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The Real Futures Team, Part IV

Third Basemen

"The Hot Corner" is a hot issue for the future of Capra. In the infield, the secondary offensive threat traditionally comes from third base, and these young men deliver in that category. We also have a speedy tablesetter, a couple of guys who could play shortstop as well as third, and a collective ability to get on base and then get home from there.

1. Javier Osuna, Jackson High A, 4th year pro, 21 years old.

Osuna's a beast, plain and simple. His one drawback might be his slow advancement through the minors in Jackson, where he repeated high A this year. If he played this season in the majors, odds are that his numbers would have been somewhat close to what he put up in high A. He does everything, witnessed by his .366 career average and career-long streaks of 36 doubles, 21 home runs, and 110 RBI. Osuna had 92 extra-base hits and 95 singles in season seven. If he gets hurt, this could all go south in a hurry.

2. Moises Guzman, Jacksonville AAA, 3rd year pro, 20 year old.

Guzman could be a force in the bigs soon. He can work a count sometimes, hits for average, and has good power. Guzman hit 86 doubles and 76 home runs in the last two seasons. To be picky, his contact and baserunning are headliners on the short list of things that aren't quite major league-ready.

3. Kiki Castro, Albuquerque AAA, 4th year pro, 25 years old.

The good news is that Castro has gotten pretty close to his projected ratings, which makes him pretty good. Castro had an off year in season seven when he was about 100 points below his career average, but he still had almost a hundred RBI and scored 117 runs. He stole 49 bases, too. Meanwhile, his arm strength, power, and batting eye are average.

4. Dick Jenkins, Honolulu AA, 3rd year pro, 20 years old.

Somehow a guy with a lot of talent slipped to the 42nd pick in season five's draft. Jenkins is a patient hitter who gets his way pretty often in the batter's box, and he can help his club everywhere else on the diamond. He collected over 100 RBI and scored better than 100 times each of the last two years, and doubled 80 times over that time period.

5. Babe High, Minnesota AA, 2nd year pro, 19 years old.

The High is a 'tweener, not quite good enough to be a shortstop but too good for third base. He won't be a 600-at-bat type of guy, but he's pretty good at everything else when he's in the game. Hitting, defense, and baserunning are pluses for him, and he walks about as much as he strikes out. His end-of-season run with AA was forgettable.

6. Brian Winston, Vancouver AA, 2nd year pro, 19 years old.

Winston's upside is pretty up, since he shows potential in hitting for average and power. His downside is his defense and the fact that he probably will not grow to be an everyday guy with his durability.

7. Ivan Bennett, Las Vegas AAA, 4th year pro, 21 years old.

Bennett has shown that he can hit doubles, triples, and a few home runs during his career. In season six, Bennett picked up more than 200 hits, smacked 42 doubles, and hit .350. His batting eye and muscle on the ball could use work before he gets to the bigs.

8. Jorge Gomez, Montgomery Low A, 1st year pro, 19 years old.

Gomez brings a strong package to Montgomery's future, and he should hold his own in the field. He will miss a few fastballs down the pipe and he's not the best on the bases, but he was quite good in his 99 at-bats at low A, hitting over .300 and on pace for about 30 home runs.


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