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April 9, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, April 8

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Royals (Triple-A Durham): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; Odorizzi, acquired by the Rays in the James Shields trade, uses a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup to attack hitters. Odorizzi combines excellent athleticism with a very smooth, repeatable delivery to consistently pound the strike zone. His fastball may be the only plus pitch in his arsenal, but I would still expect him to be a successful major-league pitcher when his number is called.

Position Prospect of the Day: Mike Zunino, C, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI; Zunino has come out of the gates determined to show that his power is real. He has a shot to move into the major-league picture before the All-Star break.

Other notable prospect performances from April 8:

 “The Good”

  • Tyler Austin,RF, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K; Austin, a 13th-round selection in 2010, has a short, compact swing, in which he maintains solid balance and creates loud contact. The major question about Austin is his future power projection, which ranges from fringe-average to solid-average, according to the scouts with which I have spoken.
  • Adam Duvall, 3B, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 2-3, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB; Duvall had a monster 2012 season, launching 30 home runs in the California League. In 2013, Duvall will look to prove that his power numbers were not a “California League mirage” and demonstrate adequate defensive skills at third base.
  • Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI; Gallo, a supplemental first-round selection in 2012, has top-notch raw power and an easy plus-plus arm. Gallo will need to minimize the amount of swing and miss in his game and prove that he can stay at the hot corner in 2013.
  • Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; Glasnow has a huge frame, which allows him to throw a heavy, downhill fastball that can touch 94 mph. He also employs a mid-to-upper 70s curveball with serious downward bite that could develop into a plus offering.
  • Billy Hamilton, CF, Reds (Triple-A): 4-5, 2 RBI, 3 SB; Hamilton has made the switch to center field and is trying to force the Reds’ hand by hitting well to start the season; 8-for-16 with two doubles, a triple, and six stolen bases so far.
  • Tommy Joseph, C, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 2-5, HR, R, 4 RBI, K; Joseph shows plus power and a plus arm, and he is just about ready to take his talents to the big leagues.
  • Chris McGuiness, 1B, Texas (Triple-A Round Rock): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI; McGuiness has plus power, which plays up in the friendly confines of Round Rock, but he is limited to first base and will have to continue mashing to earn a promotion to the majors.
  • Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Royals (Low-A Lexington: 3-4, 2B, RBI; Mondesi proved to the Royals that he has the chops to handle full-season baseball at the age of 17. He combines a plus defensive package with an advanced approach (that could develop into a plus hit tool) and plus running ability, which could lead to an extreme jump in the prospect ranks in 2014. (Side note: At some point, the people at Milb.com will realize that Raul has retired, and that the Mondesi that plays for Lexington is Adalberto.)
  • Francellis Montas, RHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K; Montas, a $75,000 Dominican signee in 2009, features a fastball that can touch triple digits in short bursts, a slider that needs to gain consistency, and a changeup that is still a work in progress.
  • Deven Marrero, SS, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3-5, 3 2B, R, K; Marrero was not the sexiest name in the 2012 draft, but he has the polish and ability to move through the minors quickly.
  • Melky Mesa, CF, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 K; Mesa has the potential to be a power/speed threat at the highest level, but plate-discipline and make-up questions have clouded what once was a bright future.
  • Yasiel Puig, RF, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 2-3, 2B, R, BB; The Dodgers paid Puig $42 million, and he has done little to disappoint them since then. Puig shows plus-plus power potential, a plus arm, plus running ability, and a frame similar to those of NFL middle linebackers. Once Puig proves to the industry that he is going to make consistent contact, the Dodgers will have a tough decision to make when it comes to clearing a spot for him in their outfield.
  • Ronny Rodriguez, SS, Indians (Double-A Akron): 2-4, 3B, R, RBI, K; Rodriguez has a wiry-strong frame, which produces good bat-speed and plus power potential, to go with a plus-plus arm. Unfortunately, his shaky footwork may eventually force a move to second base.
  • Jake Thompson, RHP, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K; The Rays sent Thompson—whose three-pitch arsenal (fastball/slider/changeup) gives him the potential to develop into a back-end starter—back to Double-A. Hopefully, this is a sign that he has turned things around after a poor 2012.
  • Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 3-5, 3B, 3 R, RBI; Wong, a high-floor, low-ceiling prospect, shows the ability to one day be a .300 hitter, but the rest of his skillset is only average.

“The Bad”

  • Brett Eibner, CF, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 0-4, 4 K; “Sometimes you don’t want to, but you’ve got to.” Eibner’s golden sombrero earned him a spot on this list for the second time in as many days.
  • Nate Karns, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 K; Karns jumped from a fringe prospect all the way into the top 10 after a 2012 in which he showed that he had the stuff to miss bats consistently. In 2013, Karns is tasked with proving that he can induce whiffs in the upper minors.
  • Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K; Not a good sign for Norris, a $2 million, second-round selection in 2011, who also struggled throughout 2012.
  • Julio Rodriguez, LHP, Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 2.2 IP, 2 H, 6 ER, 7 BB, 2 K; After moving to his second organization, Rodriguez, who is only two years removed from being a top 10 prospect in the Phillies system, has suffered from reduced velocity and fringy command.
  • Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 0-4, K; Seager, a 2012 first-round pick who is only 18 years old, has had difficulty making contact early in his professional career; 1-for-17 with six strikeouts to date.
  • Bubba Starling, CF, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 0-4, K; The Royals selected the “hometown superstar” (Starling) ahead of Francisco Lindor, Archie Bradley, Javier Baez, and Jose Fernandez. Bubba is an outstanding talent and still has the potential to be a star, but he needs a lot of seasoning to get there; 1-for-16 with eight strikeouts.
  • Matthew Tracy, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 1 K; After a 2012 season that put him on most prospect radars, Tracy struggled mightily in his 2013 debut. Tracy succeeded in 2012 despite a mediocre 5.8 K/9 by relying on ground balls, and he’ll try to do so again in 2013.

“The Ugly”

David Dahl, CF, Rockies (Low-A Ashville/extended spring training): 0-0; Let me make this simple: We will not be seeing Dahl’s name in the Asheville box scores any time in the near future. Just one game into the 2013 season, Dahl missed a flight, prompting the Rockies to demote him to extended spring training. After watching him enjoy a monster 2012, this is certainly not the way Rockies fans wanted to see one of their top prospects begin the year. 

Zach Mortimer is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Zach's other articles. You can contact Zach by clicking here

Related Content:  The Show 2012,  Triple-A,  Double Switch

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