The Z-Meter: 8/6/2008

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)
Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Iowa (AAA) to Chicago Cubs (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)
Wade Davis, RHP, Montgomery (AA) to Durham (AAA)
Kila Kaaihue, 1B, Northwest Arkansas (AA) to Omaha (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)

Not a lot to say this week, as Olympic rosters have depleted much of our meter. It’s worth noting that 28-year-old slugger Nelson Cruz has suffered a setback in his attempt to make the majors late in his pro career – he’s down with an injury just as the Rangers were starting to think he wasn’t just a fluke.

Some of our struggling promotees are starting to get back in the groove, however. Lars Anderson took his slugging percentage up 300+ points over the past week after having initial difficulty adjusting to AA. Royals prospect Kila Kaaihue has actually improved his numbers since moving to AAA Omaha, which lends some credence to the notion that AA might sometimes have the better prospects these days. David Price continues to pitch lights-out as he plows through the Rays’ farm, as well.

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): .280 – 62R – 9HR – 40RBI – 28SB – 58BB – .402 SLG – .776 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .269 – 70R – 7HR – 58RBI – 40BB – 2SB – .412 SLG – .765 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF (injured) – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .249 – 56R – 11HR – 36RBI – 15SB – 49BB – .395 SLG – .741 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF (injured) – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .344 – 93R – 37HR – 98RBI – 24SB – 56BB – .710 SLG – 1.144 OPS

Luke Montz, C – Columbus Clippers (Nationals): .211 – 9R – 2HR – 14RBI – 7BB – 0SB – .326 SLG – .591 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 4GS – 3W – 0L – 2.25 ERA – 11BB – 23K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – .407 – 8R – 4HR – 7RBI – 3BB – 0SB – .852 SLG – 1.319 OPS


These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but may get promoted to AAA first.

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .294 – 68R – 9HR – 61RBI – 53BB – 15SB – .445 SLG – .814 OPS

Dexter Fowler, OF (Olympics) – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): .337 – 86R – 9HR – 61RBI – 61BB – 20SB – .514 SLG – .944 OPS

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .273 – 62R – 13HR – 40RBI – 48BB – 18SB – .466 SLG – .834 OPS

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .291 – 65R – 3HR – 52RBI – 28BB – 44SB – .361 SLG – .706 OPS

Trevor Cahill, RHP (Olympics) – Midland RockHounds (Oakland): 7GS – 6W – 1L – 2.19 ERA – 19BB – 33K

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .262 – 65R – 17HR – 67RBI – 52BB – 1SB – .461 SLG – .818 OPS

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

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): .362 – 26R – 7HR – 32RBI – 25BB – 0SB – .606 SLG – 1.070 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .327 – 11R – 2HR – 11RBI – 7BB – 0SB – .531 SLG – .934 OPS

Matt LaPorta, CF (Olympics) – Akron Aeros (Indians): .277 – 60R – 21HR – 73RBI – 48BB – 2SB – .534 SLG – .915 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .341 – 86R – 16HR – 84RBI – 49BB – 6SB – .554 SLG – .962 OPS

David Price, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 8GS – 6W – 0L – 2.08 ERA – 12BB – 48K

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .287 – 38R – 5HR – 26RBI – 15BB – 5SB – .415 SLG – .744 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .335 – 80R – 8HR – 66RBI – 26BB – 28SB – .444 SLG – .813 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): .273 – 19R – 7HR – 25RBI – 13BB – 0SB – .462 SLG – .805 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): 7GS – 5W – 1L – 2.1823 ERA – 8BB – 41K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 21GS – 6W – 6L – 2.81 ERA – 29BB – 63K

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .265 – 62R – 20HR – 58RBI – 33BB – 5SB – .470 SLG – .798 OPS


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

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