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April 22, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of April 19-April 21

by Zach Mortimer

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Games of Friday, April 19

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Andrew Oliver, LHP, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K; this left-hander has a big fastball that can touch 96, but he’s still developing consistency with his curveball and changeup; 21.1 IP, 12 H, 5 ER, 12 BB, 29 K.

Position Prospect of the Day: Maxwell Muncy, 1B, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K; advanced pitch recognition; able to consistently get barrel to ball; power potential; limited to first-base defensively; 22-for-65, 2 2B, 8 HR, 19 R, 16 RBI, 16 BB, 12 K in 18 games thus far.

Other notable prospect performances from April 19:

“The Good”

  • Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians (Double-A Akron): 2-4, 2B, 4 RBI, K; A first-base only prospect with good raw power, Aguilar will struggle versus quality pitching and profiles best as a platoon option.
  • Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; fastball working up to 94 with good command; average curveball at 76-78; solid-average changeup at 83-85 with good fade.
  • Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; A positive start for Bauer, who was able to go seven innings with only one walk.
  • Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 4-6, 2B, 3 R, RBI, K, SB; Bethancourt is making strides offensively, and showing an improved ability to make contact; .341/.356/.500 in 44 at-bats.
  • Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 3-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K; hit and power tools could both be better than plus; overall defensive position in question; monster fantasy potential; 9-for-16 in his last four games.
  • Ryan Carpenter, LHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K; Carpenter uses a four-pitch mix (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup), and the slider has plus potential; 19.0 IP, 14 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 24 K.
  • Kurt Heyer, RHP, Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K; A 2012 College World Series ace, Heyer offers a four-pitch mix (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup) with enough polish to have his way in Low-A.
  • Jared Hoying, CF, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, 2 K; pull-side power; ability to play all three defensive positions in the outfield; good bat speed; hit tool will be tested at the highest level; .323/.373/.613 in 62 at-bats this season.
  • Matt Loosen, RHP, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K: fastball can touch plus velocity; curveball has potential to miss bats; fringy changeup; sleeper-prospect type.
  • Barret Loux, RHP, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; solid fastball command; ordinary secondary stuff; shoulder injury cost him over $1 million in the draft; traded from Rangers to Cubs for Geovany Soto.
  • Cody Martin, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K; solid-average fastball; plus slider; usable curveball and changeup; good pitchability; profiles best as a back-end starter, but could also be a meaningful two-pitch reliever.
  • Brandon Nimmo, CF, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 4-4, 3B, 2 R, BB; good body; good bat speed; solid-average power potential; average defensive profile; still raw.
  • Kevin Plawecki, C, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 3-4, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB; advanced approach; strong wrists; pull-side power potential; overall defensive package is still a work in progress.
  • Colin Rodgers, LHP, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; small frame; three-pitch mix (fastball/curveball/changeup); good feel for secondary offerings.
  • Yorman Rodriguez, CF, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 4-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; Rodriguez has plus raw power, but his shaky hit tool may not allow him to tap into all of it.
  • Bruce Rondon, RHP, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; The flame-throwing relief prospect was deemed unready for the closer role on Opening Day, but has started the season well in Triple-A; 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K so far.
  • Eddie Rosario, 2B, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 4-5, HR, R, 4 RBI; potential plus hit tool; plus running ability; potential solid-average game power; still gaining baseball instincts; .352/.385/.507 in 71 at-bats.
  • Mark Sappington, RHP, Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; fastball has plus-plus potential; slider could be solid-average; delivery has some effort, so he may be better suited for the bullpen long term.
  • Jerrud Sabourin, 1B, Indians (High-A Carolina): 3-3, R, BB; Sabourin, the all-time hits leader at Indiana, has an outstanding hit tool, but his limited power doesn’t profile well at first base; 22-for-53, 3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 9 R, 4 RBI in 15 games.
  • Ryan Wheeler, 3B, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI; improving at third base after playing first base only as an amateur; power potential; average contact; if he shows the ability to play the outfield defensively, he’ll have a solid utility-man profile; .357/.408/.595 in 42 at-bats.

 “The Bad”

  • Stetson Allie, 1B, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 0-4, 3 K; Allie has easy plus-plus raw power, but plenty of contact question marks.
  • Courtney Hawkins, CF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 0-3, BB, 3 K; Hawkins continues to pile up the strikeouts, and he now has 34 of them in 51 at-bats.

“The Ugly”

Mike Zunino, C, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 0-4, 3 K; Zunino has slipped into a bit of a slump; 0-for-20, 10 K in his last six games.

Games of Saturday, April 20

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Nate Karns, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 K; Plus fastball; plus curveball; developing changeup; could be an interesting piece if the Nationals are in the mood to deal at the deadline.

Position Prospect of the Day: Matthew Szczur, CF, Cubs (Double-A Tennesse): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI; still gaining baseball polish; plus-plus speed; bat has a solid-average ceiling with average power; my ankles are still recovering from the juke he put on me back in my high-school football glory days; .299/.364/.433 in 67 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances from April 20:

 “The Good”

  • Delino Deshields, 2B, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 3-3, 2 3B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SB; legitimate burner; potential for a plus hit tool; aggressive player with a gamer mentality; .349/.417/.558 in 43 at-bats this season.
  • Scooter Gennett, 2B, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 3-5, 3B, 3 R, BB, SB; grinder type; solid-average hit tool; solid-average runner whose instincts play up his speed; .396/.418/.453 in 53 at-bats.
  • Pierce Johnson, RHP, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; plus fastball; potential plus curveball; inconsistent changeup; number-three starter ceiling.
  • Devin Lohman, SS, Reds (Double-A Pensacola): 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB; bat will be just good enough; solid-average runner with good baseball instincts; can play shortstop; utility-man profile.
  • Brandon Miller, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI; easy plus raw power; developing pitch-recognition skills; grinder-type player.
  • Rafael Montero, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; fastball is his only plus pitch; average slider and changeup; plus command of all three pitches plays up the offerings; not extremely far from being big-league ready; 22.2 IP, 15 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 27 K in four starts.
  • Renato Nunez, 3B, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI; plenty of bat speed; plus power potential; defense is a work in progress; .326/.383/.628 in 43 at-bats.
  • Danny Salazar, RHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K; Salazar has a potential plus-plus fastball, a plus slider, and a developing changeup.
  • Rock Shoulders, 1B, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 3-3, HR, R, 3 RBI; power potential; best name in baseball; .424/.477/.695 in 59 at-bats.
  • Domingo Tapia, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 7.0 IP, 4H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; fastball has monster potential; changeup with easy plus potential; working to improve curveball; 19.2 IP, 14 H, 5 ER, 7 BB, 18 K in four games.
  • Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 3-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, K; athletic prospect with a very intriguing bat; .324/.356/.676 in 68 at-bats this season.
  • Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K; Wojciechowski, acquired by the Astros from the Blue Jays, offers a solid-average fastball, an average cutter and curveball, and a changeup that still needs work; 18.0 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 19 K in four games this season.

“The Bad”

  • Barrett Barnes, CF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 0-5, R, 3 K; tough start to the 2013 season for Barnes, a sandwich-round pick in 2012.
  • Stephen Bruno, 2B, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 0-4, 4 K; Bruno, who relies on his compact swing and hitting ability, had an uncharacteristically rough day at the plate. 
  • Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 0-4, BB, 3 K; it has been a tough start to the season for this international bonus baby; 25 strikeouts in 66 at-bats.
  • Nick Ramirez, 1B, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 0-4, 3 K; A former Cal State Fullerton standout, Ramirez may not have the bat speed to stay on prospect radars for much longer.

“The Ugly”

Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 0-4, 3 K; Story is struggling with swing-and-miss issues early in the season; 24 strikeouts in 56 at-bats.

Games of Sunday, April 21

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Rafael De Paula, RHP, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K; potential plus-plus fastball, plus-plus curveball, and plus changeup; about ready for a promotion; 17.1 IP, 12 H, 7 ER, 9 BB, 33 K in four starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 3-4, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, BB, K; big raw power; improving defense; a combination of work ethic and pure baseball instincts that could make him special.

Other notable prospect performances from April 21:

 “The Good”

  • Dylan Baker, RHP, Indians (Low-A Lake County): 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; Fastball that can touch plus velocity; hard slider; mixes in changeup and curveball; profiles best as a two-pitch reliever.
  • Josh Bell, RF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 4-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, SB; A toolsy, but raw prospect, Bell missed the majority of the 2012 season and was behind velocity all spring.
  • C.J. Edwards, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; potential plus fastball; curveball with at least solid-average potential; changeup still a work in progress; 48th round selection in 2011; great prospect to root for; 18.1 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 22 K in four starts in 2013.
  • J.R. Graham, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; big-league fastball with serious sink; slider with plus potential; average changeup; small frame; could be a number-two or -three starter or a high-leverage reliever at worst.
  • Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI; Hanson has not gotten off to a great start in 2013 and will need to make adjustments as he moves up the ladder and faces more advanced pitching.
  • Odubel Herrera, 2B, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 5-5, 2B, 3 R, RBI; quick bat; very athletic; profiles best a utility player.
  • Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI; easy plus-plus raw power; swing can get long; good right-field profile; great work ethic that will allow him to handle the struggles he faces during a full-season assignment at the age of 17.
  • Michael Perez, C, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, K; potential solid-average power; improving plate discipline; still gaining polish behind the plate defensively.
  • Robbie Ray, LHP, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 K; a well-over-slot draft pick in 2010, Ray’s stuff—which includes a three-pitch mix (fastball/slider/changeup) was down in 2012; 26 strikeouts in 23 innings so far.
  • Chris Reed, LHP, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; potential plus fastball and slider; changeup still a work in progress; delivery concerns combined with changeup ineffectiveness may force Reed to move to the bullpen.
  • Connor Sadzeck, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K; Fastball sits in the low 90s as a starter but has touched 98 in relief; slurvy breaking ball.
  • Corey Seager, 3B, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3-3, R; advanced plate discipline; good bat speed; still working to develop power.
  • Bubba Starling, CF, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 2-5, HR, 2 R, RBI, K; crazy-raw ability; swing can get long; pitch recognition is a work in progress; plenty of bat speed; easy plus defensive profile.
  • Christian Walker, 1B, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB; excellent college pedigree; plus contact ability; limited to first base; overall future will be tied to how much punch he can provide; .377/.458/.525 in 61 at-bats.

No time for “The Bad”

I was in a positive mood today, and did not even look for negative performances. I hope everyone takes that attitude into the workweek. 

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:  Work,  Triple-A,  Slider,  Power,  Changeup,  Pitch Recognition,  J.r. Graham,  Base 3,  Fastball,  Quad-a

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