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April 16, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, April 15

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Allen Webster, RHP, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K; With a fastball up to 95, a plus changeup, and a usable slider, Webster is close to making the jump to the majors.

Position Prospect of the Day: Michael Choice, CF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-2, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB; Choice offers plus-plus raw power, but we may also be seeing an improving plan at the plate; five walks in his last 15 plate appearances.

Other notable prospect performances from April 15:

 “The Good”

  • Zoilo Almonte, CF, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 4-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB; Almonte profiles best as a fourth outfielder with the ability to play all three defensive positions. He is a switch-hitter who will provide adequate production off the bench.
  • Carlos Contreras, RHP, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; Contreras mixes a plus-plus fastball with a solid-average changeup, but he is still searching for a usable breaking ball.
  • C.J. Edwards, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; One of the best stories in the minor leagues. Edwards, a 48th-round selection in 2011, comes from a small town in South Carolina. He grew up without the funds to travel and showcase his arm for scouts. The Rangers got a steal in Edwards, who offers a fastball up to 98 with good life. His improving curve and change could both become major-league-caliber pitches in time.
  • Brett Eibner, CF, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-4, HR, R, RBI, K; Well, on April 15, Eibner finally decided to start his season. Let’s hope that from here on out, he will be able to make enough contact to tap into his plus raw power.
  • Todd Glaesmann, OF, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K; Plus power potential with a plus arm gives Glaesmann a classic right-field profile.
  • Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K; Lee has an athletic frame with the ability to command four pitches (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup). He may not miss enough bats to be a frontline starter, but he should have plenty of pitchability to stick in the middle of a rotation.
  • Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; Nelson relies on a plus-plus fastball and a slider that should allow him to pitch meaningful innings at the back end of the bullpen. Most believe that his mechanical flaws will prevent him from staying a starter.
  • Brandon Nimmo, CF, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 3-5, HR, R, 5 RBI; With a potential solid-average hit tool and power potential, Nimmo is looking to polish his raw offensive skillset with every at-bat; 16-for-39 with a double, a triple, a homer, and 10 RBI so far.
  • Vidal Nuno, LHP, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; A crafty lefty with a four-pitch mix (fastball/curveball/slider/changeup), Nuno relies on pitchability more than stuff. I do not believe that the Yankees would turn to him in the event of a rotation opening in the near future.
  • Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, K; No one should question Rendon’s ability to contribute offensively (7 hit and 5+ power); the question is whether he will ever be able to stay on the field for an entire season.
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; Rodriguez uses a plus fastball with a slider and changeup that both could be major-league-level pitches.
  • Jesus Solorzano, RF, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 3-4, HR, 2 R, RBI; Although his toolkit includes plus power, the 22-year-old Solorzano is still developing his approach at the plate, so we should proceed with caution before placing him at the center of the prospect radar.
  • Domingo Tapia, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; A plus-plus fastball that can touch 97 with major sink and a plus changeup allow Tapia to make inferior hitters look foolish.
  • Jose Urena, RHP, Marlins (High-A Jupiter): 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K; Urena’s three-pitch arsenal includes a plus-plus fastball, a potential plus slider, and a developing changeup. He will try to fill the prospect void left by Jose Fernandez’s promotion to the majors.

 “The Bad”

  • Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 0-4, BB, 3 K; Tough start to the season for Bogaerts, who dazzled in the Carolina League in 2012; 7-for-41 with 14 strikeouts so far.
  • Matt Lipka, CF, Braves (High-A Lynchburg): 0-5, RBI, 3 K; Lipka, a 2010 supplemental first-round selection, still has a long way to go at the plate.
  • Jake Petricka, RHP, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Petricka, a former top 10 prospect in the White Sox system, has regressed since moving to the bullpen full time. His command is still a work in progress.
  • Richie Shaffer, 3B, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 0-4, 4 K; Shaffer, a 2012 first-round selection, is still transitioning from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Florida State League.
  • Jacob Thompson, RHP, Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 4.0 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; Thompson is finding too many barrels, slowly moving himself down and off of prospect lists.

“The Ugly”

Courtney Hawkins, CF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 0-4, 4 K; The 19-year-old has had his share of ups and downs so far in 2013, and the golden sombrero marks one of his lowest lows.

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

Related Content:  Triple-A,  Double Switch

14 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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evo34

Any idea what the Nats' plan is for Rendon? It seems like if they want him to be a 2B long-term, they should be having him play 2B in the minors now...but he's not.

Apr 16, 2013 00:56 AM
rating: 0
 
jmoultz
(440)

The generally cited concern about moving Rendon to 2B is not his ability to play there, it's his serious injuries to both ankles. Secondbasemen take a beating turning double plays, of course, so if you're WAS would you rather risk another injury that keeps his bat out of the lineup or find another position for him? It's a tough spot for them to be in.

Apr 16, 2013 15:03 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Zach Mortimer
BP staff

Right now I believe they just want him to get at-bats and stay off the disabled list. Many scouts I have talked to believe he will be able to make the transition to second if needed. The infield in Washington is a bit crowded at the moment, but things like these tend to figure themselves out.

Apr 16, 2013 03:53 AM
 
Hudson Belinsky

Really good work, Zach. Both times that I've seen Webster his slider's been filthy, and the changeup has been usable. Interesting if he's shown the opposite lately.

Apr 16, 2013 05:56 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Zach Mortimer
BP staff

Talked to someone at the start really liked both secondary's. He had the change-up slightly ahead, but as you know with any pitcher might have just been the night and the feel he had going for the specific pitch.

Apr 16, 2013 06:41 AM
 
tballgame

For Boegarts, 7-14 with 14 strikeouts seems like there may be a misprint.

Apr 16, 2013 05:56 AM
rating: 0
 
warpigs

it's a typo - 41 ABs

Apr 16, 2013 06:43 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Zach Mortimer
BP staff

Yeah, that would be pretty crazy. 7-41 with 14 strikeouts thus far for Bogaerts.

Apr 16, 2013 06:49 AM
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

Fixed.

Apr 16, 2013 09:46 AM
 
Cromulent

When you say "solid-average" hit tool for Nimmo, does that mean more than a 50 or less? Term has always confused me. Thanks.

Apr 16, 2013 07:09 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Zach Mortimer
BP staff

Solid-average for me is normally a 55. In some instances it will just mean a little more than 50, but in this case it is a 55.

Apr 16, 2013 08:32 AM
 
Dave Holgado

"I'd say strong to... quite strong."

Apr 16, 2013 13:10 PM
rating: 0
 
timber

Trying to figure out Boegaerts line so far...he's 7-for-14 with 14 strikeouts?

Apr 16, 2013 07:48 AM
rating: 0
 
timber

Oh, I got it now. 7-for-41.

Apr 16, 2013 07:48 AM
rating: 0
 
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