So maybe the word “prospect” in the Daily Prospect Profile today is a little generous. John Bowker isn’t a prospect. Not technically, since he’s got over 500 at-bats in the majors. Not literally, since he’s 27 years old, and has a .237 average and a .679 OPS in those major league at-bats. But I felt the need to highlight Bowker today for two reasons.
The first reason is his performance. Since being outrighted off the 40-man roster, and sent to AAA Indianapolis, Bowker has hit for a .302/.353/.482 line in 222 at-bats, with eight homers. He’s been on fire in June and July in the power department, with six homers in 137 at-bats, and ten doubles. He still has his platoon splits, with a .693 OPS against left handers, and an .897 OPS against right handers.
The second reason is to point out that AAA success doesn’t guarantee major league success. This is nothing new for Bowker. He had success in AAA before. He had that success in 2009, and then again in 2010. He had success in the PCL, which is known to inflate hitters numbers, but he carried that success over to the International League in 2010, after being acquired for Javier Lopez. Yet Bowker hasn’t seen his power translate over to the majors. He hasn’t seen his hitting translate to the highest level. At best, he looks like a power bat off the bench, or a platoon player, but both would require him to actually hit for power in the majors.
I bring this up because of the hype surrounding Matt Hague. Hague is on fire this year in AAA, especially in the last two months. He hit three doubles last night, putting his season total at 24, including 16 in June and July. He’s got a .324/.380/.482 line in 330 at-bats this season. He hit for a .402 average in 107 at-bats in June, with a 1.094 OPS. I’ll have more on Hague later today, but I wanted to use Bowker to illustrate a point: just because a player is having success in AAA, doesn’t mean he’s going to have the same success in the majors.