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July 31, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, July 30

by Jeff Moore


Hitter of the Night: Lewis Brinson, OF, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 4-8, 2 R, HR, K. The progress that Brinson had made in Low-A ball this year appeared to have come
unraveled upon his promotion to the Carolina League, but he got back on track in a 16-inning affair on Wednesday. He’s still extremely aggressive at the plate and has some swing-and-miss in his game, but he’s productive nonetheless.

Pitcher of the Night: Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Visalia, A+): 7 IP, 5 H, R, BB, 9 K.
We can look past Shipley’s ERA, which is hovering around 4.00 after his latest outing, and look toward his high strikeout rate to take away the positives from his first full season. He pairs a mid-90s fastball with a plus changeup to generate swings and misses, and that tandem should generate even more success once he gets out of the California League.

Best of the Rest

Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K. Appel’s promotion to Double-A despite a 9.74 ERA in Lancaster made waves in both the media and apparently within the organization, but he’s now turned in two straight strong starts, which is something to build on. That’s still not the standard we’re used to holding top overall picks to, but his first few months were so disastrous that it’s where we’re left.

Max Pentecost, C, Blue Jays (Vancouver, SS): 2-5, 2 R, 3B, 2 K. Pentecost is doing what a college bat should to in short-season ball by hitting over .300, though in the extremely small sample, it’s coming without much power or control of the strike zone.

Albert Almora, OF, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 2-4, R, HR. Almora has his struggles and will continue to scuffle against advanced pitching as the Cubs continue to test him, but you have to credit him for his ability to make adjustments. His natural hit tool is advanced for his age, but he’s still refining its in-game application.

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