As the minor league season comes to a close, don't think we've forgotten about possible Minor League Player of the Year candidates like Matthew Moore, Jordan Lyles, Wil Myers, Mike Moustakas or Lonnie Chisenhall. Instead, we're just giving some others a piece of the glory that is the Minor League Barometer.
1. Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC - Over his last 10 games, Hosmer is batting .366/.395/.683 with three home runs and eight RBI. Those worries about his power have gone by the wayside, as the 20-year-old has smashed 12 home runs in 44 games since joining Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Hosmer should be a highly talked-about prospect heading into 2011; the only problem will be where he will play with both Billy Butler and Kila Kaaaihue in his path.
2. Rudy Owens, P, PIT - Check out these last 10 starts for Owens with Double-A Altoona: 2.28 ERA, 56:6 K:BB ratio. In fact, Owens has allowed three runs over his last 27 innings. The 22-year-old lefty has been getting a lot of ground balls and has shown outstanding control. His lack of a true plus pitch could come back to hurt him at the higher levels, but for now, Owens can do little wrong.
3. Jake Odorizzi, P, MIL - With the horrific season that 2009 first-round pick Eric Arnett is having, the Brewers have to be breathing a sigh of relief that Odorizzi, a 2008 first-rounder, is panning out so far. The 20-year-old has a 3.34 ERA and 130:37 K:BB ratio in 116 innings for Low-A Wisconsin. Over his last 10 games, Odorizzi has been even better, with a 2.74 ERA and 66:15 K:BB ratio in 62.1 innings. Over that span, opposing batters are hitting .205 against him. Although he's still looking like a 2012 ETA at the earliest, Odorizzi is definitely someone to watch as he progresses next season.
4. Nick Franklin, SS, SEA - Franklin's overall line is impressive, particularly for a player whose power was questioned after being drafted by Seattle last season. Instead, Franklin has bashed 21 home runs from the shortstop position for Low-A Clinton. The 19-year-old has also shown a decent eye at the dish, posting a .355 OBP. Not surprisingly he has fanned too much (117 times in 123 games), but that can be chalked up to youth. Combined with 25 steals in 35 attempts, and Franklin has emerged as a standout prospect for the M's.
5. Jenrry Mejia, P, NYM - After a brief stint as a reliever, Mejia was sent back down to be stretched out and eventually return as a starter. He has risen back up quickly, tossing eight innings of one-run ball Monday for Triple-A Buffalo. Mejia allowed five hits, walked one and fanned nine. The 20-year-old should spend September in the Mets' rotation with an eye toward the No. 4 or 5 slot in 2011.
6. Garrett Richards, P, ANA - Richards hasn't allowed an earned run over his last two starts with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, while posting an 11:4 K:BB ratio. The No. 42 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Richards posted a 3.41 ERA and 108:34 K:BB ratio in 108.1 innings for Low-A Cedar Rapids. Richards has a 2.31 GO:AO in five starts at High-A thus far, while fanning 30 batters over that span. With Tyler Skaggs gone and Trevor Reckling struggling, Richards is arguably the best pitcher in the Anaheim organization.
1. Alex Torres, P, TB
2. Brett Jackson, OF, CHI
3. Carlos Carrasco, P, CLE
4. Danny Duffy, P, KC
5. Jiovanni Mier, SS, HOU
1. Chris Carter, 1B, OAK - Carter told reporters he was incredibly nervous in his first stint in the bigs; that should partly explain his 0-for-19 skid and subsequent demotion back to the minors. Carter also went on the DL in Triple-A with both ankle and thumb injuries. As such, Carter likely will not be up with the A's to start September, and Oakland could end up shutting him down for the season and just starting fresh in 2011 with its prized prospect.
2. Kyle Gibson, P, MIN - A 2010 downgrade only for Gibson, much like Michael Pineda and Jeremy Hellickson in last week's barometer. Gibson has been shut down due to reaching his innings limit of 150 for the Twinkies. Still, Gibson moved up from High-A to Triple-A in 2010 and figures to have an impact for Minnesota in 2011. He remains an upper-echeclon prospect heading into next season.
3. Hector Rondon, P, CLE - Although not exactly getting the same kind of publicity as Stephen Strasburg, Rondon recently underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss all of 2011. Formerly one of Cleveland's best pitching prospects, Rondon struggled in early on in 2010 with an 8.53 ERA in 31.2 innings, as opposing batters hit .343 against him. Although he had been shut down since May 12, he had been trying to rehab and avoid going under the knife. Unfortunately, Dr. James Andrews knew better, and the 22-year-old will miss the next 12-18 months for The Tribe.
4. Bryan Morris, P, PIT - It's not that Morris has been that bad for Double-A Altoona. It's more that fellow rotation mates Rudy Owens, Jeff Locke and Justin Wilson have outshined him. Also, he set the bar extremely high to start the season with a 0.60 ERA and 40:7 K:BB ratio at High-A Bradenton before his promotion. Since then, Morris has a 4.48 ERA and 82:31 K:BB ratio for Double-A Altoona. Opposing batters are hitting .263 against him in his time with the Curve. He'll also spend the rest of 2010 pitching out of the bullpen due to an innings limit. Don't downgrade Morris too much, but Jeff Locke and Rudy Owens have been better in Double-A this season.
5. Jared Goedert, 3B, CLE - The Indians have confirmed that Goedert will not get called up in September. Perhaps the news bummed him out, because the 25-year-old is batting just .206 over his past 10 contests for Triple-A Columbus. Goedert has had a great season, but is a bit old, plus will have to deal with Lonnie Chisenhall in his rear-view mirror in 2011. He also fanned 106 times in 118 games despite the 26 home run, 78 RBI totals. All in all, this might be the best we see out of Goedert.
6. Zach McAllister, P, CLE - Although perhaps better for his long-term prospects, McAllister's move to the Indians in the short term in exchange for Austin Kearns shows how far he's fallen. Once thought of as the best pitcher in the Yankees' system, with Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, Andrew Brackman and David Phelps moving ahead of him on the depth chart, McAllister's 5.09 ERA for the Bombers made him expendable. Opposing batters hit .308 against him while at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In two starts for Triple-A Columbus the 22-year-old has allowed eight runs and 11 hits for the Clippers. McAllister will look to start fresh in 2011, but it's clear the Yankees lost faith in him.