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July 16, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, July 15

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Sean Nolin, LHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. My thoughts on Nolin are pretty clear: I believe he is a surefire starter and I think he slots in perfectly as a good number-four. Nolin has been on his game recently, and if the opportunity were to arise, I’m sure the Blue Jays would consider putting him back on the major-league mound; 19.2 IP, 11 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 23 K in last 3 starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Adam Walker, OF, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K. Now that Buxton has left Cedar Rapids, ABW is the big show in town. Power has always been his calling card, and he is showing the ability to make consistent solid contact. Defensively, he has transitioned from playing primarily first base in college to the outfield as a professional. The reports I’ve received lead me to believe that he has plenty of arm to stay in right, and he is working on taking the correct routes to the ball; .351/.419/.838 with 3 2B and 5 HR in last 37 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on July 15:

“The Good”

  • Dante Bichette Jr., 3B, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 2-3, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB. The reviews on the junior Bichette have not been stellar. The scouts that I’ve spoken with feel that Bichette has mechanical flaws that won’t go away. Bichette has some raw power, but those flaws prevent him from tapping into it.
  • Charles Jones, OF, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB. Jones is an athlete first and foremost, and he has struggled in 2013. He has plus raw power and shows the ability to control the strike zone, but is still working on a swing path that will create more solid contact. Jones still has a major-league ceiling, but the chance that he makes the most of his tools is declining.
  • Cory Jones, RHP, Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Jones is a little-known prospect in the Cardinals system who was drafted out of a junior college. His fastball touches the upper 90s and he has a power curveball that flashes potential but lacks consistency. The command is fringy at best and he profiles as a future reliever; 51.0IP, 34 H, 7 ER, 11 BB, 34 K in eight starts.
  • Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 4-5, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI. Lindsey has taken steps forward in 2013 and may rank now as the Angels’ top prospect. He is lauded for his ability to consistently square up the baseball, and he will provide enough power to stay in the lineup regularly.
  • Steven Matz, LHP, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; Matz has earned a spot in a crowded Mets pitching prospect collection. He has a plus fastball and is able to mix in his curveball and changeup to keep hitters off balance. Matz is old enough to get his prospect journey moving onward and upward if the Mets envision him staying on the radar. 54.2 IP, 38 H, 14 ER, 18 BB, 58 K in last 10 starts.
  • Joe Panik, SS/2B, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI. Panik was a first-round selection and some were unsure about the pick at the time. Panik is a gap-to-gap hitter who has limited over-the-fence ability. This would be less of a problem if scouts felt Panik would be able to stick at shortstop, but most do not. I saw Panik play a few games earlier this season, and he looked to have a classic utility-man profile.
  • Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 2-4, 2 2B, R. Seager was not able to crack the Futures Game roster this year, but I think he has the ability to step onto that level in the upcoming year. Seager has the potential to be a plus hitter with plus power—and the ability to stay at shortstop to boot.
  • Logan Verrett, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 8.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Verrett makes do with what he has, which is a four-pitch mix. The slider is his only above-average offering. I believe Verrett will reach The Show, but the profile leads me to believe he will bounce around from team to team during his career, going from the majors to the minors.

“The Bad”

  • Courtney Hawkins, CF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 1-5, R, 3 K. I just got a pessimistic report on Hawkins from someone I trust in the industry: “I’m not sure he [Hawkins] makes it to and/or out of Double-A.” That is very worrisome.
  • Jose Vinicio, SS, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 0-4, 3 K. I saw Vinicio for a few games this spring; he needs to pack on a good amount of weight, but has some ability.

“The Day Ahead”

Tomorrow, I will wake up and take the train into New York City for the Baseball Prospectus pregame party at Foley’s Bar. If you are a reader in the New York area, I strongly encourage you to come to Foley’s and say hello. The event runs from 2-4 p.m., but I believe a few members of the staff plan on making a day out if it.

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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