Update [2006-6-19 20:37:6 by Rox Fan in NY]: Chris Iannetta debuts at #9 on BA's Prospect Hot Sheet. Ubaldo Jimenez is "In the Team Photo" along with Joe Koshansky.
I'm going to mix things up a little today and give out first half awards, so follow the links to the various team sites down the right sidebar if all you want are recaps. Just a quick definition of two of the awards, "Comeback Player" is reserved for a prospect who had struggled at that level previously but has turned things around, whereas "Breakout Prospect" is for a player that has tapped some previously untouched potential.
MVP: Ryan Shealy
Comeback player: Jeff. Okay, so that's not really fair on my part, but both Baker and Salazar have turned their bats around for the better this half, and restored some luster to their once fading prospect status.
Breakout Prospect: I don't know if anybody on the Springs roster really qualifies, although Ramon Ramirez was there for a little while before being called up and becoming one of the Rockies stalwarts in the pen.
Time to put a fork in... Tony Miller already got punted off to the Toronto organization, so unfortunately the award here has to go to Jayson Nix. Tremendously gifted defensively, his future role in the big leagues -should he ever have one- would be as a late inning substitution to keep a lead in check or give the starting second baseman a day off every so often.
MVP: Joe Koshansky. It's actually a tough call between him, Chris Iannetta and Ubaldo Jimenez, so if one of you wants to argue for one of the other two, that's alright by me, but Koshansky's risen from fringe prospect to top prospect in a very short time, here.
Comeback Player: Ubaldo Jimenez. Rotation mate Juan Morillo also could be a good one here, but U-ball has quickly turned his fortunes around from when he first was called up to AA last season. Another name I thought about for a little while was Jordan Czarniecki, but he's still a little bit on the fringe here.
Breakout Prospect: I'm going with Iannetta here because I already gave Koshansky the MVP. But both have elevated their prognoses from average MLB player to potential all-stars. Manuel Corpas deserves a long look here and Troy Tulowitzki would have been in the discussion too, had he not slumped a little the last couple of weeks (psst... there's a good Etkin article about him and Crosby in the News today).
Stick a fork in... Jud(d). I'm not sure what exactly has happened to the two Jud(d)s, Thigpen and Songster, but last season both appeared ready to move to the next level and seemed like they would find their way into somebody's MLB clubhouse (or bullpen), but down first halves at a level both have already tasted success at leaves that future unsettled.
MVP: Matt Miller. He's applied the brakes these last two weeks, but so far in his minor league career he's done nothing but impress.
Comeback Player: Bill Geivett and Rockies brass are raving about Darren Clarke, so I'll defer to their judgement here and give the Nuts' closer this award, he does have the numbers to back it up, too.
Breakout Prospect: There are a few worthy candidates, including Chris Frey, Neil Wilson, and Ryan Mattheus. In the end I'll go with Wilson, who's progress we'd be trumpeting a little more loudly if Iannetta wasn't going completely off the hook in Tulsa.
Stick a fork in... There are a few older players on Modesto's squad, but I'm trying to reserve this award for those in the system once considered strongly as prospects, but have seemingly reached a ceiling in their development. As that's the case, I'm going to give this first half prize to Scott Beerer, who's 2.08 ERA and 2-0 record look alright, but his lack of control and 1.54 WHIP make me doubt he'll make it at the next level.
MVP: Eric Young Jr. I imagine that there are better all around candidates than EY's one dimensional play, but when that one dimension is as spectacular as his has been, it definitely deserves a lot of attention. He can't steal first, so the 52 SB's point to some tremendous gains in his abilities to get aboard frequently.
Comeback Player: Chris Nelson. This one had little doubt. Thanks for being a lesson to us all in patience, Chris.
Breakout Prospect: Since I already pegged EY to the MVP, I'll have to give this one to Dexter Fowler, but Brandon Durden isn't far behind in my book. Cole Garner seems like he's poised on the brink, he's my early favorite for this award in the second half.
Stick a fork in... Byron Binda. May he have much success in his pugilistic endeavors. Or was he going into wrestling? Whatever.., men.