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June 10, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, June 9

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 2-4, 3 R, 3B, HR, K, SB.
The good with the bad, people. We’ve got to take the good with the bad. We’re going to get four-strikeout games and three-homer games. They might even be back to back. It’s going to be a wild ride, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Even for Cubs fans.

Pitcher of the Night: Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Hagerstown, A-): 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K.
As strict as the Nats are with their young pitchers, they weren’t going to let Giolito keep going just because he hadn’t given up a hit. He’s missing a ton of bats and living up to all of the hype thus far, and it’s only a matter of time before he begins dominating deeper into games.

Best of the Rest

Domingo Santana, OF, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. We’ll never know for certain whether or not Ruben Amaro, Jr. meant to trade Santana, but regardless of intent, the Phillies would certainly take him back now. As I’ve stated in this spot before, Santana is not without his flaws as a hitter, and the Astros will have to tolerate high strikeout totals and moderately low batting averages, but 25-30 homers a season will make that acceptable, especially if they can bat him down around the sixth spot in the order behind an eventual Correa/Springer/Singleton 3-4-5.

Preston Tucker, OF, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 3-4, 2 R, HR, K. Tucker is just going to keep on hitting, no matter how much scouts focus on the things he can’t do. We all love athleticism and tools, but he’s not going to be the first or last below-average athlete in the majors simply because he can hit.

Emilio Guerrero, SS, Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 3-5, 3 R, 2B, HR. Guerrero has the tools to be a much better player than he has been thus far—including plus bat speed, a plus arm, and a frame to dream on—but a lack of baseball instincts and issues with pitch recognition have held him back.

Chris Stratton, RHP, Giants (San Jose, A+): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 9 K. Stratton is missing bats for now, but his low-90s fastball doesn’t project to do so significantly at the major-league level.

Tyler Naquin, OF, Indians (Akron, AA): 3-5, 2 R, HR. Scouts have raved about Naquin’s power in batting practice for years but have questioned whether or not he has the bat speed to keep it going against premium velocity. He hasn’t shown it in games on a consistent basis, but he’s currently riding a solid stretch of in-game power.

D.J. Peterson, 3B, Mariners (High Desert, A+): 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 K. You can’t just promote every prospect who is having a really good season, but in Peterson’s case, it may be time to test him with a Double-A assignment, which will provide a challenge to his aggressive approach at the plate and put him in a tougher hitting environment.

Colin Moran, 3B, Marlins (Jupiter, A+): 3-5, R, 2 2B, K. I’ve been hard on Moran this year because, well, he hasn’t been very good. But he’s heating up and is starting to put together better at-bats on a more consistent basis. The power still isn’t what you’d hope for from a third baseman or from the sixth-overall pick, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 1-5, R, HR, 3 K. Three strikeouts are usually enough to keep a player off of this list, but Gallo’s home run came in his first game since being promoted to Double-A and delivered a walk-off win, so he makes the list.

Fight Another Day

Adam Walker, OF, Twins (Ft. Myers, A+): 0-5, 2 K. Walker is showing off his big-time raw power this season with 14 home runs already, but his swing is one-dimensional and he has major pitch recognition issues, which lead to huge strikeout numbers.

Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (Albuquerque, AAA): 0-3, BB, 3 K, SB. With a patient approach and lots of walks come a lot of strikeouts. It’s just a part of the package.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Nick Tropeano, RHP, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, BB, 7 K.
  • Tim Cooney, LHP, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP, Cubs (Kane County, A-): 3 IP, 2 R, R, 0 BB, 3 K.
  • Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (Albuquerque, AAA): 6 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 7 K.
  • Parker Bridwell, RHP, Orioles (Frederick, A+): 7 IP, 4 H, R, 3 BB, 6 K.
  • Michael Lorenzen, RHP, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

…and Kris Bryant homered.

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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