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July 11, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Thursday, July 10

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Cubs (Kane County, A-): 3-4, R, 2 2B, HR.
After a solid season of holding his own against older competition last year, Candelario struggled mightily this year in the Florida State League and hasn’t returned to form upon a return to Low-A ball. His big Thursday night helps.

Pitcher of the Night: Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K.
Whether it’s as an audition for a rotation spot in Pittsburgh or in order to increase his trade value, Kingham continues to make his case for being major league ready despite just six starts in Triple-A. It’s not the sexiest ceiling, but Kingham should be a major league starter for a long time.

Best of the Rest

A.J. Reed, 1B, Astros (Tri-City, SS): 3-4, R, HR, SB. Reed hasn’t dominated pro ball the way guys like Kyle Schwarber have, but he’s done more than hold his own and has controlled the strike zone like an advanced hitter. Being a guy who spent a large portion of his college career on the mound, his production should only improve the longer he dedicates himself to hitting full time.

Jefry Marte, 3B, Athletics (Midland, AA): 3-5, R, 2B, HR, K. Once a highly regarded prospect, Marte serves as a cautionary tale about poor plate discipline, the difficulties of developing power, and the risks being taken on the international market.

Jorge Soler, OF, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 2-4, R, HR, BB, K. There are still a number of questions surrounding Soler, but he’s doing his best to prove that whether he can hit Double-A pitching isn’t one of them. He’s off to a hot start in Tennessee after missing the start of the season with a hamstring injury, clouding the Cubs future in the outfield corners even further, and not in a bad way.

Adam Duvall, 3B, Giants (Fresno, AAA): 3-3, 2 R, HR, BB. In his brief major league cameo, Duvall gave a glimpse of what he could become. He’s not the .300 hitter he’s been in the PCL this season, but he does offer plus raw power from the right side and can handle either corner infield position.

Rafael Bautista, OF, Nationals (Hagerstown, A-): 4-5, 3 R, HR, 2 SB. Bautista has a quick bat, strong wrists that make up for a lack of body strength, and a swing that can get rotational at times. His feel for the barrel gives him a chance to succeed in a leadoff role despite an aggressive approach at the plate, and he has just enough pop to keep pitchers honest.

Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres (San Antonio, AA): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. Renfroe is taking on his biggest test—the jump to Double-A—and should be just fine once he gets his feet wet at the new level. His aggressive approach in A-ball was less refined than was perhaps expected, but his power production should be more than enough to make up for it, even against better pitching.

Fight Another Night

Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 4 1/3 IP, 13 H, 7 R, BB, 5 K. It’s difficult to figure out what’s going on with Appel. We’ve laid eyes on him twice this season with mixed results, and the results have obviously been terrible. We still put him in the Top 50 based on talent but he hasn’t backed it up as a professional. Pitching in the California League is a small excuse, but it only goes so far. There’s something else going on here, and the Astros need to figure out what it is.

Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles (Frederick, A+): 3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Remember that, even with his current rehab stint, Bundy has just 14 starts at Frederick under his belt, and just three above that level. It’s easy to assume that he’ll jump to the majors when he’s healthy, but there’s still a good deal of developmental time remaining for the Orioles’ top prospect.

Notable Prospect Starters

  • Dylan Covey, RHP, Athletics (Beloit, A-): 4 2/3 IP, H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 7 K.
  • Tyler Kolek, RHP, Marlins (GCL, R): 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 5 IP, 6 H, R, BB, 4 K.
  • Daniel Corcino, RHP, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 7 IP, 8 H, R, BB, 6 K.
  • Jonathan Gray, RHP, Rockies (Tulsa, AA): 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 5 K.

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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