Commentary

Heyward rises to Double-A challenge

News and notes from Monday in the minor leagues

Updated: July 7, 2009, 12:29 PM ET
By Kevin Goldstein | Baseball Prospectus

Timetable expedited?

Jason Heyward, OF, Braves (Double-A Mississippi)
Monday's stats: 2-for-5, 3B, 3 RBI
The Braves' top prospect and first-round pick in 2007, Heyward was batting a healthy .296/.369/519 (average/on-base/slugging) at High-A Myrtle Beach, but promoting the 19-year-old to Double-A along with first baseman Freddie Freeman was nonetheless seen as an aggressive maneuver. To his credit, Heyward hasn't missed a beat at the upper level, going 5-for-12 with a double, two triples and nary a strikeout in his first three games. He's a truly special talent who suddenly looks like he might get a legitimate shot at a big league job next spring.

The wheels have officially come off

Andrew Brackman, RHP, Yankees (Low-A Charleston)
Monday's stats: 1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 2 K
Yes, he's a 6-foot-10 righty with (at times) a great fastball, and he was given a $3 million bonus, but he's also a guy who has no extended track record of success anywhere and missed all of 2008 recovering from Tommy John surgery. After a first two months of the season that could only be described as neither good nor bad, Brackman has completely fallen apart of late, allowing 26 runs over 14 2/3 innings in his past five starts while walking 24. Something clearly is wrong here, and he just doesn't have the kind of time many do to figure it out. ore than anything else, he could enter next year as a 24-year-old -- he's 6 months older than perennial prospect Phil Hughes -- who's yet to solve Low-A. I received some flak for not putting him in my Top 100 going into the year, and at this point, he wouldn't even sniff my Yankees' Top 20 list.

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