481 with eight homers and a surprising 11 steals in 187 at-bats. Although he looks like he should be a "slow slugger" type on paper (listed at 5-11, 200), Lawrie is actually a very good athlete. I still have doubts about the whole second base thing, worrying that the demands of the position could cut into his offensive performance.
**After a dismal May, Lars Anderson has really heated up in June, hitting .386/.460/.523 for Double-A Portland, including a .457 mark with five walks and six strikeouts in his last 10 games. His season line now stands at .269/.355/.435, not great but still showing the effects of his awful .194/.318/.376 performance in May. He hit well in April and so far this month. I retain confidence in his bat.
**A sleeper pitcher to watch is Rockies prospect Esmil Rogers, currently 5-2, 2.82 with a 67/15 K/BB in 73 innings for Double-A Tulsa, 66 hits allowed. I didn't put him in the 2009 book, which looks like a bad decision right now. He went 9-7, 3.95 with a 116/45 K/BB in 144 innings last year in the California League, not outstanding but showing some pretty solid command; he was worthy of inclusion. A 23 year old Dominican, Rogers is not a big guy at 6-1, 160, but his fastball has been clocked as high as 96 MPH, granted that's a peak reading and 88-92 is more usual according to Texas League sources. He's made progress with his curveball and changeup, and he throws strikes. I want to get a look at him and am planning a Tulsa trip soon.
**Stat Line of the Day: Jordan Parraz, OF, Northwest Arkansas: .350/.446/.512, 26 walks, 22 strikeouts in 203 at-bats. I never understood why the Astros didn't seem to like this guy. He has tools, and he has skills, yet they never seemed to want to promote him, and they traded him to the Royals for Tyler Lumsden.
**University of California product Josh Satin was an old college senior last year at age 23. He had a great year, hitting .379/.500/.723. Gaudy numbers out of old college seniors don't often result in high draft status, but Satin (who had also hit well in the Cape Cod League) was talented enough to be drafted in the sixth round by the Mets. He is now an old Sally League player but continuing to produce, hitting .311/.414/.414 with 41 walks in 222 at-bats. His power has been limited with just two homers so far, though he does have 17 doubles, and his on-base skills seem solid. He played multiple positions in college and is being groomed as a utility player, spending time at second base, first base, and third base so far this year. Because of his age (24 in the Sally League) we really need to see more at higher levels, but I think he's very interesting.
**Switch-pitching Pat Venditte is another older Sally Leaguer, turning 24 at the end of his month. His numbers at Charleston are ridiculous: 0.94 ERA, 39/1 K/BB in 29 innings, 21 hits allowed, 20 saves in 26 games. He's holding lefties to a mere.121 average, right-handers to a .239 mark. If I were the Yankees, I'd be very willing to promote this guy. . .he has nothing left to learn at this level, and I want to find out if his game will work against better competition.