Posted by: portersprospectreport | June 5, 2008

6/4 Minor League Report

Just a word before we begin. When I scour the box scores looking for notable performances, I try to filter out several of the players who, while they may have had nice nights, are not really people to keep and eye on in the long run. On the flip side, if an elite prospect has a mediocre to poor performance, I typically will not include it in the daily report unless I find it significant somehow. Your suggestions and comments are welcome as I am quite new at this and will be actively refining my processes in giving you this report. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes!

AAA

Reid Brignac 2-4 2 2B—.276 5 HR 31 RBI (Hitting just .194 in last 10 games, he is streaky but young)
Frank Diaz 3-3 2R 2B BB—Hitting .417 since promotion to AAA (Under the radar, low ceiling prospect)
Adam Lind 2-4 3 RBI 2 2B—Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde mashes AAA pitching and struggles in Toronto (I still believe in you Adam!)
Mike Costanzo 3-4 HR(5) 3 RBI BB—Power potential oozes from him, 67K/54games keeps him at AAA (Melvin Mora’s successor)
Jason Pridie 1-5 HR(4) RBI—Hitting just .224 this year but 3rd straight game w/ HR
Andrew McCutchen 3-4 2R SB(18)—Solid season so far .290 7 HR 24 RBI .379 OBP (Will be called up soon)
Steve Pearce 1-2 R 2 RBI 2B BB SB(4)—.264 6 HR 35 RBI (Quietly productive season, will he replicate last season’s 31 HR?)
Mike Hessman 2-5 HR(21) 3 RBI—Way too old to be a prospect, but he is mashing! (only 38 RBI to match his 21 HR)
Brent Clevlen 1-3 HR(13) RBI—4 HR 11 RBI last 3 games (Gotta think he can stick in Detroit this next time)
Clay Buchholz 5 IP 3H 2BB 3K—Nice outing to shake the rust off (Get back to Fenway soon!)

Analysis:

In a light night at the AAA level, I will focus on two Pittsburgh Pirates prospects Andrew McCutchen and Steven Pearce. McCutchen has been largely forgotten as a blue chip prospect from the 2005 MLB draft. McCutchen has had a very solid season as a youngster in AAA and I think he has the ability to make a large impact in Pittsburgh. However, with Nate McClouth having a breakout season, McCutchen seems destined to stay at AAA until an opening presents itself in Pittsburgh’s outfield. To me, it seems plausible that a trade deadline deal involving Jason Bay will be that time in which McCutchen gets his opportunity. PNC Park seems to be a nice hitter’s park, which should play well for McCutchen. Right now, his autos in Topps Chrome sell for about $30 each, but Bowman Heritage autos can be acquired for about half that. Additionally, his Bowman Chrome Draft RC’s sell for about $4 each. While Pittsburgh is not a baseball collector hotbed, McCutchen should garner enough appeal to eclipse these current prices.

Steven Pearce has autos in the 2007 Bowman Sterling and Heritage that can be acquired for $10-$12 apiece. Pearce’s power shortage is a bit of a concern to me and the fact that he, like McCutchen is waiting for an opening at PNC Park weakens demand for his cards. I don’t forsee Pearce being anything more than a September call up at this point and single digit HR’s and a sub-.280 average will not increase demand for his cards. Regardless, the fact that Pearce had a strong spring training and destroyed pitching at 3 different levels last season should not go overlooked. If his cards slip under $10, I would snag a few (Sterling especially).

You didn’t think I would escape this thread without talking about Mr. Buchholz did you? If there was ever a time to buy low on Buchholz, it is now! I was surprised to find that his regular Bowman Draft RC’s were selling for around $1 each. Chrome RC’s can be snagged for $4-5. It seems that speculators are scared off because of his struggles and trip to the DL for a fingernail injury. Bowman Chrome Draft RC’s for $4-5? Remember, that these are the same cards that were selling for $40 each immediately following his no-hitter. Buchholz has long term value and he projects to be a better pitcher than Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden. The fact that Buchholz does not have any ’05 autos make his base cards even more valuable. I fully expect to see the chromes in double digits later this summer.

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