I've been hearing a lot about Dodgers' 1b prospect James Loney lately. I've also heard nothing about Joe Koshansky. I don't understand.
Loney looks like Sean Casey. Kosh has loads of power and is still raw. At UVA, he was a two-way star. He really didn't start getting into the lineup until his junior season. Even then, he threw 58 and 102 in his junior and senior seasons, respectively. He was unable to focus on just hitting. Well, the changes have been noted. After signing in 2004, Koshansky hit 12 homers in 239 ABs. He only hit .234 and he struck out 35% of the time. He did walk a respectable 31 times.
He started 2005 at A, and he raked. He hit 36 homers in 453 ABs, and he knocked his Ks down a slight bit to 26%. Still high, but his power (36 HR, 31 2B) was great and the walks and average were there.
Well, at AA Tulsa so far this season, Koshansky has been superb. He's hitting .301 with 24 HR in 334 ABs. His K rate is around the same at 27%, but his walk total has improved. He is getting on base at a .385 clip. He also has 19 doubles to go with his 24 homers, which keeps his SLG up there. With Shealy being called up and pretty much out the door, I would not be surprised if Koshansky gets the call to Colorado Springs very soon.
I hate to make this comparison, but if you look at everything - the stats, the background, the swing, the power - Koshansky compares considerably well to Mr. Ryan Howard. Both were drafted as very RAW hitters out of college, which got them started at a much older age. Both are huge, lefty bats. Both featured similar power numbers, contact rates, batting averages, walks, and slugging at each level at the same age.
I see an eerily similar situation going down in Colorado... Thome getting hurt, opening the way for Howard, then getting dealt and revitalizing his career... I can see that happen in Colorado.