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2011 Jackson Generals

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Getting a little late for roster previews.  Whoops!

Roster: Jackson Generals - Southern League (AA)

The best thing about this team is that they're no longer known as the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx.  The second best thing is that they're harboring some somewhat interesting talent just a quick jump from the big leagues.  

The top prospect on this squad might be rifle-armed right fielder Johermyn Chavez, the supposed "throw in" of the Brandon Morrow trade.  Chavez is coming off of a strong year with High Desert in which he hit .315/.387/.577 with 69 extra base hits over 605 plate appearances.  His .815 OPS on the road lessens the doubt cast by the extreme hitting environment in Adelanto, just in case you didn't believe the scouting reports that say his power to all fields will play just about anywhere.  Chavez strikes out a lot and will have to continue working on pitch recognition and discipline.  After a rough opening week+ he's caught fire and brought his line to .322/.369/.441 through 15 games.

While others may not share my level of interest, the #2 guy I'll be watching on the Generals is shortstop Carlos Triunfel.  He was supposed to break out at some point over the last couple seasons but instead saw his 2009 wiped out by a broken leg and followed that up by hitting just .257/.286/.332 last year with the Jaxx, leading many to focus their attention elsewhere.  I haven't quite given up on Triunfel, however, given that he's still just (listed at) 21 years old.  If he can finally add some power to his great contact ability he could become quite interesting once again. I'm not holding my breath but he might still have that breakout in him.  He has two homers and four doubles through 14 games, which is a great sign after he had just 20 extra base hits all last season.

First baseman Rich Poythress hit .315/.381/.580 last season with High Desert, drawing some attention with a minor league leading 129 RBI.  The best part of Poythress' year was that his power was even better on the road, something not often seen from Maverick mashers.  He had 3 more homers and 50 more points on his ISO while playing on the road. Poythress' swing still needs work and there is some concern about his bat speed as he advances but so far, so good, at least stat-wise. 

 

Infielder Kyle Seager is a guy that the organization is said to be absolutely in love with, which isn't hard to believe considering he was chosen alongside top prospects Dustin Ackley, Nick Franklin and Michael Pineda to represent the Mariners at Fan Fest.  Seager hit .345/.419/.503 over 643 plate appearances for High Desert last season, picking up 71 walks and 57 extra base hits along the way.  Seager will have to prove that he can carry some power into the upper levels and that his defense at second base is sound in order to be anything more than the utility player most envision him becoming.  Nate Tenbrink is also on the watch list after a breakout 2010 and is basically Seager minus some contact and on-base ability as well as some defensive utility (more of a third baseman/outfielder). 

The pitching staff lacks anything resembling star power and is headlined by a group of strike throwers.  Erasmo Ramirez and Anthony Vasquez lead the way with miniscule walk rates and, best I can gather, slightly better stuff than the rest.  Both get grounders while Vasquez is said to have a really good changeup and Erasmo's curve is interesting.  They are interesting as back of the rotation prospects, and are joined by Andrew Carraway and Kenn Kasparek who are the same types of pitchers.

Steve Hensley was known for a really good slider at one point and was thought of as a pretty solid mid-back of the rotation prospect.  These days he's struggling with arm injuries (again) and may be heading to the bullpen one of these days.  Same goes for lefty Nick Hill.

This team has plenty of big league prospects but lacks firepower.  Chavez or Poythress could be impact players one day but have enough going against them that I'm still very much in wait and see mode.