As promised, the second installment of the '010 in-season prospect roundups moves to a rotating format, where I highlight some of the top ten prospects, but also check in with some guys further down the reaches of the prospect rankings. Keep in mind that we're by no means at a point where guys have accumulated a truly meaningful sample size, but at least we have more data than we did last week, and the early returns on some of these guys are certainly interesting.
Check below the jump as we check in on a guy coming back from an injury (Domonic Brown), a guy succumbing to an injury (Jarred Cosart), a guy getting over two Tommy John surgeries (Scott Mathieson), and a bunch of other guys who don't have any of those injury problems.*
*Fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.Domonic Brown, OF-L, Reading: After sitting out a week following a concussion, Brown rejoined the fray on Friday and proceeded to have a 3-for-9 weekend series, with a homer, a triple, two walks, two strikeouts and a caught stealing. He's only got 44 plate appearances in the book, but his shiny .325/.386/.550 line is encouraging nonetheless. Nothing to see here, folks, just business as usual.
Domingo Santana, OF-R, Lakewood: Young Domingo is fast becoming a fascinating study in extremes. On one hand, his 22 whiffs in 47 at bats (46.8% K) is a major, gigantic, stop-the-presses red flag. On the other hand, his 19.0% BB is highly impressive, and he's sporting a respectable .170 ISO (with a pair of doubles and a pair of home runs, including a walkoff solo job on Friday night). Still, the most important number of all -- stop me if you've heard this one before -- is his age, as Santana is still just 17. Mets farmhand Wilmer Flores wound up on some Top 100 lists after posting a .264/.305/.332 as a 17-year old in the SAL last year, so that should help put Santana's .234/.413/.404 in perspective. Still, he has to cut down on the strikeouts
Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Reading: It was an encouraging week for the big Canadian. In 11 innings across two starts, he allowed only 3 hits, 1 run and 2 walks while striking out 9, including 6 no hit innings on Sunday. He also induced 14 ground outs to 9 fly outs. The control is especially encouraging, as Aumont had been a bit erratic over his first two starts while working on some mechanical adjustments. Still a long way to go here, but he's trending in the right direction.
Jarred Cosart, RHP, Lakewood: If I scared you with the headline here, my apologies; Cosart has been shuttled off to the DL with a blister on his throwing hand, so it doesn't appear to be anything too serious. It may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise, as the Phillies were going to have to monitor Cosart's workload this year anyway. He's been awfully good so far, punctuated by a 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K gem last Monday night, so while the organization will understandably be cautious with their young flamethrower, they'll be excited to see what he can do when he gets back on the field.
Scott Mathieson, RHP, Lehigh Valley: Mathieson cleared a key hurdle this week by pitching in back-to-back games last Monday and Tuesday, and while his command was a bit spotty in the second game (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K), it still goes down as a successful outing in my book. He's sporting a 7:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but the quality of his stuff isn't really in question -- only the continued return of his command is. We can expect him to make steady progress toward a midseason promotion, when a bullpen need arises.
Jiwan James, OF-S, Lakewood: James' raw numbers (.247/.303/.370 through 88 PA) don't exactly jump off the page, but those who have seen him say they've seen good signs. For one, BA's Ben Badler says he's shown "solid aptitude at the plate" thus far, and that's reflected in the decent job he's done controlling the strike zone (7.9% BB, 18.5% K). Furthermore, his BlueClaws manager, Mark Parent, is convinced enough of James' ability that he's kept him at the top of the lineup (hitting 1 or 2) all year. Given time to make adjustments, I think James can deliver the sort of breakout campaign many have predicted.
Michael Schwimer, RHP, Reading: Schwimer is the best relief prospect in the minor league pipeline aside from Mathieson, and he's proving that in Reading. Across three appearances this week, Schwimer tossed 3.1 scoreless, hitless frames, walking 2 while whiffing 8. He doesn't have the upper 90s gas or deadly secondary offering that would wow scouts, but he has good command and mixes his pitches well, and I'll take a guy like that any day. If Schwimer keeps this up, it would be a good idea to bump him to Lehigh Valley for the season's second half.
John Mayberry, OF-R, Lehigh Valley: Seemingly the forgotten man, Mayberry's just chugging along in Triple-A, hitting a respectable .288/.355/.500 while playing all three outfield spots for the IronPigs. He's controlling the strike zone reasonably well (9.6% BB, 21.2% K), hitting for power (2 HR, .212 ISO), and otherwise doing everything he needs to be doing. If the rash of Phillies injuries spreads to the outfield, Mayberry will be just fine to fill in on the 25-man roster.
Jeremy Barnes, 2B-R, Lakewood: Like Darin Ruf, Barnes is another one of those guys who's way too old for Low-A, but all you can ask of those guys is to dominate that level, and Barnes is doing just that. Shifted from shortstop in the offseason, the second baseman hit 10-for-29 the past week with a double, a triple, 7 walks and 6 strikeouts. He's at .318/.418/.485 through 77 PA in the early going, and while his ceiling is that of a utility infielder, it would certainly be nice to have an above-average one of those on hand in case a starter goes down. Just sayin'...
Heitor Correa, RHP, Clearwater: Correa was essentially the Domingo Santana of 2007, a 17-year old kid who was turning heads with his performances against older competition. A suspension for all of 2008 pushed back his timetable, and while he's off of most top prospect lists, he's still just 20 years old and is already at High-A Clearwater. Correa's Friday start is pretty much indicative of his 2010 thus far: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, and 3 K, with 15 ground outs to just 3 fly outs. He's only whiffed 9 through 17 innings, but he's racked up an impressive 65.5% groundball rate. No telling where this is headed, but it's certainly worth keeping an eye on.