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May 14, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Tuesday, May 13

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Adam Duvall, 1B, Giants (Fresno, AAA): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, K.
Duvall is a hitter with some flaws, most notably an over-aggressive approach, but his power production has returned in a serious way this season. He’s playing primarily first base now, which means the home run power will have to stick around, but with Brandon Belt out for a while, Duvall could be a temporary solution.

Pitcher of the Night: Parker Bridwell, RHP, Orioles (Frederick, A+): 8 1/3 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K.
Bridwell has been one of the most underwhelming prospects in baseball over the past few years, with performances that simply haven’t matched the raw talent. Bridwell throws 93-94 with his fastball and features inconsistent off-speed stuff, but this is what he can do when it all comes together for a night.

Best of the Rest

Cam Bedrosian, RHP, Angels (Arkansas, AA): 1 IP, 3 K. Bedrosian continues to strike out batters at the unreal rate of over two per inning.

Josh Hader, LHP, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K. Hader used a 90-94 mph fastball to do his part in what would ultimately become a no-hitter for the JetHawks. He still struggles with his command, as evidenced by the walks, but he can miss bats.

D.J. Davis, OF, Blue Jays (Lansing, A-): 3-5, R, HR, BB, K, SB, CS. It was a little bit of everything for Davis on Tuesday night. He has been striking out as though all of his at-bats are coming against Bedrosian. Despite his off-the-charts speed, Davis is now just 5-for-13 stealing bases.

Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, BB. Taveras is proving that he’s healthy and that he’s back to being comfortable at the plate. The Cardinals could use a jolt right now at the major-league level, and a pure hitter like Taveras could be just what they need to jump-start their lineup.

Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 2-5, R, HR, 2 K. I don’t intend to include Bryant on this list every day, but he keeps having multi-hit games with home runs. It’s a nice problem to have, both for myself and the Cubs.

Albert Almora, OF, Cubs (Daytona, A+): 3-5, R, 3 2B. Even though he missed a large portion of last season with an injury, the Cubs sent Almora to High-A ball anyway, a promotion from 2013. The transition has been difficult for Almora this season, as he hasn’t hit for average or power, or shown any progress with his patience thus far.

Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies (Lehigh Valley, AAA): 2-5, R, 2 2B, K. Franco is heating up and Cody Asche isn’t very good. It’s only a matter of time.

Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 4-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B. There is nothing left to say about Polanco or the Pirates current outfield situation, but as long as he keeps hitting and MLB continues using a system that promotes keeping the best players in the minors, he’ll keep making the Update.

Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K. Gonzalez’s mid-90s fastball and refined off-speed stuff are too much for the Carolina League, and he should be headed to Double-A by midseason. He’s not missing a ton of bats, but he is throwing a ton of strikes.

Ben Lively, RHP, Reds (Bakersfield, A+): 6 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 7 K. Lively almost doubled his season total for walks in this game but was effective nonetheless. He gets by more on pitchability than top-end stuff, which will eventually limit him to the back end of a rotation, but for now, it’s doing a lot more than just getting him by.

Fight Another Day

J.R. Graham, RHP, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, BB, K. Before Tuesday, Graham had been good this season despite not missing bats at all. He gets a bit of a pass for this start as he was pitching on short rest after being pulled early after rain on Saturday.

Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians (Columbus, AAA): 5 2/3 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. Just as everyone’s been making the case for Bauer to get called up, he puts together a clunker like this. At least he wasn’t walking everyone, though—a problem that has plagued him in the past.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Blue Jays (New Hampshire, AA): 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 4 K.
  • Trevor May, RHP, Twins (Rochester, AAA): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K.
  • Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (Fort Myers, A+): 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K.

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

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