Good afternoon prospect watchers. The big news in prospect-land today is of course the promotion of Xander Bogaerts to the major leagues by the Boston Red Sox. Over the Monster will have complete coverage, and XB will be tomorrow's Prospect of the Day here at Minor League Ball. That will push the projected schedule I posted yesterday back one day, but I warned that could happen if there was an important promotion. This counts.
As a very quick preview of my opinion, I think Bogaerts is ready to help and is a clear Grade A prospect, but the hype machine is going thick and heavy here and expectations need to be realistic. This isn't (or shouldn't be) something like Mike Trout playing shortstop and he's not the Aruban Wade Boggs. Xander is a terrific prospect, but he's also 20. Don't expect him to be the pennant savior.
***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread.
***The Dodgers moved Corey Seager up to Rancho Cucamonga in the High-A California League a couple of weeks ago. He was dominating in the Low-A Midwest League (.309/.389/.529) before his promotion, but High-A was proving more difficult, not exactly unexpected for a 19-year-old. He did go 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBI yesterday, which moved his line up to .200/.322/.420. He's 10-for-50 but three of those hits have been home runs and he's maintained command of the strike zone. His bat is fine.
I think the real question for Seager is defense. Reports from the Midwest League about his glove vary with the source. All agree that he is more reliable than most shortstops his age in terms of avoiding errors and mental mistakes. He also has a strong arm, but opinions differ about his range. I've heard it described as surprisingly good, but I've also heard the "he'll have to move to third base eventually" opinion.
For what it's worth, his range factor at Great Lakes was quite poor for a shortstop at 3.69 and so far it is 3.54 at Rancho. Range factor is a problematic statistic and subject to considerable distortion, particularly in the minor leagues. Scouting reports are more important than stats when evaluating defense at lower levels, but as noted, the reports conflict, and what numbers we do have (as distorted as they may be) support the "future third baseman" view
Parsing all that out, for me the answer about his glove is "reply hazy, ask again later." But it IS true that Seager makes fewer errors than many young infielders, which is a big positive.
***Today's minor league baseball schedule.
***It is never too early to think about the 2014 Baseball Draft, and Matt Garrioch gets us started today with his review of the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic.
***Lee Trocinski looks at some of the best position players in history who never got a full chance to play regularly despite being talented and productive. He mentions Bernie Carbo, Gary Roenicke, and Cliff Johnson, players I remember well from growing up in the 70s and 80s.
What players currently active do you think could end up on such a list 20 years from now?
More from Minor League Ball:
- Prospect Note: Vic Black, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
- 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic Recap
- Prospect of the Day: Travis d'Arnaud, C, New York Mets
- Minor League Ball Gameday, August 18
- Prospect Retrospective: Raul Ibanez, Seattle Mariners
- Minor League Ball Gameday, August 17
- Royals' John Lamb struggles in Triple-A debut
- Minor League Ball Gameday, August 16
- Prospect of the Day: Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
- The Pacific Coast League announces realignment for 2014
- Minor League Ball Gameday, August 15
- Prospect Retrospective: C.J. Wilson