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August 27, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Tuesday, August 26th

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (Albuquerque, AAA): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, BB.
There’s not much left to say about Pederson, who should be in the majors at this point and would be with any of the other 29 organizations. Unlike some of the top prospects we’ve seen struggle lately, Pederson’s floor should be higher, given his power production and on-base skills.

Pitcher of the Night: Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 10 K.
I’ve been waiting all year to put Appel in this section of the Update. It’s been a tale of two seasons for Appel, who was as horrific as could be in the California League but has actually been pretty good in the Texas League, getting his ERA below the 4.00 mark. He’s even missing bats more frequently lately, signaling a return of the stuff that got him selected in the top 10 twice.

Best of the Rest

Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves (Gwinett County, AAA): 3-5, 2 R, HR, K. There’s not going to be too much power coming out of Bethancourt, who hasn’t taken the necessary steps forward to become the regular the Braves had hoped he would become. Still, he’ll be a big leaguer because of his glove, and, more notably, his arm.

Casey Meisner, RHP, Mets (Brooklyn, SS): 6 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 11 K. Meisner is the definition of tall and lanky, but he repeats his delivery well for his age and size, and he has a potential bat-missing changeup, as evidenced on Tuesday. There’s still a lot of development left, but Meisner is yet another capable arm in an increasingly impressive stable of Mets pitching prospects.

Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Red Sox (Portland, AA): 7 IP, 7 H, R, 0 BB, 7 K. It was a disappointing season for Rodriguez—until he became a Red Sox. Since the trade, Rodriguez has allowed just three runs in five starts and seen his strikeout rate spike.

Miguel Almonte, RHP, Royals (Wilmington, A+): 4 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 7 K. Almonte continues to be intriguing, though he has his flaws. The fastball/changeup combo will be enough to make him a big leaguer, but the rest of his arsenal will have to take a step forward for him to be a competent starter.

Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (New Britain, AA): 6 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K. Berrios hasn’t carried his dominance over to Double-A, but he’s still healthy and has maintained his velocity throughout the season, which was the wild card coming into the year. The future is bright for Berrios.

Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Twins (Cedar Rapids, A-): 4 IP, H, 1 R (0 ER), 4 BB, 8 K. Thorpe hasn’t dominated like he did in the GCL last year, but that wasn’t a realistic expectation. All in all, it’s been a strong first full season for Thorpe, who has missed bats despite being one of the youngest players in the Midwest League and making the jump from complex ball to a full-season league. He’s still a long way away and needs to develop both endurance and fastball command, but this year should be seen as a positive sign for the Australian lefty.

Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (Birmingham, AA): 2-5, R, HR, K. Anderson remains one of the hottest hitters in the minors since his return from injury and added his first Double-A homer to the mix on the same day it was announced that he will be heading to the Arizona Fall League.

Fight Another Day

Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 0-4, 3 K. There are going to be days like this for Alfaro with his free-swinging ways, but not too many. His bat-to-ball skills are strong enough to overcome too many empty stat lines, though he’ll never be a super high-average hitter and won’t post strong on-base totals. Still, with his power and arm behind the plate, he’s still headed towards being an above-average catcher.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (Buffalo, AAA): 4 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 K.
  • Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves (Lynchburg, A+): 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, K.
  • Tyler Beede, RHP, Giants (Salem-Keizer, SS): 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, R, BB, 2 K.
  • Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 6 1/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 8 K.

Related Content:  Prospects,  Minor Leagues

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