Minor League Notes, May 27, 2011
**Oakland Athletics shortstop prospect Grant Green is hitting .282/.345/.391 in 38 games for Double-A Midland in the Texas League, with a 14/38 BB/K ratio in 175 plate appearances. His OPS is slightly below average for the Texas League this year, with the big difference compared to '10 being a large drop in isolated power. Reports indicate that he's not pulling the ball very often this year, and there's some concern that the 20 homers he hit in '10 might not be repeatable outside the California League. I wouldn't conclude that just yet, but the issue bears watching. Defensively, he's reduced his error rate and shown better range compared to last year in the California League, increasing the chance that he can remain at shortstop.
**Texas Rangers shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar is on fire at Low-A Hickory, hitting .452/.595/.871 in his last 10 games, with nine walks and just three strikeouts in 31 at-bats. Power, plate discipline...he's doing everything, and is clearly showing no ill effects from an April wrist injury. He's combining this hitting outburst with good reports about his shortstop defense. Profar is just 18 years old, and if he maintains the power he's shown this year, he'll not just live up to already-high expectations, but exceed them. I had him as a Grade B+ pre-season, and an upgrade to A- seems very likely.
**New York Mets prospect Reese Havens is back in action now, 3-for-11 with two doubles, two walks, and five strikeouts since being activated earlier this week for High-A St. Lucie. He was just moved up to Double-A Binghamton and should be in the lineup there tonight. Havens has played just 155 games after being drafted out of South Carolina in 2008, hampered by a cornucopia of physical ailments. In those 155 games, he's hit .262/.364/.466 with 26 homers, 31 doubles, 82 walks, and 138 strikeouts. His defense at shortstop was mediocre, but at second base his glove has been solid statistically (.982 fielding percentage in 32 games, above-average range factor). When healthy, he's been exactly the player scouts expected him to be coming out of college: a mediocre batting average combined with power, patience, and solid defense at second base. But can he stay healthy? Only time will tell.
**Chicago Cubs outfield prospect Matt Szczur is on a tear for Low-A Peoria, hitting .405 in his last 10 games, stealing seven bases in that stretch. Overall, he's hitting .336/.407/.395 with 12 steals in 13 attempts, with a 14/11 BB/K in 119 at-bats. Drafted in the fifth round last year from Villanova, Szczur is an excellent athlete with blazing speed. This helps him on the bases obviously, and he's also a very strong defensive outfielder. He has a feel for the strike zone and makes contact; about the only flaw is a lack of home run power, though he's shown considerable pop in batting practice and scouts think more homers could come eventually. His name would be worth 26 points in Scrabble.