December 2010

Catching up on the prospects

Certainly was a busy day here at the Witner Meetings on Monday. I figured now would be a good time to catch everyone up on the Minor Leaguers who have changed hands so far, as well as other goings on.

* The Marcum-for-Lawrie deal became official yesterday afternoon and here’s my report on what Brett Lawrie brings to the table.

* The Diamondbacks got two power arms for Mark Reynolds. One of them, Kam Mickolio, is sort of a prospect. Here’s what I wrote about him:

kam_mickolio.jpgThe Seattle Mariners deserve credit for a nice scouting find
with the selection of Mickolio in the 18th round of the 2006 Draft.
The 6-foot-9 product of Utah Valley State reached Triple-A in his first full
season, finishing with a 2.68 ERA, better than a strikeout per inning and a
.219 batting average against. It was enough get the attention of the Baltimore Orioles,
who got Mickolio as part of the Erik Bedard trade before the 2008 season. He
got his first taste of the big leagues that year, appearing in nine games out
of the Orioles bullpen and 11 more in 2009. In the Minors, he kept racking up
strikeouts, even with injury issues – including a groin strain – keeping him
off the mound at times. In his Minor League career, Mickolio has a 9.9
strikeout per nine ratio. In his brief big-leageu stings, he’s struck out 9.4
per nine. He also has a 3.7 walks per nine ratio in the Minors (and
5.0 in the big leagues) and that’s where the issues have arisen, though he was
much better during his stint in the Arizona Fall League that recently
concluded. Mickolio is a sinker/slider guy who was clocked up to 96 mph with
his sinking fastball in the AFL. With his size, he gets a good downward angle
and his sinker can be very heavy (He had a 1.91 groundout-to-flyout ratio in
the Minors in 2010). He doesn’t always command his fastball well, not getting down in the zone consistently. At the same time, he doesn’t always throw his slider consistently well. The quality of his breaking ball comes and goes and when he doesn’t have a feel for it, he becomes a one-pitch pitcher.

* It didn’t get that much attention, but the Mariners gave $2.9 million to 17-year-old Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero. Here’s what one Latin American scout had to say about him:
 

Peguero is an average runner and a fair defender. His best
tool is his bat and he profiles as an above-average hitter. He may not be a
shortstop when all is said and done, but could be an offensive second baseman.
He won’t have a ton of home run power, but should hit plenty of doubles along
the way.

* And, in case you missed it, my story on Mike Moustakas coming to the Winter Meetings to get the Joe Bauman Award for topping the Minors in home runs.

Getting started at the Winter Meetings

The Winter Meetings here in beautiful Lake Buena Vista (that’s Orlando for most of you) are just getting going, but things are already rolling on the prospect front. It’s not often that two Top 50 type prospects get dealt in the span of an entire Winter Meetings, but we’ve got two — one confirmed, one likely soon to be — already changing hands.

The first, of course, was Casey Kelly, going from the Red Sox to the Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez deal. He was No. 28 on MLB.com’s Top 50 prospects list before the 2010 season and while his performance didn’t measure up, scouts still love his stuff. Take a look at the run-down on him and the two other good prospects (Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes) the Padres got for Gonzalez.

And while it’s not official — yet — it certainly appears likely the Brewers will send Brett Lawrie (No. 26 on that Top 50 list) to Toronto for Shuan Marcum at some point in time. His bat remains his best tool. Stay tuned for a run-down on him if/when that thing becomes official.

Much, much more to come from me as the week wears on. Whenever there’s a prospect involved in a trade, I’ll be there to provide analysis. And don’t forget the all-too exciting Rule 5 Draft preview — complete with potential picks — coming on Wednesday.

Today, I’ll get the chance to talk to Royals Mike Moustakas, who’s here to accept the Joe Bauman Award for topping the Minors in home runs in 2010. So stay tuned for that story later on.

Time to hit the ol’ lobby to see what the latest is…

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