posted 6/28/10 11:55 AM PST
by Jason Martinez
*Players on the verge of a big league call-up are considered to be 'Knocking Down the Door'.
Brandon Allen, 1B - Triple-A Reno (ARI): A candidate to be the D'Backs' starting first baseman before Adam LaRoche was signed this offseason, Allen got off to a miserable start in his first Triple-A season with a .200 BA (17-for-85) thru his first 24 games. Sidelined for most of May with a shoulder injury, the 24 year-old has returned in top form during the month of June (1.154 OPS, 25 BB's in 24 games) as he tries to prove that he is still the team's first baseman of the future. The left-handed slugger had three hits in yesterday's game, including two doubles, five RBI's, and his 8th homer of the season, to boost his season average to .265. With the trade deadline right around the corner and LaRoche expected to be shopped aggressively by the last place D'Backs, Allen's timing couldn't be better.
Desmond Jennings, OF - Triple-A Durham (TB): The 23 year-old speedster made this list two weeks ago after a six-game stretch that included 14 hits, 4 2B's, 3 3B's, and 11 RBI's. At the time, I suggested that Jennings could move into the RF spot with Ben Zobrist splitting time between 2B and DH. Now it might not be out of the question to suggest that B.J. Upton could lose some playing time in favor of Jennings. After all, the 25 year-old Upton is hitting just .230 with 72 K's thru 73 games and he now has this lowlight from yesterday's game on his resume. Meanwhile, Jennings has hit in seven straight games, including four multi-hit games, and now has 18 SB's in 19 attempts. The Rays are desperate for a spark and Jennings could provide it at the top of the lineup.
Brett Wallace, 1B - Triple-A Las Vegas (TOR): Wallace made this list back on April 19th after hitting 4 HR's in his first 11 games and with Lyle Overbay off to a 4-for-50 start with the Blue Jays. Since, the Overbay-bashing has died down a bit as he hasn't been terrible (.265 BA, 7 HR, 15 2B, 25 RBI since April 19th) and the 23 year-old Wallace had just 4 BB's and 32 K's in the month of May. However, the Blue Jays, who were 31-22 and 3.5 games out of 1st Place at the beginning of the month, have gone 9-14 since and are 7.5 games out. In another division, you could still call the Jays contenders. In the AL East, it's safe to say that they can start looking towards next year. Which is why it might make sense to bring up their first baseman of the future, Wallace, while he is on his hottest streak of the season (.450 BA, 3 HR over last 10 games) and with Overbay coming off of a week in which he had just three singles in 19 AB's. Not to be overshadowed, designated hitter Adam Lind is hitting just .203 (.148 BA in June) and could also be in danger of losing AB's to Wallace.
Knocking Down the Door (Pitchers)
Click here for the Knocking Down the Door archive.