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A Pair of Outfielders

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A couple of tidbits for you.

A unique photo of Brent Clevlen as a high school pitcher

Brent Clevlen, OF, Detroit Tigers
Lakeland outfielder Brent Clevlen went 2-for-6 Thursday, with a double and a home run and four RBI. This raised his numbers to .297/.374/.487 on the year, including 21 doubles, 14 homers, 42 walks, and 90 strikeouts in 374 at-bats. A second-round pick in 2002 out of high school in Texas, Clevlen was a favorite of mine until a very poor 2004 season for Lakeland. He returned to the Florida State League this spring and has turned things around, with substantial improvements in all offensive categories. His walk rate is up considerably, as he's returned to the good plate discipline he showed earlier in his career, learning to lay off the pitches on the outer half of the zone that were a problem for him last season. As a league-repeater, Clevlen will have to show he can carry this progress forward to the next level, but he is still just 21 years old. If he had gone to the University of Texas instead of signing with the Tigers, he would probably have been something like a second round pick this past June. The question now is, should he be promoted to Double-A for August, or does leaving him in A-ball for the rest of the year make more sense?

Cubs prospect Ryan Harvey in high school
Ryan Harvey, OF, Chicago Cubs
Peoria outfielder Ryan Harvey went 3-for-3 with a double and a stolen base Thursday, raising his numbers to .272/.320/.510 on the season, including 25 doubles and 18 homers. The sixth-overall pick in the 2003 draft, out of high school in Florida, Harvey is having a successful full-season debut, and has shown he is recovered from the injuries which limited his playing time in '03 and '04. He has the best raw power in the Cubs farm system, but I think they need to be careful how they handle him. His BB/K/AB ratio is 19/91/349: a below average walk rate, combined with a high strikeout rate, more than one-K per game. He usually kills fastballs, but I'm told he has a lot of problems right now against competent breaking pitches and changeups, and it is likely that he will face major adjustments at higher levels. At age 20, he has youth on his side, which is good because I think he will be a one-step-at-a-time type prospect. Fantasy-wise, he represents a high risk/high reward option in most leagues, intriguing but a long way from being ready to help.