posted 6/13/11 2:43 PM PST
by Jason Martinez
*Players who may be on the verge of a big league call-up are considered to be 'Knocking Down the Door'.
Collin Cowgill, OF - Triple-A Reno (ARI): The path to a big league job in Arizona is not necessarily wide open in Arizona but Cowgill's recent performance likely has the Diamondbacks at least considering how to make room. The 25 year-old has 22 hits in his last 43 at-bats to raise his average .369 on the season. He's also showing some pop for a little guy (Cowgill is 5'9") with 11 HR, 15 2B, and 5 3B to go along with 41 RBI, 19 SB, and 28 BB. While teammate Wily Mo Peña is also having a big season (.341-18-55), Cowgill is faster, better defensively and more versatile, which would make him more valuable off the bench. That could be the key as starting left fielder Gerardo Parra (.276-4-18, 5 SB) is probably playing well enough to keep his job. Once he gets his foot in the door (after he officially knocks it down), however, it would be up to him to prove he can be the regular left fielder.
Clint Robinson, 1B - Triple-A Omaha (KC): Barring an injury to Billy Butler or Eric Hosmer, Robinson has almost no chance to reach the major leagues as a Kansas City Royal. Well, I'll take that back. I'm sure it's possible he gets a call-up in September when rosters expand to 40. But I also think there's a good chance the Royals trade him to a team that does have some at-bats to give to a left-handed hitting first baseman/designated hitter who is absolutely crushing Triple-A pitching in 2011. The 25 year-old, who was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, has his average up to .356 after extending his hitting streak to 12 games yesterday in a game in which he collected three hits and slugged his fourth and fifth homers in the last five games (17 HR on the season). He also seems to have a pretty good idea of the strike zone (31 BB, 38 K). While Kila Ka'aihue's trade value has plummeted in the last few months, the Royals might want to shop Robinson while his value is at it's highest.
Trayvon Robinson, OF - Triple-A Albuquerque (LAD): When it was obvious that the Jerry Sands experiment was coming to an end in Los Angeles, at least for now, Robinson had to think there was a chance he would get his shot to be the regular left fielder for the Dodgers. It didn't happen, though. Trent Oeltjen got the call and Tony Gwynn, Jr. is apparently going to get the majority of time in left field. Gwynn is a terrific defender but the Dodgers aren't good enough throughout the rest of the lineup to keep him in there on a regular basis. That's where Robinson comes in. The 23 year-old switch-hitter is enjoying his first season in the Pacific Coast League, where he's hitting .299 with 13 HR, 41 RBI, 7 2B, 4 3B, 19 BB, and 7 SB. The only warning sign at this point would be his 67 strikeouts but his production against right-handed pitching (.329-12-35, 16 BB) should make up for it. Unless they can acquire an upgrade via trade, I can't see Robinson not getting a chance in the next 5-6 weeks.
Knocking Down the Door (Pitchers)
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