AFL Prospect Bios (Fifth Week 2008 Season)
Eric Young… where have I heard that name before? Yep, he’s the son of former major league second baseman Eric Young. If you’re a make-up guy, check out this quote from Baseball America;
Seeing no value in sitting at home after the 2007 season, he invited himself to instructional league and offered to pay his own expenses so he could spend six weeks continuing to refine his game.
Gotta love that. Anyways, Eric Jr. started the 2007 season as a second baseman. In 2008 he moved to CF, making his path to the majors a little bit harder. In 403 AA at-bats he only hit 4 HR. On the plus side he did hit .290 and stole 46 bags (although vs 16 CS). He was able to work a walk, walking 61 times vs 77 SO, giving him a year end OBP of .390.
Based upon statisitcs alone, Young has to be considered one of the breakouts of the 2008 AFL. He’s hitting .420 and has walked 10 times vs 12 SO. But the most impressive stat is his 18 SB vs only one CS. Young (a switch hitter) has a shot at being an everyday MLB outfielder if he can continue to get on base, work a walk and successfully steal at a high percentage.
First baseman Logan Morrison has something in common with Albert Pujols. They both came out of Maple Woods CC. I hope I didn’t get you going there. On the field Logan may not be Pujols (few are) but he just keeps racking up minor league awards.
2007 SAL (low A) Mid-Season All-Star
2008 FSL (High A) Mid-Season All-Star
2008 FSL Post-Season All-Star
2008 FSL Most Valuable Player
2008 Baseball America Minor League All-Star
2008 Baseball America High Class A All-Star
What earned him the 2008 FSL MVP? A .332 Avg, .402 OBP and .494 SLG, that’s what. He hit 13 HR in a tough HR league, walked 57 times vs 80 SO and even chipped in 9 steals. The emergence of Morrison helped make the Marlins decision regarding the trade of Mike Jacobs that much easier. Expect Morrison to begin the 2009 season in AA with a shot of joining the Marlins in the latter stage of the regular season.
In the AFL he’s hitting .443 with 5 HR and 25 RBI.
Since we’re taking more of a Toronto Blue Jays direction here at mopupduty.com, we’ll look at pitching prospect Zach Dials. Drafted way back in the 28th round of the 2006 draft Dials was moved into the bullpen to start the 2008 season. Used as a set-up man & closer, Dials had modeate success in AA New Hampshire posting 15 saves in 36 games. The problem for 2008 lies in his H/9. In 36.2 IP he allowed 45 hits. He features a low 90’s fastball, a change and an in progress slider. In the AFL he’s allowed 17 hits in 14.1 IP, including 4 HR.
I had the pleasure of watching Jeff Manship pitch during my Florida trip of 2008 and while he didn’t knock my socks off he didn’t disappoint me either. Heading into 2008 he ranked as the #9 prospect in the Twins organization. Logging 155.1 IP between High A & AA Jeff posted some decent numbers, striking out 125 vs 44 BB, allowing only 8 HR and putting up a 1.70 GB/FB ratio. In person Manship had a wicked curve and good control on a 90’ish fastball. At this point he projects as a decent #4 or #5 starter at the MLB level.
Drafted in the first round as a catcher, Brandon Snyder moved to first base on a full-time basis in 2007. With Wieters close to MLB ready, the positional move should work in Snyder’s benefit.
In the AA Carolina League Brandon hit .315, knocked out 13 HR with 33 doubles and posted an OPS of .848, all at the age of 21. The O’s still think his HR power will improve as he adds weight to his 6’2, 210 pound frame.
In the AFL Snyder has hit 3 HR in 49 AB and has an overall OPS of .994
The Orioles are quietly putting together an impact offense built primarily upon farm hands and acquisitions. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2010 O’s offense is amongst the best baseball with an inexpensive core of Wieters, Markakis, Jones, Scott, Snyder and AA triple crown winner Lou Montanez.