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Minor League Notes, July 20, 2010

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 Here is a look at how 2010 draft picks who have signed are performing so far. Sample size considerations should keep both ecstasy and despair to a minimum, but I thought an update seemed like a good idea.

Christian Colon, SS, Royals: Assigned to the Carolina League, he's hitting .238/.314/.365 with four walks and 11 strikeouts in 63 at-bats for Wilmington. Defense has been so-so so far, with a .930 fielding percentage and a mediocre range factor, again keep in mind that sample size and minor league conditions prevent that from really meaning anything yet. I'd like to see the hitting pick up a bit, and I think it will. I'm not one to cut the Royals much slack, but I still think this was a good draft pick.

Chris Sale, LHP, White Sox: Sale started off with Winston-Salem in the Carolina League, pitching four relief innings with a 4/2 K/BB, three hits, and two runs allowed. He was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte a few days ago and has pitched 1.2 innings so far, fanning four with one walk. I don't think most non-White Sox fans realize he's in Triple-A already, and buzz from Chicago is that he could see the majors later this year.

Jake Skole, OF, Rangers: Skole started off in the Arizona Rookie League, where he went 8-for-28 (.286) with two doubles, five walks, five strikeouts, and three steals. This was enough for the Rangers to move him up to short-season A-ball with Spokane, where he has struggled against older competition, hitting .228/.308/.281 in 15 games, with 19 strikeouts in 57 at-bats. Given his age at just 18, it is not a surprise that he's having some trouble at this level, playing a lot of guys coming out of college programs.

Hayden Simpson, RHP, Cubs: He's signed but hasn't pitched yet, reportedly ill with some sort of virus and on the AZL Cubs disabled list.

Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Astros: On a strict pitch count for the Greenville Astros in the Appalachian League, has made four starts but with just 8.2 innings pitched, eight strikeouts, five walks, six runs. I report I have indicates his stuff has looked quite impressive but his command has been inconsistent, which is exactly what the numbers indicate and what you'd expect from a cold-weather high school guy.

Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Red Sox: .287/.397.417 in 30 games for Lowell in the New York-Penn League, 18 walks, 33 strikeouts in 108 at-bats, eight steals in nine attempts. Main worry here is the high strikeout rate so far, but he's also drawing some walks and scouting comment has been pretty positive. He's split his 30 games evenly between third base and DH. At the hot corner he's been very error-prone, with a horrid .826 fielding percentage to this point.

Kellin Deglan, C, Rangers: .286/.355/.357 so far in 10 games for the AZL Rangers, two walks, seven strikeouts. Not much power yet. Has performed well defensively so far, just one passed ball thus far, no errors, has thrown out 50% of runners trying to steal.

Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies: Local lefty has been hit pretty hard so far in rookie ball, 13 innings, 17 hits, 15 runs, six walks...but he's fanned 13, which is good. Sample size precludes any panic at this point and the Ks are good to see, but he doesn't look to be on the fast track at this stage, hardly unexpected given cold-weather background.

Cam Bedrosian, RHP, Angels: Has pitched just one inning in the Arizona Rookie League so far, giving up four hits and four runs.

Chevez Clarke, OF, Angels: Hitting .238/.304/.381 in nine games in the Arizona Rookie League, with two walks and 15 strikeouts in 42 at-bats. Numbers match scouting reports very closely: he has significant problems with command of the strike zone and contact. The physical tools are here but he needs a lot of polish and has a high risk of failure.

Justin O'Conner, C, Rays: Struggling so far, .155/.261/.259 with 18 strikeouts in 58 at-bats for the GCL Rays.  One positive is that he's drawn nine walks. His defense has been rough, too: in 10 games he's made three errors, coughed up five passed balls, and has caught just one runner while allowing 14 steals. As with everyone else on this list, the sample is tiny and there is no reason for panic yet, but his skills look rougher than expected.

Cito Culver, SS, Yankees: .250/.325/.319 in 20 games for the GCL Yankees, nine walks, 14 strikeouts in 72 at-bats. Nothing spectacular yet but at least he's drawn some walks. Five errors in 17 games at shortstop so far, .940 fielding percentage, range looks OK statistically so far, granted minor league statistical limitations.