Friday, April 24, 2009

Baseball America Hot Sheet -- April 24th

Last week I failed to post or comment on the first Baseball America Hot Sheet of the year (Buster Posey at #1, Josh Reddick at #2) since I was working on acquainting myself with the Southern Atlantic League, but I wanted to be sure to mention it this week.

I won't cover the entire list from week 2, but if you're interested, you can check out the complete article at Baseball America.

1. Michael Stanton -- We all might as well get used to seeing Stanton's name, because next year he'll either be in the majors or be the #1 prospect in all of baseball. I've written about Stanton before, and I felt that though he struck out a lot, he was very capable of keeping his K%/BB% ratio under 2.0, which along with his power would put him somewhere between Adam Dunn, Andruw Jones, and Alex Rodriguez. So far this season, Stanton has maintained a K%/BB% of 26%/15% or 1.7, indicating that his increased plate discipline and offensive production at the end of last season was indeed the real deal (.300/.430/.660, 18 home runs in 209 plate appearances). Expect very big things from this guy.

2. Jason Knapp -- A relative unknown up until about 5 days ago, Knapp struck out 14 hitters in 7 innings during his last start. At 18 years old, his 15 K/9 ratio is extremely impressive even if he does have just over his 18 innings at A ball. Keep in mind that Tim Lincecum only pitched 28 innings at advanced A ball and posted a K/9 of 15.6 with a BB/9 of 3.9 at the age of 22. If Knapp reaches the 30 or 40 innings pitched mark with his K/9 still above 12.5, his comparable players would include Rick Ankiel, Dwight Gooden, and Nolan Ryan.

3. Desmond Jennings -- Jennings has been around a while now, so I won't say much about him. Very good plate discipline, good power, and lots of speed. Interestingly enough, one of his closest offensive comparables is Wally Joyner.

4. Jesus Montero -- My gut tells me that Montero is going to cool off soon, but he might not, so we'll just wait it out and see. He's kept his strikeout rate low this year, so maybe he's refined his plate approach a bit.

5. Casey Kelly -- I wasn't really sure why Baseball America chose Kelly for the #5 spot, but it's their hot sheet, so whatever. A 19 year old at low A, Kelly has good control and an above average groundball rate, but doesn't look too interesting to me as a pitcher. I don't think he's going to be a very good shortstop either.

That's all I'm going to cover for now. If you want to see the whole list, check it out at Baseball America, and have a great weekend!

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