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July 29, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Sunday, July 28

by Zach Mortimer

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Christian Binford, RHP, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K. Binford has an extremely tall frame, standing 6-foot-6, and he utilizes it to create good plane on his low-90s fastball. Earlier this season, Binford showed a curveball that flashed solid average and a changeup that was very inconsistent. He still had some mechanical issues that he needed to iron out, but the recent performance may suggest that Binford is ready to step onto the prospect radar; 45.0 IP, 37 H, 5 ER, 7 BB, 51 K in last seven starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Wilmer Flores, 2B, Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI. Flores continues to play second base in Triple-A, and it looks like the Mets are going to give him a shot to prove that he can handle it in The Show. Flores makes solid contact and has the potential to have a solid-average hit tool with plus power. After a rollercoaster prospect journey, Flores profiles as a solid-average regular going forward.

Other notable prospect performances on July 28:

“The Good”

  • Danny Duffy, LHP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Just a reminder for those of you that pay attention to this sort of thing: Duffy is just about ready to come back and make a difference at the major-league level.
  • C.J. Edwards, RHP, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. In his Cubs debut, Edwards came out and shoved. Edwards features a fastball that works in the low 90s, but can touch more when he needs it. The fastball has natural cutting life and is a plus pitch. Edwards complements the fastball with a curveball that flashes plus and a developing changeup. Edwards has a small frame and some question whether he will be able to remain a starter, but he has an incredible work ethic and a very athletic delivery, all of which works in his favor as he tries to stick toward the back end of a rotation.
  • Edwin Escobar, LHP, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. Escobar continues to pile up innings and miss bats in Double-A. He utilizes an exceptional FB/CH combination to keep hitters off balance. The breaking ball will never be plus, but Escobar uses it when he needs to and it works fine in that role; he profiles as a back-end starter; 24.0 IP, 20 H, 8 ER, 5 BB, 26 K in four Double-A starts.
  • Dilson Herrera, 2B, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K. I spoke with a scout that really liked Herrera. His noted that Herrera creates loud contact and looks much better on the right side of the infield. Herrera doesn’t have a huge ceiling and most likely will be a second-division second baseman, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pirates dangle his name in trade talks; .351/.400/.622 with 2 2B, 1 3B, and 2 HR in last 37 at-bats.
  • Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, K. Lindsey has established himself as the Angels’ top prospect, in my opinion. Lindsey is not the most toolsy player, but he is a solid bat-to-ball guy and makes the most of his abilities.
  • Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 Er, 2 BB, 7 K. Martinez has taken a major step forward this season. Those I speak to in the industry feel that he is going to get a chance to stick as a starter. Martinez has a plus-plus fastball that can touch more when he needs it, an easy plus curveball, and a plus-plus changeup. The frame isn’t ideal for a starter, but my contacts believe he could make the most of his opportunity and become a frontline starter down the road.
  • Mason Melotakis, LHP, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapidds): 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. The Twins have let Melotakis cut up the Midwest League with his easy plus fastball, plus slider, and developing changeup. Another Twins prospect stepping forward in 2013, Melotakis has put himself firmly on the radar.
  • Sam Selman, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. Selman has had a rocky road in 2013. Wilmington is very close to my house and I get to see a majority of his starts; to say his command has let him down would be an understatement. However, Selman flashes the makings of a plus slider, and when he is right, the fastball reaches the mid 90s. The problem with Selman is that his mechanics are very rigid, making it extremely difficult for him to repeat his delivery. He is a reliever all the way, and if the command can be at least below average, he can be a pretty solid one.
  • Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. I’ve been onboard since I watched him pitch on the backfields in his days with the Blue Jays. The fastball is a plus-plus pitch that can touch the upper 90s with extreme plane. The curveball has taken major steps forward and gets plus grades, and the changeup will be at least average and has the potential to be solid average. Syndergaard is going to profile as a number-two pitcher in the same rotation as Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

“The Bad”

  • Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 1.1 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 2 K. Sometimes when the command goes, the command really goes.
  • Cito Culver, SS, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 0-5, 4 K. Oh, Cito, next year you may run for Mayor of Charleston.
  • Brian Goodwin, OF, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 1-5, 4 K. Goodwin has struggled to consistently barrel Double-A pitching.

“The Return”

Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 1-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K. After being benched for four consecutive games Sano, returned to the lineup on Sunday. The benching may have been deserved, because I got a text from someone who was at the game when Sano was doing things he should not have been doing. The things he did were not severe, but he needed to understand you can’t do stuff like that.

***

If anyone has any questions about specific prospects in games that took place on Friday or Saturday night, feel free to ask in the comments section. Also, please join me in my first Baseball Prospectus chat this morning at 11:00 a.m. ET.

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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