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July 22, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of July 19-21

by Zach Mortimer


Games of Friday, July 19

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Clayton Blackburn, RHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Blackburn is a strong-framed pitcher who has the potential for two plus pitches, fastball and changeup, and is having success in a hitte- friendly league. Blackburn is considered to have more polish than most his age, and he continues to develop his curveball. He profiles best as a mid-rotation starter.

Position Prospect of the Day: Gregory Bird, 1B, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 4-5, 3 HR, 3 R, 7 RBI, K. Bird has plus raw power, but most scouts wonder if he will be able to translate his power into production against quality pitching; .405/.532/.946 with 1 3B and 6 HR in last 37 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on July 19:

“The Good”

  • Hanser Alberto, SS, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 2-4, HR, R, 5 RBI. Alberto was able to make a lot of contact in the lower minors, but he has struggled to make consistent contact this year at Double-A. Scouts never believed he had the loudest tools, which makes it a bit troubling to see him struggling at the advanced level.
  • Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Bethancourt is looked upon as one of the top defensive catchers in the minors. If he is able to incorporate a bit of power into his game, he will project as a surefire everyday catcher; .316/.333/.737 with 4 2B and 4 HR in last 38 at-bats.
  • Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI. Like it or not, the Astros selected Correa No. 1 overall in 2012. He is playing the entire season at the age of 18. At the plate, Correa offers the potential for a plus overall offensive package (hit/power). In the Futures Game, Correa did not make the smoothest plays at SS, but from all the scouts I’ve spoken with, Correa is going to be a future All-Star; .361/.442/.530 with 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR and 1 SB in last 83 at-bats.
  • Daniel Robertson, SS, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 2-4, 2 2B, R, RBI. I have a trusted source that really believes in Robertson and his ability to hit. Ultimately, he feels Robertson will have to move to third base defensively, and with that move, he will have to show enough power to profile for the position.
  • Adam Walker, RF, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Walker’s raw power is his calling card. I have spoken with scouts that feel he will be challenged and have to make adjustments against higher-level pitching. Defensively, he has successfully transitioned to right field; .372/.404/1.000 with 3 2B and 8 HR in last 43 at-bats.
  • Mason Williams, CF, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 2-5, 2 2B, R, RBI. I believe this is Mason Williams’ first appearance on the good side of this article. I know he has tools, but I really wonder if the swing will work. When I saw Williams, he was bailing out early against everything and not able to make any consistent hard contact; .386/.413/.500 with 5 2B and 2 SB in 44 at-bats.
  • Christian Yelich, LF, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 3-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, K. I love Yelich, I just do. I was going to include him somewhere in the article just because I wanted to. I have zero concerns about the swing, and will attribute any struggles he’s had this year to him not being in rhythm or being injured. It’s serious, and it’s just about big-league ready.

“The Bad”

  • Angelo Gumbs, 2B, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 0-5, 4 K. Not the performance I like to see from Gumbs. He has bat speed, but can get himself out by being overly aggressive at the plate.
  • Robert Hefflinger, OF, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 0-5, 3 K. Hefflinger has some length in his swing and can be taken advantage of by quality pitches.
  • Victor Roache, OF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 0-4, 4 K. I’ve spoken to some scouts that just do not see “it” with Roache.

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