posted 5/30/12 4:56 PM PST
by Marc Hefferan
*MLBDepthCharts.com considers any player not on a team's 40-man roster, in AAA, or ranked as a top 10 prospect by Baseball America or top 11 prospect by Baseball Prospectus before the 2012 season as an 'under the radar' player.
Under the Radar Minor League NL Hitting Performance of the Week
3B Matt Skole, Lo-A Hagerstown (WAS)
season stats: .306 BA, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 11 2B, 49 BB, 53 K, 4 SB in 51 games (Lo-A)
May 23-May 29: 11-for-26, 2 HR, 2 2B, 8 RBI, 7 BB
The 2011 MLB draft could go down in history as the one of the most unique based on the amount of players selected with deep rooted bloodlines in professional baseball. Several sons of former big league greats were drafted, including high school outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr., the son of one of the most beloved infielders in Chicago Cubs history. Another high school outfielder Dereck Rodriguez, son of legendary catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, was taken in the 6th round by the Minnesota Twins. Hockey genetics also produced a potential big league first baseman in Cub’s 7th rounder Trevor Gretzky, son of all-time hockey great Wayne Gretzky. Even though these are marquee names, it’s the Nationals' 5th rounder, and my UTR Hitter of the Week Matt Skole, who might have the most promising career ahead of them all. Skole’s grandfather was a former major leaguer while his father was a former star at Georgia Southern University. Skole is also the nephew of current Eastern Tennessee State coach Tony and the brother of Texas Rangers prospect Jake. Skole’s week was highlighted by a 5-for-6 performance on May 26th vs. Lakewood.
When the Nationals selected the left-handed hitter out of Georgia Tech, they drafted a bat built for power proven by his 47 career home runs in three seasons with the Yellow Jackets. His 11 home runs currently rank second overall in the South Atlantic League. The 22 year-old has developed into a refined hitter with terrific plate discipline, evident by his 89 walks in only 121 career games as a pro. With the Nationals signing All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to a $100M dollar contract extension and with top prospect Anthony Rendon now in the system, Skole’s stay at third base may be short-lived. The consensus among scouts is that Skole’s overall defensive package fits better at first base. Washington won’t rush Skole and will continue to develop him at the hot corner until the eventual log jam at the position forces his move across the diamond.
3B Gregory Hopkins, Lo-A Wisconsin (MIL): .324 BA, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 13 2B, 4 BB, 28 K, 6 SB in 48 games; 13-for-30, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 3 2B, 3 SB in last week.
IF Tyler Rahmatulla, Lo-A Quad Cities (STL): .325 BA, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 12 2B, 9 BB, 25 K, 2 SB in 33 games; 11-for-31, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 3 2B in last week.
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UTR Minor League NL Pitching Performance of the Week
Under the Radar 2012 Archive