|Hot Corner Happenings|
|Written by Rob Leibowitz|
|Wednesday, 04 July 2012 00:00|
2010 first round pick Zack Cox really is not working out the way the Cardinals had hoped. His .252 .298 .405 line includes a fairly hot June. The power expectations are not there and with the exception of 75 plate appearances during an Arizona Fall League campaign, the right has been an aggressive hitter whose contact rates have declined as he has progressed up the minor league ladder. Still, Cox is only 23 years of age and may yet turn things around, but right now the lefty is not looking like he has the bat desired for the hot corner and if he could show some competency at second base, might profile better than from an offensive standpoint.
Jedd Gyorko, on the other hand, has been seeing his stock rise. Also a 2010 draft pick, Gyorko has advanced from Double-A to Triple-A already, showing a good combination of power, contact-making, and plate discipline. I had been previously skeptical regarding his power potential and will be interested to see how it ultimately translates to PETCO. While Gyorko’s .349/.396/.597 line in Triple-A is over his head and certainly impacted by park and PCL league conditions, his right-handed bat would be a welcome addition to the Padres’ lineup. Chase Headley is arbitration eligible again after this season and could easily end up costing the Friar’s over $4M, so a positional change for one of this duo may have to occur.
When Scott Sizemore went down in spring training, the A’s had to scramble for a third baseman. The Josh Donaldson experiment was a failure while adding veterans like Brandon Inge and Brandon Hicks have been band-aide maneuvers at best. Steve Parker looked like a viable candidate to possibly enter the fray this spring too. Recently the lefty has been seeing some time at the hot corner and may yet receive a trial at the MLB level, but while Parker’s been steady, his bat really has not come to life producing a pedestrian .270/.349/.417 line for Sacramento. The OBP skills are there, but it is hard to imagine him as more than mid-teens per season homerun candidate. I think Parker may be more worthwhile to hold onto in redraft leagues than keeper leagues simply because he is a low-ceiling player who could provide a boost in deep formats still this year, but for keeper leaguers, there are more attractive long-term options to fill their limited minor league rosters.
Many wished Nolan Arenado won the starting third base job for the Rockies this spring. Instead the 21-year old appears properly placed in Double-A where the righty is sporting a .293/.348/.424 line along with an 88% contact- rate. These are very respectable numbers when you consider the fact that Arenado is young for his league and is holding his own well. On the other hand, Arenado is far from dominating the level and is not hitting for as much power as anticipated. Given these factors, it is hard to expect Arenado to be an impact factor in 2012. He may get a promotion to Triple-A and perhaps even a September call-up, but it would unsurprising if he was on a one-level-at-a-time program now with a more likely mid-2013 recall date. There is still plenty of potential in this skill and toolset for Arenado to be a 20+ .300+ threat in his prime.
I had high hopes for the Mariner’s Vinnie Catricala given his dominating performances at A+ and Double-A ball in 2011 where he showed a solid combination of power and plate discipline. 2012 has been a struggle for the 23-year old. The former 10th round pick in stead is hitting under .200 against lefties and is being out of context, overly aggressive at the plate. Catricala continues to make a fair amount of contact, but is not driving the ball like he did in 2011. While the righty has been showing some signs of life lately with a few multi-hit games under his belt, it is starting to get a bit cloudy as to where he fits into the M’s long-term plans, especially given his defensive shortcomings.
The Angels have not received much offense from third base this season except when they ill-advisedly deploy a very much out of position Mark Trumbo there. Meanwhile, in Triple-A, Luis Jimenez is having a rather similar season to his Double-A campaign, hitting for average and making very consistent contact while showing mid to high teens homerun per season potential. However, he continues to be a rather aggressive hitter, walking less than 5% of the time and despite hitting .296, is actually getting on base at just a .323 clip. Should the Angels decide to give Jimenez a shot, the righty’s skills should translate rather easily to the Majors, but I suspect in the long run his aggressiveness will be exploited and could reduce him to a bench or organizational role long-term given a relatively modest offensive ceiling.
Moving to the Marlins, it appears to be unfortunately time to cross Matt Dominguez off the prospect lists. Dominguez remains an elite defender, but has yet to show an ability to hit for average, to get on-base, or much in any form of power over his minor league career. The righty has actually made contact 90% of the time, but has been held to a .231 batting average. This may be in part due to a .236 BABIP leaving open the possibility for improvement, but his overall ceiling as a low to mid-teens homerun hitter who may be overmatched at the MLB level leaves little reason to keep him on your minor league squad if better options present themselves.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 12:04|