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April 16, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, April 15

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Allen Webster, RHP, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K; With a fastball up to 95, a plus changeup, and a usable slider, Webster is close to making the jump to the majors.

Position Prospect of the Day: Michael Choice, CF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-2, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB; Choice offers plus-plus raw power, but we may also be seeing an improving plan at the plate; five walks in his last 15 plate appearances.

Other notable prospect performances from April 15:

 “The Good”

  • Zoilo Almonte, CF, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 4-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB; Almonte profiles best as a fourth outfielder with the ability to play all three defensive positions. He is a switch-hitter who will provide adequate production off the bench.
  • Carlos Contreras, RHP, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; Contreras mixes a plus-plus fastball with a solid-average changeup, but he is still searching for a usable breaking ball.
  • C.J. Edwards, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; One of the best stories in the minor leagues. Edwards, a 48th-round selection in 2011, comes from a small town in South Carolina. He grew up without the funds to travel and showcase his arm for scouts. The Rangers got a steal in Edwards, who offers a fastball up to 98 with good life. His improving curve and change could both become major-league-caliber pitches in time.
  • Brett Eibner, CF, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-4, HR, R, RBI, K; Well, on April 15, Eibner finally decided to start his season. Let’s hope that from here on out, he will be able to make enough contact to tap into his plus raw power.
  • Todd Glaesmann, OF, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K; Plus power potential with a plus arm gives Glaesmann a classic right-field profile.
  • Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K; Lee has an athletic frame with the ability to command four pitches (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup). He may not miss enough bats to be a frontline starter, but he should have plenty of pitchability to stick in the middle of a rotation.
  • Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; Nelson relies on a plus-plus fastball and a slider that should allow him to pitch meaningful innings at the back end of the bullpen. Most believe that his mechanical flaws will prevent him from staying a starter.
  • Brandon Nimmo, CF, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 3-5, HR, R, 5 RBI; With a potential solid-average hit tool and power potential, Nimmo is looking to polish his raw offensive skillset with every at-bat; 16-for-39 with a double, a triple, a homer, and 10 RBI so far.
  • Vidal Nuno, LHP, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; A crafty lefty with a four-pitch mix (fastball/curveball/slider/changeup), Nuno relies on pitchability more than stuff. I do not believe that the Yankees would turn to him in the event of a rotation opening in the near future.
  • Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, K; No one should question Rendon’s ability to contribute offensively (7 hit and 5+ power); the question is whether he will ever be able to stay on the field for an entire season.
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; Rodriguez uses a plus fastball with a slider and changeup that both could be major-league-level pitches.
  • Jesus Solorzano, RF, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 3-4, HR, 2 R, RBI; Although his toolkit includes plus power, the 22-year-old Solorzano is still developing his approach at the plate, so we should proceed with caution before placing him at the center of the prospect radar.
  • Domingo Tapia, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; A plus-plus fastball that can touch 97 with major sink and a plus changeup allow Tapia to make inferior hitters look foolish.
  • Jose Urena, RHP, Marlins (High-A Jupiter): 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K; Urena’s three-pitch arsenal includes a plus-plus fastball, a potential plus slider, and a developing changeup. He will try to fill the prospect void left by Jose Fernandez’s promotion to the majors.

 “The Bad”

  • Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 0-4, BB, 3 K; Tough start to the season for Bogaerts, who dazzled in the Carolina League in 2012; 7-for-41 with 14 strikeouts so far.
  • Matt Lipka, CF, Braves (High-A Lynchburg): 0-5, RBI, 3 K; Lipka, a 2010 supplemental first-round selection, still has a long way to go at the plate.
  • Jake Petricka, RHP, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Petricka, a former top 10 prospect in the White Sox system, has regressed since moving to the bullpen full time. His command is still a work in progress.
  • Richie Shaffer, 3B, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 0-4, 4 K; Shaffer, a 2012 first-round selection, is still transitioning from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Florida State League.
  • Jacob Thompson, RHP, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 4.0 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; Thompson is finding too many barrels, slowly moving himself down and off of prospect lists.

“The Ugly”

Courtney Hawkins, CF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 0-4, 4 K; The 19-year-old has had his share of ups and downs so far in 2013, and the golden sombrero marks one of his lowest lows.

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:  Triple-A,  Double Switch

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