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April 27, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of April 25-26

by Zach Mortimer

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Games of Thursday, April 25

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Chris Stratton, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 11 K; great pitcher’s frame; four-pitch mix (fastball/slider/curveball/change); fastball and slider have plus potential; curveball and changeup will be usable major-league pitches; developing command; a bit old, at 22, for Low-A; 22.2 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 8 BB, 28 K in four starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Matt Lipka, CF, Braves (High-A Lynchburg): 4-5, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB, K; plus speed; struggles to elevate balls; average arm; aggressive mentality; .218/.279/.397 in 78 at-bats.

“The Good”

  • Christian Binford, RHP, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K; big frame; solid-average fastball potential; fringy curveball; developing changeup; back-end ceiling; 21.2 IP, 19 H, 9 ER, 6 BB, 22 K in four starts.
  • Jayce Boyd, 1B, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI; excellent contact hitter; 22 years old; limited to first base defensively; power is fringy at best; going to need to continue hitting at a very high level as he progresses to High-A; .429/.516/.623 with 9 doubles and 2 home runs in 77 at-bats.
  • Edward Butler, RHP, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; plus fastball; potential plus slider; developing changeup; prospect on the rise; 29.1 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 14 BB, 25 K in five starts.
  • Byron Buxton, CF, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 3-5, 2 2B, HR, 4 R, 5 RBI; five-tool potential; elite runner; easy plus raw power; hit tool could be plus; defensive profile could be plus. Buxton, the number-two selection of the 2012 draft, has come out and lit up Low-A; .419/.526/.694 with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 7 stolen bases, 13 walks, and 12 strikeouts in 62 at-bats in 2013.
  • Tim Cooney, LHP, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; fastball that sits in the low 90s; changeup has solid-average potential; curveball and cutter are both fringy offerings; 21.0 IP, 28 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 12 K in four starts.
  • Thomas Coyle, 2B, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 3-3, 3B, HR, R, RBI, BB; solid contact; solid average runner; good baseball instincts; not as good of a prospect as his brother, Sean Coyle, who is in the Red Sox system; .333/.463/.561 in 66 at-bats.
  • Kentrail Davis, OF, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, K; solid-average hit tool; average power potential; solid average runner; will have to play a corner-outfield position; fringy prospect; .286/.394/.405 in 84 at-bats this season.
  • Nick Franklin, 2B, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 5-5, 2 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB; switch-hitter who is much better from left side; potential to hit for average with average power; fits much better defensively at second base as opposed to short; will be a nice major-leaguer, but don’t expect a superstar; .388/.500/.592 in 49 at-bats thus far.
  • Tyler Heineman, C, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 4-4, 2B, R; big-time gamer; contact-oriented swing; solid-average defender; backup catcher profile.
  • Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (Double-A New Britian): 6.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; acquired for Denard Span; easy plus-plus fastball; slider has plus-plus potential; changeup a work in progress; still working to develop command of all pitches; some scouts believe his future is in the bullpen; 22.0 IP, 21 H, 4 ER, 8 BB, 26 K in four starts this year.
  • Wil Myers, RF, Rays (Double-A Durham): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K; centerpiece of the James Shields package; plus hit tool; plus power; plus bat speed; plus arm; smooth swing; middle-of-the-lineup potential; will be in the big leagues by mid-June; .316/.413/.474 in 76 at-bats this season.
  • Tyler Naquin, CF, Indians (High-A Carolina): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB; hitting mechanics will need significant modifications for him to handle quality velocity; both hits were to opposite field; unable to pull the baseball.
  • Renato Nunez, 3B, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2K; the power could be plus; hit tool has solid-average potential; arm will be enough for third base; good makeup; .395/.425/.763 with 5 doubles and 3 homeruns in last 38 at-bats.
  • Roberto Osuna, RHP, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; plus potential fastball; plus potential curveball; split-change will be a usable pitch; high-maintenance body; number-three ceiling; 18.1 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 26 K in four starts. 
  • Francisco Peguero, OF, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI; has bat speed; will expand the strike zone; questions about plate discipline could be serious; power has average potential; plus runner; fringy defender in center who profiles better defensively as a corner outfielder; proceed with caution; .417/.429/.542 only four extra-base hits in 48 at-bats thus far.
  • Kevin Plawecki, C, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI; good contact skills; developing power, which may be average; developing defensive skills. Plawecki’s bat could handle the promotion to the next level, but his defense is still a work in progress; .392/.447/.703 with 11 doubles and 4 home runs in 74 at-bats in 2013.
  • Gregory Polanco, CF, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB; five-tool potential; plus raw power; plus runner who glides after first few steps; plus defensive profile in center field; .342/.402/.461 in 76 at-bats this season.  
  • Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K; plus-plus fastball; curveball flashes plus; cutter is an easy plus pitch; will have to develop a splitter; will fit in nicely behind Felix Hernandez in the Mariners rotation; 29.0 IP, 15 H, 5 ER, 18 BB, 32 K in 5 starts.

“The Bad”

  • Jordan Akins, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 0-4, 2 K; after major struggles in 2012, Akins has showed signs of life at the plate in 2013; .273/.293/.397 in 73 at-bats in 2013.
  • Barrett Barnes, OF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 0-5, 2 K; after starting 2013 back in extended spring training, Barnes has struggled to make hard contact in Low-A; 5-for-30 with 7 strikeouts this year.
  • Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 0-5, 4 K; nights like this happen in baseball.
  • Ethan Martin, RHP, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 4 K; command could relegate him to the bullpen long term; 16 walks in 17.1 IP this season.
  • Evan Marzilli, CF, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 0-5, 4 K; plus runner; still working on plate discipline; solid defensive profile; fringy prospect at this point.
  • Mike Olt, 3B, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 0-4, 2 K; major struggles at the plate thus far; lengthy swing getting him in trouble; 10-for-72 with 32 strikeouts this season.

 “The Ugly”

Mike Zunino, C, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 0-4, R, RBI, BB, 4 K; started the season strong, but has slumped since then.

Games of Friday, April 26

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K; fastball is a monster; curveball is a monster; changeup is developing; monster potential; 28.2 IP, 22 H, 4 ER, 10 BB, 43 K in five starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, K; early promotion to Double-A; plus-plus power potential; classic right-field profile; could also rack up plenty of strikeouts; .303/.368/.727 with 4 home runs in 33 at-bats at Double-A this season.  

“The Good”

  • Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 2-4, 2 2B, R, RBI, BB, K; hit the ball hard all night; short swing; easy power; loud contact; best game I’ve seen him have in a year.
  • Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; has struggled with command thus far in 2013; fastball has plus potential; curveball and changeup are currently average.
  • Grant Green, 2B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, K; hit tool will be his carrying tool; fringy runner; gap power; profiles best at keystone defensively; second-division second baseman ceiling; .315/.390/.467 with 5 doubles and 3 home runs in 92 at-bats thus far.
  • Tyler Matzek, LHP, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; four-pitch mix (fastball/curveball/slider/changeup); all flash plus; command wavers; potential to be a number-two starter; 18.1 IP, 15 H, 6 ER, 13 BB, 20 K in four starts.
  • JR Murphy, C, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI, K; power potential; short stroke; developing defensive skills; prospect on the rise; .323/.427/.597 with 5 doubles and 4 home runs in 62 at-bats thus far.
  • Jose Ramirez, RHP, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; plus-plus fastball; plus changeup with good sink; developing slider; has not stayed healthy in his career thus far.
  • Robbie Ray, LHP, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; three-pitch mix (fastball/slider/changeup); struggled in 2012; 29.0 IP, 18 H, 5 ER, 12 BB, 34 K in five starts.
  • Danny Salazar, RHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K; plus-plus fastball; plus slider; changeup a work in progress; number-three starter ceiling; 22.2 IP, 21 H, 9 ER, 7 BB, 31 K in five starts.
  • Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; injury history; plus fastball; changeup with plus potential; fringy curveball with average potential; 23.0 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 25 K in 5 outings this year in Low-A.

“The Bad”

  • Zach Bird, RHP, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3.0 IP, 4 H, 8 ER, 8 BB, 3 K; young pitcher still working to repeat his delivery so that he is able to command his arsenal.
  • Jackie Bradley, CF, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 0-5, 3 K; recently demoted from the big leagues; excellent plate discipline; rare to see him to swing and miss.
  • Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 0-3, R, 3 K; Sano has been mashing all season, but the swing will always have some miss in it.

“The Ugly”

Addison Russell, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 0-5, 2 K; it has been a struggle for Russell, the A’s 2012 first-round selection, to adjust to the High-A challenge; .171/.321/.239 in 46 at-bats this season.

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,  Slider,  Changeup,  Double Switch,  Fastball,  Quad-a

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