Minor League Notes, June 29, 2011
**San Francisco Giants outfielder Francisco Peguero has recovered from his knee injury and is back in action for Double-A Richmond, where he's 7-for-20 (.350) in his first five games. He has no walks or extra base hits yet and has fanned twice. He got into 16 games for High-A San Jose, where he hit .324/.387/.441 with four steals in four attempts.
A healthy Peguero has plus speed and has some power in his bat, though his weak plate discipline could be a problem. It didn't hurt him much at San Jose last year, where he posted a .329/.358/.488 line in 510 at-bats despite a poor 18/88 BB/K ratio. The 23-year-old Peguero could be a 30-steal, 10-homer per year guy in the majors, but we'll have to see how his aggressive hitting style holds up against pitchers better able to exploit his weaknesses.
**The Braves and White Sox made a little-noticed transaction back in April, Chicago selling Triple-A outfielder Stefan Gartrell to Atlanta. Gartrell is hitting .275/.321/.558 on the season with 16 homers and 54 RBI combined between seven games at Charlotte and 59 more at Gwinnett in the International League. Gartrell was a 31st round pick back in 2006 from the University of San Francisco, and has been a consistent power producer at all levels of the minors. His biggest problem is poor plate discipline and problems with breaking balls, and he's drawn just 12 walks this year. Still, he sees enough mistake pitches to put some bombs in the bleachers. Gartrell is 27 and has limited upside, but if he gets hot at the right time he could give someone a power boost.
**Someone asked me if I was worried about Kansas City Royals outfield prospect Wil Myers, currently hitting .288/.374/.417 for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He entered '11 as a career .324/.429/.533 hitter in A-ball, and the querent was concerned about Myers not hitting for as much power this year. The answer is that I'm not worried at all. He had a month off due to a knee injury, and he's performing just fine considering that he's only 20 years old and is playing in Double-A. He's drawn eight walks in his last 10 games, and as long as he keeps controlling the strike zone like that, the power will come back eventually.
**Oakland Athletics prospect Michael Taylor had a very disappointing 2010 season for Triple-A Sacramento last year, hitting just six homers after knocking 20 in the Phillies system in '09. This year, he's played 36 games for Sacramento since being activated in mid-May and is hitting .285/.348/.493 with eight homers, so he's already exceeded last year's home run output. Seven of these homers have come in June, so he seems to have rediscovered the power stroke he lost last year. At age 25 he needs to stay hot to keep himself in Oakland's plans.