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May 16, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Thursday, May 15

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Randal Grichuk, OF, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 BB, K.
Perhaps it’s the taste of the big-league lifestyle, or perhaps it’s just that Triple-A pitching doesn’t look so formidable after you’ve seen its major-league counterpart, but Grichuk is now hitting .458 since being sent down in an attempt not to be passed on the Cardinals organizational depth chart by Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty.

Pitcher of the Night: Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K.
Ranaudo still battles inconsistency from start to start, but he’s close to what he’s going to be at this point, which is a guy who can dominate on any given night but who also tosses out some clunkers and ultimately settles in as a mid-rotation type. He’s ready if the Red Sox need him for a spot start.

Best of the Rest

Nick Tropeano, RHP, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 6 IP, H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Tropeano gets by with limited stuff thanks to a plus changeup that should allow him to be a back-end starter.

Jake Lamb, 3B, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B. If Double-A was supposed to be the test for Lamb, he appears to be passing it with flying colors. His overall numbers are down, but he’s also not hitting in the California League anymore. He controls the strike zone reasonably well and has enough power to make up for the swings-and-misses, at least to this point.

Brian Flynn, LHP, Marlins (New Orleans, AAA): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. Typically with much better control, the 6’7” lefty, who got a cup of coffee in the majors last season, is ready to help fill in for the Marlins as soon as he is called upon. He profiles as a mid-to-back-end starter.

Austin Hedges, C, Padres (San Antonio, AA): 2-3, R, 2B, HR, K, CS. Hedges is now nine for his last 16 to get his batting average back up to respectability and catch up with his defense. There’s no reason he won’t hit for average, though it remains to be seen how much power he’ll develop.

Josh Bell, OF, Pirates (Bradenton, A+): 3-5, 3 R, 2B, HR. The swing looks like it should have some contact issues, as he wants to get his long arms extended, but he doesn’t struggle to catch up the way most tall hitters do, and thus keeps his strikeout numbers respectable.

Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 3-5, 3 R, HR, BB, SB. Well, there’s certainly nothing left for Betts to prove in Double-A, and the longer this keeps up, the more effort the Red Sox will have to put into finding a new position for him.

Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (Rochester, AAA): 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K. The walk rate has risen, a concern for a tall pitcher who has come a long way to overcome them since turning pro, but he misses enough bats to get away with below-average control, as long as it’s not egregious.

Eric Jagielo, 3B, Yankees (Tampa, A+): 3-5, 2 R, 2 HR. The hit tool has been inconsistent, but the power has been real in a league that is tough for power hitters.

Fight Another Day

Delino DeShields, Jr., OF, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 0-6, 2 K. It’s a rough three-day stretch when you go 1-for-18 with six strikeouts.

Mike Kickham, LHP, Giants (Fresno, AAA): 2 IP, 11 H, 9 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Kickham may profile as a LOOGY, but right-handers didn’t do all of this damage by themselves.

Domingo Tapia, RHP, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 4 2/3 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. What good is a plus fastball if it doesn’t miss any bats? Tapia appears to have his control issues from last year reined in, but he is striking batters out at an incredibly low rate.

Sam Selman, LHP, Royals (Northwest Arkansas, AA): 3 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 K. Selman has struggled badly this year and his command issues could be enough to send him to the bullpen.

Notable Pitching Performances

Chris Anderson, RHP, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 3 K.

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

jjpzebra

James Ramsey, Springfield Cardinals, double, home run, 2-4; 4 home runs in the last 10 days. Free James Ramsey!

May 16, 2014 07:20 AM
rating: 1
 
jmilman77

Joc!

I realize he's so good so often, but multi HR games should get him in!

May 16, 2014 07:49 AM
rating: 2
 
claybeez

Thanks for doing these. That being said I'd really appreciate a return to noting more under the radar or helium type minor leaguers. A number of sites, now, offer updates on established prospects. One thing that had set BP's MLU apart for me, and made it my first read, daily, was its success in identifying players at the cusp of breaking out and gaining prospect status.

May 16, 2014 09:26 AM
rating: 7
 
jsdspud

Jeff, keep up the good work. Does Josh Bell have a chance to bat in the middle of the order in Pittsburgh someday or will the long swing give him issues in the upper minors?

May 16, 2014 09:35 AM
rating: 1
 
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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (05/16)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (05/15)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (05/19)
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Premium Article Painting the Black: Bu... (05/16)

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