Important Recent Promotions: Jacob Turner, Paul Goldschmidt, Brett Lawrie
A trio of top prospects has been promoted to the majors recently: pitcher Jacob Turner of the Detroit Tigers, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and of course third baseman Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays, who was called up Thursday evening. Normally all three guys would have been Prospect of the Day when promoted, except I already wrote about each of them earlier in the year and I don't want to recycle content. Nevertheless, I want to take a brief updated look at the trio.
Jacob Turner was Prospect of the Day back on June 14th.
Turner posted a 3.48 ERA with a 90/32 K/BB in 114 innings for Erie before his promotion, allowing 112 hits. He made one start for the Tigers and pitched quite well, going 5.1 innings and allowing two runs on three hits, three walks, while fanning six. He was sent down to Triple-A Toledo after the Tigers acquired Doug Fister.
The most recent word is that the Tigers want to be careful about his innings load. He is expected to finish the season with the Mud Hens, although it is possible he could still see some major league action if another starter is needed in August or early September. His first start shows what he's capable of, and his pre-season rank as an elite prospect has certainly been confirmed.
Paul Goldschmidt was Prospect of the Day on June 4th.
His batting average tailed off after my initial report, as he hit "just" .290 in June and .271 in July, though he retained excellent OBP (.405, .432) and SLG (.602, .553) marks both months. His final numbers for Mobile before his promotion: .306/.435/.626, with 30 homers, 82 walks, and 92 strikeouts in 366 at-bats.
Despite these gaudy numbers and his significantly reduced strikeout rate compared to 2010, scouting opinion on Goldschmidt remains mixed, with some scouts still doubting that his hitting success will translate to the major league level. I am among the optimists, although right now I'm not sure if I would give him a strong Grade B+ or a Grade A-. Fortunately I don't have to decide that for another five months, assuming he doesn't end up exceeding rookie qualifications.
Brett Lawrie was Prospect of the Day on June 3rd.
As you know, Lawrie ended up missing all of June and most of July with a hand injury, but he's back in action now and showed no ill effects from time off, hitting .348/.415/.609 in 17 games for Las Vegas after returning. He ended up hitting .353/.415/.661 with 18 homers, 26 walks, 53 strikeouts in 292 at-bats, with 13 steals in 15 attempts overall. My take on Lawrie now is the same as it was in the June report: he's going to be a masher, and his numbers are not merely a statistical illusion created by the Pacific Coast League and Las Vegas. His bat speed is truly outstanding.
Lawrie may have some strike zone issues at first, and he'll commit some errors at third base, but Lawrie has everything needed to be a star hitter, and I think people will be pleasantly surprised by his defense.