The Z-Meter: 7/16/2008

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 Phillies (AA)
David Price, LHP, Vero Beach (A) to Montgomery (AA)
Matt Weiters, C, Frederick Keys (A) to Bowie Baysox (AA)
Lars Anderson, 1B, Lancaster JetHawks (A) to Portland SeaDogs (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)

Injuries and All-Star breaks have slowed down the Z-Meter this week. Four prospects haven’t picked up stats due to ouchies, and several others are taking breaks to play in league All-Star games, or the Futures Game. Still, some continue to amaze. Pitchers David Price and Jhoulys Chacin make this look easy, mowing down batters before and after promotions as if nothing had changed. Jeff Samardzija, on the other hand, struggled a bit in AA, but is making a great case for himself in Iowa. Biscuit Wade Davis has had a sub 2.00-ERA in his last couple of games, so he gets a red line as well.

Matt LaPorta seems to be playing even better since he moved from Huntsville to Akron. Simply amazing.

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): .282 – 51R – 8HR – 34RBI – 24SB – 46BB – .405 SLG – .776 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .263 – 49R – 5HR – 43RBI – 34BB – 2SB – .405 SLG – .755 OPS

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

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .339 – 77R – 26HR – 74RBI – 20SB – 53BB – .671 SLG – 1.112 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, RHP – Iowa Cubs (Cubs): 5GS – 3W – 1L – 3.45 – 15BB – 31K

Luke Montz, C – Columbus Clippers (Nationals): .244 – 3R – 0HR – 7RBI – 2BB – 0SB – .341 SLG – .621 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): .308 – 51R – 23HR – 65RBI – 65BB – 3SB – .616 SLG – 1.068 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .282 – 55R – 8HR – 54RBI – 47BB – 14SB – .433 SLG – .793 OPS

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

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

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 19GS – 9W – 6L – 3.85 ERA – 42BB – 81K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .297 – 52R – 1HR – 38RBI – 22BB – 35SB – .353 SLG – .707 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .267 – 47R – 14HR – 57RBI – 31BB – 1SB – .459 SLG – .800 OPS

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

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): .344 – 10R – 3HR – 9RBI – 8BB – 0SB – .578 SLG – .995 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): Stats reset with promotion

Matt LaPorta, CF – Akron Aeros (Indians): .292 – 58R – 21HR – 70RBI – 45BB – 2SB – .575 SLG – .976 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .375 – 77R – 15HR – 81RBI – 39BB – 5SB – .612 SLG – 1.045 OPS

David Price, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 4GS – 4W – 0L – 1.38 ERA – 10BB – 22K

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .294 – 32R – 4HR – 21RBI – 13BB – 5SB – .421 SLG – .758 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .337 – 71R – 7HR – 58RBI – 25BB – 25SB – .444 SLG – .811 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): .299 – 9R – 1HR – 11RBI – 8BB – 0SB – .403 SLG – .775 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): 3GS – 3W – 0L – 0.86 ERA – 4BB – 17K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 18GS – 5W – 6L – 2.97 ERA – 26BB – 53K

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.

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