Minor League Notes, May 2nd, 2011

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 11: Johermyn Chavez of the Seattle Mariners plays the ball off the wall against the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark on March 11, 2011 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

**Question: Can Seattle Mariners outfield prospect Johermyn Chavez hit well against advanced pitching? He hit .315/.387/.577 with 32 homers last year for High-A High Desert in the California League, but hey, it was High Desert. Everyone hits there. So far, the results from Double-A Jackson are nothing special: .274/.319/.369 with one homers, five doubles, five walks, and 28 strikeouts in 84 at-bats. He's got some significant contact issues going on, hasn't duplicated the power, and is riding a high BABIP to a decent batting average despite the high strikeout rate. He's strong and has tools and is just 22, but I don't see him as a candidate for quick advancement barring a roster wipeout at higher levels.

**Florida Marlins outfield prospect Marcell Ozuna is off to a fine power start for Low-A Greensboro in the Sally League, hitting .259/.344/.568 so far, with seven homers, 11 walks, and 23 strikeouts in 81 at-bats. This is similar to the .267/.314/.556 mark he put up in the New York-Penn League last year, where he hit 21 homers for Jamestown. He murders fastballs but recognizing breaking balls and changeups has been an issue. He's made some progress this spring, with a much higher walk rate and fewer strikeouts, and at age 20 there's a good chance this is legitimate and not just a small-sample fluke. We'll track it.

**A slow start in 2011 for Detroit Tigers outfield prospect Daniel Fields, currently hitting .200/.330/.280 in 75 at-bats for High-A Lakeland. He's repeating the league but is still just 20 years old, and the .240/.343/.371 mark he posted there last year was better than it looked on the surface; his OPS was actually a touch above league average and he was quite raw for the level. He's not hitting well yet this year but his walk and strikeout rates are virtually identical, so this is plausibly just some bad BABIP luck and not a true slippage in his approach. He has great tools but is still a long way from refining them.

**Philadelphia Phillies outfield prospect Jiwan James is a tremendous physical specimen, but is still quite raw even for a 22-year-old. Results so far from High-A Clearwater: .262/.311/.393, four doubles, two triples, a homer, five walks, 17 strikeouts in 84 at-bats. This isn't much different than what he did last year in Low-A (.270/.321/.365), and a scouting report from a Florida State League source simply states: "he's the same Jiwan James I saw last year. He's fast, strong, athletic, but is still trying to figure out how to play." He's held back by a swing that doesn't translate his strength to power, and by poor pitch recognition.

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