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More Minors Material

Hunter Pence continues to get written about, this time in a Baseball Prospectus Texas League roundup.

Some good words about Ben Zobrist, who's recovered from his uncharacteristically walkless start, too. But someone's not happy with Josh Anderson's defense:

. . .[O]ne scout said [Pence is] still going to need to make some adjustments. "Teams are going to figure him out--he just looks for fastballs and when teams don't give them any, he really struggles," said the scout. "He'll figure that stuff out. He plays hard, and puts out a lot of effort. When he stays balanced he's fine, he just needs to avoid getting too pull happy."

Also gaining some positive reviews in the Corpus Christi lineup is shortstop Ben Zobrist. A sixth-round pick as a senior in 2004, Zobrist is already 25, but is batting .320/.426/.469 and has more walks than strikeouts at every level he's played at, including a 27-21 mark this year. "His hands start high and he's leaning way back with his front shoulder a good ten inches higher then his back shoulder and you say to yourself, 'How is he going to do anything like that?'" said the scout. "But when he steps and lands he's balanced out and it works with his slappy stroke."

. . . Hooks leadoff man Josh Anderson did not garner the same praise . . . "I know his numbers are good and he steals lots of bases, but he's going to get worn out in the majors," said the scout. "All of his hits are jam shots and bunts and whatnot. I know they count, but I'd like to see some hard contact." The scout was also disappointed with his defense. "I was told he was outstanding, but he gets really bad jumps--he's very timid with his first couple of steps. He doesn't play with the center field mentality of 'it's my ball unless I say it's not.' He's just the opposite."

Corpus Christi had won 11 straight before slipping a bit recently. Greg Rajan reports that a recent game with San Antonio erupted into something of a beanball war, with suspensions promised.'s got a story on Pence, too, wherein he gives his opinion on those weird five-game series they have in the Texas League, and talks about his brother, who's a farmhand in the Padres organization.

Jason Hirsh has written another diary for, as well. This one's about getting out of slumps, like the one he's been in since the year began.

And finally, Pence isn't the only Astro farmhand leading a minor league in a major category. The much more unheralded Ole Sheldon leads the South Atlantic League in hitting at .396 and in OBP at a positively Bondsian .507.