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June 11, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, June 10

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Lucas Sims, LHP, Braves (Low-A Rome): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Well, well well, another Braves pitcher with a major-league future. The Braves started the season by using Sims in relief to keep his innings down, but since being placed back in a starting role, Sims has flourished. Sims has everything you would want in a young pitcher: a plus fastball, a potential plus curveball, and a developing changeup that has a solid-average. 19.1 IP, 16 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 26 K in his last four starts

Position Prospect of the Day: Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 4-4, 4 HR, 4 R, 7 RBI. The bat has the potential to be special. Baez has one of the highest ceilings in the minors, but he will need to slow down the game. A night like this is special; I believe it is only the second time anyone has ever hit four home runs in one night in the history of the Florida State League; .432/.523/1.054 with 5 2B and 6 HR in last 37 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on June 10:

“The Good”

  • Byron Buxton, CF, Twins (Low-A Buxton): 3-4, 2B, 3B, R, 3 RBI.The things I/we(the prospect team at Baseball Propsectus) hear about Buxton are almost inconceivable. “He might be an 8 player.” “He’s the best guy I’ve ever scouted.” “He’s a bad-ass player.” “How did that guy not get picked number one?” “He might be Willie Mays.” “Why is he still in this league?”
  • Brandon Drury, 3B, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K. The throw-in prospect in the Justin Upton deal, Drury has impressed so far this season. He is making consistent contact and showing present power. I would look for him to head west after the Midwest League All-Star game; .333/.405/.917 with 4 2B, 1 3B, and 5 HR in last 36 at-bats.
  • Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 2-5, HR, R, RBI, K. Franco has answered many questions for scouts this season in High-A. The biggest one: Would he strikeout too often? Franco has responded to the critics by only striking out 14 percent of the time. Franco has also been able to maintain his power by providing having a .243 ISO. He looks to be the future at the hot corner in Philadelphia; .333/.400/.611 with 4 2B and 2 HR in last 36 at-bats.
  • Billy Hamilton, CF, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 3-5, 2B, RBI, K, 2 SB. I talked to a person in the Reds organization who had recently seen Hamilton play. He said, “Billy has made some adjustments at the plate. It is starting to together for him; watching him run is still, and will always be, special”; .273/.319/.409 with 3 2B, HR, and 7 SB in his last 44 at-bats.
  • Cody Kukuk, LHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K; solid-average fastball with good life; plus potential slider; developing changeup. Kukuk is a pitcher who flashes ability, but is still looking to develop more consistency on the mound.
  • Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 3-5, 2 3B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Lindsey shows the ability to make solid contact against quality pitching. His carrying tool will be his hit tool, which is something I always like in a prospect. Essentially, I look at it like this: If you cannot hit against quality pitching, your other tools will not be fully utilized.
  • Jake Marisnick, CF, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 4-5, 3B, HR, R, 3 RBI. It is funny that Marisnick follows Lindsey, because Marisnick shows all the tools, but the hit tool is the one that is least developed. I’ve seen Marisnick a few times, and something that I really liked about him is that he is an incredible athlete. A line that I always keep in the back of my mind: “Athletes tend to keep making improvements. The hit tool may be a little raw, but they will have the ability to make the necessary adjustments to hit”; .400/.455/.900 with 4 2B, 2 3B, and 4 HR in last 40 at-bats.
  • Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 3-4, 2B, R, RBI, K. If anyone hasn’t picked this up, I really have a bias against 1B-only prospects. They make me very nervous because of the amount of pressure that is put on the bat. Singleton, however, is someone I have always liked. I believe Singleton’s plus hit tool with plus-plus power will allow him to bat in the middle of the Astros’ lineup for years to come.

“The Bad”

  • Andrew Cisco, RHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2.2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Cisco never had big stuff, but was having success early in the season in Low-A. That is why I always believe in the stuff over the numbers; eventually, it catches up to you.
  • Raul Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 0-4, 3 K; As my good friend Jason Parks says, “Son of Raul, brother of Raul” Raul “Mondi” Mondesi did not have his best game. But hey, what were you doing when you were 17?

“The Ugly”

Cito Culver, SS, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 0-3, 3 K; Not to dig into open wounds, Yankees fans, but Culver was taken before the likes of Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony Ranaudo, Taijuan Walker, Nick Castellanos, and Mike Olt (all players were selected in the supplemental first round directly after the Culver selection); .207/.308/.306 with 61 K in 193 at-bats.

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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