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July 19, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Thursday, July 18

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Joan Gregorio, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. Gregorio has a fastball that can touch 94 with life. He is able to miss bats with a curveball that has good shape, and uses a changeup that is still early in the stages of development. Gregorio is 6-foot-7 and has extremely long levers, which allows his stuff to play up; 60.2 IP, 50 H, 21 ER, 13 BB, 73 K in 11 starts this year.

Position Prospect of the Day: Seth Mejias-Brean, 3B, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 6 RBI, K. Scouts feel that Mejias-Brean can be at least a solid-average hitter, and they also believe in his ability to play third base. The underlying problem is that most scouts do not feel that he will hit for enough power to fit an everyday hot-corner profile; .452/.500/.643 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, and 1 SB in last 42 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performnaces on July 18:

“The Good”

  • Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Biddle is a worker on the mound, first and foremost. Biddle’s fastball grades out as solid-average, his curveball has plus potential, and he also throws a potential solid-average changeup. I don’t see star potential here, but he will be a very efficient back-end starter; 17.0 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 21 K in three July starts.
  • Zachary Davies, RHP, Orioles (Low-A Frederick): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Davies works his fastball at 88-90 with good sinking action. Davies is able to spot the fastball on both sides of the plate with plus command. He also throws a curveball with average potential and a changeup that has fading action. The stuff is not sexy, but he understands how to pitch with conviction, and if everything stays on course, he should log innings in the back end of the Baltimore rotation in 2015; 104.1 IP, 94 H, 38 ER, 26 BB, 86 K in 18 starts.
  • Edwin Escobar, LHP, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Escobar, now working at his second level of the season, uses a fastball-changeup combination to keep hitters off balance. The breaking ball is fringy, but he is able to work around that. The fastball has plus potential and the changeup could eventually be solid-average. Escobar has a back-end-starter profile.
  • Angelo Gumbs, 2B, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI, K. Gumbs is still only 20 years old and, after being demoted to Low-A, has put up better statistics. Gumbs has major-league bat speed and plus power potential. He has also developed into a very good defensive second baseman. I know he has struggled a bit this year, but Gumbs still has plenty of ability and still should be squarely on the prospect radar.
  • Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. I’ve seen Sanchez multiple times and the stuff is top shelf. However, I’ve always had a small issue with Sanchez’s approach to pitching: I want to see a premier talent be able to dominate hitters at will. Thus far in his career, Sanchez has not made the most of his arsenal. Nonetheless, Sanchez is still a top-level pitching prospect with a top-of-the-rotation ceiling.
  • Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Make sure you take a look at the Eyewitness Reports for my detailed take on Taillon.
  • Christopher Taylor, SS, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 4-5, 3B, 3 R, RBI. Taylor has the potential to be a plus hitter, but he will provide minimal power. Taylor has a high baseball IQ and will be able to stay at shortstop. He is a solid-average runner and makes the most of his speed with his intelligence on the base paths; .271/.380/.388 with 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, and 5 SB in 85 Double-A at-bats.
  • Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins (Double-A Montgomery): 3-4, 2B, 2 R, BB. I felt the need to write more about what I saw from Yelich: He is going to be an absolute star. Yelich’s swing is the best I’ve ever scouted, and he could be in the big leagues whenever the Marlins want him to be there. From a small sample size, the hit tool will be at least plus-plus, and he could provide plus power. He may have to play left field or first base, but he has plenty of bat to keep him in the lineup anywhere.

“The Bad”

  • Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 1-6, R, 3 K. I’ve gotten numerous reports about Anderson’s loud tools. He may be the only White Sox position prospect with an everyday grade.
  • Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 0-4, R, BB, 4 K. Baez is now at his second level of the season. With his swing, he will look great most nights, but also turn in occasional duds like this one.
  • Dorssys Paulino, SS, Indians (Low-A Lake County): 0-5, 3 K. Paulino received big-time praise coming into the 2013 season, but he has struggled in his first year in full-season ball.

“The Ugly”

Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 0-4, 3 K. I’m on board with Pederson after he showed me something with his performance at the Futures Game. In the end, the Dodgers will probably sell him because of their loaded outfield, but he is an everyday player for me.

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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