The Class A South Bend silverhawks is a team loaded with prospects, most of whom were drafted in '09. Today I thought I'd look at 6 of the teams prospects: Matthew Davidson, Chris Owings, Bobby Borchering, Keon Broxton, David Nick, Eric Smith, and Michael Belfiore, and Scottie Allen.
Before looking at the offensive prospects, let's look at what is league average for the midwest league. The average line for a Midwest league batter is 254/328/378 or a 707 OPS. The average age for a player in the Midwest League is 21.
To start things off, let's look at nineteen year old third basemen Matthew Davidson, who's having an excellent season after a poor debut last year where he hit 241/312/319. He's hitting 290/373/480 with 24 doubles, two triples, and 11 homers. His K:BB ratio is 85:33, but those numbers are brought down by an April where he only took one free pass.
Shortstop Chris Owings is hitting 298/323/447 with 19 doubles, two triples, and 5 homers. Solid numbers for an 18 year old shortstop, but his plate discipline is one area of concern. He's drawn only 9 walks, but has struck out 50 times. Unfortunately, Owings has been out for nearly a month with plantar fascilitis.
Switch hitting third basemen Bobby Borchering, our number one pick and 16th overall in last years draft is having an OK season. He's hitting 261/329/394 with 19 doubles, 9 homers, and a 34:79 BB:K ratio. Not the best numbers in the world for the 19 year old, but his OPS is above league average.
20 year old center fielder Keon Broxton is having an interesting season, albeit a slightly disappointing one. He's hitting 233/314/351 with 10 doubles, 14 triples(which leads the minors), and 1 homer. He leads the team in walks with 39, but he also leads the team in strikeouts by a mile with 109. Another area that's rather disappointing is his base stealing. He's stolen 8 bases, but has also been caught 8 times. He's already a plus defender in center field, so if he can figure out the bat, he could be a very valuable player there.
Second basemen David Nick is another player having a rather disappointing season after succesful debut season last year, where he hit 286/351/440. This season he's hitting 255/333/342 with 17 doubles, three triples, two homers, and a 28:61 BB:K ratio.
On the pitching side, the conversation starts with 21 year old Eric Smith, who has a 3.53 ERA in 86.2 IP with 78 strikeouts, 20 walks, and 4 HRS allowed. Smith throws an 89-90 mph sinker along with a solid changeup and an mid-80s slider that's getting better. He has the build to work deep into ballgames, assuming, of course, that he can throw enough strikes to keep his pitch count down. If Smith can learn to command his three-pitch arsenal consistently, his perfect world scenario would be as a #3 or #4 starter in the big leagues.
Then there's Michael Belfiore, who owns a 4.03 ERA in 67.0 innings pitched, with 61 strikeouts, 27 walks, and 3 home runs allowed. At 6-foot-3, Belfiore has the size to handle the large workload of a starter. Belfiore's repertoire consists of a 93 mph fastball, 84 mph slider, low-80s changeup, and an upper-70s curveball.
18 year old Scottie Allen hasn't had the best results, but for his age, he's certainly held his own. He's got a 5.02 ERA in 52.0 innings pitched with 52 strikeouts, 17 walks, and 3 homers allowed. Excellent numbers for a kid who's three years younger than league average.
I'll probably look at Missoula's prospects next.