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June 24, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of June 21-23

by Zach Mortimer

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Games of Friday, June 21

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. Crick entered the year as the Giants’ top prospect. He excelled in his return from the disabled list. Crick uses a potentially plus-plus fastball, an easy plus curveball, and a solid-average cutter. He has an athletic delivery and a front-of-the-rotation ceiling.

Position Prospect of the Day: Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI. The former first-round selection is quietly doing his job in the Midwest League. Seager has an potential easy plus offensive profile with plus hit/power potential, and he has shown enough feel to make scouts think he has a chance to stay at short; .421/.463/.895 with 4 2B, 1 3B, and 4 HR in last 38 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on June 21:

“The Good”

  • Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 2-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB. The first of the 2013 draft picks to be included in the update, Anderson is a plus-plus runner with the potential to hit for power. He will have to prove that he will be able to hit consistently and throw well enough to stay at shortstop.
  • Barrett Barnes, CF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI. Barnes offers an interesting power/speed combination of tools, but he leaves some wondering whether he will be able to stick in center. If he has to move to a corner, the hit tool will have to reach its solid-average or he may not tap into enough power to profile as an everyday player.
  • Andrew Burns, 3B, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 3-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, K. All he does is hit. Burns is now on to his second level of the season. He has taken steps back onto the prospect radar in 2013.
  • Eddie Butler, RHP, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Butler was included in a very nice article that Baseball Prospectus put out.
  • Andrew Chafin, LHP, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 9.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Chafin uses his plus fastball/slider combination to attack hitters. Scouts believe Chafin may be most successfully utilized as a late-innings reliever because of his high-effort delivery; 59.2 IP, 55 H, 17 ER, 24 BB, 40 K in nine starts.
  • Tony Renda, 2B, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-6, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 K. Renda has limited tools, highlighted by his potentially solid-average hit tool, and is a bit old for the level. He will need to move to High-A if he wants to stay at a league-appropriate age moving forward.
  • Tomas Telis, C, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 3-3, 2 2B, BB. Telis is a prospect I love to root for, a dirtball that really plays the game the right way. He is a little rough behind the plate, but shows some feel at the plate. He is a sleeper-type prospect that may eventually be able to carve out a spot on a big-league roster; .359/.405/.564 with 2 2B and 2 HR in last 39 at-bats.

“The Bad”

  • Socrates Brito, OF, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 0-5, 3 K. I guess this philosopher did not have his A-game.
  • Juan Duran, OF, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 0-5, 4 K. Well, we are slowly approaching July 2, and Duran received $2 million from the Reds in 2007; sometimes it is not money well spent.
  • Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 0-4, 3 K. Settle down, Joey, I believe.
  • Max White, CF, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 0-4, R, 3 K. The former second-round selection has plenty of speed, but he is still developing the hit tool.

“The Ugly”

Michael Perez, C, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 0-5, 5 K. Everyone always believed he would strike out frequently, but Perez has struggled mightily in the California League this season.

Games of Saturday, June 22

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. The call for Glasnow to head south, to the Florida State League, has to be coming soon. He has destroyed hitters thus far in 2013. Check out what was said about Glasnow late last week on Baseball Prospectus; 47.1 IP, 25 H, 14 ER, 26 BB, 79 in last 10 starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Steven Moya, OF, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 K. No one has ever questioned Moya’s raw power, which grades near the top of the scale, but scouts have always wondered whether he will hit enough to tap into it; .256/.326/.513 with 1 2B and 3 HR in last 39 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on June 22:

“The Good”

  • Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, K. Most believe Bethancourt could be a big-league player based on defense alone, but if he wants to be an everyday catcher, he will have to provide enough offensively; .258/.276/.362 with 8 2B and 3 HR in 163 at-bats.
  • Travis Harrison, 3B, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K; check out was said about Harrison earlier in the season in a Monday Morning Ten Pack; .276/.370/.508 with 22 2B and 12 HR in 250 at-bats thus far in 2013.
  • Patrick Leonard, 1B/3B, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 2-2, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB. The throw-in prospect in the James Shields trade, Leonard brings some raw power and arm strength. He will have to prove that he can consistently hit as his career progresses; .297/.381/.568 with 4 2B and 2 HR in last 37 at-bats.
  • Zach Green, 3B, Phillies (Short-season Williamsport): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K, SB. Green is a hard-working player who has a few solid-average tools, power potential, and arm strength, but he will have to consistently hit to enter the prospect spectrum.
  • Nomar Mazara, RF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI. Mazara was my favorite of the Hickory bunch. I say that because I believe he is the safest bet to reach his ceiling. He has a hitch in his swing, but natural bat-to-ball ability combined with power potential make me feel confident. Remember he is playing in a full-season league at a very young age, 18 years old, and has excellent baseball instincts.
  • Sean Nolin, LHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 7.0 IP, 4 H, ER, 7 K. I like him to be a back-end starter. Check out the full report here; 39.0 IP, 35 H, 12 ER, 9 BB, 42 K in nine starts.
  • Joe Panik, 2B, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 3-3, 2 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB. In a small sample I thought Panik showed the ability to hit. The power will never be more than fringe average, but he seemed to have the ability to put the bat on the ball. The thing that makes me nervous is that Panik already had to make the move to second, and may profile much better as a utility guy.
  • Jake Thompson, RHP, Tigers (Low-A West Michigan): 6.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 10 K; check out what was recently said about Thompson.
  • Erasmo Ramirez, RHP, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 K. Excellent start for Ramirez who has done well in his stint in Triple-A; 32.1 IP, 26 H, 8 ER, 7 BB, 33 K in five Triple-A starts.

“The Bad”

  • Ryan Perry, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, BB, K; the former upper-tier prospect has really lost his luster.
  • Ethan Stewart, LHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 2.2 IP, 2 H, 6 ER, 7 BB, 2 K; sometimes finding the zone is a difficult task.

“The Ugly”

Cito Culver, SS, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 0-5, 4 K. Oh, Cito, it never gets old.

Games of Sunday, June 23

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Matt Purke, LHP, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Well, Purke has the stuff to dominate, especially inferior hitters, as long as he can stay healthy. I would assume he receives the promotion to High-A sooner rather than later; 23.0 IP, 24 H, 8 ER, 7 BB, 33 K in last five starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 4-5, 3B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB. If you aren’t on Twitter than you have missed me professing my love for Franco; the tools are serious and I believe he can stay at third. He makes very loud contact, and profiles to eventually hit 25-30 home runs.

Other notable prospect performances on June 23:

“The Good”

  • Jayce Boyd, 1B, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI. Boyd was recently promoted, and will need to continue to hit—and hit a lot—if he wants to jump onto the prospect radar.
  • Max Kepler, OF, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 3-6, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI, K. If I were to tell you Max Kepler could be one of the most influential prospects in the game, would you believe me? Kepler signed the largest bonus for any player coming from Europe and could be used to expand the game if he is able to achieve success.
  • Lance McCullers, RHP, Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. McCullers has a plus-plus fastball with a potential plus curveball. The changeup is still developing, and the delivery has some effort in it. This also leads me to an interesting idea I saw on Twitter: What would you rather have, Correa/McCullers/Ruiz or Buxton? Feel free to debate it below; 23.0 IP, 14 H, 5 ER, 7 BB, 30 K in five June appearances.
  • Addison Russell, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, SB. My good friend Chris Rodriguez does not get to see many prospects with the California League being down this year, but he really likes Russell. Check out what he had to say here. Russell was also a consensus choice for a few members of the Prospect Team to take a step forward in the second half of 2013; .400/.422/.750 with 4 2B, 2 3B, and 2 HR in 40 at-bats.
  • Ross Stripling, RHP, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Stripling, a Texan, was written up by a fellow Texan, Jason Cole, in a Ten Pack; 42.0 IP, 45 H, 13 ER, 6 BB, 43 K in eight Double-A appearances.
  • Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Syndergaard was promoted to Double-A and continues to throw plus-plus fastballs with extreme plane. The secondary pitches have taken steps forward. Syndergaard has the ceiling of a number-two starter, but will slot in nicely behind Harvey and Wheeler in the upcoming years.
  • Preston Tucker, OF, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI. Tucker is really enjoying the friendly confines of Lancaster, where he has hit 10 of his 14 home runs.

“The Bad”

  • Slade Heathcott, CF, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 0-3, BB, 3 K, SB. I like a lot of things about Heathcott and I dislike a lot of things about Heathcott. I’m still not sure which side will win out.
  • Ketel Marte, SS, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 1-5, 3 K. Marte has hit well thus far this season; sort of an interesting, under-the-radar prospect to keep an eye on.
  • Brandon Nimmo, CF, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 0-5, 3 K. Nimmo’s swing is still very raw, but I believe in the potential.

“The Ugly”

Jake Cave, CF, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 1-7, 5 K. I wonder if Jake was looking for a cave to hide in after this performance.

As always, if anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me on Twitter or leave a comment below. The short-season rosters are a bit thin at the moment, but will fill up as players sign and are promoted out of Rookie levels.

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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The Week in Quotes: Ju... (06/24)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (06/21)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (06/25)
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