Prospect Notes, March 22, 2012
**Arizona Diamondbacks prospects Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs get more attention, but teammate Patrick Corbin is worthy of notice as well. The southpaw is having a fine spring, posting a 12/5 K/BB in 10.2 innings, allowing seven hits and one run for a 0.84 ERA. A second-round pick of the Angels in 2009 from Chipola Junior College, Corbin came to Arizona as part of the 2010 Dan Haren trade. He posted a 4.21 ERA in 160 innings for Double-A Mobile last year with a 142/40 K/BB. He's made consistent progress refining his slider and changeup to go with his low-90s fastball, and has a future as a mid-rotation starter.
**Cincinnati Reds rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco is off to a slow start this spring, just 3-for-22 (.136) with a double, one walk, and two strikeouts so far. Word from Cincinnati is that the Reds aren't worried and want him concentrating on his defense at this point, expecting that the bat will come around. It doesn't sound like he's in any danger of losing his job, although he should be expected to share playing time with Ryan Hanigan.
**Seattle Mariners third base prospect Alex Liddi is having an excellent spring, 15-for-35 (.429) with seven doubles, a homer, three walks, and eight strikeouts thus far. His competitor at the hot corner, Kyle Seager, is also having a strong opening with a 14-for-40 (.350) mark with three homers, but a 0/9 BB/K ratio is a negative. Liddi has more raw power than Seager, but (spring stats aside) Seager is a better contact hitter and has a better defensive rep. I personally think Liddi's glove is better than his reputation, but I don't think my opinion matters to the Mariners. Vinnie Catricala is also having a strong spring with the bat (10-for-32, .313 with two homers.) Finding a way to get all these guys into the lineup is a nice problem to have.
**Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Marquis Fleming is a bullpen sleeper. He's given up four hits and one run in five innings of spring work, fanning six. A 28th round pick in 2008 from Cal State Stanislaus, Fleming isn't a hot prospect but his performance record is impressive, with a career 3.14 ERA and a 307/118 K/BB in 255 innings, with 193 hits allowed. He fanned 104 and gave up just 57 hits in 80 Double-A innings last year. His K/IP and H/IP marks are always excellent, but he does this without plus velocity, relying on a solid changeup. He has a chance to be a useful middle reliever if deployed wisely in short stretches.