Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just Stay Healthy

Stay healthy. That's what my prayers will be asking for, that these guys and every player stay healthy.

In alphabetical order, I will list the names of those prospects, the players with the most potential, for making an impact next year on their respective teams. Not everyone in this article is listed, only the ones who look like can't miss were selected.

Remembering a quote from former Atlanta Falcons center, Jeff Van Note, about the word potential, Van Note claimed that was French for 'not having made it yet.'

Cleveland Indians: Carlos Santana. Of course, the guitarist has made it into elite status but this 22-year old catcher, acquired in the trade that sent Casey Blake to the Los Angeles Dodgers, hit 21-HR with 117-RBI in 130 games, all but two of them in high-A ball.

Kansas City Royals: Kila Ka'aihue. 24-year old first-baseman, hit 37-HR, 100-RBI, while batting .314 at Class AA Nortwest Arkansas (Springdale, AR) and Class AAA Omaha. He had 104 bases on balls with 67 whiffs. Nowadays when you see a player with that kind of differential between walks and strikeouts it should make you take a long look at the player. Because, oh by golly, it is rare!

New York Yankees: Catcher, Jesus Montero. 18-years old, led the Yankees farmhands with 87 RBI and had an .867 OPS for low-A-Charleston (SC.). He also had 17-HR and 34-doubles.

Oakland A's: Right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill. 20-years old. Had 19 starts at high-A Stockton, CA and Class AA Midland, TX, compiling an 11-5 won/loss record. He appeared in the All-Star Futures Game and joined Team USA in the Beijing Olympics.

Colorado Rockies: RHP Jhoulys Chacin, 20, led all minor leaguers with 18 wins and had an ERA of 2.03 at low-A Asheville, NC and high-A Modesto, CA. He also struck out 160 in 177 1/3 innings.

San Francisco Giants: lhp, Madison Bumgarner. 19-years old, went 15-3 with a 1.46 ERA, 164 K's and 21 walks in 141 2/3 innings at low A-Augusta, GA. The Giants 1st round pick (10th overall) in the 2007 draft was one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League.

After hearing the Giants bring up players, from within their farm system, throughout the season and then seeing their contributions it's not far-fetched to say their future looks promising.

The key is to stay healthy. Barring no season-or career-ending injuries these aforementioned ballplayers should bring joy to those who root for the teams in which they play.

(thanks to the September 10-16, 2008 issue of Sports Weekly)

Kevin Marquez