Prospect Buzz Part II: Zach Britton, Brandon Belt, Michael Pineda, and Jerry Sands | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Prospect Buzz Part II: Zach Britton, Brandon Belt, Michael Pineda, and Jerry Sands

  • After surviving another round of the cuts this past week, Baltimore Orioles’ left-hander Zach Britton will likely get one more Spring Training start before he is either sent to Triple-A or chosen as the O’s fifth starter.  The 22-year-old, our No. 25 prospect, has been ridiculous this spring, giving up only one earned run in 14 innings of work while walking four and fanning nine.  But just like with any high-profile prospect, the organization has a decision to make: have him begin the 2011 season in Triple-A and control his contract for an extra year, or immediately put him to work.  For everyone over at Birds Watcher it’s a no-brainer: keep this promising left-hander in the organization as long as possible.
  • The Giants’ Brandon Belt is in the same boat as Britton – he is yet to be assigned to Triple-A and is being considered (perhaps even favored) for an Opening Day roster spot.  Compared to other prospects, Belt has received an inordinate amount of playing time this spring – kind of like a big league crash course – and has played well enough (.292 BA, 5 doubles, 3 home runs, and 13 RBI) to keep himself in mix.  Our friends at Splashing Pumpkins weigh in on the situation in a piece called, ‘The Brandon Belt Conundrum,’ and establish a set of criteria that, if met, would justify the first baseman’s spot on the Opening Day roster.

  • Of the all the top-rated prospects still in the hunt for a final roster spot, it is the Mariners’ Michael Pineda that now seems to be a lock, according to Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing.  The 22-year-old right-hander – our No. 17 prospect – has been impressive in his four starts this spring (17 IP, 14 hits, 4 ER, 15 strikeouts, 6 walks), and was tremendous in his most recent outing when he two-hit the Brewers over six innings. In addition to recording seven strikeouts, the 6-foot-5 Pineda threw only 40 pitches in those six innings – yes, that’s right, 40!  Even though the Mariners will surely impose an innings limit for his rookie campaign, Pineda seems poised for success as the team’s fifth starter (presumably), and having last year’s Cy Young winner behind him in the rotation can’t hurt…right?
  • Even though he didn’t appear in our Top 50– we snubbed him; that’s on us – the Dodgers’ Jerry Sands could reach the majors at some point this year if James Loney or Jay Gibbons were to land on the DL or simply flat-out suck.  In John Sickels’ latest installment of Prospect Smackdown, he evaluates the Dodgers’ two best outfield prospects, Sands and Trayvon Robinson, and projects their impact at the Major League level.  It turns out that Sands was drafted in the 25th round in 2008 out of Catawba College (Division II) in North Carolina, and subsequently signed for $5,000.

Prospect Buzz is the new, prospect-related link drop of The Golden Sombrero.  As you may already know, we love prospects here at the Sombrero.  So if you have an article or link that you would like us consider for this segment, feel free to either email us or send it our way on Twitter.

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