November 1, 2016
Minor League Update
Games of October 31st
Hitter of the Day:
Brett Phillips, CF, Milwaukee Brewers (AFL Salt River Rafters): 3-4, 2 BB, 3 R, 2B, 3 RBI, SB. Salt River put up 17 yesterday, and Phillips was right in the middle of it from the two-hole. His .229 average this season stole the headlines for statline scouters, but he drew walks at a 13 percent clip, and his .278 True Average was comfortably above average for the Southern League. He also continued to display an interesting power-and-speed toolset while young for Double-A. He’s continued to put together extremely patient at-bats during his time in the desert, logging 12 walks in 11 games, and profiles well as a solid top-of-the-order hitter.
Pitcher of the Day:
Kyle McGrath, LHP, San Diego Padres (AFL Peoria Javelinas): 3 IP, H. McGrath was one of my dudes in the season’s first couple months as an exotic over-the-top lefty. The former 36th rounder spent the season dominating the socks off minor leaguers with an outstanding changeup (0.93 ERA, 41 hits allowed in 67.1 innings, with 78 strikeouts to 10 walks), and it was apparently enough for the Padres to flirt with converting him to starting this fall. So far, so good: yesterday marked his fourth three-inning stint of the short season, and he’s allowed all of one run on five hits to date. He tops out in the high-80s and doesn’t have the most durable frame for a starter, but results are results, and he’ll be yet another interesting arm in the Padres’ system to follow next year, especially if the experiment continues.
Others of Note:
Francis Martes, RHP, Houston Astros (AFL Glendale Desert Dogs): 4.2 IP, 2 H, BB, 7 K. The AFL has been a bit of a slog thus far for Martes, but the young fire-baller rebounded with an exquisite performance yesterday in line with his true talent. Martes’ mid-90s fastball hops on hitters right quick, and his hard curve remains one of the best I’ve seen in the last couple seasons of Cal League ball. He turned a lot of heads this year at an extremely young age in Double-A, and boasts the foundation of a frontline profile if the command consistency all comes together.