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June 20, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Thursday, June 19

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (Modesto, A+): 3-3, 2 R, 3B, HR.
Story returned from a month on the DL (broken finger) with gusto, falling a double short of the cycle. Before the DL stint, he was performing more like the dynamic offensive player that he was thought to be entering last season, though he still hasn’t shown the power he’s thought to have to go with the strikeouts he already racks up in bunches.

Pitcher of the Night: Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Bradenton, A+): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
Control has been an issue for Glasnow, but he hasn’t allowed a run in four straight starts and has permitted just two runs total in his last six outings. He’s still raw, making up for missing the first month of the season and missing a ton of bats, all of which the Pirates will take.

Best of the Rest

Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Angels (Arkansas, AA): 2-3, 4 R, 3B, HR, BB. It hasn’t come together for Cowart the way his 2012 or Thursday’s stat line would suggest. Cowart is backing up a terrible 2013 with a similar performance, removing what little shine remains on his prospect luster.

Matt Olson, 1B, A’s (Stockton, A+): 3-4, R, 2B, HR. It’s tough to live up to the bar set by being a first-base-only prospect, especially when labeled with that distinction out of high school. Olson may not quite have the hit tool to pull it off, but he does have the power and the eye at the plate, giving him a chance.

Kenny Wilson, OF, Blue Jays (New Hampshire, AA): 4-6, 2 R, K, SB. Time is running out, if it hasn’t already, for the 24-year-old speedster, who is in his seventh professional season with a career .228 batting average.

Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Cubs (Daytona, A+): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. Vogelbach is a living testament to what Olson is going through as a prep first-base pick whose entire value rests in his bat. Few have the hitting chops to pull it off, though most believe Vogelbach is one of the select few, despite the power outage he’s experiencing this year in the Florida State League.

Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (Albuquerque, AAA): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. It’s the Pacific Coast League, so there’s no reason to worry too much about Lee’s inflated ERA this season, but his strikeout numbers have dropped as well, which helps push him more toward the back of a major-league rotation than to the middle of it. Either way, Lee profiles as an innings-eating starter who is ready whenever called upon.

Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants (Richmond, AA): 4 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 7 K. I didn’t know which category to put this in because it wasn’t a great start, but it was worth mentioning. Crick is still battling major control issues and his strikeouts have dropped this season, making the walks less tolerable. He was clearly missing bats on Thursday night, but even when he’s on, it takes him so many pitches he can’t get his innings in. Crick left in the fifth at the 100-pitch mark and has worked into the sixth inning just twice in 11 starts this season.

Dace Kime, RHP, Indians (Lake County, A-): 5 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 8 K. It’s been a struggle transitioning to starting for Kime, who was used primarily as a reliever in college and still profiles best in that role. As a starter, he profiles as a back-end guy who can handle the innings workload but won’t carry your staff.

D.J. Peterson, 3B, Mariners (High Desert, A+): 2-3, R, 2B, HR, BB, K. With all of the mid-season promotions that are taking place around the minors this week, it’s hard to believe Peterson hasn’t earned a trip out of the California League and on to his first real test as a professional.

Trea Turner, SS, Padres (Eugene, SS): 2-4, 2 R, 2B. There are some who question Turner’s swing and whether or not he’ll hit enough to justify his first-round selection, but thus far he’s doing exactly what a high college pick from a big conference should do against short-season pitching. He won’t be tested much until he reaches full-season ball.

Jake Hager, SS, Rays (Montgomery, AA): 3-4, R, 3B, HR. The Rays were aggressive with Hager this season despite a disappointing 2013 campaign in the Florida State League. Hager is handling the bat better this season despite once again being young for his level, but the power hasn’t played out the way many believed it would after he hit 10 home runs in full-season ball as a 19-year-old in 2012.

Manuel Margot, OF, Red Sox (Greenville, A-): 2-4, R, 2B, HR, K, SB. The raw numbers may not jump off the page at you for Margot, but controlling the strike zone like he does while playing an up-the-middle position at 19 in full-season ball makes for a really good prospect profile.

Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (Elizabethton, R): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, BB. Great professional debut for the fifth-overall pick.

Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (Winston-Salem, A+): 3-5, 2 R, HR, K. Having enough tools to overcome extreme rawness and an ultra-aggressive approach at the plate, even in the pitcher-friendly Carolina League, makes for a very, very talented player.

Fight Another Night

J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies (Clearwater, A+): 0-5, 3 K, 2 E. When Crawford is in the majors hitting atop the Phillies lineup in a few years, we’ll look back on this and laugh, but for now it goes down as a rough High-A debut for the Phillies top prospect.

Joseph Pankake, 3B, Tigers (Connecticut, SS): 0-4, K. It was a rough professional debut for the former USC Gamecock, but you know what they say, the first Pankake always comes out a little flat.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 6 IP, 4 H, R, BB, K.
  • Edwin Escobar, LHP, Giants (Fresno, AAA): 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, BB, 6 K.
  • Austin Brice, RHP, Marlins (Jupiter, A+): 7 IP, 7 H, R, 3 BB, 2 K.
  • Amir Garrett, LHP, Reds (Dayton, A-): 6 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 6 K.

…and Kris Bryant homered, in Triple-A this time.

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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