Goodyear, AZ, USA; A general view of a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Brandon Jacobs, LF
Jacobs still hasn't started hitting very much after his promotion to High-A. The power hasn't been there at all, with Jacobs getting the kind of results he saw prior to his 2011 breakout, and his alarming strikeout rate -- 31 percent -- is part of the reason his batting average is as low as it is at the moment. He has a .373 batting average on balls in play to begin the season, and that's why his average is as high as it is.
Jacobs has a lot of swing-and-miss to him, so the uptick in punch outs isn't a surprise after a promotion. More time at the level for the 21-year-old will give us a better sense of whether he is adjusting or not, but that hasn't started to show up in his numbers yet.
Considering his defensive limitations, he'll need to hit in order to produce. The tools are there, but so are the holes in his game. This likely isn't the last time we'll see Jacobs struggle, but 2011 is just as likely to not be the last time we see him hitting.
Sean Coyle, 2B
Coyle is coming along at about the same pace as last time we checked in. He's got another home run, and three more doubles, but is slugging just .317 in his last 10 games. The strikeouts have been falling, though, as he's fallen from 32 percent on our April 25 update to 27 percent through Wednesday. Baby steps for the 20-year-old in High-A, but that beats nothing this early on.
Defensively, Coyle has already made five errors, but he's been part of 19 double plays after involvement in 56 last year. It takes at least two for most double plays, but after his trouble turning two in 2011, it's good to see those numbers piling up early on.
Brandon Workman, SP
Workman had just made his first start of the season last time around, but he's put in another pair since. They've been highly-successful, too, as Workman has given up just one walk in his 16-plus innings, and struck out 14. The homers are a side effect of how often he's been in the strike zone, but the 23-year-old is in the minors to learn -- more time at the level, against this competition, should teach him about the where and when of controlling the strike zone. The where, by the way, is anywhere that isn't elevated, as he has a habit of doing.
Workman doesn't get a ton of attention thanks to the presence of Anthony Ranaudo and Matt Barnes in the system, but, like Alex Wilson and Kyle Weiland before him, this somewhat forgotten man has the makings of a big-league pitcher if things go his way. He's far from that moment, though.