We're at the ceremonial midway point of the major league season, but we're even further along than that in the minor league season -- there are just eight weeks of box scores left. Let's not waste any time, then, and jump right into the fray by discussing the title reference...
Joe Savery, 1B/LHP, Reading: Savery's first year as a full-time hitter has been moderately successful, with the 2007 1st round pick hitting .292/.353/.404 thus far. Interestingly enough, though, he hasn't been playing full-time since his promotion to Double-A, and has actually taken back to the mound, surrendering just 6 hits and 1 run in 8 innings across 5 appearances, while walking none and striking out 11. He doesn't profile as a major leaguer either as a first baseman or a pitcher, so it's fair to wonder is his usage pattern the last few weeks portends some sort of Brooks Kieschnick LOOGY/PH role for Savery. Truthfully, that may be his best path to the majors at this point.
There are, of course, nine more write ups below the jump.
Brody Colvin, RHP, Clearwater: Much like teammate Jarred Cosart, it's been an underwhelming campaign for Colvin, who we ranked as the organization's fourth best prospect heading into the season. A back injury saw him miss a month of the season, and he's struggled to get on track since he's returned, posting a cumulative 4.09 FIP and mediocre peripherals (6.2 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.57 HR/9, 53% GB). Last Tuesday's start might have been his best of the season -- he surrendered three unearned runs over 6 innings while allowing 6 hits and a walk, striking out 5 -- so perhaps that's something to build on.
Jesse Biddle, LHP, Lakewood: The good news here is that for a 19-year old cold weather pitcher who was assigned to a full season league for his first full season, a 3.39 FIP and an 8.7 K/9 are solid marks. The bad news is that the command is not there (5.0 BB/9), and there have been reports that Biddle's velocity is down from last year. It's turning out not be quite the breakout year I anticipated before the season, but last year's 1st rounder is healthy, logging innings, and occasionally throwing out a start like Saturday's (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K) to remind us that the potential is there.
Josh Zeid, RHP, Reading: I had Zeid pegged as a potentially fast moving bullpen arm when I slotted him 20th in the preseason prospect rankings, so while it was no surprise to see him double jumped to Reading, the degree to which he struggled in the R-Phils rotation (a 32:25 K:BB with 39 runs allowed in 47.2 innings) was a bit disconcerting. Given the chance to ramp it up in shorter stints, however, the Tulane product has yet to be scored upon in 4 relief outings, allowing just 4 hits and a walk in 7 innings while striking out 12. He's got a number of guys in front of him on the organizational depth chart, but the Phillies clearly like his arm, and he's a name to remember as we discuss the 2012 and 2013 bullpen.
Michael Schwimer, RHP, Lehigh Valley: While the injuries to the big league bullpen have given a number of IronPigs a big league shot (hello, Juan Perez), Schwimer has toiled in Triple-A as one of the club's two best relievers on the season without getting his own cup of coffee. He's understandably frustrated about the whole thing, but the fact is that he's not on the 40-man and the guys called up ahead of him (Scott Mathieson and Drew Carpenter) were, and I think that explains why it's shaken out the way it has. Schwimer will get his shot if he keeps doing what he's doing, i.e., not surrender a run in his last 6 appearances while striking out 9 (and walking 0) across 6.1 innings.
Brian Pointer, OF-L, GCL Phillies: The Nevada high school product finally sprinkled in a couple of 0-fors after a 7-game hit streak to start the year, but the 3 walks he drew on Thursday and Friday were an encouraging sign. He's at .278/.339/.481 through 59 plate appearances on the season, and while he's swung and missed his fair share (25.9% K), he's posted a respectable walk rate (8.5% BB) and impressive power for the pitcher-friendly Gulf Coast League (53.5% XBH, .204 ISO). It's only 14 games, but Pointer has rapidly moved up the Toolsy Outfielder Organizational Depth Chart®.
Steve Susdorf, OF-R, Reading: The 2008 19th round pick is an easy guy to root for, as a guy with limited physical tools who had a solid college career at Fresno State (helping lead them to a national championship) and managed a grand slam in his first pro at bat. Now 25 and in Double-A, he's been old for his level at every stop, and he doesn't offer much in the way of secondary skills or positional value, but a career .303/.367/.448 line shows that he can certainly hit. Now at a robust .345/.406/.503 on the season after back-to-back-to-back 2-hit games, Susdorf could have a shot as a 4th or 5th outfielder if he continues to hit like this.
Harold Martinez, 3B-R, Williamsport: The club's 3rd round pick this year, Martinez drew some rough Michael Taylor comps among the Phillies bloggertariat due to his tools and spotty college performance record. Through 20 games with the Crosscutters, he sports one of the strangest lines I've seen: .258/.432/.323, with a 23.5% BB and 38.7% K. The lack of power isn't altogether unsurprising -- Martinez managed just an .091 ISO during his junior year at Miami -- but it's concerning in conjunction with the contact issues. Methinks some tweaks to Martinez's swing are in store for the offseason, but for now, at least there's a patient approach to build on.
Austin Wright, LHP, Williamsport: Like Martinez, Wright also had a college career that didn't quite match the raw stuff he had. A big lefty with a solid fastball, the Ole Miss product has looked good in his first 4 appearances for the Crosscutters, surrendering just 4 runs while running a 23:4 K:BB in 18 innings. It's tough to read too much into a college product putting up good numbers in the pitcher-friendly New York-Penn League, but southpaws who can retire both left- and right-handed hitters don't grow on trees, so the organization has to be happy with what they've seen from Wright so far.
Carlos Alonso, 2B-R, Lakewood: Alonso is the kind of guy that intrigues me, as a college product with good amateur numbers who scouts don't particularly love. He fell to the 32nd round as a senior sign despite hitting .385/.449/.631 with more walks than strikeouts across his junior and senior years at the University of Delaware, then proceeded to post a solid if unspectacular .265/.347/.415 line for Williamsport last year (good for a 120 wRC+). He's only played in 7 games this year, going 7-for-21 with a pair of doubles and 3 BB (to 3 K). He's already 23 years old, but he's now moved from the hot corner to the keystone, and and I'm always intrigued by guys with a solid eye at the plate, especially when they play up-the-middle positions.