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Double-A Transition Monitor: Blake Tekotte, Michael Fiers, David Newmann

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Double-A Transition Monitor

Blake Tekotte: A third round pick from the University of Miami in 2008, Padres prospect Blake Tekotte hit .310/.419/.522 in the first half of 2010 at Lake Elsinore in the California League, with 22 steals. 36 walks, and 46 strikeouts in 203 at-bats. Last year he hit .258/.345/.396 with 68 walks and 30 steals for Fort Wayne in the Midwest League, showing a broad base of skills. Tekotte's Double-A transition brought mixed results in the second half this year: .250/.324/.444, 10 homers, 26 walks, 63 strikeouts, six steals but nine caught stealing in 268 at-bats for San Antonio. Keep in mind the nature of his home park, which is quite tough on hitters: he hit .203/.288/.407 at home, but a much more robust .290/.356/.476 on the road. Tekotte's BB/K ratio deteriorated after his promotion, but he's always controlled the zone well and with more experience I think he can get a lot of that back. He's got some power, some speed, and does a lot of the small things well, although he needs to work on his baserunning against more experienced batteries. Some scouts also say that his swing gets too long at times. His makeup and hustle are highly-regarded, and I can see him becoming a very good fourth outfielder.

Michael Fiers: Here is a sleeper for you. The Brewers drafted RHP Fiers in the 22nd round last year, after he led NCAA Division II in strikeouts for Nova Southeastern. He went 10-3, 2.65 with a 145/19 K/BB in 109 innings, allowing 87 hits. Despite his college performance, a lot of scouts were skeptical: he was already 24 years old, ancient even for a college senior, and his fastball was just mediocre. But the Brewers liked his curveball, changeup, and pitchability, and used a late round pick on him. The results this year were quite good: 3.47 ERA, 94/23 K/BB in 93 innings, 78 hits for Brevard County in the Florida State League, then 3.69 ERA, 36/9 K/BB in 32 innings with 28 hits for Double-A Huntsville. His numbers didn't deteriorate at all as he made the Double-A transition, giving him a composite line of 3.53 ERA, 130/32 K/BB in 125 innings, 106 hits. He's 25 now and the Brewers made the right call moving him up to Double-A when he did. He's still not a premium prospect due to age and so-so velocity, but he knows how to pitch, and guys like this can surprise us.

David Newmann:
Injuries have slowed the career of Tampa Bay Rays lefty David Newmann. He lost a year of college ball to Tommy John, showed enough in 2007 at Texas A&M to be a fourth round pick, then missed all of 2008 with a knee injury. He had a nice comeback season in the Florida State League in '09, with a 3.44 ERA and a 128/46 K/BB in 131 innings, 108  hits, 1.81 GO/AO on the strength of his sinker, slider, and changeup. Moving  up to Double-A for 2010, he had a mediocre campaign, going 3-9, 4.50 in 114 innings, allowing 136 hits with a 80/45 K/BB. He continued to get ground balls with a 1.79 GO/AO, but the deterioration in his ratios spiked his FIP from 3.10 last year to 4.18 this year. I still find Newmann interesting; he gets the grounders with a fair number of strikeouts. He had a very sharp home/road split: 2.76 ERA, 43/19 K/BB in 59 innings and 62 hits at home,  6.34 ERA with 37/26 K/BB in 55 innings on the road with 74 hits. Overall, it wasn't a great transition, but it wasn't a total disaster, and I still think he should be tracked. The bullpen may be his eventual destination.