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June 3, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of June 1-2

by Zach Mortimer

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Games of Saturday, June 1

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 6.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K; easy plus fastball; plus slider; below-average changeup; some believe he fits best as a closer; 61.0 IP, 53 H, 25 ER, 27 BB, 73 K in 11 starts.

Position Prospect of the DayJavier Baez, SS, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 5-6, 3 2B, HR, 3 R, 6 RBI; potential plus-plus hit tool; easy plus power potential; plus-plus arm. It took Baez a little while to get started this year, but it looks like he has made the necessary adjustments and is ready to show off his ability; .277/.319/.519 with 15 2B, 4 3B, and 9 HR in 206 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on June 1:

“The Good”

  • Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 3-5, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. The former first-round selection was demoted to Triple-A to work on his hitting, and he has gotten into a groove in his last 10 games; .463/.532/.805 with 3 2B, 1 3B, and 3 HR in last 41 at-bats.
  • Bobby Crocker, OF, Athletics (High-A Stockton):  2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K; potential solid-average power; potential average hit tool; average runner; below-average arm. Crocker has done well in the early going in the hitter friendly California League; .262/.307/.444 with 10 2B, 3 3B, and 6 HR in 187 at-bats.
  • Casey Crosby, LHP, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; easy plus fastball; average curveball; below-average changeup; below-average command profile; may fit better pitching late innings in the bullpen.
  • Brandon Drury, 3B, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI; plus power potential; developing hit tool; making himself ready for promotion; .366/.409/.780 with 5 2B and 4 HR in last 41 at-bats.
  • Josh Elander, OF, Braves (Low-A Rome): 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB; potential solid-average hit tool; solid-average power potential; average runner; tough profile; .353/.412/.637 with 9 2B, 2 3B, and 2 HR in 102 May at-bats.
  • Daniel Robertson, SS, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 4-4, 2 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB; good feel for hitting; plus potential hit tool; average runner; average arm; average glove; showing a little more power than most originally thought he’d have; I have gotten very good reports from scouts; stock on the rise; .292/.357/.451 with 7 2B, 1 3B, and 3 HR in 113 at-bats.
  • Rio Ruiz, 3B, Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI; plus potential hitter; plus power potential; plus arm. Ruiz is a good example of how the CBA changed the draft. He slipped deeper than was originally expected, but the Astros moved around the money and had plenty left in their bonus allotment to sign Ruiz.
  • Preston Tucker, OF, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K; plus raw power; bat will be challenged by quality pitching; bottom-of-the-scale runner; most likely a California League mirage; .447/.542/.921 with 3 2B and 5 HR in last 38 at-bats.
  • Cory Vaughn, OF, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI; potential average hit tool; average power; fringy runner; son of Greg Vaughn; .288/.370/.447 with 7 2B, 1 3B, and 6 HR in 170 at-bats.
  • Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 3-5, 3B, R, 3 RBI, K; bat is very interesting; good athlete; one of the more polished hitters on the prospect -heavy Hickory Crawdads.
  • Brandon Workman, RHP, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; plus fastball; potential solid-average curveball; potential plus cutter; below-average changeup; short arm action; may be better used in a late-inning relief role; 65.2 IP,  51 H, 25 ER, 17 BB, 74 K in 11 outings.

“The Bad”

  • Bryce Brentz, OF, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 0-4, 3 K; Brentz has plenty of ability, but has always had trouble against breaking balls.
  • Brett Oberholtzer, LHP, Astros (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 3.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; Oberholtzer, acquired in the Michael Bourn trade, has struggled since his brief stint in the bigs.  
  • Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. This Brewers prospect has had a rough go of it recently.
  • Mason Williams, CF, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 0-4, BB, 3 K. Williams has struggled to make hard contact in High-A; .216/.278/.278 in 94 May at-bats.

“The Triple-A”

  • Kevin Kouzmanoff, 1B/3B, Marlins (Triple-A Omaha): 4-7, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 K.
  • Ernesto Mejia, 1B, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 4-5, 3 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI.
  • Guillermo Moscoso, RHP, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 K.

Just as an example, I listed three players who had excellent days in Triple-A. Two of the three players have been in the big leagues, but are now stuck playing Triple-A. The truth is Triple-A is filled with players just like this. They know how to do their jobs, and the strengths to which they need to play. Players like these can interrupt the paths of actual prospects and sort of change the game on them.

Games of Sunday, June 2

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Ivan Pineyro, RHP, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K; solid-average fastball; potential plus changeup; developing curveball; hard worker; flashes big-time ability.

Position Prospect of the Day: George Springer, CF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 3-5, 2B, HR, 3 R, 5 RBI. Springer shows all the tools. The hit tool was the one that scouts question, and he seems to be making consistent hard contact despite having a lot of swing and miss in his swing. I like Springer; he will be the everyday center fielder for the Astros in the near future; .310/.417/.640 with 14 2B and 17 HR in 197 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on Sunday, June 2:

“The Good”

  • Nick Castellanos, OF, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI; has one of the best hit tools in the minors; plus power potential; plus arm; fringy defender in the outfield; .421/.500/.658 with 3 2B and 2 HR in last 38 at-bats.
  • Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 3-4, 2 2B, R; short swing; potential solid-average hit tool; developing power; plus arm; below-average range; stock on the rise; .333/.457/.500 with 4 2B and 1 3B in last 36 at-bats.
  • Alex Dickerson, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 7 RBI; potential solid-average hit tool; average power potential; fringy runner; left-field profile; fringy prospect.
  • Brandon Drury, 3B, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 3-5, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K; plus power potential; developing hit tool; making himself ready for a promotion; .327/.354/.559 with 22 2B, 3 3B, and 7 HR in 211 at-bats.
  • Brian Flynn, LHP, Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans): 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K; throw-in prospect in the trade between Miami and Detroit last year; fastball touches plus velocity; solid-average slider; average curveball; average changeup; back-end profile; 37.0 IP, 35 H, 15 ER, 10 BB, and 40 K in six May starts.
  • Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; plus fastball; easy plus curveball; developing changeup; stock really on the rise; 47.2 IP, 20 H, 17 ER, 32 BB, 72 K in 11 starts.
  • Wil Myers, RF, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 3-4, 3B, HR, R, 3 RBI. Well well well, the Super 2 date is coming up and, what do you know, Wil Myers is getting hot at the plate. He is ready to get himself into the middle of the Rays lineup; .409/.426/.955 with 4 2B, 1 3B, and 6 HR in last 44 at-bats.
  • Cesar Puello, OF, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K; plus raw power; solid-average arm; solid-average runner; average hit tool; shows tools but lacks consistency; .302/.382/.521 with 9 2B, 2 3B, and 8 HR in 169 at-bats.
  • Domingo Santana, RF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 2-4, 3B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI; plus-plus raw power; plus arm; right-field profile; stock on the rise.
  • Dan Vogelbach, 1B/DH, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, K; top-of-the-scale raw power; potential plus hit tool. I spoke with a few people in the game about Vogelbach; most of them are very nervous because they are not sure he’s ever going to be a good enough defender at first. If he is limited to DH, the pressure on the bat is indescribable; .293/.341/.585 with 3 2B and 3 HR in last 41 at-bats.

“The Bad”

  • Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K; the command has always been a problem for Aumont.
  • Max Fried, LHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 3.1 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. I don’t think this line says anything about Fried. All of the scouts that talk about Fried are very excited about his future.
  • Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 4.0 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 1 K; The prized Rays pitching prospect had a tough day on the mound.  
  • Courtney Hawkins, OF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 1-5, 2B, R, 4 K. Well, everyone, he’s back, and he is still striking out plenty.

“The Ugly”

Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 1.2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; typical second-season slump that a lot of Red Sox pitching prospects struggle with; 49.2 IP, 57 H, and 7 HR allowed in 11 starts.

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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