Touch’em All 2012 | Florida State League
Let’s take a quick look around the FSL for the hottest hitters over the first couple of weeks to see if anyone stands out above the rest. I’ll tell you that we do have some of the top names performing well while there are some new names that most haven’t been tracking but should probably put on the radar. So let’s get right to it, no reason to dilly, or dally.
Nick Castellanos 3B Tigers – Age 20 – Castellanos isn’t struggling at the start of the 2012 season the way he did in his Midwest League debut in 2011. He leads the FSL with a .396 AVG with 5 doubles and a HR. His 12 strikeouts in 53 AB is going to need to be addressed. As a reminder, the top prospect struck out 130 times in 507 AB in 2011. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the development of his plate discipline this season.
Rubi Silva OF Cubs – Age 22 – The former Cuban Junior National player made his debut last year and flew under the radar because of his age in the Midwest League. But so far he’s proving it was no fluke. His .367/.426/.510 triple slash is outstanding. This is his second go at the FSL so I would expect him to be fast tracked to Double-A around mid-season if he keeps anywhere near a pace like this.
Angel Morales OF Twins – Age 22 – Morales missed most of last season due to injury and this is his third attempt at taming the FSL. The power prospect has hit just 8 HR over the past 2 seasons, but this years off to a hot start with the bat. Currently hitting .350/.394/.467, but the BABIP is very high, so you can expect that average to revert to the mean and he needs to concentrate on the 17 strikeouts he’s already racked up.
Daniel Muno 2B Mets – Age 23 – Muno is a switch hitting middle infielder, drafted in the 8th round of the 2011 draft. He’s currently playing mostly 2B and tearing up the FSL to the tune of .322/.412/.593 powered by 8 doubles, a triple and 2 HR. While he does have 11 strikeouts he pairs them with 9 walks and 4 stolen bases. He’s a touch old for the FSL, but he’s one of the hottest hitters so far and could move to Double-A by mid-season if this pace keeps up.
Starlin Rodriguez 2B Cards – Age 22 – Rodriguez is a middle infielder, playing mostly 2B this year and proving his .315 AVG in the FSL last season was no fluke. He’s currently hitting .321 with 2 doubles, 2 triples and a HR. He has excellent bat speed and I drove a ball out of one of the deepest parts of Roger Dean Stadium last night. One of the most notorious pitchers parks in all of the minor leagues. He’s a name to watch that no one has talked about yet.
The Notable Not
Matt Szczur OF Cubs – Age 22 – Szczur is hitting just .200 on the young season and shouldn’t be showing up on many hot lists, but he’s leading the FSL in SB with 8 and has walked 9 times already. The .200 AVG is being dragged down by a .240 BABIP. That will eventually correct itself and could see a rise in AVG of .80 to .100 points. If that happens he’ll be on the fast track. But he has a long way to go before the numbers catch up to the talent.
Marcell Ozuna OF Marlins – Age 21 – Just 21 years old, Ozuna has elite power. But the .193 AVG and 16 strikeouts have to be worrisome despite the .231 BABIP. He has the power and and defense to make it to the majors, but needs to refine his approach in a big a way. He’s already an exciting player to watch.
Cesar Puello OF Mets – Age 21 – Puello just turned 21 and this is his second run in the FSL. Not so good to date. He’s hitting just .200 with 14 strikeouts. We have never been high on the prospects of Puello blossoming into a star as most outlets seem to think. And this year is proving that might indeed be the case. His BABIP is actually high at .348 so it’s not dragging his average down. It’s actually inflating it slightly. That’s scary. He just clearly not hitting.
Well those are some of the top names doing it and not doing it. We’ll be coming back with the pitchers in the next couple of days as well as the 26-50 of the 2012 Draft Preview.
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