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April 11, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Thursday, April 10

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 4-4, 4 R, 2B, 2 HR.
Gallo features the best raw power in the minor leagues, and it translated into game power on Thursday night in a big way. It’s hard enough to hit a ball out of Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium, but Gallo managed to put one of his over the scoreboard in left-center field.

Pitcher of the Night: Andrew Heaney, LHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K.
Heaney was expected to be on the fast track this season if he got off to a hot start, and that’s exactly what he’s done. With two plus pitches (fastball, slider), he’d probably be able to hold his own in the majors right now, but if his changeup catches up with the rest of his stuff, he’ll fit in as a solid no. 2 behind Jose Fernandez.

Best of the Rest

George Springer, OF, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 2-3, 2 R, HR, BB. Springer got on the board with his first home run of the season, displaying the power that the Astros badly need in their lineup. It’s going to come with a lot of swing-and-miss, but he has enough plate discipline and power to make it worthwhile, and he adds value with his glove and legs.

Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 3-3, 2B, BB. Polanco, who is now hitting .433 in the early going, is closing in on Pittsburgh like Godzilla on Tokyo. No matter how well Jose Tabata and Travis Snider play in the first two months of the season, they’ll be bench players by June, and the Pirates will be a better team for it.

Joe Wendle, 2B, Indians (Akron, AA): 3-5, R, 2B. We love to toss around tools on prospects, especially ones that we can accurately track—like velocity, speed, etc. Wendle doesn’t have too many of those tools. He has the one that’s hardest to predict: He just flat out hits everything in sight.

Brandon Nimmo, OF, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 2-4, 3 R, HR, 2 BB, K. Nimmo isn’t a physically imposing player, but he is well built for a 21-year-old and generates good power thanks to his plus bat speed and slight upper-cut swing.

Adam Walker, OF, Twins (Ft. Myers, A+): 2-4, R, HR, K. Walker is full of raw tools and has some swing-and-miss to his game, but so far this year, he’s running into balls he can drive at a pretty good pace.

Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Hagerstown, A-): 5 IP, H, BB, 6 K. This is the dominant Giolito we’ve been waiting to see, tearing through a full-season lineup like a hot knife through butter. A healthy Giolito is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.

Travis Demeritte, 2B, Rangers (Hickory, A-): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, BB, 2 K. Demeritte will need to work to find a home in the field, but no one questions his bat, which will play almost anywhere.

Fight Another Day

Matt Skole, 3B, Nationals (Harrisburg, AA): 0-4, 2 K. Skole is having trouble getting his timing back after missing all of last year to recover from Tommy John surgery. Luckily, even when he’s not hitting, he’s still extremely patient at the plate, working a few walks to keep from being an automatic out.

Luke Jackson, RHP, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 2 BB, K. Jackson has trouble with his command, and while it doesn’t always manifest itself in the form of walks, it does get him into trouble despite his premium velocity and stuff.

Yadiel Rivera, 2B, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 0-4, 2 K. Rivera is always going to struggle with the bat, but his glove could be good enough to carry him to the majors and carve out a role for him at some point. In addition to hitting just .154 on the young season, Rivera also has racked up seven strikeouts in as many games without having drawn a walk.

Cody Buckel, RHP, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 1 IP, 0 H, R, 6 BB. That’s not good.

Miguel Almonte, RHP, Royals (Wilmington, A+): 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, BB, 8 K. Almonte was better than his stat-line would indicate, missing a number of bats and sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball. He also ran into Joey Gallo.

Notable Pitching Performances*

  • Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles (Norfolk, AAA): 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 4 K.
  • Rubby de la Rosa, RHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 5 2/3 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K.
  • Jason Hursh, RHP, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 6 IP, 6 H, R, 0 BB, 3 K.
  • Shae Simmons, RHP, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 1 1/3 IP, 4 K. (that’s all of the outs)

*The point of the Minor League Update is to keep you, the reader, up to speed on how prospects are doing throughout the minor league season with scouting reports and explanations along with a daily stat line. Sometimes, however, you just want to know the result, especially with pitchers who were neither spectacular nor terrible on a particular night. This is that section.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jeff's other articles. You can contact Jeff by clicking here

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

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ithmus

A very slight correction for you. Gallo's first home run of the night went to left-center, but his otherworldly blast for a second homer on the night cleared the scoreboard in right-center, not left. It was, without a doubt, one of the most impressive home runs I've ever seen live.

Apr 11, 2014 05:43 AM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Jeff Moore
BP staff

Yes that is correct, thank you. There are two scoreboards at Frawley and Gallo cleared the one in right-center. My mistake.

Apr 11, 2014 05:52 AM
 
AciDjAzz

I say this pretty much every time I comment, but just want to thank you Jeff for bringing us a readers these updates practically everyday. Love getting your short insight on the stat lines some of these prospects are putting up and it's a whole lot easier to keep up with everything during the season having all this information right here.

That said, I am beyond excited to see what Giolito will do this season now that he's finally healthy. I just hope he can stay healthy long enough to realize all that potential he has.

Thanks again!

Apr 11, 2014 06:42 AM
rating: 3
 
MBruner

Jeff, I don't know if you know, but was this a return of the Cody Buckel wildness of last season or was he at least close?

Apr 11, 2014 07:21 AM
rating: 0
 
Shauncore

Wasn't close from what I heard. Here's the game log from the 1st inning:

Hunter Dozier walks.
Johermyn Chavez walks. Hunter Dozier to 2nd.
Cody Stubbs walks. Hunter Dozier to 3rd. Johermyn Chavez to 2nd.
Jack Lopez walks. Hunter Dozier scores. Johermyn Chavez to 3rd. Cody Stubbs to 2nd.

Four straight walks sounds a bit more his fault than just unlucky with he ump.

Apr 11, 2014 08:19 AM
rating: 0
 
MaineSkin

I know George Springer is Spd, power and glove, but his advanced approach will also help a lineup that needs base runners. Fowler, Altuve, Springer, Carter are actually 3 of 4 high OBP hitters with Altuve obviously depending on ct% and his little legs. Villar is another who takes a ton of pitches and is only 23, so with an uptick in ct%, Astros definetely have a solid base for the base clogging method, but some speed to boot.
Carlos Correa is destroying the MiLs right now and if he continues, is there anyway the Astros allow him to debut next year?

Apr 11, 2014 09:05 AM
rating: 0
 
chidavidi

Jeff, do you think Shin Soo Choo would be a good comp for Nimmo if everything works out for him? I see a lefty w/ decent avg, high OBP, decent power, decent speed who can fake it in center.

Apr 11, 2014 09:37 AM
rating: 0
 
Nojsztat

Anything to Johendi Jiminian prospect-wise? I know his last start was a few days ago, but it was solid. His April 3 start was pretty good too.

Apr 11, 2014 12:06 PM
rating: 0
 
bigchiefbc

Man, Buckel has just completely lost it. It's really painful to watch such a talented player get a case of the yips and have it all go down the drain.

Apr 11, 2014 12:41 PM
rating: 0
 
oldbopper

The dreaded yips and Rick Ankiel. I will always believe he was the closest thing to Babe Ruth that ever came along, and Focal Dystonia, the name of the psychological condition, showed its ugly face and ruined it all. Daniel Bard is an interesting case study of Focal Dystonia because he had the yips in his first year of organized ball then went into remission for 7 years before they came back, they always do and usually with a much shorter gap in time.

Apr 11, 2014 21:09 PM
rating: 0
 
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