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April 23, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, April 22

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day (Year?): Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K; This will be a frontrunner for pitching performance of the year. Fastball is solid-average and plays up with good command; curveball has a 65-grade ceiling; changeup could be plus; slider will be a usable major-league pitch; attacks hitters; has transformed a questionable body as an amateur into a very strong, well-built frame.

Position Prospect of the Day: Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 4-6, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI; physically mature; classic right-field profile; power to all fields. When he is right, he has a short, compact swing and is able to use his natural strength. However, he will occasionally sell out for power and drop his back shoulder, an indication of trying to do too much at the plate.

Other notable prospect performances from April 22:

“The Good”

  • Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 3-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K; when he is able to properly apply his raw ability and use his tools in games, he will have a plus-plus offensive profile.
  • Chris Bostick, 2B, Atheltics (Low-A Beloit): 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R; limited power; solid-average runner; will need to show the ability to play multiple infield positions to profile as a future utility man.
  • Luke Jackson, RHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; easy plus fastball; solid-average curveball; developing changeup; profiles as a mid-rotation starter or late-inning reliever; 20.1 IP, 17 H, 3 ER, 9 BB, 22 K in four starts this season.
  • Erik Johnson, RHP, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K; four-pitch mix (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup); fastball and slider have plus potential; curveball will be a usable pitch; changeup is still a work in progress; as with any White Sox prospect, the call to the big leagues could come at any point.
  • Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; essentially uses a two-pitch mix (sinking fastball/changeup); still working on consistently being able to spin his curveball; big frame and good posture creates a solid downhill plane.
  • Marcus Knecht, OF, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K; will struggle against quality pitching; mistake hitter; solid-average raw power; fringy runner; limited to a corner-outfield position defensively.
  • Jose Osuna, 1B, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI; plus raw power; gets pull-happy; easy plus arm strength will be wasted because he is limited to first base defensively; swing has holes that will be exploited at higher levels.
  • Devon Travis, 2B, Tigers (Low-A West Michigan): 4-5, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI; physically mature; swing will be tested significantly by higher-level pitchers.
  • Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI; make any joke you want about Vogelbach’s weight (listed at 250, and I’m going to say that’s a bit light), but he can flat out hit; elite raw power; good bat speed; plus potential hit tool; not going to offer much in the way of defensive value; very interesting fantasy prospect.
  • Adam Walker, OF, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 2-4, 3B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K; big-time raw power; concerns about hit tool; solid-average runner; inexperienced in the outfield; .281/.339/.456 with 56 at-bats this season.
  • Jesse Winker, OF, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 3-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB; makes hard contact; good bat speed; swing fit to produce line drives as opposed to home runs; limited to a corner-outfield position; proceed with caution.
  • Patrick Wisdom, 3B, Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 3-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB; swing can get lengthy; hit tool will be tested by quality pitching; physically mature; plus power potential; potential to be an upper-tier defender at third.  
  • Alex Wood, LHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; excelling in Double-A after the Braves decided to skip him past High-A; plus fastball and changeup will allow him to keep hitters off-balance and miss plenty of bats; could be useful in the big leagues this season; 22.0 IP, 14 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 25 K in four starts.

“The Bad”

  • Ismael Guillon, LHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 1.2 IP, 2 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 3 K; This 21-year-old has a worrisome injury history and is struggling mightily with his command; 22 walks in 12.1 innings pitched this season.
  • Kyle Jensen, OF, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 0-4, 4 K; Jensen’s swing can get long, and that explains the golden sombrero last night.
  • James Paxton, LHP, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 1.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 0 K; long arm action; command problems; most believe he will need to move to the bullpen.
  • Sam Selman, LHP, Royals(High-A Wilmington): 2.2 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K; inconsistent mechanics; major fluctuation in fastball velocity; has trouble finding release point; stuff flashes; more of a project-type college pitcher.

“The Ugly”

Cody Buckel, RHP, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 3.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 1 K; delivery can get away from what it needs to be; thinks on the mound rather than just letting his natural ability show; 9.0 IP, 8 H, 12 ER, 22 BB, 9 K in four starts this season.

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

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