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May 23, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Thursday, May 22

by Jeff Moore


Hitter of the Night: Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 4-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR.
No, one hot week doesn’t make up for six horrendous weeks, but it looks like Baez is officially out of his funk. He’s now 12-for-his-last-28 over his past seven games, and the power has returned as well, with five doubles and three home runs in that stretch. The most important indication that he’s turning things around, however, is that he has just five strikeouts over that span, and three of those came on Wednesday. For a player whose free-swinging ways are what gets him in trouble, putting the ball in play is half the battle, because when he does, he usually does it very hard.

Pitcher of the Night: Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), BB, 9 K.
Kaminsky’s big-time curveball has the ability to rack up strikeouts by the bunches when he’s throwing strikes, which he hasn’t done enough this year in his full-season debut.

Best of the Rest

Nick Tropeano, RHP, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Tropeano continues to offer proof that a plus changeup can make up for a lot of other weaknesses, including a lack of premium fastball velocity. Tropeano doesn’t light up a radar gun, but there’s no better combination in the game than fastball command and a good changeup. Parents, teach your kids a changeup.

Kentrail Davis, OF, Brewers (Huntsville, AA): 4-6, 3 R, 2B, 3B, HR, CS. Yep, that’s a cycle. If Davis were more of a prospect, this would probably be our hitter of the night, but Davis loses out to Baez because he’s 25 and has essentially stalled at Double-A while waiting for his power to kick in.

Paul Blackburn, RHP, Cubs (Kane County, A-): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. The Cubs need pitching help now, and Blackburn won’t help with that, but if they’re patient, they could watch him develop into a mid-rotation starter. The former supplemental first-rounder is throwing a ton more strikes this season and his sub-1.00 WHIP shows the difference.

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Related Content:  Prospects,  Minor Leagues,  Javier Baez,  Rob Kaminsky

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<< Previous Article
Baseball ProGUESTus: F... (05/23)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (05/22)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (05/27)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: A Bill... (05/23)

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