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July 17, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, July 16

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Danry Vasquez, OF, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 3-3, 3 R, 3 HR. Vasquez is an intriguing hitting prospect who still has a long way to go, but who some believe has more power than he’s shown in games thus far. A three-homer game on Wednesday is a good start, but it gives him just four on the season. The hit tool is going to have to carry Vasquez, but he’ll need to start turning more of his doubles into home runs.

Pitcher of the Night: Jonathan Gray, RHP, Rockies (Tulsa, AA): 5 2/3 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
This is more like the dominant Gray we were hoping to see from college. The Rockies have had him working on stuff, so don’t put too much stock in his numbers. The power arm that got him drafted so high is still very much intact.

Best of the Rest

Dawel Lugo, SS, Blue Jays (Lansing, A-): 4-4, R, 2B, HR. Lugo has been holding his own as a 19-year-old in full-season ball this year, but he hasn’t been driving the ball consistently like this. That’s okay, though—most 19-year-olds don’t at this level. It’s an unrefined approach, but the ability is there and the hit tool should continue to improve moving forward.

Clint Coulter, C, Brewers (Wisconsin, A-): 2-3, R, HR, BB, K. Coulter started off the year red hot but has cooled of late and has hit just .184 in July. Still, even when he’s not hitting, he gets on base at a strong clip, keeping his value up.

Wuilmer Becerra, OF, Mets (Kingsport, R): 5-5, R, 2 2B. Becerra is best known for being the fourth guy in the R.A. Dickey trade, but he could end up being a lot more than that. His hit tool is legitimate, even though the whole package has a long way to go. He’s still filling into his frame and learning how to use his size, but he has an idea of how to hit and is just 19. He also just got arrested last week for drag racing his car, which seems worth mentioning.

Trea Turner, SS, Padres (Fort Wayne, A-): 2-5, R, 2 2B, K. This is the first real display of any sort of power we’ve seen from Turner as a professional, though his speed game has been on point. There are questions about how much he’ll hit and significant doubts that he’ll hit for power, so he’ll have to really get on base and run.

Carlos Tocci, OF, Phillies (Lakewood, A-): 1-4, R, HR, SB. One-for-four with a home run doesn’t usually get you on the Update, but when it’s your first professional home run after 942 plate appearances, it’s worth mentioning. Everyone’s been waiting for Tocci to fill out and finally connect on one. I hope his teammates gave him the silent treatment.

JaCoby Jones, SS, Pirates (West Virginia, A-): 2-3, 2 R, HR, BB, K. Jones is still getting a chance to play shortstop, but his bat may be ready before his glove at that position. Still, he needs to cut down on the strikeouts, which could take a while, but the power production has been impressive, especially from an up-the-middle position.

Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Hickory, A-): 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR. Mazara has made great strides this year in the development of his power and his plate discipline. He’s repeating a level, so improvement needed to be made, but still credit him for taking a step forward. There is still a long way to go for him to make more consistent contact, but the overall package is incredibly enticing.

Sam Travis, 1B, Red Sox (Lowell, SS): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, SB. A second-round pick from this year’s draft, Travis is still making the adjustment to pro ball but is beginning to drive the ball with more authority.

Fight Another Day

Delino DeShields, OF, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 0-3, BB, 2 K, SB. It’s been a rough season for DeShields, especially after getting hit in the jaw. But since his return, he’s struggled on the field, hitting .210 in June and .200 in July. The extra-base power has also been nonexistent.

Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles (Frederick, A+): 4 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, K. For all of those people waiting and hoping for Bundy to get healthy and get to the majors to help the Orioles, remember that the road back from Tommy John is hard, but also that this was just Bundy’s 16th career start in High-A ball and that he has just three starts above that level. Even when healthy, he’s not ready for the majors just yet, let alone for a pennant race.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Dylan Covey, RHP, Athletics (Beloit, A-): 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), BB, 3 K.
  • Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves (Lynchburg, A+): 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
  • Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Sean Manaea, LHP, Royals (Wilmington, A+): 4 2/3 IP, H, R, 5 BB, 5 K.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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Related Content:  Prospects,  Minor Leagues

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