The Anthony Rizzo watch is now over..... at least for now. Chase Utley is back and Ryan Howard can't be far behind. We have ten hitters for your review in this week's Farm Report. With the exception of super-prospect Brett Jackson, all have spent time in the majors this season. Several on our list are rehabbing injury and others may be headed toward the dreaded AAAA classification.
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Dominic Brown OF Philadelphia- Injuries continue to slow Brown's return to the majors, the latest- PCL and MCL strains in his right knee. If Brown can't make it back with Ryan Howard out due to injury, it makes you wonder when he will? Chase Utley has returned and Howard won't be far behind, greatly reducing the urgency to bring Brown up. Brown appeared to be surging towards a return in May, butt his overall numbers remain disappointing at 4-22-.266.
Tyler Moore 1B/OF Washington- Moore may have earned a full time job in left field. With Bryce Harper in center and Mike Morse in right, we can assume that Moore only has the job until Jayson Werth returns in approximately a month. Coors Field can bring out the best in anyone and Moore has taken advantage of Washington's trip to Denver, going 5-for-10 with a pair of home runs and five RBI over last two nights. The 25-year-old Moore has shown developing power, coming off back to back 30 home run seasons in the minors.
Brett Jackson OF Chicago Cubs- The next great prospect on the horizon, Jackson is the only member of our list yet to make it to the majors. In 75 games at Iowa of the PCL, Jackson has 11 home runs, 31 RBI, 14 steals and .254 average. If the Cubs accelerate their rebuild by throwing in the towel, Jackson could make the jump sooner than later. Keep and eye on Aflonso Soriano, Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster, if they are moved, we could see a youthful takeover at Wrigley.
Lorenzo Cain OF Kansas City- After going down to injury in the season's first week, Cain is finally nearing a return. Cain injured his left hip while recovering from a groin injury. Cain began his rehabilitation in Double-A two weeks ago and was moved up to Triple-A on Wednesday. Speed is a major part of the 26-year-old outfielder's game and how the injury effects him, if at all, when he returns after the All-Star break should be monitored.
Brett Wallace 1B Houston- It sure seemed to me that Wallace might have returned to stay after a solid week and a half earlier this month. Wallace homered in two of his first three games after getting called up and was hitting .333 when sent back down to Oklahoma City. Carlos Lee's return from injury obviously played a major role, as does the fact that Lee is limited to first base at this point in his career. Wallace still has a future in Houston
Matt LaPorta 1B Cleveland- With Grady Sizemore's long rehab continuing and Travis Hafner's absence, I felt that the Tribe could use LaPorta's stick in their absence. Matt was called up early this month, but his latest stint lasted only ten days. LaPorta continues to rake at Triple-A to the tune of 16-37-.305, but struggled (2-11) when brought up to fill in for Johnny Damon. Casey Kotchman figures to be a stop gap at first and if he continues to struggle (6-27-.227) we will see LaPorta's return for the season's second half.
David Cooper 1B Toronto- Called up Memorial Day weekend, Cooper got off to a torrid start going 15-41 with a pair of home runs, with six RBI over his first 11 games. Cooper would get only four hits over his next 24 at bats before getting sent back down on Sunday. The former first round pick is mashing at Triple-A (6-34-.298) and will continue to spend the summer in Las Vegas as the Jays give Adam Lind another look at first base.
Matt Adams 1B St.Louis- Arguably the biggest stick in the Cardinals farm system, fans got a brief peek during Adams' month long call-up. Adams started strong, but faded to the tune of 5-24-.244 resulting in a trip back down to Memphis. With Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig back and Lance Berkman expected back soon after the All-Star break, we may not see Adams again until September. Adams continues to excel in the PCL with 11 home runs, 31 RB and a .340 average over 42 games.
A.J. Pollock OF Arizona- One of Arizona's top hitting prospects, Pollock has made several trips up to the big club this season. Pollock isn't quite ready with only one home run and a .245 average in 21 games. Pollock was brought up to fill in for Chris Young, then Jason Kubel, but is now back at Reno where he has posted 1-29-9 with a .327average with nearly 200 at bats. The D'Backs have hinted they may move Justin Upton, which would give Pollock another shot. As it stands right now, Gerardo Parra has a firm hold on the 4th OF spot.
Xavier AveryOF Baltimore- Avery showed some of his exciting potential during his two and a half week sting with the Birds last month. Avery had five multi-hit games in his first ten starts, but was ultimately second back down to Triple-A. At Norfolk, Avery has six home runs, 26 RBI, 16 steals and a .268 average. With Nolan Reimold now expected out for effectively the remainder of the season, expect Avery back in the season's second half and to earn the left field job.
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When we return, the Farm Report continues with pitchers on our radar.
Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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