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May 6, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, May 5

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Kyle Jensen, OF, Marlins (New Orleans, AAA): 5-5, 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HR.
As a 25-year-old right-handed hitting corner outfielder whose only above-average tool is power, Jensen is on the periphery of the prospect world. It takes a heck of a day for a player like that to make it on to the MLU—something along the lines of five hits, four of them for extra bases. Jensen is a bench player/Quad-A guy who will probably get his chances in the majors but never land extended playing time.

Pitcher of the Night: Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 6 IP, H, R, 2 BB, 12 K.
We’ve been waiting to see Foltynewicz go deeper into a game, something he hasn’t had a chance to do too often in the Astros’ piggyback starter system. He hasn’t compiled the big strikeout numbers you’d expect from someone who routinely hits triple digits on the radar gun. Monday’s dozen were a career high.

Best of the Rest

Adam Duvall, 1B/3B, Giants (Fresno, AAA): 2-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, BB. The good news is that Duvall is hitting for power again, with nine home runs on the season. The bad news is that some of it has to be PCL inflated, and he’s playing more and more first base, where his bat won’t play nearly as well.

Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 4-5, R, 2 2B. Yeah, it’s time.

Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 3-6, R, 2 2B, K. Taveras isn’t forcing the issue with quite the same authority that Polanco is, but then again, the Cardinals’ situation isn’t quite as desperate as the Pirates’.

Wilmer Flores, SS, Mets (Las Vegas, AAA): 1-3, R, HR, BB. No really, Omar Quintanilla and Ruben Tejada are working out just fine.

James Ramsey, OF, Cardinals (Springfield, AA): 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR. It’s an embarrassment of riches for the Cardinals right now in their farm system. In most systems, Ramsey would be someone to consider at least as a future role player, but for the Cardinals, it’s hard to see where they’ll have a roster spot for him. The former first-rounder is average all around and is probably a second-division regular, which means he’s a bench player for the Cardinals.

Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 2-3, 2 R, 2 BB. There’s not much else we can say about Betts right now. He’s a very good pure hitter, but no one is a .412 hitter. If he keeps this up in any way, however, he’ll have to be moved up to Triple-A just for the challenge.

Aaron Northcraft, RHP, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, 6 K. Northcraft continues to be remarkably solid at every level and actually strikes out a fair amount of batters for a sinker/slider guy. It’s surprising that he’s not in Triple-A after having success in Mississippi last year.

Daniel Norris, RHP, Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 4 2/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K. Norris isn’t necessarily throwing good strikes yet, but the fact that he’s throwing more of them is a step in the right direction for him. He’s got the whole package to be an impact arm if he puts it together.

Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Bradenton, A+): 5 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 6 K. After a strange, disastrous start his last time out that saw him walk seven batters, Glasnow was back to his old self on Monday.

Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 3-4, R, 3B. Is there such thing as a quiet .309/.369/.464 line for a 19-year-old in High-A ball? If so, Correa’s doing it. He’s so good we take him for granted.

David Dahl, OF, Rockies (Asheville, A-): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 K. We may have to deal with some contact issues from Dahl, but we’re getting a glimpse of just how well his BP power can play in games.

Fight Another Day

Byron Buxton, OF, Twins (Fort Myers, A+): 0-3, 2 K. Who cares? He’s back!

Lance McCullers, RHP, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R (5 ER), 3 BB, 0 K. McCullers has been good in the Astros’ tandem system this year, so we can’t blame this start on that, and he was coming off of a double-digit strikeout game. It just wasn’t his night.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 2 K.
  • Anthony DeSclafani, RHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K.
  • Trevor Williams, RHP, Marlins (Jupiter, A+): 8 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), BB, 4 K.
  • Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks (South Bend, A-): 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, BB, 3 K.
  • Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles (Delmarva, A-): 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R (0 ER), BB, 6 K.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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