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August 14, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, August 13

by Jeff Moore


Hitter of the Night: JaCoby Jones, SS, Pirates (West Virginia, A-): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 K.
There are two ways to look at Jones. On the one hand, he’s on pace to be a 20/20 shortstop, which is impressive and rare. On the other hand, he’s probably not going to remain a shortstop by the time he gets to the majors and there are enough questions about his pull-happy, aggressive hit tool to wonder how much his raw power and athleticism will play. Jones does a lot of things well on a baseball field, so there’s a future here, but his adjustments between now and the big leagues will determine his role and his ceiling.

Pitcher of the Night: Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 5 IP, 6 H, R, BB, 9 K.
This is the California League, yet Urias, who has been 18 years old for all of two days now, has a 2.86 ERA through 72 1/3 innings of work. If he were an American teenager, he’d be entering his senior of high school. Instead, he’s flashing three present average-or-better pitches and dominating the toughest pitchers’ league in the world.

Best of the Rest

Nick Tropeano, RHP, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 7 IP, 6 H, R, BB, 7 K. Tropeano has a back-end ceiling and won’t be anchoring the Astros rotation anytime soon, but his plus changeup has helped him make up for only average velocity once again at a new level, allowing him to continue to have success. And given some of the pitchers the Astros have run out there this year, it’s hard to believe Tropeano won’t get a chance soon.

Dwight Smith, Jr., Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 2-2, 3 R, 2B, 3 BB. Because of his left-field profile and lack of home run power, this is the kind of production that Smith will need to have to be an everyday player. He’s not going to be perfect at the plate too often, but drawing walks, hitting the gaps, and scoring runs will allow him to make up for not having power at a power position. If not, he’ll be a tweener or fourth outfielder, but one who has a spot on a major league roster.

Aaron Blair, RHP, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 6 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K. The Diamondbacks have pushed Blair aggressively, and the 2013 first-rounder is currently at his third full-season level this year and still holding his own. The arsenal isn’t that of a high-ceiling prospect, but he’s built like a starter with an arsenal to go with it and is mostly a finished product without too much development left in his game. He could continue to move quickly.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article They Hold No Quarter: ... (08/13)
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