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Pebble Report Special - jeepers creepers...

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First of all, read Jack Etkin give us some vindication of pushing Mike Esposito all this time, maybe now other people will begin to jump on the bandwagon.

What Esposito is working on now, McClure said, is better fastball command down and away to both sides of the plate. And now that Esposito's changeup has become a trusty weapon, McClure said he is working on throwing either of his breaking pitches to even a count with an off-speed pitch other than his changeup when the batter is expecting a fastball.

"If he is able to do these two things the next month, the sky's the limit for him because he's got the work ethic, he's got the mentality and he's got the feel," McClure said.

He lacked a big league out pitch before, but he's always had moxie, and with McClure's magic, it's turning into something.

In the rundown today I'm going to try and focus on prospects who started the season slowly but have started to creep out with some alright numbers of late:

Casper: It's a good thing Casper didn't play yesterday, because I don't know who I would count here, several have been sliding the other way, though (Corey Wimberly for instance).

Tri-City: Far and away the winner here is our first second round pick, Daniel Carte. A week ago Carte was below the Mendoza line with little power to speak of, but now after an offensive tear, including homering and doubling last night, he's moving up. His strikeouts are way high, but over the last week he's dramatically cut those as well (he did have one more last night). Carte still holds a lot of promise.

Asheville: I have to take a middle infielder here, but probably not the one you're expecting. Jose Valdez homered twice yesterday (so did Joe Koshansky in the Tourists win) and has twelve now on the season. How much is that the short right field porch of McCormick for the lefty Valdez? Probably quite a bit and Valdez is pretty blocked with all our other prospects, but at 21 and with a still developing frame, Valdez would probably be ranked much higher on the middle infield depth charts of most other systems and could be valuable as a trading piece in the future.

Modesto: There are a couple to choose from, but I'll stick with one I've mentioned in these posts before. Michael Davies started the season as a first time pro position player and started pretty badly, but of late his bat and his play have picked up considerably (he went three for four with a double yesterday). The Rockies are likely to lose Davies after this year to minor league free agency, but he's done a nice job of reviving his career as a ballplayer and if we do lose him, we'll wish him the best. If we welcome him back, he'll at least provide some upper level depth at multiple positions and could still turn out to do a bit more.

Tulsa: Jayson Nix, like Carte was hovering around .200 all season until he was moved to the top of the lineup when Jeff Salazar was promoted. Having the Drillers homerun leader, Tony Miller, bat behind him has helped turnaround his own power stats, as he also hit two out in the Drillers romp yesterday. With the acquisition and quick ascension of Omar Quintanilla, Nix had become increasingly irrelevant in our future plans. Although his average and K's were troubling before, he already has more power and more patience than our current second baseman and is five years younger, so obviously we should look to move other players before seeing what Nix would bring, but he might not wear a Rockies uniform for long when the time comes.

Colorado Springs: Choosing a player here is difficult as so many have been moved either up or out or don't qualify as prospects or if they do qualify as prospects, don't for the category of creepers (if I was doing pitchers, Esposito would count as his overall stats are still masking his recent improvement in performance) so I might choose Jeff Salazar as a good candidate to creep later in the season. He's only hitting .269 since his callup, which at the Springs for a lead-off hitter especially isn't that good, but his outlying power and walk numbers remain strong which is a good sign that the other numbers will come back.