Minor League Notes, August 30, 2010
**The first time I saw Jared Goedert play was in 2006 when he played for Kansas State University. He looked pretty decent at the plate, with some bat speed and a good approach, leading to a .337/.466/.609 line for the Wildcats, with 39 walks and 25 strikeouts in 184 at-bats. His tools were average, and he was drafted by the Indians in the ninth round that year. He had a terrific first half at Lake County in the Sally League in '07 (.364/.575/.715) which got him on the radar, but his season ended early with a shoulder injury, and he had mediocre seasons in '08 and '09, with more injury issues last year. 2010 has been another matter: .325/.382/.540 in 44 games at Double-A, .271/.354/.549 in 73 games in Triple-A, .290/.364/.545 composite line with 26 homers, 50 walks, and 104 strikeouts in 514 at-bats. At age 25 he isn't young as prospects go, but when healthy Goedert has legitimate pop and still has the aforementioned fairly polished approach at the plate. He's a fair defensive third baseman, and has also seen time at second base and the corner outfield spots. I could see him having some surprisingly good seasons in his late 20s, sneaking up on people.
**Another third baseman sneaking up on people is Cardinals prospect Matt Carpenter, currently hitting .326/.425/.509 with 12 homers, 63 walks, and 80 strikeouts in 371 at-bats for Double-A Springfield. A 13th round pick in '09 out of Texas Christian, he's shown admirable contact hitting skills in the Texas League this year, with a good feel for the strike zone. I'm not sure what kind of home run power he'll show at higher levels, but at worst he'll hit for average and get on base at a good clip. Reviews of his defense at third are mixed. Some scouts and coaches are quibbling about his footwork and the way he handles grounders, but statistically the results are outstanding: a .975 fielding percentage, a strong range factor, just seven errors compared to 18 double plays in 98 games. Minor league range factors are prone to problems, so I want to see what the TZR says at the end of the year and what the final scouting reports are like, but based on what objective evidence we do have, his glove is a strength.
**Dodgers prospect Brian Cavazos-Galvez put up some excellent numbers last year at the University of New Mexico, hitting .392/.439/.737 in 54 games, with 15 homers and 17 steals. He has decent tools, too, with more athleticism than is typical for a guy listed at 6-0, 215. He has a strong throwing arm (his dad Balvino was a major league pitcher). But he played his college ball at a thin air bandbox, and scouts weren't sure how his skills would translate into pro ball, so he fell to the 12th round in the draft. So far, his skills are translating very well: .316/.342/.510 in the Midwest League this year, with 40 doubles, 15 homers, and 42 steals in 55 attempts. He is very aggressive at the plate and has drawn just 12 walks, however he makes contact and has fanned just 58 times in 471 at-bats, an impressive number considering how much pop he's shown in a league that favors pitching. The main negatives here are his age (23) and the low walk rate, but his ability to make contact and drive the ball is notable and augers well for higher levels. Buzz among Midwest League sources is similar to what it was in college: he's got some tools, and his performance has been impressive, but there's still a bit of skepticism until we see him at higher levels.