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June 26, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Tuesday, June 25

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Miguel Almonte, RHP, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 7.2 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K. When we talk about a prospect who could take a major step onto the prospect radar with a productive second half, Almonte comes to mind. The breaking ball is still developing, but the fastball can touch the upper 90s when needed, and the changeup has a chance to be special; 28.1 IP, 26 H, 7 ER, 6 BB, 35 K in five June starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Mason Williams, CF, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 3-5, 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB, SB. Anyone who is a regular reader knows that Williams is not my guy at all. The mixture of skill set and makeup is not one that I would seek out. That said, I can’t ignore the fact that he does have plenty of tools, and if he is able to mature on and off the field he has a chance to be an everyday regular; .341/.372/.537 with 3 2B, 1 3B, and 1 HR in last 41 at-bats.

“The Good”

  • Albert Almora, CF, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 2-5, 2 2B, 2 R. I have yet to hear a negative report on this guy. He has the potential to be a five-tool center fielder. A scout I talked to described him as a guy you just want to have on your team.
  • Jackie Bradley Jr., CF, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 2-6, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K. Bradley is a pure baseball player. The Red Sox have been going up and down with him when needed, but look for him to lock up a full-time position in 2014. I’ve also heard his name dangled as someone who could be involved in a trade.
  • Grant Green, 2B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI. Green has performed well thus far in the Pacific Coast League. The home run power has to be a positive sign for those who thought he wouldn't provide in that category, and when necessary he will get a shot to play every day in the show; .316/.375/.494 with 22 2B, 3 3B, and 9 HR in 310 at-bats.
  • Nate Karns, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. One of my closest sources really likes this guy, to the degree that I can’t even bring up anything negative about him. He is enamored with Karns’ curveball, calling it a 7 in his book.
  • Max Kepler, CF, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. I know it's been only a few games, but Kepler has performed thus far in the Midwest League. The tools were never the question. The level at which he will be able to tap into those tools is.
  • Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Judging by what I hear, I saw Owens’ best start of the year. In that start, he was magnificent: the fastball/change combination had batters completely off balance, and he was dominating. He will need to add some mass to his frame, but I will make the argument that he is a front-of-the-rotation-type arm; 21.1 IP, 13 H, 2 ER, 10 BB, 24 K in four June starts.
  • Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Just another guy in the Astros’ system taking a step forward. Velasquez has a potential plus fastball, plus changeup, and developing curveball; 71.0 IP, 66 H, 31 ER, 22 BB, 80 K in 18 outings.
  • Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. Welcome to Triple-A, Mr. Walker. The reports have been solid, and it looks like if necessary Walker could pitch in Seattle at some point later this summer.

“The Bad”

  • Rashun Dixon, OF, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 0-4, 3 K. Dixon is showing a little bit of power in the California League, but struggling to make consistent contact.
  • Willy Garcia, OF, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 0-4, 3 K. Just one night after being the position prospect of the night, Garcia is back on the list for negative reasons.
  • Gabriel Guerrero, OF, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 0-3, 3 K. Uncle Vlad taught him how to swing, and he likes to carry on the family legacy.
  • Mikie Mahtook, OF, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 0-4, 3 K. The former first-round selection is struggling a bit in his second go-around in the Southern League.

“The Ugly”

  • Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 0-4, 2 K. Should we just go back and read the 2012 chapter of this story again? .135/.267/.189 with 18 K in last 37 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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