Prospect Notes, March 17, 2012
**Los Angeles Angels shortstop prospect Jean Segura belted two homers in yesterday's game against the San Diego Padres. He is 8-for-20 (.400) in camp with a double, the two bombs, six RBI, four walks, and three strikeouts. The best news is that he's showing no ill effects from the hamstring injury that limited him to just 44 games last year. Word is that scouts are quite impressed with his bat speed, and while his track record indicates that he's not going to draw a lot of walks, he has some feel for the strike zone. It will be interesting to see if the spring walk rate carries forward. Segura is intriguing to observe in person, because he has "thick legs" and doesn't look like the typical middle infielder, although he moves around the field quite well.
**Boston Red Sox catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway is on a tear, going 5-for-5 in his last two games and with an overall line of .471/.500/.529 in 17 at-bats this spring. I don't think anyone really doubts his bat at this point, and scouts are starting to come around about his glove, which has improved dramatically both statistically and visually. Sometimes it takes awhile for a player's defensive reputation to catch up with his actual performance.
**Chicago White Sox pitching prospect Nestor Molina got beat up in his first spring outing back on March 5th (seven hits and five runs in one inning), but has been more effective in his last two games, throwing four shutout innings with a 4/0 K/BB. Overall he's given up 10 hits and five runs in five innings, but with a 5/0 K/BB. With just 22 innings of Double-A under his belt he'll need some additional refinement time, but I remain a big fan and I think he's going to out-pitch his scouting reports.
**Houston Astros lefty Xavier Cedeno fanned two in an inning of work today against the New York Yankees. He now has five whiffs in 2.1 innings of work over three games this spring, with zero walks and two hits allowed. The 25-year-old from Puerto Rico made a brief appearance with the Astros last summer and gave up seven hits and five runs in 1.2 innings, but I think more opportunities will come. He's a lefty, he's breathing, and his diverse arsenal (87-92 sinker, cutter, curveball, changeup) can be quite effective when his command is on. Cedeno isn't a hot prospect, but could plausibly have a surprise season in him at some point.