August 21, 2014
Minor League Update
Games of Wednesday, August 20
Hitter of the Night: Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (Tampa, A+): 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR.
Pitcher of the Night: Frederis Parra, RHP, Cardinals (GCL, R): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K.
Best of the Rest
Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 5 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K. A big body, a big fastball, and a big changeup have led to a big season for Velasquez in between almost two months lost due to injury. He’s had trouble staying on the field, including missing all of 2011 due to Tommy John surgery, but when he’s playing, he misses a ton of bats and does a good job of throwing strikes.
Matt Olson, 1B, Athletics (Stockton, A+): 2-4, R, HR, BB, K. While Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant get most of the home run attention, Olson is nipping at their heels, now with 36 bombs on the year. The game power isn’t in quite the same class, and it’ll be difficult to judge just how much of it will play once he leaves Stockton behind, but the raw pop is legitimate and could be enough to make him an everyday bat at the toughest offensive position.
Clint Coulter, C, Brewers (Wisconsin, A-): 3-5, 2B, K. It’s impossible to overlook the three-month stretch from May through July in which Coulter hit just .251, but even during that low point during the summer he posted strong on-base skills and good power. If that continues, it’ll be enough to be an above-average offensive catcher even if he hits in the .250s.
Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 2-3, R, HR, BB, K. At this point in the season, it’s difficult to come up with new superlatives for Bryant, but I’ll try this one: His worst month this season was April, in which he hit .281/.407/.539. Watching Anthony Rizzo split Bryant and Baez in the Cubs lineup next summer should make NL Central pitchers very nervous.
Addison Russell, SS, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 2-4, 2 R, HR. That’s three straight games with a home run for Russell, who will fit into the aforementioned scenario somewhere and could also be ready by next summer, if the Cubs can figure out where to play everyone.
J.T. Realmuto, C, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 3-5, 3 R, 3B, HR. Realmuto doesn’t always drive the ball and hasn’t developed nearly the power that some thought he would have, but he does a nice job controlling the strike zone to go with his plus-plus arm. He should be able to carve out a career as a solid backup.
Dilson Herrera, 2B, Mets (Binghamton, AA): 3-4, 2 R, HR, BB. There’s still a good chance that this is the best season of Herrera’s career, but he’s showing no signs of slowing down and is making his case as the Mets second baseman of the future. He’s hit for even more power since being promoted to Double-A and now looks like he could be an above-average offensive player to go along with being a plus athlete.
Roman Quinn, OF, Phillies (Clearwater, A+): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. Power isn’t Quinn’s game, but it’s nice to see him drive the ball to keep pitchers honest and from knocking the bat out of his hands at the plate. With the potential for top-end defense in center field and plus-plus base running, he’ll only need to be average with the bat to become an everyday player, but even that may be a stretch.
Fight Another Day:
Notable Pitching Performances