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June 30, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of June 27-29

by Jeff Moore

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Friday, June 27

Domingo Santana, OF, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 4-5, 3 R, HR, K. The fact that Santana is now hitting over .300 probably has something to do with the effect of the PCL, but the fact that he’s slugging over .500 does not. Santana could stand a to have a little more contact in his game and refine his approach at the plate, but that’s probably not going to happen at this point. He’s close to being a finished product, if he’s not there already, and should be joining the Astros soon.

Richard Urena, SS, Blue Jays (Bluefield, SS): 2-5, 2 R, 2B, HR. Known for his defensive skills and ability to stick at shortstop, Urena flashed a little rare power on Friday and could show more.

Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers (Brevard County, SS): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR. Arcia is doing a better job of driving the gaps recently and could end up with average doubles power, but the home runs are always going to be below average. Still, with a solid approach at the plate and a good glove, that’s a nice player. He also doubled and homered again on Saturday.

Arismendy Alcantara, 2B, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 4-6, 3 R, HR, K. Man, he’s a lot better than Darwin Barney. It’s probably time to see him at Wrigley.

Alex Jackson, OF, Mariners (AZL, R): 0-4, 3 K. We’re not in high school anymore, Toto.

Marcos Molina, RHP, Cubs (Brooklyn, SS): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K. Molina has attacked his first off-complex assignment with authority and has allowed just one earned run in his first three starts for Brooklyn. We have the NYPL covered pretty thoroughly, so there should be a full writeup on him soon.

Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles (Aberdeen, SS): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Okay, we get it, he’s too good for short-season ball. The good news is that he’s healthy and should get a tougher rehab assignment soon.

Saturday, June 28

Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs (Kane County, A-): 4-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, K. Just a few weeks ago, people that the Schwarber pick at no. four was a strategy by the Cubs to save money for later rounds. We’re not hearing much of that any more. Still probably not a catcher long-term, the Cubs believe Schwarber’s bat will play anywhere, and they’re probably right.

Tyler Kolek, RHP, Marlins (GCL Marlins, R): 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, K. Nothing spectacular to report here, other than the professional debut of the no. 2-overall pick. Sometimes no news is good news.

Dilson Herrera, 2B, Mets (Binghamton, AA): 4-5, R, HR, CS. When I first saw Herrera this spring, he was an athlete learning to play baseball, and I had him pegged as a potential utility man who was pigeonholed at second base in the infield. Before he left the Florida State League, I saw noticeable improvement in his bat path and pitch recognition that led me to believe he may be able to handle more consistent playing time at the major league level than I had originally given him credit for. Still, I wasn’t quite sold on him as an everyday second baseman. I may have been selling him short, as he continues to hit, now against advanced pitching.

Steven Matz, LHP, Mets (Binghamton, AA): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 9 K. Unlike Herrera, I did not sell Matz short when I wrote him up as a potential no. 2 starter earlier this year. Now that he’s shoving it in Double-A, Matz has become the new guy that Mets fans can pester us about regarding a promotion.

J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies (Clearwater, A+): 2-5, R, HR, BB, 2 K. It was a slow start for Crawford after his promotion, but not to worry: Crawford is coming around exactly as expected, showing off all the tools that got him promoted in the first place. He had two more hits and another home run on Friday as well.

Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 2-5, R, HR, K, SB. That box score tells you a lot about Alfaro, who can do it all but is still figuring out how to do it more consistently.

Sunday, June 29

Renato Nunez, 3B, Athletics (Stockton, A+): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR. Nunez still has an unrefined approach at the plate, but it’s not hurting his power production in the California League.

Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (New Hampshire, AA): 5 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 6 K. Now in Double-A, Norris is still missing bats at a fantastic rate thanks to his arsenal of offspeed pitches.

Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles (Delmarva, A-): 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, BB, 9 K. Even when Harvey is off a little, he still misses bats by the bushel. He’s going to be the first guy every team asks for when the Orioles look to add pieces in the next month, and the Orioles’ reluctance to part ways with him may prevent them from making a big move. And that may not be a bad thing.

Kelly Dugan, OF, Phillies (Reading, AA): 2-2, 4 R, 2 HR, 2 BB. After a breakout power season last year, more was expected from Dugan this season, and he is battling his way back from injury. The tools have always been solid, but he struggles to control the strike zone and is having trouble repeating his success in Double-A.

Bonus: Rehab Recap
Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals (Harrisburg, AA): 4-5, 3 R, 3 HR. It’s not often that I’ll put a rehabbing major leaguer in the update, and even less frequently will I include one I picked to win the NL MVP this season, but what Harper did on Saturday, hitting two of these bombs to dead center like it was nothing, was just flat-out stupid good. Remember, he’s still younger than half the guys he’s facing on these rehab assignments; Double-A is where he’s supposed to be. Not that our educated BP readers are the ones doing this, but the people knocking Harper forget this far too often. He’s every bit the stud he ever was, and he looks poised to make sure no one forgets it.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jeff's other articles. You can contact Jeff by clicking here

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