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April 10, 2005

Minor League Notes: 4/9/05
by Fabian


In the past I have consistently expressed confidence in Robinson Cano’s ability to hit for average while expressing doubt in exactly how much power he would develop, especially in comparison to early scout predictions of possible 30 home run seasons. It appears that in ’05 Cano has discovered his power stroke as he went 2 for 4 with a home run, a single, and a strikeout. The home run is Cano’s 3rd of the season in just 3 games and 13 at bats; Tony Womack, I hope you hear the footsteps.

Ramon Ramirez was on the mound for Columbus and had the best AAA start of his career as he went 7-4-1-1-0-6-0; numbers I believe he was fully capable of putting up had he been healthy while he was at AAA last year.


Matt DeSalvo, my 2nd favorite pitching prospect in the Yankee organization, had a dominant first start of the season for Trenton. The smallish right-hander put up a line of 6-3-1-1-3-9-1 as Erie hitters were helpless against his change-up. DeSalvo was able to set hitters up with the array of pitches from his arsenal, toss a well placed fastball, and then catch hitters off balance with a change-up for the strikeout. Acknowledging that DeSalvo does not have the best stuff or isn’t the most physical guy, I still find it incredible he could have gone undrafted, I’m willing to bet more than a few minor league hitters would agree.

The bookends of Trenton’s Prospect Row continue to struggle with base hits in the early going. Bronson Sardinha was 1 for 3 with a single and a HBP, but does not seem to be locked in at the plate yet and Eric Duncan was 0 for 3 with an intentional walk. It is a credit to Duncan’s prowess as a hitter that opponents will intentionally walk him though he has not gotten much in the way of results at the plate thus far. Melky Cabrera, hitting between the two, seems to be on track; he was 2 for 4 for with 2 solid singles and has now had back-to-back multi hit games. It shouldn’t be much longer before the doubles start dropping in.


Hector Made is off to a much quicker start than I anticipated; the SS had his second consecutive multi-hit game, this time he was 2 for 4 with a single and a double. That leaves Made 4 for his first 13 with two extra base hits. Neither Erold Andrus nor Rudy Guillen were able to get a hit though as both OF were 0 for 3 with a walk, which is nice, Andrus also struck out once.


Christian Garcia took the mound for the Riverdogs and they were handed their first loss of the season as the game highlighted the best of Garcia and the worst of Garcia. The worst was immediately visible as he allowed a leadoff walk, a misplayed bunt base hit, and another walk to load the bases. He then proceeded to easily strike out the side with an array of mid 90s fastballs and hard curveballs. Garcia’s final line ended up being 3-4-3-1-4-4-0 and this start just affirmed that while he has tremendous talent, possibly more raw talent than Phil Hughes, he will be quite the project, definitely more so than Phil Hughes.

Outside of Estee Harris, who was 1 for 3 with a huge home run and 2 strikeouts, the Charleston offense did not do much. Tim Battle and Jon Poterson both seem lost at the plate, swinging and missing at some bad pitches and making weak contact when they do connect. Battle was 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts and Poterson was 0 for 3 with a strikeout. Marcos Vechionacci, unlike many of his teammates, has maintained an excellent approach at the plate and worked deep counts, but at this point the results are not showing up; Nacci ended the game 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts, but I have no doubts that he will be breaking out soon.