Not as much to look at in the upper levels as there was in the lower levels...but here they are.
Joel Guzman - 1B/3B/OF
Guzman is a former top prospect in the Dodger organization who flamed out and has bounced around for the last three years. However, the 25-year-old Guzman is hitting .272/.336/.535 with 17 homers for Bowie this season.
Eddie Gamboa - RP
I like Eddie. He rose fast last season and has continued to turn in good work in Bowie. He's striking out a batter an inning and while the walk rate is not great, the K/BB ratio is still 2.5 to 1. He's just another reason I think the bullpen can be rebuilt from within.
Jim Hoey - RP
Hoey seems to have worked himself back from injury problems to and is striking out batters like crazy (11.5 K/9). I guess I'll believe it if he starts doing it at AAA again.
Josh Bell - 3B
Bell has been maligned for a couple reasons this season. First, he can't hit lefties and people are demanding that he abandon switch hitting. (I've never really understood that argument. How do we know he can hit lefties better batting lefthanded than righthanded?) Second, he has not hit overall like he was expected to after his promotion to AAA.
The L/R splits are troubling. However, his bat is probably not as bad as it looks right now. First, his offensive numbers have improved each month of the season:
Slash Line BB K HR Apr .238/.256/.405 2 21 3 May .282/.325/.455 7 29 3 June .275/.367/.451 7 12 2
After a horrific April, he has focused on being more selective at the plate and it has paid off. Taking away April, his K/BB ratio is 3 to 1, not terrific but it's respectable and trending the right way.
Furthermore, according to Minor League Splits, if you normalize his numbers for park factor and luck, his .265/.312/.437 line becomes .294/.338/.494.
He's trending well and hitting better than his numbers show. He won't be pushing Miguel Tejada out of town this season liked many had hoped but he's having a productive season for a 23-year-old in AAA.
Brandon Snyder - 1B
Some better trends for Snyder as well, although in a different manner than Bell.
After putting up an OPS's of .615 and .659 in April and May respectively, Snyder is posting a line of .327/.389/.531 in June. He still isn't walking enough but this follows Snyder's development through the minors thus far. He tends to have a long learning curve when he moves up a level but when he gets it, he catches fire. It has taken him 5 months at AAA to come around but this may be the turning point that lands Snyder in the majors in 2011.
I don't think Snyder will ever be a great first baseman but he will be serviceable enough that we won't have to sign the like of Garrett Atkins again. (Not that we needed to in the first place...)
Tim Bascom - SP
Bascom is the starting pitcher who is closest to Baltimore now that Jake Arrieta was promoted. His stuff is marginal and he's a flyball pitcher but he has improved through each level, especially with his control as his walk rate is a minuscule 1.4 BB/9 in Bowie and Norfolk combined. He paints the corners and will have to hope his control and stuff are good enough to work the edges in the majors...but it could work.
Dennis Sarfate - RP
Just a quick note about Sarfate...
Yeah, he's got his velocity back and he's striking out 11.79 per 9 innings. But his walk rate is 5.32 K/9 and that's not going to play at the next level. Get it under control Dennis.