Minor League Notes, July 28, 2010
**Los Angeles Angels second base prospect Jean Segura has been on a tear at Low-A Cedar Rapids lately, hitting.362/.404/.606 in the month of July. His overall line now stands at .306/.352/.448 with 35 steals in 47 attempts, 30 walks, and 49 strikeouts in 366 at-bats. This is obviously strong performance across the board, keeping in mind that the Midwest League is not an easy place to hit. Segura hit .346/.392/.512 for Orem last year, but that was in the Pioneer League. The fact that he's remained productive in the Midwest circuit is a good sign for his future. Scouting word is that Segura is showing excellent bat speed, and while he's not a walk machine, his feel for the strike zone is solid, he makes contact, and could show more home run power in time. His defense draws mixed reviews from scouts, who pan his range and hands, although his defensive stats are pretty decent and he's not especially error-prone for a 20-year-old middle infielder. He looks like a strong prospect to me, moving from a C+ in the book to at least a B- and probably a straight B currently.
**One Midwest League infielder who didn't make the book is Minnesota Twins prospect James Beresford. An Australian, he hit .289/.342/.313 last year at Beloit in the Midwest League, showing speed and defensive ability, and enough athleticism to interest scouts. But he didn't show any power, with a miniscule ISO, which is why I left him out. Returning to Beloit this year, he's hitting .294/.350/.364 thus far, slightly better than last season, though as a league repeater that should be expected. The lack of power is still his biggest problem as a hitter. On defense, he's competent at shortstop and excellent at second base. His makeup is considered outstanding by Twins officials. He's 21 and needs to start showing more pop next year, but he could have a future as a utility infielder.
**Phillies prospect Trevor May began this year with High-A Clearwater, but was recently demoted down to Lakewood in the Low-A Sally League. In his first five starts for the Blueclaws, he's fanned 42 guys in 29 innings, with 10 walks and a 3.10 ERA. The K/IP is outstanding, no surprise given a fastball that can hit 95 and a power curve. His numbers in the Florida State League were less impressive: 5.01 ERA, 90/61 K/BB in 70 innings. . .the K/IP was still excellent, but the walk rate was much too high. The 20 year old May has a workhorse body at 6-5, 215. I'm a strikeout nut and I love all the Ks he rings up, even with the high walk rate I think he has huge potential going forward. I had him as a B- in the book and that still seems a fair grade given his command issues. I regard him as a breakout candidate for next year.
**After numerous injury related delays, San Diego Padres 2009 first round pick Donavan Tate is finally playing regularly again in the Arizona Rookie League, with mixed results: .232/.357/.377 in 19 games, with 13 walks, 33 strikeouts in 69 at-bats, and six steals in seven attempts. The good: he's trying to work the count and is drawing a good number of walks. He's using his speed very well on the bases. Scouts continue to praise his tools and athleticism. But there's one huge negative: his strikeout rate is beyond worrisome, fanning in almost 40% of his plate appearances. That's unacceptable at any level, but it is especially bothersome for a 19 year old in rookie ball with his pedigree. Given the sample size there is no reason to panic at this point, but concern is valid, and the pre'09 draft scouting reports about Tate's bat needing a lot of work were true.