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June 9, 2016

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, June 8th

by Mark Anderson

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Prospect of the Day:

Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, BB, 13 K.
Lopez is no stranger to those who have been reading BP’s prospect coverage over the last couple of years, and this type of start is precisely why he’s a household name around these parts. There are inconsistencies in his game, but when he’s right, the results can be superb, and according to scouts in attendance last night, Lopez had everything working and simply mowed through the opposing lineup.

Others of Note:

Conner Greene, RHP, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 6 IP, 5 H, R/ER, 3 BB, 6 K. It’s been a rough first half for Greene after being sent back to High-A to start this season, with this line representing one of his better efforts of the year. Greene still has the upside of a no. 3 starter, but he’s got a little more work to do than may have been expected entering the year.

Cody Ponce, RHP, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 2 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Ponce’s 2016 debut is a strong showing after being pushed to High-A with just 51 professional innings under his belt.

Isan Diaz, SS, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 2-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB. The Brewers pulled a good one in their trade with Arizona, adding Diaz, who could be a quality everyday player when all is said and done. The numbers are down to date, but Diaz has significant offensive potential and should get on track as the season moves forward.

Trevor Oaks, RHP, Dodgers (Double-A Tulsa): 7 IP, H, 0 R/ER, BB, 4 K. Oaks has a broad arsenal and a quality sinker that has led to success as a professional. So far in Double-A this season, Oaks has continued to perform well, highlighted by a dominating performance last night. He won’t miss enough bats to be an impact arm, but he’s a workhorse who could find an MLB role down the line.

Adam Plutko, RHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, BB, 13 K. A dominating performance from Plutko accentuates what has been a nice start to his continued efforts in Double-A. A move to Triple-A appears in his future and he could help the Indians at some point in 2017.

Francisco Mejia, C, Indians (Low-A Lake County): 3-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI. I highlighted Mejia’s breakout yesterday and he just keeps on posting strong games, including this three-hit performance with another bomb.

Tyler O’Neill, OF, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 8 RBI. A walkoff grand slam? Sure, why not! Not only is O’Neill putting up gaudy numbers in his first taste of Double-A, but he’s starting to turn some doubters into believers within the scouting community.

Wilmer Difo, SS, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB. I mentioned Difo yesterday in the hopes that his 2-for-4 performance may be a start of better things, and he followed that up with two round-trippers and a walk. Maybe, just maybe, he’s finally getting the bat going.

Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 3-5, 3 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI. I enjoyed what I saw out of Gutierrez in the NYPL last summer, though his aggressive approach and modest barrel control still had to be acknowledged. Scouts that have seen Gutierrez this year have been impressed with him physically, and his approach appears to have taken at least a small step forward. Becoming a significant prospect is a long shot, but Gutierrez shouldn’t be ignored at this point.

Michael Gettys, OF, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 4-4, 2 R, BB, SB, CS. Gettys has rebounded nicely in his second trip through the Midwest League, improving his performance across the board. A 4-for-4 night pushes his average up over .300 and his stolen base moves him two past his season total from the entire 2015 campaign.

Harold Arauz, RHP, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K. An unheralded part of the Ken Giles trade with the Astros last off-season, Arauz is a cutter specialist who works his primary offering in the low-90s with good command and an ability to induce weak contact.

Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI. Meadows 2016 performance in Double-A has been nothing short of spectacular. Even as one of his skeptics as he came out of high school and moved through the lower minors, I have to admit he’s been impressive and looks like an impact player at the highest level.

Jacob Faria, RHP, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 7 IP, 4 H, R/ER, 3 BB, 9 K. Faria’s 2016 performance has been somewhat less than expected, at least in part due to wavering command/control, but he can still burn through a lineup when he has his best stuff.

Wander Javier, SS, Twins (DSL Twins): 3-4, R, 2 2B, RBI, K. The Twins gave Javier $4 million last summer because of his exceptional athleticism, speed, arm strength, defensive potential, and bat speed. He needs to prove he can adjust to professional pitching, but if he does, Javier could be a big-time prospect.

Alexander Palma, OF, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 4-5, 2B, RBI. Palma was a Yankees bonus baby in 2012, receiving $800,000 out of Venezuela as a 16-year old, profiling as a solid right-field prospect. After a rough 2015 season with Low-A Charleston, Palma’s 2016 debut was strong and hopefully hints at the development of his offensive game.

Tyler Mahle, RHP, Reds (High-A Daytona): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Mahle continues to progress as a prospect after entering pro ball as an over-slot seventh rounder in 2013. He commands a low-90s sinking fastball that reaches 94-95 well, and mixes two good secondary pitches, giving him a chance to be a no. 4 starter if his progression continues.

Brian Mundell, 1B, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI. Another prospect making his 2016 debut, Mundell has that challenging right-right first-base profile that is oh so difficult to navigate, but he also owns the legitimate plus raw power to make it work. With an ability to control the strike zone and the patience to work counts, Mundell finds pitches he can drive. If he can begin driving the ball out of the park instead of into the gaps, he could gain some recognition as a first-base prospect, such as they are.

Mark Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mark's other articles. You can contact Mark by clicking here

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