Archive for July 10th, 2008

The Z-Meter: 7/10/2008

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.

Promoted:

Evan Longoria, 3B, Durham (AAA) to Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
Luke Hochevar, RHP, Omaha (AAA) to Kansas City Royals (MLB)

Max Scherzer, RHP, Tucson (AAA) to Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Jacksonville (AA) to Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
Jay Bruce, OF, Louisville (AAA) to Cincinnati Reds (MLB)
Homer Bailey, RHP, Louisville (AAA) to Cincinnati Reds (MLB)
Ian Stewart, 3B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Colorado Rockies (MLB)
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Sacramento (AAA) to Oakland (MLB)
Chase Headley, 3B, Portland (AAA) to San Diego (MLB)
Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, Albuquerque (AAA) to Marlins (MLB)
Joe Koshansky, 1B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Rockies (MLB)

Justin Masterson, RHP, Portland (AA) to Boston (MLB)

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Tennessee (AA) to Iowa (AAA)
Luke Montz, C, Harrisburg (AA) to Columbus (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading (AA)
David Price, LHP, Vero Beach (A) to Montgomery (AA)
Matt Weiters, C, Frederick Keys (A) to Bowie Baysox (AA)

Travis Snider, OF, Dunedin (A-Advanced) to New Hampshire (AA)

Ian Gac, 1B, Clinton (A) to Bakersfield (Advanced A)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Asheville (A) to Modesto (Advanced A)

Josh Vitters, 3B, Boise (Short A) to Peoria (A)

Trading season officially began this week, as Huntsville Stars star Matt LaPorta was shipped out in a trade that landed C.C. Sabathia in Milwaukee. Fortunately, my man Joe Koshansky moved up to the bigs and is taking the place of an injured Todd Helton, which made room for another Huntsville hitter, shortstop Alcides “Matt” Escobar. As you can see, Alcides is super-hot as well, and belongs here.

On the other hand, as of this writing, Matt LaPorta had yet to take any cuts as an Akron Aero, as a thunderstorm swept through on the night of his expected debut. We’ll keep an eye out for his Cleveland-era stats.

Let’s see who else is hot this week:


The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, and ready for the call that will change their lives.

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .286 – 51R – 8HR – 33RBI – 24SB – 42BB – .413 SLG – .785 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .251 – 45R – 5HR – 40 RBI – 32BB – 1SB – .393 SLG – .735 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .249 – 55R – 11HR – 36RBI – 13SB – 49BB – .401 SLG – .752 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .343 – 76R – 26HR – 73RBI – 18SB – 51BB – .689 SLG – 1.132 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, RHP – Iowa Cubs (Cubs): 3GS – 2W – 1L – 3.93 – 11BB – 15K

Luke Montz, C – Columbus Clippers (Nationals): .286 – 2R – 0HR – 7RBI – 2BB – 0SB – .429 SLG – .776 OPS


These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but are more likely to get promoted to the top of this meter first.

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals): .305 – 46R – 22HR – 58RBI – 60BB – 3SB – .622 SLG – 1.070 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .274 – 54R – 8HR – 52RBI – 44BB – 14SB – .433 SLG – .785 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP (injured) – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 15GS – 6W – 4L – 3.94 ERA – 37BB – 65K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .265 – 55R – 12HR – 38RBI – 43BB – 17SB – .461 SLG – .818 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 18GS – 8W – 6L – 3.98 ERA – 40BB – 75K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .295 – 50R – 1HR – 37RBI – 22BB – 31SB – .351 SLG – .706 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .272 – 44R – 13HR – 50RBI – 30BB – 1SB – .463 SLG – .811 OPS

Antonio Bastardo, LHP (injured) – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 9GS – 2W – 3L – 3.11 ERA – 29BB – 39K

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): .342 – 8R – 2HR – 4RBI – 7BB – 0SB – .579 SLG – 1.023 OPS

Matt LaPorta, CF – Akron Aeros (Indians): .288 – 56R – 20HR – 66RBI – 45BB – 2SB – .576 SLG – .978 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Hunts ville Stars (Brewers): .372 – 71R – 15HR – 76RBI – 38BB – 5SB – .612 SLG – 1.044 OPS

David Price, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 3GS – 3W – 0L – 1.42 ERA – 7BB – 18K

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .299 – 30R – 4HR – 21RBI – 10BB – 3SB – .431 SLG – .766 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .327 – 64R – 7HR – 55RBI – 20BB – 22SB – .440 SLG – .797 OPS


These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Bakersfield Blaze (Rangers): .320 – 5R – 1HR – 9RBI – 1BB – 0SB – .440 SLG – .773 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .319 – 54R – 12HR – 46RBI – 45BB – 0SB – .516 SLG – .928 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): 2GS – 2W – 0L – 0.64 ERA – 1BB – 11K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 17GS – 5W – 6L – 2.60 ERA – 24BB – 49K

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .244 – 40R – 12HR – 42RBI – 26BB – 5SB – .405 SLG – .711 OPS


Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and my own irrational sense of whimsy.

Yeah, I’ve Been In The Show. I Was In The Show For 21 Days Once

Scott McClain is 36 years old.  He has six hits in 45 major league at-bats, including one double, for a .133 career average.  His only RBI in The Show came with the Chicago Cubs on August 9, 2005, when he pinch hit and reached on a throwing error by the third baseman.  His career OPS+ in thirty games is, somehow, -0.

In the minors, though, McClain fits the classic definition of a Quad A player – good enough to post superior numbers at the AAA level, but not quite good enough to stick in the majors.  On Monday, he reached an impressive milestone, scoring four times to become the only active player with 1,000 career runs batted in and 1,000 career runs scored in the minor leagues.

McClain, who has played for seven organizations in the United States and spent all or part of four seasons in Japan,  did it in style, tying the game with a ninth inning homerun and winning it with another blast in the eleventh.  He is hitting .308 with 17 homeruns and 68 RBI for the season and, according to thebaseballcube.com, has 350 career homers (counting the 71 he hit on the other side of the Pacific.

Congratulations, Scott.