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June 5, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, June 4

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Jacob Lamb, 3B, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 4-5, 3 R, 2B, HR.
If the questions about Lamb were how he would handle advanced pitching with some holes in his swing, the answer is that he can handle it quite well. Lamb has a patient approach at the plate that helps him draw his walks but also leads to strikeouts, but if he continues to produce power numbers, the Diamondbacks will take it. He’s a doubles machine right now, but if a few more of those balls start going over the wall, he could be more of an impact bat than scouts give him credit for.

Pitcher of the Night: Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K.
It’s all about fastball command for Owens, who generates great downward plane that makes him hard to square up. When he throws good strikes, he dominates.

Best of the Rest

Mitch Haniger, OF, Brewers (Huntsville, AA): 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, K. A strong fall left many with hope that Haniger would find the power stroke that some scouts believe is in his swing, but until last night, Double-A pitching had left him stifled. He has an advanced approach at the plate but Double-A pitchers have an advanced plan on the mound to, and Haniger is hardly the first hitter to struggle with the transition,.

Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 2-4, R, HR. Even among the BP staff, opinions are split on whether Seager will stick at shortstop or have to move to third base. As with most things, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, meaning that Seager can probably stay at short for a while but will have to move eventually. Most likely, his future position has more to do with extraneous factors like whether Hanley Ramirez re-signs after this. Either way, Seager is going to hit a ton, so the Dodgers should be in good hands.

Joe Wendle, 2B, Indians (Akron, AA): 3-5, 3 R, HR. Sometimes we act like all tools are created equal, but the simple fact is that they’re not. A poor hit tool can undo even the best athleticism and the biggest power, and a good one can make up for a lot of other warts. The latter is the case with Wendle, who doesn’t do anything particular well except hit a baseball, which may end up being enough.

D.J. Peterson, 3B, Mariners (High Desert, A+): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, BB. The hit tool is there and is not really being challenged by A-ball pitching after a stellar college career, but his approach and pitching recognition leave something to be desired and may be exploited against more advanced pitching.

Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 3-6, 3 R, 2B. Could this be Polanco’s last hurrah in Triple-A? Reports on Wednesday night were conflicting about a possible call-up. What we do know is that his days in the minors are numbered and that he’ll be a significant improvement over the Pirates current right field situation.

Michael Lorenzen, RHP, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Reports coming in on Lorenzen have ranged from good to great, but there is no doubting that he has made significant improvements this season and the possibility is growing that he could remain a starter after it was once thought that he was surely destined for a bullpen role.

David Dahl, OF, Rockies (Asheville, A-): 3-4, 3 R, 3B, BB. Dahl has tremendous talent and bat-to-ball skills but is still very reactionary at the plate and will need to work on his plan against better pitchers. If he improves in that area, however, the result could be a true impact bat.

Fight Another Day

Parker Bridwell, RHP, Orioles (Frederick, A+): 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 4 K. After his best start of the year, one in which he didn’t walk a batter, Bridwell struggled with his command and continued his frustrating, up-and-down trek throughout the minor leagues. He’s become known as much for his inconsistency as for his ability.

Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles (Delmarva, A-): 4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K. I’m not trying to pile on the Orioles here. It just kind of worked out that way. The good news is that there’s nothing wrong with Harvey and almost nothing bad you can say about him. Young pitchers just have bad starts sometimes.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Luke Jackson, RHP, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
  • Allen Webster, RHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 6 IP, 7 H, R, 3 BB, 4 K.
Related Content:  Prospects,  Minor Leagues

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This is Not Your Fathe... (06/05)

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