- Daniel Hudson made his AA debut. LIstening to his first start, I was surprised to hear that, on the Birmingham gun, his fastball was frequently registering in the upper 90s. Now, I know the gun there is fast; however, because of Aaron Poreda, I know roughly how much faster it is than reality. And these readings were suggesting that Hudson's fastball was not sitting in the 90-93 MPH range that scouting reports previously had him at but more in the 93-95 MPH range. John Sickels and Keith Law both confirmed this week that Hudson's fastball had gained a few ticks. This certainly helps to explain his success this year, going from A ball to AA in a half season, and also raises his status and ceiling as a prospect.
- I remain puzzled that Hudson's Old Dominion teammate Dexter Carter is still in Kannapolis. Guys with K/BB ratios of 94/20 in 78 IP need to be challenged.
- The White Sox' two rookie league teams began play this week. The Bristol Sox probably have the most interesting players at this point, as the Great Falls Voyagers are still waiting for the highly drafted college players to arrive. Bristol has two young pitchers drafted out of high school - Nevin Griffith and Steven Upchurch. Drafted in 2007, Griffith missed almost all of last season after Tommy John surgery. He has apparently abandoned the slider, which he credits with causing his elbow problems, and is going to feature his curve and changeup more. Before his injury, these were described as potential plus pitches. His first start was not good - 5 IP, 6 hits, 4 BB, 3 K, WP, HBP - though it probably shouldn't have been unexpected. Upchurch, on the other hand, had a very solid first start: 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 BB, 3 K. The 2008 draft pick is unlikely to spend much time in Bristol before promotion to Kannapolis.
- The Voyagers are waiting/hoping for more of the college guys to arrive and start playing, especially the likes of Jared Mitchell and
Josh Phegley(update: assigned to Kannapolis), if only for cameos, as there really isn't all that much about which to be excited on the team right now. Picks like RHP Justin Collop (6th), RHP Ryan Buch (8th), OF Nick Ciolli (10th), and CF Kyle Colligan (12th) have been assigned there though, due to the length of time since the end of their college seasons, the pitchers haven't debuted yet.
- Speaking of Mitchell, he had an excellent finale to his collegiate career by leading LSU to the College World Series title and garnering the tournament's Most Oustanding Player award. In the three game final, he went 5-13, 3B, HR, 2 BB.
- Tyler Flowers: .275/.429/.512. I asked earlier this week how long one can keep a guy with that line in AA. I guess we'll see. Flowers and Dayan Viciedo were both selected to the Futures Game, which is played the day prior to the Major League All-Star game.
- Recently promoted Christian Marrero has slotted into Brandon Allen's spot for the Barons nicely: .273/.306/.576 in nine games. The lefty's move to 1B from the outfield appears, at least for the moment, to be permanent so he'll need to keep that slugging up in order for his bat to play at that position.
- Brandon Allen, after a torrid start to his AAA career, cooled down significantly this week, as he was hitless in all four games against Louisville to end the week. He has a .258/.258/.419 line in eight games now. To all those who were attempting to infer a link between the timing of his promotion and Konerko's injury (or whatever else), his was merely a deserved promotion for a guy who had spent the equivalent of a full season in AA. He ain't ready for the majors yet.
- Jeff Marquez, who missed about a month and a half with elbow problems, returned for the Knights last week and has been far more effective than prior to his injury. In two starts this week, he went 11 IP, 8 hits, 5 BB, 9 K. Still no real evidence, though, of his supposed amazing groundballing abilities.
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