June 16, 2017
June 16, 2017
Let me start you with a rather significant move. Not pertaining to a TOP PROSPECT, but one that caught my eye for its international significance: the Phillies assigned LHP Anton Mikhailovich Kuznetsov to the GCL Phillies from the DSL Phillies. It’s no surprise, the 19-year-old hails from Moscow, Russia, and was signed this offseason. A move like this is often a political move—no, no one in the Phillies org is trying to get elected in Russia. Rather, it is an easy negotiation icebreaker for the next Russian baseball player. For example, when the next bidding war for a Russian talent comes…if that ever happens…the Phils can say, “Hey! We signed Kuznetsov back in 2016…So clearly, we believe in the Russian talent. Can you at least give us a consideration?” Kuznetsov may one day achieve many baseball milestone, but for guys like me, Steve Givarz, and others, he isn’t going to be something more than a novelty until he cracks 90 mph. If you do a quick Google search and you find this: a recording of an indoor bullpen session, and here’s a side view. Things I like so far, aside from a lefty throwing a white spherical object from a dwarf-sized mound: his shameless Call-My-Agent shirt.
Welcome to Clearwater, Florida, Kuznetsov!
We now return you to your normal programming…
To The DL
Pirates 2B prospect Kevin Kramer was placed on the DL with a fractured right hand. Providing solid defense in Double-A, he is slashing .297/.380/.500. Many thanks to Greg Goldstein, here is his insight on him: Kramer is a solid, but unspectacular prospect that is overshadowed by his fellow middle infielder, Kevin Newman. Nevertheless, his hit tool should still play as average because of his ability to spray the ball all over the field. He doesn’t have a power approach, so he won’t make much of an impact there, but he does have the fielding chops and a reasonable enough arm to play second base effectively. Kramer could start as a second division regular if he begins to handle inside pitches better, but his upside is not so high. You can also read his eyewitness report here.
Toronto Blue Jays 2014 first rounder C Max Pentecost was placed on the DL. With a career marred by injuries, Pentecost did not play in 2015 and only appeared as DH in 2016. This season for High-A Dunedin his playing time as been split between C, 1B and DH. Recently a MiLB article was written featuring an interview with him, it is a good read, highlighting his successes this year as well as gives insight to Pentecost’s thoughts in particular managing injury. Another Blue Jays prospect, 2016 fourth-round draft pick OF Joshua Palacios is on the DL for A-Ball Lansing Lugnuts. While at Auburn, he had a nagging wrist injury though no word on what the injury is this time.