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:

Freddie Freeman—Atlanta Braves, First Baseman
Triple-A: .287 (84-293), 10 HR, 50 RBI, 36 R, 2 SB
It was a slow start, hitting .259 through May, but he has significantly turned things up since the calendar turned to June.  He’s gone 42-131 (.321) with 5 HR, 26 RBI and 15 R in that time.  That’s certainly more like it.  While he doesn’t have elite power, he’s showing that last year’s 8 HR was the aberration. 

However, the fly ball rate has fallen to 30.9% (his career mark is 36.6%), so that’s clearly not his ticket to the big leagues.  He appears to be a 15-20 HR guy at this point, but that’s about it.  What he does is make contact (17.1%).  However, even with the turn around, with Troy Glaus at first it’s hard to imagine Freeman getting a look in 2010.  He also wouldn’t be more then a platoon player, as he has hit just .217 against lefties this season.  He needs to improve that significantly before he’s going to have fantasy value. 

As it is, without the power, he’ll be very similar to someone like James Loney, in other words a low-end fantasy option.

Wilkin Ramirez—Detroit Tigers, Outfielder                                                                  Triple-A: .219 (25-114), 3 HR, 11 RBI, 11 R , 4 SB .  When we last checked in on Ramirez he had spent just 25 AB at Triple-A.  Now that we have a bigger sample size, we can definitively say that his struggles at Double-A have followed him to the upper levels.  He strikes out a ton (38.6% at Triple-A), making it impossible to hit for a good average. 

Before you hope that maybe it’s improving, know that he’s struck out 22 times in his last 39 AB.  Over those 10 games, he’s struck out three or more times five times.  Despite his power potential, there’s just no chance of any type of significant impact with strikeouts like that.  Until he learns to limit the Ks, he can be ignored outside of the deepest of dynasty leagues.

Mark Trumbo—Los Angeles Angels, First Baseman
Triple-A: .270 (89-330), 20 HR, 70 RBI, 55 R, 2 SB
Sooner or later, barring an acquisition, the Angels are going to have to take a look at him at the major league level. 

Granted, the power has come in the Pacific Coast League, but it is not like he hasn’t shown power in the past (32 HR in ‘08).  His fly ball rate is key, getting back to 39.4% (it had fallen to 33.6% in ‘09).  He had only 12 RBI in April, but has 58 since (despite the average falling).  It just shows he’s capable of driving in runs, and the 22 additional extra base hits (18 doubles and 4 triples) help support the power.  Just keep a close eye, because he’ll have value in deeper formats if the Angels opt to go that way.

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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