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Monday Potpourri

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Monday Potpourri

**Braves prospect Jason Heyward is off to a fast start at High-A Myrtle Beach, hitting .325/.438/.650 in his first 11 games. He's already hit three homers and four doubles, perhaps indicating that his power is increasing this year, and his plate discipline has remained very sound with seven walks against eight strikeouts in 40 at-bats. He's 6-for-15 (.400) against lefties, so he's had no platoon issues either. Given the perils of sample size early in the season, it is too soon to draw broad conclusions, but it looks like his building marvelously on last year. I'm certainly rooting for him; he's become a personal favorite.

**Tigers outfield prospect Casper Wells had a breakout '08 season, and an excellent Arizona Fall League campaign. He didn't make the Tigers roster this spring and was sent back to Double-A, where he went 1-for-6 in four games, but with seven walks and zero strikeouts, demonstrating terrific discipline obviously. However, he went on the disabled list with a sprained wrist on April 14th, and so far there is no timetable for his return.

**Drew Sutton is an older prospect who had a breakthrough campaign last year, hitting .317/.408/.523 with 20 homers, 76 walks, and 20 steals for Double-A Corpus Christi. The Astros didn't seem to really believe in him, however, and he was traded on April 16th to the Cincinnati Reds for Jeff Keppenger. Sutton is 4-for-15 (.267) so far in five games in Triple-A, with two walks. A switch-hitter, he rates as a Tony Graffanino-type utility player in my estimation, not spectacular but a guy who is versatile and does just enough with the bat to help you if you don't overexpose him.

**Tampa Bay outfield prospect Desmond Jennings missed most of 2008 with a shoulder injury, but he's off to a fast (and healthy) start in 2009, going 5-for-6 Saturday with three RBI, overall hitting .372//.426/.558 in 10 games for Double-A Montgomery, with five steals in five attempts. He's showing his trademarked speed and gap power, though he hasn't hit a home run yet, and his strike zone judgment (three walks, nine strikeouts) has been weaker than his previous standards. I doubt that will be a long-term problem, and the strong start in his first look at Double-A pitching is certainly a promising sign.

**Off-Topic. Today's musical interlude, some old Billy Joel, "Say Goodbye to Hollywood." The best version of this song is on the wonderful live album Songs in the Attic.