Big weekend for baseball’s top prospects

By | April 28, 2012 10:57 am | 0 Comments

 

It’s a big weekend for two of baseball’s top-slugging prospects. The Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper and Los Angeles’ Angels’ Mike Trout were called up Friday.

Harper hasn’t been in the minors long — just 129 games — but injuries to Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman likely pushed up the timetable on Harper. Harper, a 19-year-old outfielder and the top pick in the 2010 draft, was hitting .250 with one homer and three RBIs in 20 games in Triple-A.

Trout’s move came coupled with the Angels’ decision to release veteran Bobby Abreu in hopes of sparking a slumping offense. Abreu, who the Cleveland Indians had interest in toward the end of spring training, has five hits in 27 plate appearances this season.

Trout, a 20-year-old outfielder, is more seasoned than Harper. Trout, who was hitting .403 in Triple-A this season, hit .220 with five homers, 16 RBIs and had four steals in 40 games with the Angels last season.

–It was nice to see Justin Masterson post a solid start Friday after struggling in his prior three starts. Masterson, who reached the ninth inning before Vinnie Pestano struck out the final two batters, struck out five and walked five in his no-decision against the Angels. The Indians rallied for a 3-2 win as Asdrubal Cabrera knocked in the winner with a walk-off single in the ninth.

Masterson has struggled against left-handers this year before Friday, and (in his previous three starts) he had given up 15 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings. Masterson, a right-hander, throws from a low arm slot, which makes him extremely effective against righties. Last season, his numbers were decent against lefties for most of the season, too. However, before Friday, left-handed hitters had a .929 OPS (on-base plus slugging) against him.

The Indians need Masterson (0-2) to maintain control against lefties and continue to go deep into games if they intend to contend in the AL Central.

–Tony Battaglia

 

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