Good afternoon baseball fans and welcome to Friday's edition of Baseball Prospect Notes. Items for your consideration today:
***Cleveland Indians shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor went 2-for-5 with three RBI and a walk for Triple-A Columbus yesterday against Louisville. Lindor had a slow start, hitting .105 a week ago, but has hit better of late and now has his season slash line to .212/.293/.365, with six walks and 10 strikeouts in 52 at-bats. He has also stolen four bases.
Starting Indians shortstop Jose Ramirez is hitting just .174/.224/.261 himself for the last place Tribe. We should still expect to see Lindor in the majors sometime this year although he will likely need to heat up a little more to put pressure on Ramirez in the short run. If Ramirez isn't hitting by the All Star Break, Lindor could get the call even if he isn't lighting up the International League. Lindor is still the long-term solution at the position.
***Colorado Rockies prospect Michael Benjamin had an excellent game yesterday for Modesto in the High-A California League, going 4-for-6 with two homers and six RBI against Lancaster (in Lancaster). Benjamin is now hitting .290/.333/.484 on the season for the Nuts. Age 23, he was a 13th round pick in 2013 from Arizona State University.
Here is the report on Benjamin from the 2015 Baseball Prospect Book:
Benjamin was a 13th round pick in 2013 out of Arizona State. As you can see he hit quite well in the South Atlantic League last year, showing a pleasant power/speed combination. Asheville is a hitter’s park but his splits weren’t too horribly out of line, .354/.390/.613 at home and .323/.378/.500 on the road. Even if you completely ignore his home stats his road OPS comes out to +24 percent, very respectable especially for a middle infielder. Benjamin came into pro ball as a third baseman but switched to second last year, with solid results: decent range, reasonably reliable. The two big caveats here are age-relative-toleague (he was a little old for the Sally) and a very low walk rate. Thus we will rate him a Grade C pending higher-level data, but he could be a solid role player down the line.
So far his performance in the California League has been strong, though of course that's a hitter's circuit. Let's see what happens when Benjamin reaches Double-A, which could be later this year.
***Over at FakeTeams, Timothy Finnegan looks at Mookie Betts and his batted ball data looking for explanations about his slow start (.194/.271/.323) to the year.
***Over at Beyond The Boxscore, Nicolas Stellini looks at the difference between Shelby Miller, 2014, and Shelby Miller, 2015. The change in organizations from the Cardinals to the Braves seems to have revived him after a mediocre '14. Miller has stopped using his change-up, is going with his sinker more often, and has adopted a cutter.