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AMP Mailbag: Movin' on up

On this week’s edition of the AMP Mailbag, we have a trio of questions from SATx, so let’s dive right into it…

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

1.) After today's action, Frederick Tiburcio has 15 Ks in 7 innings at QC. awesome?

2.) Singleton, Folty, Santana. who makes it up this year? any guesses on Homerton's ETA?

3.) who's most due for a promo w/in the MILB system? Holberton? Kemp? Shirley? Hader? other?

1.) Yes, very awesome! Except...I see 12 K in six innings for him on his player page. That's still a great rate, though.

To be honest, I don't know a great deal about Freddy-T yet. He's certainly not a "name" prospect at this point, and scouting information is hard to come by. He's certainly shown some ability in the past in the lower levels, and owns an 8.4 K/9 for his career.

Walks have been an issue so far, so more than the big strikeout rate, I would say that just having walked one in those six innings is more encouraging. Will all that being said though, six innings is such a tiny sample that we certainly can't drawn any reasonable conclusions.

2.) I would start with crossing Domingo Santana off the list. While I wouldn't go so far as to say it's impossible that he'll be called up, with Fowler and Springer firmly entrenched, there's only one spot he could really play, and with the front office being high on Robbie Grossman (don't forget that they tried to lock him up before the season even started), even if he were doing really well, it would be easy to wait on him and not start his service clock.

It should then also be pointed out that, while he's performing admirably given his age in AAA, he's striking out a lot. If people are tired of Chris Carter striking out, they'll be turning on Santana in no time once he starts flailing and missing in 35-40% of his plate appearances. He simply needs more time, and given his age, there's no rush.

I think if the first base situation wasn't so rough at the Major League level, you could make a semi-reasonable argument that they could even hold Singleton back until 2015, but given that and his success, I don't see it happening. He's not lighting the world on fire right now, and is occasionally prone to falling back into his strikeout habits, but it's nowhere near the concern that it is for Santana, in my eyes. Don't be surprised if they wait until mid-June or even early July on Singleton, though.

Folty is a tougher call, because while he's made some good strides in the last month, he does still have his command wobble a lot, from time to time. It would be easier if the Major League rotation weren't looking as good as it is; Cosart, Keuchel and McHugh aren't going anywhere as long as they're healthy, and Feldman is certainly a lock if he avoids further injury trouble, so there's really only one spot, and between Peacock and Oberholtzer, there's already fierce competition for it.

Would you rather have Folty come up and pitch in relief, or leave him down so he can continue polishing his game as a starter? I think the front office may choose the latter, but with pitching being volatile, he could certainly come up as soon as there's an injury. Like Singleton, they'll probably wait a while more to make sure they're past the Super Two status deadline.

At this point, I'd put the chances for Santana, Singleton and Folty coming up at some point during 2014 at 5%, 85% and 70%, respectively.

3.) That depends on your definition of "due."

If you mean who's age, performance, polish and other factors make him most deserving, I'd go with Tony Kemp. Given his standing and pedigree, and the absolute dominance he's shown, you can't help but get the strong impression that the A+ California League no longer poses a challenge to him. The hindrances would seem to be external then, namely a bit of a bottleneck in AA, with Fontana and Mier getting playing time at multiple infield positions consistently.

If you mean who (among significant, higher end prospects; lesser guys tend to go up and down as needed to fill holes) I would predict as being the next guy promoted to a new level, I think I might look to the AA level. Nolan Fontana seems to be a prime candidate, due to his performance, and, as just mentioned, Kemp's apparent readiness. I think you could see the dominoes move before too long.

Purely hypothetical, but let's have some fun; say that, with Marwin Gonzalez actually hitting and playing a decent shortstop, they decide his value will never be higher and flip him to someone for a couple of their beloved PTBNLs, both of whom would likely be no better than B- prospects at most. At that point, perhaps Enrique Hernandez gets the call to the Majors, Fontana moves up to AAA, and Kemp is free to move up to AA then. Perhaps Chan Moon even moves up to AA then to hit at the top of their order and form a double play combo with Correa.

I'm sure people are wondering about the Captain, speaking of which. I do think he could be promoted to AA this year, but I doubt it happens before another move is made somewhere else in the organization.

You mentioned Shirley, and I like that pick as well, but the rotation in AAA is very full right now, with the return of Alex White and OKC having stopped using the tandem system. As we talked about with Folty in the last question, there's not a lot of upward movement from AAA to the Majors that we can expect in terms of starting pitchers, so that hurts his chances.

On Hader and Holberton, both are still small sample guys who haven't been at their levels yet. I think moving either of them up might be premature at this point, especially Hader, who is already very, very young for his level and still has command issues that he needs to prove he's overcome before making a big jump in terms of competition level.