It is a no-brainer that Stephen Strasburg is at the top of minor league prospects in 2010. He is scheduled to make his major league debut next week for the Nationals.

Strasburg has posted a combined record of 6-2 with a 1.43 ERA in 10 starts, with five in AA and five in AAA.

He has struck out 60 and walked 12 in 50 minor league innings and has allowed only one home run. He also has posted an amazing 0.79 WHIP.

Mike Stanton may be promoted to the Marlins directly from AA Jacksonville. He has hammered 18 home runs and driven in 48 runs. Stanton is only 20, and the 6’5″, 235-pound Stanton is hitting .308 while posting a .439 OBP and a .704 slugging percentage.

It is not a matter of if Stanton will be called up, but it has to be soon since manager Fredi Gonzalez is already talking about where he will bat in the batting order.

Chris Coghlan is not hitting well so far this season, so the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year could be sitting on the bench to make room for Stanton in the lineup. The Marlins are not going to call up a 20-year-old player like Stanton to sit on the bench, so someone used to playing will be watching games from the dugout.

Jesus Feliciano cannot be considered a prospect since he will be 31 on June 6, but he is leading the International League in hitting with a .403 average for Buffalo, a Mets affiliate. He is playing his 13th year in the minors and hasn’t played in a major league game.

He has no power with only 18 home runs in 13 seasons. He has been in the minors since 1998, when he played for Yakima in the Dodgers organization.

Former major leaguer Hank Blalock is hitting well for Durham and may be called up to the Rays before long since he is hitting .349.

Pedro Alvarez of Indianapolis is not hitting for average (.261), but his power numbers may be enough for him to be called up by the Pirates since he has 11 home runs and has driven in 44 runs while slugging .511.

Dayan Viciedo of Charlotte has hit 11 home runs and driven in 24 runs while hitting .286 and could be playing at the major league level for the White Sox before the season is over.

Carlos Santana should be playing for the Indians soon since he has 10 homers and 43 runs batted in for Columbus while hitting .315 and slugging .565.

Jeremy Hellickson might be pitching in Tampa Bay by the end of this season after compiling an 8-2 record with a 2.49 ERA for Durham and allowing only two home runs in 65 innings.

Daniel Hudson, who was 2-0 for the White Sox in 2009, has improved his chances of being called up after a slow start by having the third most wins in the International League with six. Hudson pitched in five levels in 2009 by pitching in A, Advanced A, AA, AAA, and the majors.

The Dodgers have three of the top four hitters in the Pacific Coast League with Albuquerque, but only 25-year-old Xavier Paul could be considered a prospect since John Lindsey, leading the league in hitting with a .430 average, is 33, and Jay Gibbons, third in batting with a .389 mark, is also 33. Paul is fourth with a .388 average.

Chad Tracy, 30, of Iowa is hitting .424 but has little chance of cracking the Cubs lineup in Wrigley Field.

Buster Posey, 23, who was called up by the Giants, is the only player under 25 among the top 30 hitters in the Pacific Coast League.

Chris Carter, 23, of Sacramento might have already been called up by the A’s if not for his .237 batting average, but he is second in the league in home runs with 12 and second in runs batted in with 42. With the A’s needing more power in their lineup, Carter may be called up before the end of June.

Chuck Lofgren, 23, of Nashville with a 6-3 record, may be called up by the Brewers in the near future since the starting pitching in Milwaukee has not done well in 2010, and they could use some bullpen help too.

Twenty-two-year-old Casey Coleman, with a 5-3 record, has an outside chance of being called up by the Cubs before the end of the season.

The spotlight will be on Stephen Strasburg and Mike Stanton when they are called up, but we could see some AA players called up that will make a name for themselves during the 2010 major league season.


Around the Diamond

Ubaldo Jimenez continues to pitch in a league of his own, as he posted his 10th win of the 2010 season in a complete game 4-0 shutout win over the Giants. His 10-1 record, 0.78 ERA, and 0.90 WHIP can be described as amazing, but even amazing doesn’t do justice to what he has accomplished in 2010.

He pitched a no-hitter against the Braves, giving the Rockies a 4-0 win, on April 17, showing early on that this would be a special season for him.

After 11 starts he has not allowed more than two runs to be scored against him in a game. He has not allowed a run in six of those 11 starts. He has allowed two runs twice and allowed only one run in the other three starts.

He pitched a two-hitter in his only loss and allowed one run to score. Jimenez has struck out 70 in 80 innings, and opponents are hitting .172 against him. On this date last season his record was 3-6, and he didn’t win his 10th game till Aug. 12 in 2009, with that win making his record 10-9.

Andy Pettitte, 7-1, joined David Price and Clay Buchholz as the AL leaders in wins with his win yesterday.

Cristian Guzman may be leading the NL in hitting with a .327 average, but Andre Ethier should have enough at-bats to qualify as the leader soon since he is hitting .380 as of today.

Jose Bautista, with 16 home runs, needs a home run today to be on track for a 50 home run season since the Blue Jays will be playing their 54th game, which marks the exact one-third mark for the 2010 season.

Ricky Romero of the Blue Jays is leading the AL in strikeouts with 79.

Miguel Cabrera is leading the AL in runs batted in with 48 and is third in batting at .344 and second in home runs with 14.

Eight NL pitchers have lower ERAs than the best ERA by an AL pitcher. Ubaldo Jimenez leads the majors with a 0.78 ERA, while ninth-ranked Jeff Niemann leads the AL with a 2.37 mark. Only seven of the top 25 ERAs have been posted by AL pitchers this season.

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