Baseball Rookie Card Report: Top Triple-A Prospects
As the season reaches mid-June, here's a look at the top prospects still in Triple-A. This season many teams have jumped prospects from Double-A straight to the Majors. With recent call-ups of big prospects, Mike Moustakas, Anthony Rizzo, and others, Triple-A isn't loaded with a bunch of top prospects.
Here is a look at players who either recently earned a promotion, or have been excelling this season in Triple-A and should be called up any time soon. This article shows how Razor Signature Series has great upside, as many players from that product have made the MLB already and this list is full of prospects who had exclusive autograph agreements with Razor. As a result, look for Razor signatures to take a bump if these players are all called up.
Julio Teheran, P Atlanta Braves (D.O.B. 1/27/91)
Still amazing scouts in Triple-A, Teheran has had the chance to make two spot starts for the Braves but has not made the most of them. In Triple-A however, he has been dazzling, missing bats at an amazing rate. His stat line thus far includes a 6-1 record and a 1.78 ERA in 11 starts. Teheran began this year in Triple-A due to an amazing 2010 where he rocketed through the Braves farm system, being noted as Baseball America's best prospect in the High-A Carolina League. Still young, many compare him to Pedro Martinez. Teheran does not have overwhelming size or strength, just a scorching fastball with late movement, particularly for such a young player. Teheran entered this season as a consensus top-ten prospect and, with his play, has remained there. Look for him to arrive in Atlanta to stay in early 2012.
Jesus Montero, C New York Yankees (D.O.B. 11/28/89)
Another former international free agent, Montero also found himself on many top-ten lists entering 2011. But after a horrid spring, where the catching job was there for the taking, Montero's cards took a big hit and dropped about 25 percent of their value. However when he started the regular season on a tear, hitting over .400 during the first two weeks, his cards rebounded to their pre-Spring Training levels. At the mid-point of 2011, Montero has stayed around the .300 mark, batting .292 with only 16 extra-base hits.
- 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Baseball Autographs Jesus Montero
- 2008 Bowman Sterling Baseball Autographed Jersey Jesus Montero
- 2008 Playoff Contenders Season Ticket Autographs Jesus Montero (/39)
Jason Kipnis, 2B Cleveland Indians (D.O.B. 4/3/87)
The former second-round pick out of Arizona State, Kipnis came into professional ball without a true position. In 2010, Cleveland moved him to second base, where he has remained. After a season where he performed well at both High-A and Double-A, Kipnis earned a spot with Triple-A Columbus this season. Coming into the 2009 draft, there was the one big knock on Kipnis: his defense. Scouts also questioned where to play him (much like second-overall pick Dustin Ackley). Kipnis' 2011 has been solid, hitting .296 with 12 doubles and eight triples. He has also been perfect on the base paths, going ten-for-ten in stolen base attempts. Look for Kipnis to be a late addition to Cleveland this season once they realize they can't win the American League Central.
- 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball Autographs Jason Kipnis
- 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball Autographs Jason Kipnis
Devin Mesoraco, C Cincinnati Reds (D.O.B. 6/19/88)
Former first-round pick of the Reds, Mesoraco looked like he had bust all over him after two horrible seasons in 2008 and 2009. Last year he finally showed why he was the #15-overall pick in the 2007 draft. Hitting .302 with 25 doubles and 26 homers, split between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A, Mesoraco showed that he could hit and play solid defense behind the plate in 2010. It seems as if the Reds aren't sold on him, however, as they drafted a college backstop in 2010 with their top pick, Yasmani Grandal. 2011 has shown that Mesoraco was not just a one-year splash. He currently is hitting .329 with 21 doubles to give him an OPS of .958. He is making a push for the starting position in Cincinnati. With Ramon Hernandez near the end of his playing career, this could be a reality. Look for Mesoraco to get a call-up late this season and make an impact with the Reds during a pennant run.
- 2007 Bowman Draft Baseball Autographs Devin Mesoraco
- 2007 Bowman Sterling Baseball Autographs Devin Mesoraco
- 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Baseball Autographs Devin Mesoraco
Mike Montgomery P Kansas City Royals (D.O.B. 7/1/89)
After beginning the season on fire, Montogomery has cooled off and his ERA has skyrocketed. Montgomery earned a Triple-A job after a great 2010 where he went 7-5 with a 2.21 ERA in 20 starts. Thus far, he is not off to a good start but I still could not write about top Triple-A prospects without mentioning Montgomery. With a plus plus fastball and good secondary pitches, he still could have a bright future being so young and raw. Look for Montgomery to arrive in Kansas City later this season
- Key Cards:
- 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Baseball Autographs Mike Montgomery
- 2008 Playoff Contenders Baseball Autographs Mike Montgomery
- 2008 Prime Cuts Baseball Autographs Mike Montgomery
- 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball Autographs Mike Montgomery
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B Cleveland Indians (D.O.B. 10/4/88)
Another prospect drafted in 2008 that has not lived up to expectations in 2011 is Chisenhall. He looked great in the spring and many scouts thought his stay in Triple-A would be short-lived. But if you can't hit in Triple-A, you're not usually going to get a chance in the Bigs. With the success of the Indians on a whole, and especially the success of third baseman Jack Hanrahan, Chisenhall has not had the chance to show what he can do yet. If Hanrahan and the Indians continue to struggle you may see them give Chisenhall a look later in 2011. If not, look for Chisenhall to start out 2012 with the big-league club.
- Key Cards:
- 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Baseball Autographs Lonnie Chisenhall
- 2008 Bowman Sterling Baseball Autographs Lonnie Chisenhall
Kyle Gibson, P Minnesota Twins (D.O.B. 10/23/87)
Prior to the 2009 season, Kyle Gibson was thought of to be the year's top college arm in the draft. After a rocky Junior campaign at Mizzou, Gibson slipped in the draft to Minnesota at #22 . He pitched his way right through the High-A Florida State League and continued to dominate into Double-A in 2010. That earned him a start at Triple-A this season, where he has been up and down in 13 starts. Still with an ERA under 4, he is working on his mound presence and secondary pitches. He is almost MLB-ready so look for Gibson to make an appearance later on in 2011.
- 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball Autographs Kyle Gibson (/645)
- 2010 Bowman Chrome Autographs Kyle Gibson
- 2008 Razor Baseball Autograph Yonder Alonso (/699)
- 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Autographs Yonder Alonso
- 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Baseball Autographs Dustin Ackley (/899)
- 2010 Bowman Chrome Autographs Dustin Ackley
Yonder Alonso, 1B/OF Cincinnati Reds (D.O.B. 4/8/87)
Being moved from firstbase to the outfield takes a prospect time to get used to. Yonder Alonso is no exception to that rule. The seventh pick in the 2008 draft, he has always had the bat. With the success of Joey Votto, Alonso was moved to left field to get a faster path to MLB. Thus far in 2011, he has been hitting the cover off the ball, batting .316 with an OPS of .873. Look for Alonso to be a late-season promotion, once they completely trust his outfield play.
Dustin Ackley 2B Sea D.O.B. 2/26/88
A product of the Pacific Coast League, Ackley has been underexposed this season playing in such late games. He has however not disappointed, hitting .303 with 17 doubles and nine home runs in 66 games at second base. Ackley, like I stated with Jason Kipnis, came into pro ball without a true position, bouncing around the infield at UNC. He has since settled at second and continued to hit.
Brett Lawrie, 2B Toronto Blue Jays (D.O.B. 1/18/90)
A former first-round pick, Lawrie was moved for Shawn Marcum in the offseason and has shown great return for the Blue Jays, hitting .354 with 15 homers and 19 doubles. Lawrie has also shown speed this season, with 11 stolen bases in 12 attempts. All around, Lawrie is probably having the best season in the minors right now. His numbers continue to amaze me and others, as some thought he was already a bust he has completly proven them wrong. Lawrie is a great prospect and should be in Toronto any day now.