StrategyJuly 18, 2011

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Future Rookies: Week 16

By Josh Shepardson

A couple of the finest options at the keystone position in the Pacific Coast League are highlighted this week in Future Rookies. Both players have ripped the stitching out of the baseball this season, but come with questions about their long term ability to be the answer for their respective clubs at second base. Regardless, second base is a position devoid of offensive talent, and both players have garnered the attention of scouts and prospect publications alike with their strong performances in their minor league careers, making them noteworthy.

Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros, 21 years old

2011 Hi-A21338534191926.408.451.6061.057
2011 AA139204225714.360.388.554.942

Exciting and buzzy prospect Jose Altuve was much the talk of the scouting section at the Futures Game according to Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus in discussing the game on his and Kevin Goldstein’s latest podcast. Ranking as just the 28th best prospect in the Houston Astros’ organization by Baseball America coming into the season, and considered just a C+ prospect by John Sickels, Alltuve continues to turn his detractors into fans and supporters with his scintillating and exciting play.

The biggest knock on the youngster is his diminutive stature. A classic blue collar baseball player, who doesn’t wow with blazing speed, or raw power, Altuve is an accomplished defender who has showcased just enough pop and speed and hit for a high average. He’s also able to reach base by the walk, and rarely strikes out. It’s possible he’ll see a September call-up, but if not, expect him to reach the majors sometime next season.

Johnny Giavotella, 2B, Kansas City, 24 years old

2011 AAA3775696493548.334.391.485.876

Often overlooked amongst the many more highly touted members of the Kansas City Royals stacked farm system, Johnny Giavotella has the look of an offensive minded second baseman with doubles power. His defense hasn’t rated out as anything more than average, but with a solid bat, average is good enough. Even though he profiles as a doubles hitter, he has shown a tad bit of home run power and some stolen base potential as well.

His fantasy skillset actually mirrors that of current Triple-A teammate Mike Aviles to some degree. Aviles has shown more power in Triple-A throughout his career than Giavotella, but was also older at the same level. On the flipside, Giavotella has shown a more patient approach, drawing walks more regularly than the free swinging Aviles, something that should bode well for his run scored totals at the next level. A September call-up seems highly likely, with a shot at overtaking incumbent second baseman Chris Getz next spring on the horizon.

Josh is a graduate of SUNY Cortland's Sport Management program, and an aspiring fantasy writer. You can catch up with Josh in the Cafe Forums where he posts as B-Chad. You can also follow his work at The Hardball Times and follow him on Twitter (BChad50).
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