Sep 4th, 2009
FutureSox Prospects of August
Hitter of the Month: Eduardo Escobar (Low-A Kannapolis)
.380 (38-100), 2 HR, 14 RBI, 24 R, 13 BB, 11 K, .953 OPS
After having an OPS below .600 all year long, Escobar swung a big stick in August. He also stole 9 bases in August, almost doubling the 11 he had entering the month. Escobar showed no signs of life until suddenly something seems to have clicked. On the season the 20 year-old Venezuelan is still only hitting .262, but he is a great defensive shortstop so his glove will probably be what carries him through the system. He’s still very young and an extended hot streak like this is obviously very encouraging for future success. The extremely unusual part is that Escobar’s August walk rate was nearly three times what it had been. It’s like he was a completely different player. We’ll have to wait and see which player shows up next season.
Co-Pitchers of the Month: John Ely and Matt Long (AA Birmingham)
Ely: 5-0, 2.12 ERA, 34 IP, 25 K, 9 BB, 27 H
Long: 4-0, 1.76 ERA, 30.2 IP, 19 K, 8 BB, 23 H
Since the two were so close statistically and in our voting, we have given the award to both Ely and Long. The duo will have to anchor the Barons’ playoff run, though Long did just receive what we assume was a spot start with the Knights. Ely has been a rock for the Barons’ all season long, see his 13-2 record for proof, and is throwing his name into the hat for a future MLB look. He’s mostly been overlooked as a prospect, but this season will change that. Long was a 2nd round pick in 2006, but hasn’t been regarded well as a prospect because he has been mediocre or worse at every stop of his pro career. That is until he joined the Barons this season. In 48.2 innings in AA he has a 2.59 ERA between 6 starts and 13 relief appearances. His career ERA in the minors still sits above 5, so like Escobar, it’s hard to tell which player is the real Matt Long.
The best of the rest
Christian Marrero (AA Birmingham): .323 (31-96), 7 HR, 20 RBI, 15 R, 12 BB, 22 K, 1.040 OPS
Marrero has really set himself up to shoot up the prospect rankings. Marrero can be one of the last draft-and-follows to make the Majors.
David Cook (AA Birmingham): .292 (28/96), 6 HR, 18 RBI, 25 R, 15 BB, 20 K, .956 OPS
Cook keeps producing for the Barons, but it’s hard to call him a prospect anymore.
Jon Gilmore (Low-A Kannapolis): .355 (39/110), 2 HR, 24 RBI, 19 R, 9 BB, 15 K, .901 OPS
Finally Gilmore showed some of the talent that made the Braves draft him in the supplemental round in 2007.
Dan Remenowsky (Low-A Kannapolis): 2-0, 5 SV, 2.20 ERA, 16 IP, 29 K, 2 BB, 11 H
It’s hard not to love what Remenowsky has done this season. 107 strikeouts in 62.1 innings is indescribably good.
Miguel Gonzalez (Rookie Bristol): .410 (25/61), 1 HR, 8 RBI, 15 R, 13 BB, 14 K, 1.176 OPS
Gonzalez is a great looking prospect at catcher. He’s only 18 and hit .311 at Bristol, you have to like that.
Santos Rodriguez (Rookie Bristol): 1-0, 2 SV, 0.82 ERA, 11 IP, 18 K, 3 BB, 8 H
One of the pieces of the Javier Vazquez trade, Rodriguez is one of few relief prospects to be tracked from a young age.
The not as hot
Jack Egbert (AAA Charlotte): 0-3, 6.66 ERA, 25 IP, 20 K, 10 BB, 35 H
Egbert got his shot in the Majors this year, but it didn’t go well or last long. Needless to say, he won’t get another pitching like this.
Wes Whisler (AAA Charlotte): 3-3, 6.16 ERA, 30 IP, 14 K, 14 BB, 40 H
Everything I said about Egbert applies to Whisler.
Johnnie Lowe (AA Birmingham): 0-4, 10.07 ERA, 22 IP, 10 K, 5 BB, 41 H
Maybe Lowe shouldn’t have been moved up because his 5 starts with the Barons have produced nothing.
Jordan Danks (AA Birmingham): .178 (13-73), 4 RBI, 12 R, 10 BB, 17 K, .491 OPS
He’s been better since coming off the DL, hitting .257 and getting a hit in 7 of the 9 games he has been back. Still major concerns have come up that didn’t exist in early June.
Tyler Kuhn (High-A Winston-Salem): .229 (22-96), 6 RBI, 8 R, 5 BB, 14 K, .543 OPS
Kuhn has been very good this year, but his recent slump along with a severe lack of power this year makes Kuhn seem ordinary as a prospect.
Steven Upchurch (Rookie Bristol): 0-6, 9.11 ERA, 27 IP, 12 K, 12 BB, 45 H
Upchurch is a talented pitcher, but he hasn’t shown any of that talent this year. He’s probably surpassed Escobar as the most disappointing White Sox prospect of the year.