Prospect Tracker: Alonso, Gordon & Laird

It’s time to check in on three more prospects from around the minor leagues.  Are any of them primed to make an impact in the not too distant future?  Let’s take a look:

Yonder Alonso – Cincinnati Reds – First Baseman
Triple-A: .225 (40-178), 3 HR, 21 RBI, 14 R, 2 SB
He was decent at Double-A before being promoted (.267, 3 HR, 13 RBI), but it has been a struggle at Triple-A.  Over his last 10 games he’s hit .186 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R.  Amazingly, the lefty has actually hit better against lefties (.250) then against righties (.214), which spells out a lot of his troubles.  He doesn’t strikeout a ton (18.0%), but doesn’t walk either (5.3%).  While a lot of the trouble is luck based (.259 BABIP), he significantly needs to turn things around before the Reds give him an opportunity.  As it is, as much as they talk about moving Joey Votto to the outfield, it’s not going to happen in 2010.  What Alonso needs to do is turn things around and get scorching hot in the second half, forcing the Reds’ hand for 2011.  As of now, I wouldn’t expect seeing him in the majors this season (outside of a cup of coffee in September) so those in yearly leagues can ignore him for now.

Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals – Outfield
Triple-A: .340 (67-197), 11 HR, 35 RBI, 45 R, 6 SB
As we’ve already discussed, it’s not his bat that is keeping Gordon in the minor leagues, but the fact that he is learning a new position.  Sooner or later he’s going to force things, however.  The Royals really have nothing to lose and maybe, just maybe, this hot streak is for real.  We’ve never seen this type of success in the major leagues from him (.194 this season), but the Royals have always seemed to pull the plug on him before giving him a chance.  This year they gave him just 31 AB before demoting him.  Really?  Then again, his Triple-A success is based on a BABIP of .424, something that he is never going to replicate.  Still, he’s better then he’s shown in the major leagues before, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on him moving forward.

Brandon Laird – New York Yankees – Third Baseman
Double-A: .293 (84-287), 19 HR, 77 RBI, 58 R, 2 SB
A Yankees prospect not getting a lot of attention?  That seems almost impossible, but that’s the situation with the 22-year old Laird.  A 27th round draft choice in 2007, Laird has exploded in 2010.  It’s not like he was bad in previous seasons (.273 with 23 HR in ’08 at Low Single-A and .266 with 13 HR in ’09 at High Single-A), but it was nothing compared to this.  He’s currently leading the Eastern League in home runs and blowing out the field in RBI (second place has 55).  One of the differences is his fly ball rate, currently at 45.9% (his career mark is at 40.4%).  That isn’t such an unrealistic jump, however, given his age.  It wouldn’t be a big surprise to see him continue adding strength as he matures.  His BABIP (.310) is also extremely realistic.  In other words, his success could easily continue, meaning he should be on all fantasy radars.  With Alex Rodriguez entrenched at third base, it would appear Laird becomes a prime trade chip as the deadline approaches.  Keep on eye out and see if he lands somewhere else.  If he does, there’s a chance he quickly progresses to the majors.

What are your thoughts on these three?  Who is going to make an impact in 2010?  Who has the best long-term potential?

Make sure to check out our new Prospect Tracker, for links to the latest updates on all the top prospects in baseball, by clicking here.

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8 comments

  1. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Additions to the list….

    #1. Brett Lawrie: Top 25 Prospect right now. He is a must-have on any top prospect list. He and Dom Brown are competing for the title of “Next Mike Stanton”
    #2. Domonic Brown: See above
    #3. Michael Taylor: He is an interesting player to follow. He is supposed to be the outfield savior of Oakland, but his season at AAA has started with struggles. He should have been receiving a Sept call-up, but he needs to starting raking for that to happen now.
    #4. Grant Green: Putting up sick numbers in High-A. He should be promoted to AA soon, and might even have a chance for short stint at AAA by the end of the season. Cliff Pennington, you better watch your back!
    #5. Danny Espinosa: Yet another in the long list of Nationals prospects, but Espinosa is worth watching because of his power potential. His average is not where it should be, but by next year its very possible that we see an Ian Desmond/Danny Espinosa starting middle-infield pair in Washington.
    #6. Ryan Kalish: BoSox golden-child Ryan Westmoreland just had part of his brain removed (or something like that), and Josh Reddick is unsuccesfully trying to make a splash in the bigs. This leaves the minor-league limelight open for Kalish. If he can turn that average around, he is the next OF to be called-up this year.

    Jarrod Parker (any injury updates???)

  2. Sawyer says:

    If you had to name the top 5 prospects in the minors right now, who would they be?

    Loving the prospect reports, please keep them up.

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Sawyer, I don’t want to spoil a future article :-p Don’t worry, I’ll be answering that soon.

    And not to worry, these are going to continue all year long!

    As for Nick, thanks for the input! All six have been added to the mix, so look for updates on them starting shortly.

  4. Erik F says:

    Where’d you get minor league stats with BABIP? I usually use fangraphs, but they haven’t had minor league stats this year.

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    Erik, I take the time to calculate them myself, actually. Is there someone specific you need the number for?

  6. Erik F says:

    oh good idea, um if you could come up with Jeremy Hellickson’s and/or Dan Hudson’s that’d be great.

  7. Rotoprofessor says:

    Not a problem at all!

    Hellickson – .313

    Hudson – .319

    If there is ever anyone else you, or anyone else, needs, just let me know.

  8. Erik F says:

    thanks, you’re the man!

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