Friday, April 8, 2011

Wilmington Blue Rocks Preview

This is the final preview for the full season clubs. Wilmington should have a stacked rotation, but the position prospects aren't on the same level as they are at Northwest Arkansas or Omaha.


  • Noel Arguelles- Arguelles will be one of the most closely monitor players in the system in 2011. He makes he organization debut on April 11. He is on the 40 man, and with one season already lost he should be pushed along quickly, while the Royals keep an eye on his workload.

  • Justin Marks- Marks came over in the DeJesus trade, he needs to rebuild his stock for the trade to be a win for the Royals.

  • Tim Melville- When a system breaks out like the Royals' did in 2010, some guys will be pushed out of the limelight. Melville is one of those guys. His stuff is still strong and his numbers suggest some bad luck in 2010. I expect Melville's breakout to come this year.

  • Jake Odorizzi- Odorizzi came over in the Greinke trade and for this reason there will be an enormous pressure on him to perform. Hopefully the talent in the organization can alleviate some of that this season.

  • Elisaul Pimentel- Pimentel posted some impressive strikeout numbers a year ago in the Midwest League, let's see if he can carry that success to Carolina.

  • Tyler Sample- I am going to include him here, but I expect he will be moved to the bullpen at some point this season. Sample needs to repeat his delivery and improve on his control.


  • Manuaris Baez- Baez has been an organizational warrior for Kansas City and he's a good guy to have on a young Blue Rock staff.

  • Kevin Chapman- Chapman has a big time, and has future lefty set up man written all over him.

  • Ryan Dennick- Looks like a filler to me.

  • Glenn Gibson- Never heard of him. Edit: Will begin season on DL.

  • Kelvin Herrera- Love his arm, need to see him stay healthy. Rumors out of camp are that his fastball is touching 97 from the pen.

  • Brendan Lafferty- Great moustache.

  • Michael Mariott- Could get some time in the rotation for Wilmington, was the ace of the Nebraska staff a year ago and pitched well in his first year in professional ball.

  • Bryan Paukovitis- Awesome last name, big frame but doesn't throw as hard as you would expect. He is even farther removed from Tommy John so maybe his velocity will be up a bit, especially out of the pen.

  • Julio Cesar Pimentel- Has pitched in 9 innings in the last two seasons, hopefully a move to the pen can salvage his career. Edit: Will primarily serve as mentor to Arguelles.


  • Jose Bonilla- Bonilla used to be a decent prospect for the Royals, but he hasn't hit at all in full season ball. He'll get a promotion to Wilmington this season and hopefully he can take a page out of Salvador Perez's book.

  • Juan Graterol- At one point in time I elected to rate Graterol ahead of Perez and Bonilla on my prospect list. I am ashamed. However, in my defense I hadn't been able to read much about their defense and Graterol had at least put up a solid batting average as a pro.


  • Deivy Batista- As many suspected Batista's power in 2009 was a mirage.

  • Adam Frost- Frost does it all, great utility guy for a low level club.

  • Joey Lewis-Lewis displayed good power during his collegiate career and with the look of Wilmington's office he needs to do more with the bat.

  • Alex McClure- McClure has a good glove but like the rest of the offense he has to pick up his offense for Wilmington to be competitive.

  • Rey Navarro- Good glove shortstop, but hasn't hit nearly enough to be taken seriously.

  • John Whittleman- Royals needed a body to play first in Wilmington and wound up with former Texas Leaguer John Whittleman.


  • Tim Ferguson- Ferguson averaged over a K per game last season in Idaho Falls. He'll need to vastly improve on this aspect of his game to be a solid prospect.

  • Nicholas Francis- Francis best impact bat for the Blue Rocks in 2011. He needs another big year for the Blue Rocks offense to have any punch.

  • Whit Merrifield- Thanks to Greg Schaum's reports I know that many in the orgaization view Merrifield as a future big league utility man. For this reason he should get time in the infield about once per week.

  • Adrian Ortiz- Speedy outfielder, if he can improve his plate discipline he would be a much stronger prospect. Edit: Will begin season on DL.

  • Carlo Testa- Testa was one of the few bright spots for the Burlington Bees last season when he put up a Lough-esque extra base line of 24 doubles, 14 triples, and 12 homers.

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