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August 5, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Sunday, August 4

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Jake Arrieta, RHP, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 K. This has to be a very positive sign for the Cubs. Arrieta was acquired from the Orioles for Scott Feldman with the thought that he may benefit from a change of scenery, and performances like this one keep that hope alive.

Position Prospect of the Day: Victor Roache, RF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI. Roache has the raw power and arm strength to handle right field. The problem that scouts keep noting in conversations is that his hit tool may not be major-league quality.

Other notable prospect performances on August 4:

“The Good”

  • Alec Asher, RHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. Asher has a usable four-pitch mix with a plus fastball. His secondary offerings, curveball/slider/changeup, have taken steps forward in 2013 and grade out as future major-league offerings. Asher profiles as a back-end starter.
  • Eddie Butler, RHP, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Butler’s prospect stock has taken leaps forward in 2013. He started the year in Low-A and is now throwing in Double-A. The fastball can touch the upper 90s when needed, and he adds a potential plus-plus changeup with great life, and a potential plus slider. Some scouts wonder if Butler’s mechanics will allow him to remain a starter, but if he is able to, he has a front-of-the-rotation ceiling.
  • David Holmberg, LHP, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Holmberg has a four-pitch mix featuring a solid-average changeup. The fastball/curveball/slider all grade around average and he profiles as a solid backe-nd starter; 17.0 IP, 15 H, 3 ER, 9 BB, 13 K in last three starts.
  • Drew Hutchison, RHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Hutchison is building up his arm strength after having Tommy John surgery last year. The stuff is there for him to be a quality starting pitcher, and this is all part of the recovery process. It has been a disappointing season for the Blue Jays at the major-league level, so I would not expect a promotion this month.
  • Steven Moya, RF, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 2-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Moya has plenty of tools, but the hit tool has always been a question mark. Moya’s power is top-of-the-scale, but if the quality of the hit tool does not develop he won’t have enough in-game pop to profile as a regular.
  • Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. I’ve always been a big fan of Norris, who has the potential for three plus pitches (fastball/curveball/changeup). I understand the numbers aren’t exactly glowing, but the strikeout percentage has always been good. Norris has the mid-rotation potential.

“The Bad”

  • Brandon Nimmo, CF, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 0-5, 4 K. Nimmo stuck out, in a negative way, during the Futures Game batting practice. I understand Nimmo is still a very raw prospect, but he was selected before some high-level prospects in the 2011 draft. The pressure is on going forward and Nimmo will need to generate more hard contact.
  • Mitch Walding, 3B, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 0-4, 3 K. Walding received a large bonus and has not had much success in his first season in Low-A. He has been getting caught on his front foot and will need to make adjustments going forward.
  • Sebastian Valle, C, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 1-4, 3 K. Entering the 2013 season, it looked like the Phillies had a plethora of good catching prospects. However, the trio (Tommy Joseph, Sebastian Valle, Cameron Rupp) has not broken through this year.

“The Thank You”

I really appreciate Chris Rodriguez picking me up last week. This was my first experience at a National Showcase, and it was a great one. Nick Faleris took tons of video and at some point in the near future I imagine our thoughts about the players will appear in a piece here at BP.

“The Anticipation”

Tuesday and Wednesday’s MLU will be a little different than the usual format. I believe it will draw a good amount of interest, so look forward to that in the next couple of days.

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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