We're over half way through the season, so it's time to review how our preseason top prospects are doing. Here's #21 - #30.
30) Rolando Gomez, 6/18/89 - SS, Advanced Rookie League. Stock: Down a smidge
.222/.292/.457 with 2 HR and 3 SB's. Key Stat: 30% Strikeout rate in Orem
Gomez just turned 21 years old and still hasn't made it to full season ball, so he's slipping behind on the age/level development curve. Obviously he has some contact issues, though he struck out at about the same rate last July and only 11% from August on. The 10 extra base hits - including 5 triples - and 3 stolen bases point to a nice set of tools, so there remains a chance he's a late bloomer. He's the equivalent of a college junior now, so a solid August in Orem could keep him on the prospect lists in 2011.
29) Thomas Mendoza, 8/18/87 - RH SP, AA and AAA. Stock: Down
1 Win, 5 Losses, 45.2 innings, 58 hits, 6.70 ERA, 26 K/21 BB. Key Stat: 45 hits allowed in 27.1 IP (AAA)
Mendoza has dealt with injury and inefficacy across 47.1 innings in Salt Lake and Arkansas. The soft-tossing right-hander is still just short of 23, but he's not striking people out, his command isn't especially good, and his breaking stuff isn't fooling anyone.
28) Dillon Baird, 1/13/1988 - 3B, Hi A. Stock: Up a few notches
.272/.345/.538 with 9 HR. Key Stat: 9 HR's in 41 games
The question about Baird entering the season was whether or not he would hit for power. He answered with 9 HR's in 129 AB's, despite dealing with a wrist fracture. Now, a few homeruns in the Cal League does not a slugger make, but I've seen two of them myself - they'd have gone out anywhere - and he's clearly tweaked his swing to boost power output. If he can reduce his K rate and continue to improve the glove, he projects as a potential big league regular. He's a long way from a sure thing, but after skipping a level and adapting to a new position, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
27) Anthony Ortega, 8/24/85 - rhsp, AAA. Stock: Down.
(Injured) 6 IP, 7 hits, 6.00 ER, 6 K/3 BB in Rookie Ball. Key Stat: 96 Bees games missed
His arm just hasn't held up in the rotation for two year running, making him a candidate to convert to relief. His value is way down until he proves otherwise.
26) Robert Mosebach, 9/14/84 - RH RP, AAA. Stock: Down.
1 IP, 2 hits, 9.00 ERA, 0 K/0 BB in AAA. Key Stat: 93 Bees games missed
We haven't seen much of Mosebach yet this season, as he pitched his first Bees' game on Sunday. If his velocity and command return to where they were last year - 96 mph with life and a groundball-inducing slider - he could still be a useful arm out of the pen.
25) Andrew Taylor, 8/18/89 - LHRP, A Ball. Stock: In Limbo.
4 wins, 3 losses, 51 IP, 39 hits, 3.35 ERA, 46 K/20 BB. Key Stat: 3.78 K/9 IP (AA)
Taylor's command didn't look too promising in spring training or early April, but he found the strike zone and was very good in the Cal League through May and most of June. He's back to taking his lumps against more advanced AA hitters following a midseason promotion, and how he adjusts will determine which direction he moves on this list.
24) Mark Trumbo,1/16/1986 - 1B/OF, AAA. Stock: Up.
.276/.338/.538 with 22 HR's. Key Stat: 39 K / 22 BB since June 1
20 first half HR's have some folks calling Trumbo a legitimate fill-in for Morales with the big league club, or at least compelling trade bait. The 24 year old can hit good velocity, and holds in against breaking stuff, so shouldn't be a K-machine. Encouragingly, he's significantly boosted his walk rate over the past month and a half. An interesting comp? Baseball America's #28 prospect, Oakland's Chris Carter, is hitting .239/.344/.491 with 21 HR's and 108 K's. Trumbo's stock is up, but lack of defensive value may keep him from becoming a regular.
23) Bobby Wilson, 4/8/83 - C, MLB. Stock: Same.
.191/.269/.340 with 1 HR at the MLB level. Key Stat: 8% Caught Stealing in the MLB
Not unexpectedly, Wilson has struggled to hit major league pitching. His defense, so good in the minors, has also stumbled a bit at the top level - see the paltry caught stealing total above - but he did catch 4 of 7 minor leaguers on the base paths. He'll get more chances this year.
22) Pat Corbin, 7/19/89 - LHSP, A Ball, High A. Stock: Way Up.
4 Wins, 2 Losses. 46.1 IP, 5.05 ERA, 46 K/11 BB. Key Stat: Averaging ~6 IP per game
Corbin is currently the ace of the Rancho Cucamonga staff. His stuff is intriguing: he has a high 80's to low 90's fastball, a slurvy breaking ball, and the makings of a superb change-up. He's a very good athlete, and his ability to maintain his command - by "fixing himself on the go," according to Abe Flores - could set him apart as a mid rotation candidate down the road. Best of all, he's still listed as 6'3", 165 lbs, so he has plenty more projection left in him. He turned 21 while pitching a rare stinker Monday night.
21) Freddy Sandoval, 8/16/82 - 3B/2B/1B, AAA. Stock: Down.
.210/.326/.247 with 0 HR in 81 AB's. Key Stat: 73 Bees' games missed
Sandoval's elbow injury cost him his shot at regular big league time, as he was Kevin Frandsen before Frandsen was Frandsen. It's too bad, because Sandoval was ready for the opportunity. The hits weren't falling in Salt Lake before his elbow blew, but his strikeout and walk rates were fine and he was playing stellar defense at the hot corner. His stock is down, but he may carve out a role for himself yet on the next incarnation of the Halos.