mlb 04/21/08 11:34 AM ET Jonathan Mayo is a senior reporter for MLB.com.]]> In the bigs

Hmm, where to start? Has anyone important come up lately? A scan of Lisa Winston's Movin' On Up doesn't tell me much, unless you're a big Alex Serrano fan.

What's that, you say? This Evan Longoria fellow is pretty good? He's got a future in this game? Truth be told, if this is the first time you're hearing of the Rays third baseman of the now and future, it's time to hand over your fantasy squad to someone competent. I can't imagine Longoria is available in any league at this point, but just in case, he's a good bet in any format imaginable.

John Bowker didn't arrive with as much fanfare, but he sure is producing. He had a breakout year in Double-A in 2007 and got brought up to San Francisco after just seven games of Triple-A action. He's hit .364 in his first seven games, blasting three homers, driving in nine runs and providing the Giants with some pop. It looks like he's going to get more playing time -- at the expense of Randy Winn -- and he does have some legitimate power. NL-only owners in particular could do a lot worse than plugging him into their outfield.

A phone call away

Finding good catching is always difficult, so it's always good to know if there's up-and-comers getting the job done. Clint Sammons certainly is, hitting .395 over his first 12 games in the Braves system. Yes, I know, Brian McCann is blocking him, but you never know what can happen in the future. Sammons has always been an outstanding defensive catcher, so he's got a big league future. If he can hit like that, or anything like that, he can go from potential backup to potential starter. Obviously, something would have to happen at the big league level, but stick him on your radar and see how he's swinging the stick.

Speaking of catchers who are apparently blocked, how about Jeff Clement? The Mariners prospect is showing that he has little left to prove at the Minor League level, hitting .393 with a 1.218 OPS through 17 games. I still don't get why the Mariners haven't had Clement work on first base; that way, he could be up and moving back and forth between the two positions and DH, getting 400 AB this year. Interesting to note that Kenji Johjima, Jose Vidro and Richie Sexson are barely combining to hit their weight (wait, that would be like .600 ... you get the point). I'd love to see the M's make room for Clement's bat. If and when they do, be ready to make a move.

A year away

It was a bit of a surprise when Justin Maxwell got a September callup last year for Washington. This year, he's where he should be, in Double-A. He's got a nine-game hitting streak going, and while the power he showed last year hasn't come yet, he's got his average up to .281 (he began the year 4-for-21, a .190 start), and he's stolen seven bases in eight tries. He's still one of the better power-speed guys in the Minors.

I don't usually go nuts over Minor League relievers, but it's worth mentioning Warner Madrigal. Aside from having a cool name, Madrigal was an outfielder until 2006. The Angels converted him to the mound that year, and he ended up saving 20 games in the Midwest League in 2007, his first full year as a pitcher. Now at Double-A in the Rangers organization, he has six saves and hasn't allowed a run, striking out 10 and allowing just three hits over eight innings. Suddenly, we've got ourselves a "closer of the future."

Hey, remember when Justin Masterson was in the news because he was being mentioned frequently in Johan Santana trade talks? Well, the Red Sox are probably glad he's still in their system. In 19 innings over four starts for Double-A Portland, he's allowed just two earned runs (0.95 ERA) with 23 Ks and a 1.00 WHIP. A promotion to Pawtucket could be in order soon. He's not a marquee prospect like Clay Buchholz, but he's been an excellent performer in his pro career thus far.

Down the road

Let's take a look at some of the 2007 first-rounders, shall we? Josh Vitters made his slightly delayed full-season debut in the Cubs system last week. Since going 3-for-4 with three doubles in his first game, the No. 3 overall pick has gone 0-for-8. He doesn't turn 19 until August, so expect some bumps, but trust me, the kid can play. So can No. 2 overall pick Mike Moustakas. The Royals prospect has gone just 11-for-50 with no extra-base hits in the Midwest League so far. He had a little hamstring injury that didn't help, but the big thing is probably just the big adjustment from high school to a full-season circuit. Once he gets acclimated, watch out.

When the Pirates took Daniel Moskos with their first pick (No. 4 overall), people in Pittsburgh weren't too thrilled. But the plan was to have him stick to the bullpen role in which he thrived at Clemson and get him to the big leagues in a hurry. Well, the management changed and the team has decided to let Moskos start, something he did near the end of his junior season. He's got the pitches to do it; some questioned whether he had the delivery. So far, so good in the Carolina League. The southpaw has made three starts for Lynchburg, and he's got a 2.81 ERA over 16 innings. He hasn't been racking up strikeouts, but he's walked only one, helping him post a sub-1.00 WHIP thus far. If that kind of command continues, look for him to hit Double-A before too long.

Beat the Streak

It wasn't such a good week for me on MiLB.com's Beat the Streak. My seven picks resulted in a hit precisely three times, and I'm staring at a zero as I begin this week. Nonetheless, I'm fearlessly putting out my picks for all to see ... and perhaps ridicule.

Monday: Terry Tiffee, Las Vegas (Dodgers)
Tuesday: Justin Snyder, Charleston (Yankees)
Wednesday: Dan Murphy, Binghamton (Mets)
Thursday: Jorge Jimenez, Lancaster (Red Sox)
Friday: Bryan Anderson, Springfield (Cardinals)
Saturday: Jim Negrych, Lynchburg (Pirates)
Sunday: Jerry Hairston Jr., Louisville (Reds)

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