Minor League Report: Five Prospects To Watch In The Post-Season

Matt Moore – Tampa Rays – Matt Moore’s excellent season was capped off with a September 11th call-up. He made his major league debut at Fenway Park in the middle of a playoffs race. If that seemed intensely difficult, it didn’t show. Moore allowed one run on two hits in three innings of work. He pitched at two levels this season, racking up innings with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. He finished the season with a 12-3 record and a 1.92 ERA.

Austin Romine – New York Yankees – The common belief was that Austin Romine should be out of Double-A where he’d spent 2010 and 2011. But Jesus Montero was blocking him at Triple-A Scranton. Montero got an anticipated call to the Bronx. Romine got an unanticipated call to the Bronx. After finally getting a promotion to Scranton on the final day of the Trenton Thunder’s home schedule, the reaction was that at least he’d get some Triple-A at-bats. But September 12th. he arrived at Yankee Stadium and made his major league debut. His first experience in Yankees pinstripes was catching Mariano Rivera’s 599th save. Romine isn’t the exciting bat that Montero is. What he has is a toolbox of skills that he has quietly developed over the past two seasons at Trenton. Those skills need even more polishing, and by getting behind the plate in the playoffs, he would get to improve upon an already excellent ability at his position. He gives the Yankees options. And he gets to show the Yankees (and fans) why he should be the catcher of the future.

Justin De Fratus- Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies bullpen is a weakness on a team that is being called the best in franchise history. Post-season baseball requires the services of the bullpen more than any other time of the season. Justin De Fratus arm could be immensely helpful to a pen that, like any, is feeling the wear and tear of the season. De Fratus split his time between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, finishing with a 2.99 ERA in 75 innings pitched.

Leonys Martin – Texas Rangers – His inspiring story has made the rounds and made his debut all the more special among this pack. Martin defected from Cuba and began the pursuit of his baseball dream. The twenty-three year old fully earned his call-up, hitting .348 at the time for Double-A Frisco. The outfielder is getting his opportunity due to Nelson Cruz going on the DL, but it would be a shock not to see him remain on the roster for post-season play.

Jacob Turner – Detroit Tigers – The Tigers 2009 first round pick has certainly made a fast trip to the majors. And he’s put a heck of a lot of work in during a short period. His first professional season in 2010 ended with a 3.28 ERA in 115 innings combined for Class-A West Michigan and Advanced-A Lakeland. He began 2011 at Double-A Erie, but ended it at Triple-A Toledo. Turner threw 131 innings, struck out a career-high 110 batters, and posted a 3.44 ERA. The Tigers plans appear to include him in the post-season, despite a rough start to begin his major league career. Turner has 9 innings under his belt, with a 7.45 ERA in two games. After all he’s accomplished so far, there’s no reason to count him out.