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June 4, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Monday, June 3

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: John Lamb, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. I was at the start tonight and it was filled with great excitement followed by a bit of a letdown. In the first three innings, Lamb’s fastball worked at 89-91 (T92); he showed plus command, spotting it wherever he wanted to; the curveball was 70-73 with tight spin and downward action; his changeup came in at 72-75 with good life and is a potential plus pitch. In the fourth and fifth inning, Lamb’s fastball worked 81-86; he was unable to command the curveball; the changeup was still quality at 70-74. The fact that Lamb showed he still has the ability to touch the higher velocities is promising, but now he will need to show his arm can sustain these velocities throughout an entire start.

Position Prospect of the Day: Billy Hamilton, CF, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI; off-the-charts speed; taking quality at-bats; gaining polish defensively. I would expect the Reds to keep Hamilton in Triple-A until September; .279/.341/.352 with 15 SB in 122 May at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on June 3:

“The Good”

  • Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 5.2 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. This is a different type of line for Bauer; he usually doesn’t give up this many hits.
  • Keury De La Cruz, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 2-3, 3B, 4 RBI; potential average hit tool; developing power; free swinger; will need to slow down the game; tough-to-fit, corner-outfield profile.
  • Jerad Eickhoff, RHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K; fastball touches plus velocity; solid-average cutter; developing changeup; average curveball; solid command; back-end profile.
  • Kyle Hendricks, RHP, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 7.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; average fastball; fringy curveball and changeup; plus command; back-end starter ceiling; 32.1 IP, 28 H, 7 ER, 5 BB, and 25 K in five May starts.
  • Dillon Maples, RHP, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K; fastball worked 89-91 with cut; curveball has plus potential; developing changeup. The overall consensus on Maples has been lukewarm at best.
  • Brandon Maurer, RHP, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. A positive sign for Maurer, who struggled earlier this season at the major-league level.
  • Christian Villanueva, 3B, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, K; plus defensive profile; solid-average power potential; fringy runner; developing hit tool; great work ethic; will be an everyday third baseman in the future; .304/.357/.500 with 12 2B, 1 3B, and 2 HR in 102 at-bats.

 “The Bad”

  • Jake Arrieta, RHP, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 5.2 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Not the kind of start Orioles fans want to see from someone who was supposed to be contributing for the big-league club.
  • Brandon Jacobs, LF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 0-4, 3 K; The length in the swing will always make it challenging for Jacobs to make consistent contact.
  • Anthony Rendon, 2B, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 0-5, 2 K. Well, Rendon is now in Triple-A, and the Nationals may need him in The Show sooner than later.

“The Maddness”

I know everyone may not enjoy the sound of the aluminum bats, but the coverage of the College Baseball Regionals that was provided by ESPN this week could be a game-changer. The “Bases Loaded” channel essentially took you to the game with the most action almost immediately. Overall, I was very impressed by this coverage, and the future of College Baseball is looking way up if something like this is done during the regular season in 2014. 

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:  Jerad Eickhoff

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