The Minor Leagues: Grant Desme and Co.

I know my season officially sucks when I am more excited about the minor league box scores then what the big club does.  Another frustrating season is wearing on me..but I've turned my attention to the young guys to see if there is any help in sight. This post might be long, but hey, I need something to do to cheer me up. Everyone has heard about the status of our studs so instead of talking about the hyped prospects (Carter, Weeks, Cardenas, H-Rod etc.), I decided to check out some other intriguing prospects who I think might be able to make a splash in the next few years:


Grant Desme RF (2nd round in 2007, age 23)

Kane County: .274/.334/.490   19 2Bs, 11 Hrs, 38 RBIs, 24 S/ 0 CS....21/81 BB/K, 31% K rate

Stockton: .262/.361/.667   4 2Bs, 9 HRs, 21 RBIs, 7 S/ 3 CS.....13/34 BB/K, 40% K rate

 When the stats are added together, that makes for a 20 HR/ 20 2Bs/ 30 SB guy already.   Obviously, the K rate is outta control right now and he will need to see it fall if he wants to succed in the majors.  He is still just 23 and could possibly move up to Midland some time later this year.  Aside from Carter, and possibly Brown and Everidge, the power bats are scarce in the system. Combine this with plus speed while playing RF, and Desme is very quickly becoming my favorite prospect.  From all accounts, he has a very strong arm and he is projected to be an athletic RF in the bigs. Here is his draft report from 2007:


Steve Kleen 1B (11th round in 2005, age 26)

KC: .282/.358/.436   14 2Bs, 8 HRs, 46 RBIs, 28/45 BB/K

Stockton: .405/.457/.595   7 2Bs, 3 HRs, 12 RBIs, 7/13 BB/K

I havent really heard much about Kleen prior to this year, but his numbers are hard to ignore.  There is no doubt he is old for A+, but this guy is just killing the ball for the Ports.  I guess while checking Desme's stats I will make sure to keep an eye on Kleen's season.


Archie Gilbert CF (age 26)

Mid: .286/.388/.357   10 2Bs, 32 RBIs, 43/37 BB/K, 23 SB/ 11 CS

Archie is small (5'8") and a local product.  He has a really good eye and speed to boot.  As one could guess, he has little to no power, but he brings some energy to the front of a line up.  His bat has been cooling off as late, but if he continues these numbers, he could make a case for a SAC call up in the near future.


Yung Chi Chen IF (age 26)

MID/SAC/AZL: .346/.410/.481...8 2Bs, 12/17 BB/K, 5 SB/ 0 CS

He disappeared for a while, but is now on a rehab assignment with AZL.  He was signed from the Seatle system where he put up rather pedestrian numbers.  This year, he has been on a tear, even if its limited ABs.  In his call up to SAC he hit .564, then to prove to management he was a real Oakland A, got injured.  He plays many positions, mostly 3rd, and could be a utility bat in the future.

Honorable mention: Matthew Spencer (MID), not Rashuan Dixon or Tyreace House (yet)


Anthony Capra LHP (4th Round in 2008, age 22)

KC: 4-7, 3.24 ERA...100 IP, 70 H, 40/103 BB/K, 1.10 whip, 0.86 GO/AO

Anyone who can only allow 70 hits in 100 IP is worth mentioning.  But when you also factor in that he has 103 Ks, good for tops in the midwest league, Capra is starting to become a legit SP prospect.  He has improved his control of late and his last four starts have been incredible (25.2 IP, 10 H, 5/32 BB/K, 1.43 ERA).  He needs a better GO/AO, which would help him cut down on the long balls (9 so far).  I would like to see him face some tougher competition in the CAL league in the near future. 


Kenny Smalley RHP (24th Round in 2008, age 21)

KC: 8-3, 2.15 ERA.....83.2 IP, 59 H, 33/80 BB/K, 1.10 whip, 1.35 GO/AO

Another guy who is keeping the opponents bats quiets.  A huge concern is the walks, especially since he hasn't shown a lot of improvement over his past few starts.  Compared to Capra, he keeps the ball on the ground and has only allowed 3 HRs on the year. 


Mickey Storey RHP (31st Round in 2008, age 23)

KC/ STK: 0-0, 14 saves, 0.34 ERA,....26.1 IP, 11 H, 3/35 BB/K, 0.31 WHIP

These stats are just nasty.  He has continued his dominance save one outing where he gave up 3 hits and 4 unearned runs.  The 11.67 K:B ratio and 12.07 K:9 are dominant, and his 0.31 WHIP is almost unheard of.  This reminds me of Sam Demel's rise through the system and its hopefully goin to provide another power arm.  I could see him making it to Midland with a possible call to SAC later in the season.


Tyson Ross RHP (2nd Round in 2008, age 22)

STK: 5-5, 3.90 ERA....80.2 IP, 73 H, 33/74 BB:K, 1.82 GO/AO 

Much has been said of his funky, hard to watch delivery, but he has experienced some success this year.  Tyson's last three starts have been especially promising (18.2 IP, 9 H, 9/19 BB/K, 0.99 ERA) but he has been rather inconsistent.  For example, he walked only 8 in the month of June compared to 9 so far in July, yet his numbers have improved.  His GO/AO is definitley very promising and his K to BB rate is solid.

Honorable Mention: Ben Hornbeck (STK), Justin Murray (KC), Trey Barham (KC), Graham Godfrey (MID), Sharpe (MID) 


As you can tell, I really like Desme and think he can turn into a special player.  Im also eagerly waiting the signing of Green, Stassi, and Leyland to improve some of our hitting prospects.  The SP in the A levels are starting to come on strong (Capra, Smalley, Hornbeck, Figueroa, Ross) and we have plenty of intriguing bullpen arms.  What minor league guys are you all excited about??

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