April 24, 2014
Minor League Update
Games of Wednesday, April 23
Hitter of the Night: Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 3-4, 4 R, 3 HR, 3 BB. Apparently the laws of physics cease to exist not only on Mr. Tipton’s stove but also in the air surrounding the Frederick Keys’ stadium on Wednesday night, as Gallo put his power on display to its fullest extent but also showed off his patient eye, one which will serve him well as the ultimate three-true-outcome prospect in the minors.
Pitcher of the Night: Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (Rochester, AAA): 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 11 K.
Best of the Rest
Stetson Allie, 1B, Pirates (Altoona, AA): 3-3, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB. Allie eased his way onto the MLU yesterday with a home run. Today, he forced his way on the same way he approaches every single at-bat. There’s no finesse in anything Allie does. When he was a pitcher, he threw as hard as he could and didn’t know where the ball was going. As a hitter, he’s trying to hit every ball as far as he can, but he has a much better idea of how to control the ability to do so.
Robbie Ray, LHP, Tigers (Toledo, AAA): 8 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K. When his velocity is intact, Ray has a chance to be a different pitcher and miss bats at a much more effective rate.
Brent Suter, LHP, Brewers (Huntsville, AA): 8 IP, H, R, BB, 7 K. If Suter wants to be a prospect, he’ll have to earn it. After all, the deck is naturally stacked against 31st-round picks out of Harvard. He’s already 24 (you know, college and all), but he misses just enough bats to give himself a chance, and he’s doing so at an even better rate this season. Throwing strikes, missing bats, and being left handed makes people forget about where you were drafted real quick.
Jonathan Gray, RHP, Rockies (Tulsa, AA): 6 IP, 3 H, R, 0 BB, 8 K. This would be the best performance of the night on most nights, but Meyer spoiled the party. We’ve been waiting for Gray to start dominating the way his stuff would suggest he should, and his last two starts have been indicative of that ability.
Brandon Drury, 3B, Diamondbacks (Visaila, A+): 3-5, 3 R, 2 HR. Drury was the least notable player involved in the Justin Upton deal before 2013, but his increased power has made him someone to watch. His multi-homer night on Wednesday gives him five on the season, and he may develop enough with his bat to justify regular playing time at the hot corner despite below-average defense there.
Raul (Adalberto) Mondesi, SS, Royals (Wilmington, A+): 3-4, 3 R, HR, K. Mondesi is still just 18 years old, is hitting .313 in High-A ball, and just homered at Wilmington. Stay tuned.
Elier Hernandez, OF, Royals (Lexington, A-): 3-4, R, HR. With tremendous physical tools and some pitch recognition issues, Hernandez is going to have great games surrounded by bumps in the road. This is one of the former.
Fight Another Day
Zach Borenstein, OF, Angels (Arkansas, AA): 0-3, 2 K. Borenstein went off on the California League last season, but he struggled in the Arizona Fall League in October and is off to a slow start this year.
Jose Urena, RHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 4 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. This is the second bomb of an outing for Urena in four starts this season. He has some talent, though. I could go into more detail, but I can’t do better than Ethan Purser did here the other day.
Jin-De Jhang, C, Pirates (Bradenton, A+): 0-6, 2 K. Jhang can do some things with the bat and isn’t a bad receiver, but his arm is average at best and his body doesn’t project to age well. It won’t be long before he’s passed on the organizational depth chart by Reese McGuire.
Notable Pitching Performances*
*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.