Minor League Notes, May 14, 2012
**Boston Red Sox outfield prospect Bryce Brentz went 5-for-5 against Trenton on Sunday for Double-A Portland, raising his season mark to .279/.323/.426 overall. He hit 30 homers in A-ball last year but hasn't shown the same kind of production against Double-A pitching this year, with just three homers and seven doubles thus far. Scouts continue to praise his bat speed and pure power potential, but he still gets pull happy and his approach has been very aggressive, overly so if the numbers are any indicator, with just seven walks against 36 strikeouts in 122 at-bats. On the other hand, he's been heating up in May (.441/.472/.706) after a slow April (.216/.266/.318).
**We mentioned Chicago White Sox outfield prospect Jared Mitchell already this spring, but we need to mention him again since he's pitched into a horrific slump, hitting just .114 with 18 strikeouts and only two walks in his last 10 games, lowering his season line for Double-A Birmingham to .266/.385/.444. He was hitting .341/.471/.562 in May 1st with a 19/21 BB/K, but his plate discipline has totally collapsed since then, dragging the rest of his numbers down rapidly. Mitchell has all the tools to be a regular outfielder and when he's controlling the zone and making contact he looks like a star, but he just hasn't been able to do those things consistently.
**Keep an eye on Los Angeles Dodgers outfield prospect Joc Pederson, hitting .333/.410/.444 with six walks and 10 strikeouts in 54 at-bats since being activated for High-A Rancho Cucamonga in the California League. Drafted in the 11th round in 2010 from high school in Palo Alto, California, Pederson is making a big leap to High-A after spending most of 2011 with Ogden in the short-season Pioneer League. He's got some contact issues at times, but he makes a good effort to work counts and has some zip in his bat. He just turned 20 in late April and I like his potential to be to hit for a high average with on-base skills and at least moderate power.
**Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Starling Marte is back in action for Triple-A Indianapolis today after missing a week with a hand injury. He's hitting .261/.325/.435 overall, with seven walks and 27 strikeouts in 115 at-bats, while swiping nine bases in 13 attempts. Triple-A pitchers have been getting him to swing at pitches outside the strike zone and have held his production in check, at least compared to last year when he hit .332/.370/.500 in Double-A. He remains a highly-intriguing prospect due to his athleticism, but it seems like a good plan to get him as many Triple-A at bats as possible before expecting him to take over a spot in Pittsburgh.