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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

14 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

jpjazzman

Thoughts on Henry Owen's debut AA performance from Saturday night? Seems like another like Butler who has put together a huge increase in his stock this year.

Aug 05, 2013 05:22 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Zach Mortimer
BP staff

I've been leading the Owens' wagon. If you take a look back through the Eyewitness Accounts I was very bullish with my grade on him.

Aug 05, 2013 11:18 AM
 
Sharky

Zach, welcome back. With regard to Nimmo, clearly it's on him to show more. But should some part of the blame fall to the Mets' organization for failing to develop him? Seems like some organizations (Cardinals, for example) seem to turn every last prospect into a useful contributor. Then there's the Mets (Fernando Martinez comes to mind). Do some organizations simply not have what it takes to develop prospects?

Aug 05, 2013 06:54 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Zach Mortimer
BP staff

It's early and changes still have plenty of time to be made. I wouldn't consider F-mart in the conversation with Nimmo because I believe that was a different group in control

Aug 05, 2013 11:19 AM
 
DrDooby

Nimmo had a great first three weeks of the season, then injured his left hand, got into a horrible slump for a week trying to play through it, then went on the DL for a month and has continued to struggle upon his return.

Hand injuries tend to linger and can mess up swings. And the production did drop off the instant he got injured. Coincidence ? The League learning about his weaknesses ? A flukishly hot start ?

Of course, the longer away the injury, the less likely it is the reason for his struggles.

Nimmo is barely 20, so he'd be the equivalent to a draft pick out of College next spring. 2014 will be huge for him. Is he going to be closer to Grady Sizemore or closer to Donovan Tate ?

Aug 05, 2013 13:07 PM
rating: 1
 
AlpineOwl

As an Orioles fan, it is odd to see Jake Arrieta as a prospect. He has pitched on opening day has more than 360 innings over four seasons in the majors and is 27 years old. Was he still a prospect with the Orioles or just now that he is with a big market Chicago team? Jake seems like a good guy, has great stuff and did need a change of scenery or something to help him gain consistency somehow. I wish him the best, but wonder about getting prospect status just because he was traded and in the minors. I often think BP gives the ESPN banner city teams the same sorts of coverage that ESPN does, although I don't blame them for playing to their bigger markets. But it is becoming more blatant.

Aug 05, 2013 08:08 AM
rating: -3
 
mmontice

Big markets are going to get more coverage, especially by ESPN, and especially 100x for LA, NY and BOS by ESPN. It sucks, but it's just the way it is.

Being a Cubs fan, I have noticed that there are long stretches where Cubs prospects don't appear on minor league updates (the past week or so not withstanding). Could be coincidence, could be circumstantial, could be an error in my judgement (I am not running a statistical analysis here). I wouldn't find this odd if the Cubs had a poor farm system, however, given that the Cubs have a top 5 farm system in the vast majority of (if not all) major publications, I do find it surprising that sometimes long stretches pass (I think I counted over a week recently) with no Cubs making the good parts of these lists (when Baez has a high K game, he usually gets a crap call out). Again, this is just me using the eye test, and I have not kept an eye out for other teams.

On a side not, as for Arrieta, I believe this is a minor league update used to report the happenings across the minor leagues, not necessarily a "prospect" update. I think the moniker "Pitching Prospect of the Day" is just being used for simplicity. It could just as easily read "Minor League Pitching Performance of the Day". Then again, I could be wrong about this whole paragraph.

Aug 05, 2013 10:42 AM
rating: -2
 
BP staff member Zach Mortimer
BP staff

I would love to say I think deeply enough into the MLU to pump guys in bigger markets. However that is far from the case. I simply check the box scores and have a certain criteria that will allow you to get in the article. I do this to provide the best coverage of the Minor Leagues that I can. It's not hidden that I want to some day have a job in baseball, and I'm not opposed to being hired by a big market or small market team. It provides me no benefit to pump one over the other.

Aug 05, 2013 11:25 AM
 
bhalpern

Arietta's line may look pretty, but to get through the minimum five he needed 99 pitches with only 55 strikes. His prior start was more of the same: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1ER, 4 BB, 8 K, but 65 strikes out of 116 pitches. This is not a recipe for success in the next level.

Aug 05, 2013 08:22 AM
rating: 2
 
TGisriel

At the time the O's traded Strop and Arrieta for Feldman I believed the O's gave up too much for Feldman. I continue in that belief.

Aug 05, 2013 08:58 AM
rating: 1
 
zellenthal

Nimmo actually went 1-3 with 2 BB in yesterday's game. The box score was entered incorrectly.

If you want to check for yourself, here are the times of his plate appearances from yesterday's game on milb.tv

1st PA: 0:48
2nd PA: 30:50
3rd PA: 1:14:10
4rd PA: 1:46:18
5th PA: 2:30:30

Aug 05, 2013 10:06 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Zach Mortimer
BP staff

Thank you for this....

Aug 05, 2013 11:21 AM
 
mmontice

Sounds like Walding actually needs to make adjustments going backward (I'll be here all week).

Aug 05, 2013 11:06 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Zach Mortimer
BP staff

Very clever very clever

Aug 05, 2013 11:21 AM
 
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