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Update and Minor League Notes, July 9th, 2010

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This video of Christian Friedrich is from last year in the California League,but you can at least see what he looks like



Update and Minor League Notes, July 9, 2010

**Rockies prospect Christian Friedrich had a great start yesterday for Double-A Tulsa, allowing four hits and one run in seven innings, walking two, fanning 12. This follows a nine-strikeout-in-six-innings start on July 1st, giving him a 21/5 K/BB in his last 13 innings of work. Friedrich's overall line now stands at 4.94 ERA, 69/28 K/BB in 71 innings, 73 hits., 4.10 FIP. Word from Texas League sources is that Friedrich's stuff is currently the same as last year in the Cal League, 90-93 MPH fastball, good curveball, average changeup, but that his command within the strike zone hasn't been quite as sharp, his velocity was a bit down early in the year, and that more-experienced Texas League hitters are laying off junk that Cal League hitters would chase last year.  He missed time with a sore elbow earlier in the season, likely a contributing factor to the early velocity slippage, but he appears healthy now.

**I've received several questions this week about Mets third base prospect Aderlin Rodriguez, who has hit seven homers in his first 16 games for Kingsport in the Appy League, giving him a .292/.329/.692 line, four walks, eight strikeouts in 65 at-bats. Sample is tiny, of course, but a fast start is always better than a slow one, and I like the fact that he is combining a low strikeout rate with this much power production. Defense remains a problem: his .878 fielding percentage is awful, but is admittedly better than the horrifyingly Lovecraftian .774 fielding percentage he had last year in the Gulf Coast League. I suspect he'll end up in right field eventually, but the bat looks very promising to me. He's just 18 and hopefully the Mets won't rush him as badly as they've pushed some of their other prospects in recent years.

**One of my favorite players from this year's draft is Eddie Rosario, Puerto Rican outfielder picked in the fourth round by the Twins. So far, so great in rookie ball: .333/.400/.556, five walks, seven strikeouts in 45 at-bats, five steals in five attempts. I still don't understand how a guy described as a "young Bobby Abreu" lasted until the fourth round.

**John Lamb....he's suffering from "Broken Stat Line Syndrome" since he's split his 17 starts between two levels and thus might not show up on a cursory examination of statistical leaders. But the Royals prospect has a combined 1.56 ERA with a 108/30 K/BB in 92 innings, 70 hits allowed. His combined FIP is a run higher than the ERA at 2.59, but that's still damn good. Scouting reports from both Midwest and Carolina League sources are glowing, noting big improvements with his secondary pitches and an uptick in velocity. I think he's completely legit and a candidate for Top 20 pitching slot by the end of the year.

 **I will be going to Des Moines tomorrow night for a quick one-day trip to see Logan Morrison and the New Orleans Zephyrs play the Iowa Cubs on Sunday afternoon. Forecast calls for rain, but I'm going to make the trip anyway in the hopes that it pans out.  I will try "tweeting" from the game, which starts at 1 pm Sunday. I also hope to come away with some usable video. I won't be writing much this weekend, but will have internet access so I can keep tabs on any trouble, and Jeri will be here to stomp on any problems that I don't catch. Please don't cause any.

**There will be a cosmetic change on the blog starting Monday afternoon, the first of many updates and enhancements coming your way. The Minor League Ball Facebook page is also going to be revamped and made actually useful. Due to technical complications I have not been updating it, but that will also change soon. Stay tuned.