Morning Notes, May 17, 2010
**We still need a scouting director for the Cincinnati Reds, so if you want to volunteer, scroll down to the Mock Draft thread and post in the comment thread.
**Dodgers prospect Scott Elbert is having severe command problems for Triple-A Albuquerque: 6.40 ERA with a 35/28 K/BB in 32.1 innings so far, with 38 hits allowed. The problem seems to be getting worse, his walk rate creeping upwards in recent starts, including a six-walks, five inning performance on May 16th against Salt Lake. He actually won that game, giving up just two hits and two runs, but overall Elbert is having issues. Right-handed hitters are hitting .319 against him, lefties are less effective at a .250 average and a 2.17 GO/AO, plus fewer walks. I know the Dodgers (and most of their fans) really want Elbert to succeed as a starter, but I still think his future is probably going to be in the bullpen.
**Giants outfield prospect Roger Kieschnick is currently hitting .276/.338/.388 in 36 games for Double-A Richmond. The Flying Squirrel hasn't shown the same kind of power he demonstrated last year in the California League, hitting just two doubles and three homers so far, but the transition hasn't been disastrous. He is actually showing a slightly improved BB/K ratio, which was his biggest weakness last year. There are some notable splits in his numbers: he's hitting .303/.358/.422 against right-handers, but just .160/.250/.240 against lefties. He also has a very strong home/road split, only .224/.288/.313 at home, but a much more robust .328/.385/.463 in the rest of the Eastern League. Although the sample size is small, he could be on the verge of a breakout: in his last ten games, he has a .529 SLG along with eight walks and just four strikeouts in 34 at-bats.
**One of my favorite pre-season sleepers is Yankees pitching prospect David Phelps. The Notre Dame product is living up to that tag, going 3-0, 1.60 with a 33/10 K/BB in 34 innings so far for Double-A Trenton, with 23 hits allowed. He has a solid low-90s fastball, and is making good progress with his slider and changeup according to Yankees sources. Keep a close eye on him.
**White Sox third base prospect Brent Morel is having a good transition to Double-A, hitting .308/.350/.444 in 34 games, including .351/.385/.514 in his last ten contests. Plate discipline is an issue: he's drawn just eight walks against 24 strikeouts in 133 at-bats. The strikeouts aren't bad but I would like to see a few more walks, granted his overall production has been just fine. He's a solid defensive third baseman, and if his offensive development continues at the current pace he should be ready for a major league trial next year, although I'd like him to get some Triple-A time in first. If I were running things, he would remain in Double-A until August, then move up to Triple-A at that point assuming his numbers remain where they are now.