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May 29, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, May 28

by Jeff Moore

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Hitters of the Night

Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 3-4, R, 2B, HR. There is little doubt that Correa is going to be a very good player, even though he’s still just 19 and a few years away from the majors. The big question is just how good. If he remains at shortstop and his power reaches its ceiling, he’ll end up being among the top five players in the game.

Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 4-4, R, 2B, HR, BB. Stop it, Kris Bryant. Just stop it. On second thought, Cubs fans have had it hard enough. Four hits for Kris Bryant. You go, Kris Bryant.

Pitcher of the Night: Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Bradenton, A+): 5 2/3 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K.
Glasnow got a late start to the season, then watched his control waver even more than it did last year when he was leading the minors in strikeouts. When he throws strikes like he did on Wednesday, he doesn’t get hit. Not even weakly.

Best of the Rest

Marcus Knecht, OF, Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 4-4, R, 2 2B, BB. A limited hitter and limited defensive player, Knecht reserves his damage typically for when the pitcher makes a mistake. He’s over-aggressive and gets himself out frequently, but his size does make him capable of doing some damage when he gets his pitch.

Michael Taylor, OF, Nationals (Harrisburg, AA): 3-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, K, SB. Taylor continues to baffle scouts, posting strikeout numbers that border on the ridiculous and project frightening things for his future, but also showing strong on-base skills and plus power. Seventy-one strikeouts in 48 games is far too many (would be 239 over a 162-game season), but .295/.378/.574 with 13 home runs and 13-of-15 on stolen bases can’t be ignored. Truly a confusing prospect.

Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Orioles (Bowie, AA): 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K. Rodriguez has been better since returning from injury, but the time off may be just enough to keep him out of the discussion for when the Orioles need pitching help this season.

Cameron Perkins, OF, Phillies (Reading, AA): 3-7, 2 R, HR. Perkins is hitting and hitting well, controlling the strike zone and racking up doubles by the bushel, but corner outfielders have to hit some home runs and Perkins simply doesn’t do it often enough.

Tyler Pike, LHP, Mariners (High Desert, A+): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Pike has an interesting arm, but the knock was his control, which has taken a step back this season. Before Wednesday night, Pike had actually walked more batters than he had struck out and had been hit hard. Perhaps this is a sign of him turning the corner.

JaCoby Jones, SS, Pirates (West Virginia, A-): 3-6, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. Still very much an athlete playing baseball, Jones is coming around to pro ball and learning to drive the ball while still controlling the strike zone.

Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Hickory, A-): 1-3, 2 R, HR, 2 BB, 2 K. We know about the big-time power, and our resident roving correspondents from Cespedes Family BBQ can vouch for just how far Mazara’s home run went, but I’m more impressed that he drew a pair of walks, something he doesn’t do nearly enough of.

Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (Rochester, AAA): 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 8 K. The walk rate is up a little but it’s not slowing Meyer down because of how many bats he misses. He’ll have to get it back down to where it was the past few years, but there’s not much standing in the way of his major-league success at this point.

Fight Another Day

Domingo Santana, OF, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 0-4, 3 K. Santana is far from a perfect hitter and, despite his power potential, he comes with some pretty big flaws that will keep him hitting in the .250 range as a major leaguer. The power should be enough to make it worthwhile, though.

Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cardinals (Springfield, AA): 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, BB, 7 K. This was the first rough start for Gonzales since his promotion to Double-A, but even while getting hit around, he managed to miss bats thanks to a dominant changeup. His fastball velocity will lead to some games when he gets hit hard, especially on days when his command wavers (fastball command is his last step to the majors), but the changeup will be the great equalizer even on days when he struggles.

Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 0-3, 3 K (Game 1), 2-3 (Game 2). We declared when it was officially time to worry about Baez and we declared when it was officially time to stop. No more official proclamations. Baez is immensely talented but also significantly flawed. His career trajectory will be based on the adjustments he makes between now and the major leagues, but be prepared to be wowed by his successes and frustrated by his shortcomings, sometimes all in the same day.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • J.R. Graham, RHP, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 5 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, BB, 6 K.
  • Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves (Lynchburg, A+): 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Chris Reed, LHP, Dodgers (Chattanooga, AA): 7 1/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), BB, 7 K.
  • Domingo Tapia, RHP, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, K.
  • Ben Lively, RHP, Reds (Bakersfield, A+): 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K.

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

Related Content:  Prospects,  Minor Leagues

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