Well, the Midwest League is back and we’re reporting to you on the hottest hitting performances to start the season. We’ve got some new names and some of the top prospects in the low minors debuting here for you. Welcome to another great season of Midwest League baseball! Let’s stop yappin’ and get to it!
The Hottest Hitters
Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins – age 18 – Twins phenom prospect Sano leads the league with 6 homeruns in 54 at bats, slugging .741, and scoring a completely nuts .426 ISOP. Also pretty impressive is the 13 walks that comes with the power, a 19.1% walk rate. With this type of power production the 27% strikeout rate is almost acceptable. A special player in the making.
Steven Moya, OF, Tigers – age 20 – In 62 at bats, he’s batting .403 with 6 walks and 8 strikeouts. The big (and I mean 6’6″ big) outfielder only has one homerun so far, but with his body and if he can continue his new-found plate discipline, he could be hitting them in bunches soon. Poor contact plagued him last season so 2012 will show if he’s turned the corner.
Tyler Goeddel, 3B, Rays – age 19 – His first taste of pro ball, after being drafted as a high schooler in 2011, has gone well to say the least. In 46 trips to the plate, he’s hitting a cool .370/.408/.630/1.059 line. Should to noted that this is powered by an astronomical .467 BABIP, so he’ll come back down to earth for sure, especially with only walking twice in those 46 at bats, but all in all, a promising start.
Lane Adams, OF, Royals – age 22 – Tasted the Midwest League for the first time late last season. Drafted in 2009 out of his school, Adams, in his young minor league career, has shown good speed on the base paths and some pop. At 22 years old, he’s older for the level so he’ll need to show he can cut down the strikeouts and continue to get on base in order to advance. He’s made this list by hitting .382 with 8 of his 26 hits going for extra bases.
Juan Castillo, C, Cardinals – age 22 – Castillo will start back in the MWL after logging some time in the Florida State League the latter part of last season. He’s been able to hit .300 or above in just about every level, but he left the FSL Palm Beach, hitting .179. This season, in Quad Cities, he’s come out of the gate hitting .381, only striking out only 3 times in 46 plate appearances. In the past, not much power to speak of, but this season, he’s tied his 2011 homerun production already with 2 dingers. He’s an extreme contact hitter with solid receiving skills behind the plate.
Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Royals – age 18 – Brother of Emilio, who plays for the Marlins, Jorge is currently showing off his acclaimed power/speed skills, hitting 5 doubles and one homer, while stealing 3 bases, and averaging a cool .359. Bonifacio will turn 19 in June and should be given the opportunity to stay in Kane County for the season, but he could force a promotion if he continues to overmatch MWL pitching.
Cameron Seitzer, 1B, Rays – age 22 – Son of former big league hitter Kevin Seitzer, Cameron could move fast. Drafted in the 11th round of the 2011 draft, the 6’5″ 220lb first baseman has made his mark by hitting .356 with 3 doubles but no homers. Seitzer showed good power in the Appy League last season so the long balls should come, but more impressive is his plate discipline so far. He’s walked 11 times but struck out only 9, a trend he started in the Appy League.
Eugenio Suarez, 2B/SS, Tigers – age 20 – Looks like Suarez will bounce back and forth between SS and 2B this season, with SS being his natural position. Either way, his power and speed will make him a top of the order bat for the Whitecaps. Eugenio has kicked off the season hitting .344 with 5 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 2 stolen bases. He’ll have to keep the strikeouts in check, but he looks good so far.
Eddie Rosario, 2B, Twins – age 21 - Here’s another middle infield prospect with great power and speed potential that will have an at least above average bat at his position. Converted from the outfield, Rosario has already collected 6 stolen bases this young season, with 5 doubles, while hitting .322. He’s also walked 12 times against 10 strikeouts. Along with Miguel Sano, we might be seeing here two of the #1-3 hitters in Minnesota in the next 2-3 years.
Justin Trapp, SS, Rays – age 21 – This is Trapp’s first time in full season ball and he is making the most out of it, hitting .362 with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 2 homeruns, and 3 stolen bases. A speedster, who lead the Appy League in stolen bases in 2011, Trapp hasn’t been this accomplished batting average-wise in the past, so the high average should fade, but the on base tools are definitely there. Strikeouts have been a problem though.
The Notable Not
James Baldwin III, OF Dodgers – age 20 – Baldwin is a top talent based on tools, but 20 strikeouts in 46 AB with just one XBH. Alarmingly bad. Somehow, he’s stolen 5 bases.
Guillermo Pimentel, OF, Mariners – age 19 – A year younger, and a touch worse than Baldwin. Pimentel is hitting just .103 with 21 strikeouts and only 2 XBH in 58 AB.
That’s the scoop on the Midwest League so far. It’s a long season and we’ll be on the pulse, day in and day out. I’ll be taking a look at the pitchers of the MWL next.
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