Monday Afternoon Notes
I'm working on the high school and junior college stuff. Here are some Monday thoughts for you.
**I went to the KU/Nebraska game here in Lawrence on Friday night. The main guy who caught my eye was University of Nebraska third baseman Cody Asche. There wasn't a lot of pre-season hype about him, but he stood out. He's hitting .348/.443/.705 so far with nine homers and 18 doubles, 21 walks and 22 strikeouts in 132 at-bats. That's a great statline with the new metal bat, and he looks good in person, too. He's a 6-2, 200 pound left-handed hitter, with a batting stance reminiscent of a young Alex Gordon, although he doesn't have Gordon's athleticism.
Asche has some bat speed, controls the zone well, and hit a long home run off a mistake changeup from Kansas starter T.J. Walz. He's got a good arm and decent range, but his fielding percentage hovers around .900 and Big 12 observers think a move to first base will be necessary in the long run, which hurts his draft stock. Still, the bat is very interesting and he could get picked on the first day.
**Kansas high school superstar and Cornhusker quarterback recruit Bubba Starling (dressed in Nebraska attire) was hanging around the ballpark. The guy oozes athleticism and tools even in street clothes.
**We're a few games into the minor league season now, and "daily notes" will start up later this week along with Prospect of the Day. Early performances of players I'm watching closely...
**Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie: 6-for-16 (.375) with two doubles, a triple, two walks, and two strikeouts so far for Triple-A Las Vegas. Key thing I am watching here is his BB/K/AB ratio for a read on his plate discipline. That was his main caution flag last year in Double-A. We'll also be watching for reports or rumors about his mercurial makeup, as well as his defense.
**White Sox prospect Jared Mitchell: how is he recovering from last year's brutal injury? He's 3-for-14 so far for High-A Winston-Salem, with a homer and a triple. He's also drawn zero walks with seven strikeouts and hasn't stolen any bases yet. I don't like the strikeouts but he's got some rust to work off.
**Yankees prospect Jesus Montero is off to a fast start for Triple-A Scranton, 6-for-15 with a homer. No surprise there.
**Diamondbacks prospect Paul Goldschmidt is on a tear in Double-A so far, 4-for-12 (.333) with all four hits being home runs. He's also drawn five walks against two strikeouts. He showed enormous power in the California League last year, but there was pre-season skepticism about his plate discipline and high strikeout rate, and if he could bring his power forward to a less-friendly hitting environment. So far it hasn't been a problem.