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June 27, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, June 26

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Keyvius Sampson, RHP, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K. potential plus fastball; potential solid-average changeup; fringy curveball. Sampson offers a major-league quality arsenal, but has yet to find consistent command. The stuff is more than enough to start, but he may land in the bullpen because of an inconsistent breaking ball and shaky fastball command; 59.1 IP, 18 ER, 24 BB, 60 K in 12 Double-A outings.

Position Prospect of the Day: Max Stassi, C, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 4-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 8 RBI. Offensively, Stassi has a few question marks. He will expand the zone, which may cause the hit tool to only have a below-average ceiling. Some teams believe he has enough thump to make up for his contact deficiencies, but opinions vary throughout the scouting community. Defensively, Stassi is a fantastic receiver and has average arm strength that will play up due to accuracy. He will need to show he can hit enough to be put on a major-league roster, and his future is most likely to be in a backup role; .212/.280/.327 with 10 2B and 1 HR in 113 at-bats before tonight’s game.

Other notable prospect performances on June 27:

“The Good”

  • Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. When it goes right, it really goes right, doesn’t it? Berrios is another example of a Twins’ prospect taking steps in the right direction. Berrios is a different type of pitcher than Twins fans are used to, as he offers a plus fastball and the potential for two plus secondary offerings. Berrios is still developing his command, but all signs are pointing in the right direction; 55.1 IP, 56 H, 19 ER, 15 BB, 65 K in 10 starts.
  • Gregory Bird, 1B, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 5 RBI. Bird has plus power potential, but the move from behind the plate to first base puts immense pressure on the bat; .487/.565/.795 with 6 2B and 2 HR in last 39 at-bats.
  • Joey DeMichele, 2B, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 K. I’ve seen DeMichele recently and I can totally understand why people would like him. I personally am worried about his ultimate future; while he has excellent bat control, I would grade the bat speed as below average. The future is tied completely to the bat, because he is at best a fringy defender at second; .284/.358/.400 with 5 2B, 2 HR, and 2 SB in 95 June at-bats.
  • Tyler Heineman, C, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI. Heineman has excellent makeup and most scouts feel that he will put in the necessary work to reach his ceiling. Most feel his future is in a backup role, but ones that really like him believe he will hit for enough power to play every day.
  • Tom Murphy, C, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI. Murphy has an excellent offensive profile. He shows a feel for hitting and plenty of power which most feel has plus potential. The problems come on the other side of the ball, as Murphy is still very raw behind the plate. There’s a long way to go before the questions of whether he will be able to stick behind the plate disappear; .333/.389/.742 with 9 2B and 6 HR in 66 June at-bats.
  • Kevin Pillar, OF, Blue Jays (Triple-A Buffalo): 4-5, 4 2B, 2 R. Pillar has an excellent work ethic and is the ultimate grinder, but I’m not sure the tools are enough for me to confidently say he will find a spot as an everyday player. Check out what was written about him in a recent Ten Pack; .391/.462/.652 with 6 2B in 23 Triple-A at-bats.
  • Kevin Plawecki, C, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, K. Another catcher who has plenty of feel for hitting, but for whom the defense is the major question mark moving forward; .387/.390/.504 with 3 2B and 1 HR in 31 High-A at-bats.
  • Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (Double-A New Britian): 2-4, 2B, 3B, R, RBI. Well, it was about time for Sano to have a night like this at his new level. We should all be patient; Sano’s bat is special, and it will show in time.
  • Nik Turley, LHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. I was at this start, and I’ll lead it off by saying I like Turley. He really works fast and has a plus curveball. The fastball and changeup are only average, but I can see him pitching in the back end of the rotation for the Yankees. He is not terribly far away from being able to contribute at the big league level; 77.0 IP, 68 H, 37 ER, 37 BB, 84 K in 15 Double-A outings.

“The Bad”

  • Boss Moanaroa, 1B, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 0-4, 4 K. Oh, Boss, how I love your name.
  • Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 0-4, 3 K. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Gallo is going to have a ton of peaks and valleys in his numbers.

”The Ugly”

Patrick Wisdom, 3B, Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 0-4, 3 K. The former supplemental-first-round selection has struggled in Low-A this year.

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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