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August 5, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, August 4

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Matt Olson, 1B, Athletics (Stockton, A+): 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, BB, K.
If you’re going to be a player with a limited defensive profile whose entire value resides in his bat and play in the California League where we’re going to discount your success, then you have to put up crazy offensive numbers, right? Olson got the memo, as he continues to light up the hitter-friendly circuit, now with 33 home runs on the season.

Pitcher of the Night: Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K.
Owens was stellar in his first Triple-A start, as the lefty has a tendency to be when he’s on his game. Owens gets by on deception in his delivery and a plus changeup, which can be a potent combination, but his lack of fastball command limits the ceiling, as does the lack of a third pitch. Owens should make it as a starter with the Red Sox, but those looking for him to replace Jon Lester need to take a step back, which is what the Red Sox will do if they believe the same thing.

Best of the Rest

Casey Meisner, RHP, Mets (Brooklyn, SS): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 6 K. Meisner has a potential plus fastball but his lack of command has gotten him in trouble this year, both in allowing extra baserunners and in getting hit around. When he’s on, his changeup works well off of his fastball and there is deception in his cross-fire delivery.

Trea Turner, SS, Padres (Fort Wayne, A-): 3-4, R, 2B, K. Turner refuses to cool off since his promotion to full-season ball, and he is now hitting .458 in 20 games with Fort Wayne. Almost as importantly, he’s controlling the strike zone and working his walks, which will end up being a key part of his offensive value as he progresses.

Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies (Asheville, A-): 3-5, 3 R, 2B. If we take away a slow April, his first month in full-season ball, Tapia is hitting .352 on the season. We can’t take that away, of course, but doing so shows us what Tapia is capable of as a hitter over long stretches of time. He’s still tapping into his power, but the pure ability to hit the baseball is unquestioned.

Joseph Pankake, SS, Tigers (Connecticut, SS): 4-4, 2 R, 2B, 3B, SB. It’s reasonable to ask whether a seventh-round pick would be getting any attention if it weren’t for a goofy name, but Pankake is doing his best to make a name for himself, hitting .340 in his professional debut. Collegiate hitters should have success in short-season leagues, but he’s also controlling the strike zone well and showing good doubles power.

Travis Harrison, OF, Twins (Fort Myers, A+): 3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 BB, K. Harrison’s power has gone cold this season in the tough Florida State League with Monday night’s blast being just his third on the year after he hit 15 last year. He has more power than he’s shown this year, but he has a one-dimensional swing and can’t drive every pitch. He’s shown a decent approach at the plate that gives him a chance to move on, but he’ll have to show that he can hit more pitches out than just those on the inner half.

Fight Another Day

Willy Adames, SS, Rays (Bowling Green, A-): 0-4, BB, 2 K. Not too much to worry about here for Adames, who is still adjusting to a new team and a newfound spotlight as a prospect. There are some contact issues in his offensive game, but they shouldn’t be drastic enough to hold him back too far.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 4 1/3 IP, 4 H, R, 4 BB, 3 K.
  • Domingo Tapia, RHP, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 5 K.
  • A.J. Cole, RHP, Nationals (Syracuse, AAA): 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 2 K.
  • Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
  • Michael Lorenzen, RHP, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 4 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 2 K.
  • Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Twins (Cedar Rapids, A-): 4 IP, H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 6 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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