June 16, 2014
Minor League Update
Games of June 13-15
Friday, June 13
Delino DeShields, Jr. OF, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 0-5, 3 K. It’s not fair to judge a prospect based on an injury, and both DeShields’ season and career are still extremely young, but the fact remains that, in small sample sizes for both, he had an .811 OPS before his gruesome facial injury and a .628 OPS since returning.
Franklin Barreto, SS, Blue Jays (Vancouver, SS): 4-4, R, BB. Yes, you read that right. That says Vancouver. You know what that means? Two things: short-season baseball has begun, and the MLU has once again gone international. We’re not sure if Barreto is going to stick at shortstop, but he’s only 18. What did you want to do at 18? For Barreto, it’s about the bat, which is going to play right now and will be his ticket for the future. It may also be his ticket to a full-season league before 2014 is finished.
Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cardinals (Springfield, AA): 6 IP, 2 H, R (0 ER), 0 BB, 10 K. Gonzales gets a knock in things like prospect rankings and top-whatever lists because his fastball velocity limits his ceiling, but his plus changeup means he’s going to be a major leaguer—and a darn good one. And soon.
Jake Lamb, 3B, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 3-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, BB, K. There were questions about Lamb’s contact skills entering the season, and those were reasonable questions, but it’s impossible to ignore 40 extra-base hits in 66 games at any level.
Yeison Asencio, OF, Padres (San Antonio, AA): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR. Still trying to make a name for himself with his new name, Asencio profiles as a serial ball-in-play guy who doesn’t hit for this kind of power nearly often enough.
Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K. The Pirates impressive pitching depth has been tested this season, but they probably never thought a prospect like Kingham would be in the mix this early. That’s what’s happened thanks to injuries and a promotion to Triple-A, followed by an impressive first start. The Pirates aren’t rushing Kingham up just yet, but if the injuries keep piling on, it’ll be time for his name to be called soon enough.
Saturday, June 14
Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. The Cardinals get a lot of credit for drafting college pitchers like Michael Wacha and Gonzales who can contribute right away, but they deserve even more credit for their hit percentage on prep pitchers. Kaminsky appears to be on his way toward helping that reputation, as the undersized southpaw is having no trouble with his first taste of full-season baseball in the Midwest League this season.
Aaron Blair, RHP, Diamondbacks (Visalia, A+): 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, BB, 9 K. There is some refinement needed on the secondary stuff, as is the case with most young pitchers, but he’s missing an encouraging amount of bats in a tough league for pitchers.
Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (Albuquerque, AAA): 2-4, R, HR, 2 K. Even in the midst of a 5-for-26 stretch, Pederson can find a way to do damage. Such is the appeal of a power hitter who also knows how to get on base (he had a .344 OBP during that stretch as well), which is why he’ll find his way into the Dodgers crowded and expensive outfield.
Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians (Columbus, AAA): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, , K. Aguilar has Quad-A player written all over him, but at least he’s doing his part to convince us otherwise by mashing in Triple-A upon his return. He probably won’t be a regular in Cleveland, but he could carve out a niche.
Jhoan Urena, 3B, Mets (Brooklyn, SS): 2-3, 2 R, BB, K. Urena is young enough that he doesn’t have a train yet, but as soon as he gets one, I’m driving it. I’ve seen him in the GCL and in spring training. and everything about him says hitter. He’s finally off the complex this season. Remember the name, and remember that you heard it here first.
Reese McGuire, C, Pirates (West Virginia, A-): 2-3, 2 R, HR. It’s hard to knock a 19-year-old catcher in his first full season for not hitting for enough power, but it’s always nice to see him finally hit one over the fence.
Sunday, June 15
Michael Feliz, RHP, Astros (Quad Cities, A-): 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 4 K. The more strikes Feliz throws, the more impressive he is. He misses enough bats at his level that only he himself can get in his way.
Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs (Boise, SS): 7-11, BB, K. That wasn’t one game for Schwarber, the Cubs first pick and fourth overall in this year’s draft, but it was the culmination of his first professional weekend. The Cubs may have surprised everyone with their pick, but it was more than just signability-based, and much to some people’s surprise, he’s still behind the plate for Boise.
Adalberto Mejia, LHP, Giants (Richmond, AA): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 7 K. Mejia has been inconsistent this season, but it’s outings like this that remind us why our fearless leader wants to rename everyone Adalberto, besides the fact that it’s an awesome name.
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