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June 14, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of June 12-13

by Zach Mortimer

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Games of Wednesday, June 12

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Matthew Koch, RHP, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K; potential plus fastball; potential plus changeup; average slider; may be better utilized in a relief role.

Position Prospect of the Day: Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, K. Franco impressed me this spring. He has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order bat. Some question his defensive ability, but scouts I have spoken with think that he will be able to stick at third without question; .342/.390/.711 with 2 2B and 4 HR in last 38 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on June 12:

“The Good

  • Cito Culver, SS, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 2-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K; a glimmer of hope out of this former first-round selection.
  • Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K; A good quote I got recently from a scout, “If he (Gallo) gets it… watch the (expletive) out"; .245/.337/.585 with 15 2B, 2 3B, 21 HR, and 7 SB.
  • Austin Hedges, C, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, K. Hedges is regarded as the best prep catcher in recent memory; some scouts believed he was good enough to catch in the majors from day one. He is not a zero offensively, and is showing that he will provide more than enough on that side of the ball, too; .400/.472/.700 with 6 2B and 1 HR in last 30 at-bats.
  • Trevor May, RHP, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 6.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. May was the main prospect in the Ben Revere trade made this offseason; plus-plus fastball; potential plus curveball; average changeup. The issue with May is that his command is below average at best.
  • Peter O'Brien, C, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, K. O’Brien shows raw power and the ability to square up mistakes, but most feel he will never be good enough behind the plate to play there everyday; .331/.401/.641 with 21 2B and 11 HR in 181 at-bats.
  • Lex Rutledge, LHP, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K; potential plus fastball; plus curveball; power relief profile.
  • Joseph Wendle, 2B, Indians (High-A Carolina): 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI. When I talk about a player who has natural hitting ability, I think of a player like Joe Wendle. He has natural bat-to-ball abilities. He lacks high end tools, but I do believe the hit tool will be enough to get him to the major leagues in a bench role; .302/.392/.535 with 11 2B, 2 3B, and 5 HR in 129 at-bats.

“The Bad”

The fact that I was writing this and my power went out and computer died before I was able to save the document.

“The Ugly”

The reaction to “The Bad.”

Games of Thursday, June 13

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 K; easy plus fastball; easy plus curveball; solid-average changeup. I don’t know what Anthony Ranaudo did this past offseason, but he has come back a changed man; 67.0 IP, 41 H, 16 ER, 21 BB, 76 K in 12 starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Jason Martinson, SS, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 3-5, 3 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 K; Martinson is a different kind of prospect. He was a college guy (Texas State) and has tools, but he is kind of raw because he was a two-sport guy to start his college career. I liked what I saw from Martinson, but he will need to get to Double-A in the near future.

Other notable prospect performances on June 13:

“The Good”

  • Martin Agosta, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; I will enjoy seeing Agosta next week at the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. I hope that will be his last inning thrown in Low-A; 61.2 IP, 41 H, 15 ER, 25 BB, 81 K in 11 starts.
  • Albert Almora, CF, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 3-4, 2B, 3B, R, 3 RBI, K; Good quote about Almora: “He is a guy you want on your team. He plays the game the right way. Usually, when I bring up guys that play the game the right way, it is to cover up for their lack of tools; not the case here”; .413/.451/.547 with 7 2B and 1 HR in last 75 at-bats.
  • A.J. Cole, RHP, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K: plus-plus fastball; potential plus curveball; developing changeup. I was talking to a scout tonight about Cole, and he said, “I’m eager to see his growth, because last year when I saw him in the California League, it was not what I expected”; 18.1 IP, 13 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 29 K in three June starts.
  • Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Well, Joey, are you showing me a little consistency?
  • Taylor Jordan, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 9.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K; plus fastball; solid-average slider; average changeup; plus pitchability. I’ve heard good things about Jordan; the ceiling may not be crazy high, but he’s a future big leaguer; 41.0 IP, 26 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 39 K.
  • Marcus Knecht, LF, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 4-5, 2 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, K. I saw Knecht this spring, and do not believe he is an everyday big-league regular. In the past he has shown the ability to make consistent hard contact, but quality pitching will give him trouble; .303/.395/.545 with 3 2B, 1 3B, and 1 HR in last 33 at-bats.
  • Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; solid-average fastball; plus slider; solid-average changeup; usable curveball. Lee profiles best as a future mid-rotation starter and is not all that far from being big league ready; 14.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 14 K in three June outings.
  • Cody Martin, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K; plus fastball; plus slider; average curveball; average changeup; potential back-end starter; 67.0 IP, 63 H, 21 ER, 27 BB, 71 K in 16 outings this year.
  • Bruce Rondon, RHP, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Rondon should get a shot to lock down the ninth inning for the Tigers at some point in the near future. However, if he does not have early success, it looks like Detroit may be in the mood to deal for a proven closer.
  • Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 3-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB. From what I’ve heard, Singleton is still physically getting into shape after sitting out 50 games. He has top-shelf ability at the plate and will need to hit in order to fit the profile.

“The Bad”

Domingo Santana, RF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 0-5, 3 K. Santana has had a great season thus far, but he will always have a swing-and-miss aspect to his game.

“The Ugly”

Courtney Hawkins, CF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 0-5, 5 K. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have never seen it in Hawkins. This is the fifth game I’ve seen him play this year, and I believe he has one hit. He was dominated tonight by fringy pitchers. He has no chance against any breaking ball, but the scary part for me was that he was getting beat with average fastballs. Defensively, he will eventually have to move off of center field. I hope he can figure it out, but for me, his stock is way down.

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

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