Minor League Prospect Notes: June 22, 2012
**The Chicago Cubs activated 2011 first round pick Javier Baez from extended spring training in late May, and the results so far at Low-A Peoria are excellent: .317/.419/.556 with four homers, six walks, 17 strikeouts, and seven steals without being caught. He's made three errors at shortstop and I think he ends up at third base in the long run, although his cannon arm will work well at the hot corner. Baez's strikeout rate is a bit high, but Midwest League observers are very impressed with him overall, noting "explosive" and "amazing" bat speed. The video linked above doesn't have a huge payoff (he gets hit by a pitch), but you can see him working the count well against a sidearming right-handed pitcher.
**San Diego Padres prospect Jonathan Galvez has done nothing but hit in his first 22 games for Double-A San Antonio in the Texas League: .346/.426/.500 with 10 walks and 16 strikeouts in his first 81 at-bats. He's hitting .295/.354/.409 in his difficult home park, but a robust .405/.500/.784 on the road. Granted the samples here are small, but Galvez was a solid hitter in A-ball as well (.291/.355/.465 last year in the Cal League) and is just 21 years old. He hasn't received a ton of attention because scouts are lukewarm about him (or have been to this point) plus his defense doesn't draw great reviews. Originally an error-prone shortstop, he's still learning his way around second base. The bat needs to be tracked closely.
**Sleeper Prospect Watch: Shawn Payne was a 35th round pick by the San Francisco Giants in the 2011 draft from Georgia Southern University. I'm surprised he lasted that long in the draft: he hit well in college, will take a walk, is a good athlete, and is an amazingly effective basestealer. He stole 76 bases in 81 attempts in college, and so far in pro ball he's swiped 44 in 50 attempts, including 23-for-23 this year for Low-A Augusta. His line this year: .298/.400/.393 with 27 walks and 39 strikeouts in 178 at-bats. He doesn't have a lot of power, is a little old for Low-A, and needs to hone his outfield defense, but normally a guy with that kind of baserunning ability, patience at the plate, and solid college stats does not last until the 35th round.
**Super Duper pitching sleeper: right-hander Montreal Robertson in the Detroit Tigers system. He threw five shutout innings in his first start for Connecticut in the New York-Penn League, allowing three hits, walking no one, and fanning six. His fastball was reportedly at 90-96 MPH. Secondary stuff reportedly needs work and he's already 22, but he's big (6-4, 220), throws hard, threw strikes in his debut, and is definitely under the radar, having been a 29th round pick from Coahoma Community College in 2011. Here is some video of him from college: