June 23, 2014
Minor League Update
Games of June 20-22
Friday, June 20
Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 1-4, 2 R, HR. In what feels like it’s being written posthumously, Correa hit what may be his final home run of the 2014 season before suffering a leg injury on Saturday. He’ll be fine, but it might bring an end to what has been a fantastic season.
Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Blue Jays (Buffalo, AAA): 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 4 K. In case the Blue Jays were thinking that he would miraculously find his fastball command after a promotion to Triple-A, Sanchez made certain to reassure them and all of us that he’s still the same pitcher he’s been his entire professional career. Electric arm, no command, lots of walks, lots of strikeouts, moderate effectiveness.
Tyler Wagner, RHP, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K. Generally not a strikeout pitcher, this is the second time in his last four starts that Wagner has fanned at least eight.
Julio Mateo, RHP, Cardinals (GCL Cardinals, R): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Most GCL outings don’t last six innings, but Mateo was extremely efficient with his pitches and did not walk a batter. He generated a lot of weak contact despite sitting 88-90 most of the game, though he did get stronger as he went and hit 91 and 92 in his final inning of work. He also flashed the makings of a nice breaking ball. Extremely young, he will need to put additional weight onto his thin frame in order to increase his velocity, but it was an impressive stateside debut for the 18-year-old from the Dominican.
Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs (Kane County, A-): 2-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, BB. The Cubs will find a level to challenge Schwarber at some point, but it hasn’t been the Midwest League yet.
Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 1-4, R, HR, 3 K. A very Joey Gallo day.
Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Hickory, A-): 3-5, R, HR, K. The tools are loud for Mazara and the production is following close behind.
Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. As we know, good Henry Owens is very good.
Cheslor Cuthbert, 1B, Royals (Northwest Arkansas, AA): 2-5, 2 R, 2B, HR. The fact that he’s hitting for some power (eight home runs on the season, .417 SLG) is a good sign, but the fact that he’s now seeing time at first base is not. He’ll never hit for enough power to play there.
Saturday, June 21
Charlie Tilson, OF, Cardinals (Palm Beach, A+): 2-4, R, HR. Tilson doesn’t offer much power, but he can turn on an inside pitch just enough to keep pitchers from knocking the bat out of his hands.
Aaron Blair, RHP, Diamondbacks (Visalia, A+): 7 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 9 K. A right-hander with a mid-rotation ceiling and multiple usable pitches, Blair is holding his own nicely in the California League.
Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 2-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. Normally I endorse a conservative approach to prospect promotions, encouraging teams to let a player experience as much success as possible before promoting him, but Seager has little left to achieve in the California League and needs a new challenge.
Justin Nicolino, LHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Nicolino isn’t flashy, but he throws a ton of strikes and generates a ton of poor contact. It’s a mid-rotation to back-end profile for Nicolino, but the floor is high.
Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles (Aberdeen, SS): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 9 K. This is about what Bundy, who has appeared in the major leagues, should be doing to Rookie-level pitching as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Blake Swihart, C, Red Sox (Portland, C): 2-3, R, HR, K, SB. Swihart is already the best prospect in the Red Sox farm system, and that’s without us being completely sold on the development of his power, If that kicks in, we could have an All-Star on our hands.
Sunday, June 22
Zach Borenstein, OF, Angels (Salt Lake, AAA): 3-4, R, HR, K. After a breakout 2013 season, Borenstein has come crashing back to Earth this year; that was just his second home run of the year.
Matt Olson, 1B, Athletics (Stockton, A+): 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR. Olson has major power and a good eye at the plate, both of which help make up for a below-average hit tool that leads to low averages and high strikeout numbers (though he’s cut the latter down this year).
Jose Peraza, 2B, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 4-6, 2 R, 2B. A contact-based hitter, Peraza was recently promoted to Double-A after hitting .342 in A-ball this season. His ability to put the bat on the ball is what separates him from most prospects.
Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, BB, 7 K. The season hasn’t been as dominant as we might have expected, but he’s been very good nonetheless, maintaining his ability to miss bats. He needs to get back to throwing strikes the way he did last year, but it’s not a major concern.
And Kris Bryant homered… twice.