**A friend emailed me last night to point out Chuck Tiffany's line at Class A Vero Beach: 16 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 9 walks, 26 strikeouts. Yes, a 26/16 K/IP ratio. It doesn't get much better than that. Tiffany has an excellent curveball and changeup, and good velocity (87-90) for a 20-year-old lefty. Continued domination of the Florida State League will earn him a promotion to Double-A soon, if the Dodgers hold with the pattern they established with Chad Billingsley and other young pitchers over the last few years.
**Carlos Quentin is blowing through the Pacific Coast League. The D-backs outfield prospect is at .387/.556/.839 through 12 games, with 4 homers. His plate discipline has been excellent: 12 walks, only 4 strikeouts in 31 at-bats. Yes, it's the PCL, but the sharp strike zone judgment shows that this is not all a thin air fluke. He's ready for the Majors in my opinion.
**Howie Kendrick is a favorite of mine, similar in some ways to a young Marcus Giles: booming bat, questions about his glove at second. Hes' at .419/.429/.710 so far in 13 games for Rancho Cucamonga in the Cal League. Despite this hot start, I would be careful about promoting him right now if I were the Angels: he's drawn just 1 walk against 10 strikeouts thus far. He has an extremely quick bat, and it is possible he will continue to dominate Class A even with weak plate discipline. If I were running the Angels farm system, I'd leave him at Rancho until late June, then reassess. If he's still dominating, even with mediocre discipline, I'd go ahead and promote him anyhow and see how he adjusts.
**Chris Shelton has little left to prove in the minor leagues. The Detroit farmhand is at .425/.489/.675 through 11 games for Triple-A Toledo, 3 homers, 11 RBI, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts. Once again, the question here is defense, and finding a spot for this DH/1B/C on the major league roster. Right now he is shaking off rust after his Rule 5/injury season on the major league bench last year, but the WD-40 seems to be working quite well.
**2004 Twins first-round pick Trevor Plouffe has been a bit overmatched in his initial week of full-season play, going 3-for-36 (.083) in 10 games for the Beloit Snappers in the Midwest League. The young shortstop is controlling the strike zone OK, with 2 walks but just 3 strikeouts, and 2 of his 3 hits have been for extra-bases, so he's making contact and has shown some ability despite the early slump. If the slump continues, he'll likely move down to Elizabethton when the short-season leagues open up in June. It's too early to worry about him at this point. Keeping his confidence up through this rough patch will be the key factor.
REMINDER: I did an AQA thread at Bleed Cubbie Blue.