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August 2, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Thursday, August 1

by Chris Rodriguez

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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Andrew Heaney, LHP, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. While not throwing a game with huge numbers, Heaney pitched very well in his first start at Double-A after dominating the Florida State League. Armed with a plus fastball and curve, he could be seeing his prospect status rise if he continues on this pace.

Position Prospect of the Day: Tyler Heineman, C, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 7 RBI. Heralded as a good defensive catcher getting drafted out of UCLA, Heinemann has hit very well in his first two seasons of pro ball. And while he is in a launching pad in Lancaster, the friendly confines can only aid him further up the chain.

Other notable prospect performances on August 1:

“The Good”

  • Julio Urias. LHP, Dodgers (Class A Great Lakes): 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. You know the deal already. Just the fact that Urias is 16 years old and pitching in full-season ball is ridiculous enough. He’s on an innings limit, obviously, but once the handcuffs come off, watch out.
  • Christian Walker, 1B, Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 3-4, 3 2B, R. Walker has been a traveling man so far this season, as this is his third level of the campaign. He’s small for a first baseman, so that stick really needs to play if he’s going to get a shot.
  • Clayton Blackburn, RHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 8.0, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Blackburn is a prototypical workhorse. His body is built to log innings and he has the type of stuff that can play in the middle of a rotation, maybe even as high as a no. 3.
  • Nolan Fontana, SS, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 1-2, 2 R, 5 BB, 1 RBI. I just love me some Fontana. Honestly, I really could have picked anyone from Lancaster’s lineup; they scored 26 runs on the night. Those five walks really stuck out to me, however. Someone said something about his great eye at the plate... hmmm.
  • Max Fried, LHP, Padres (Class A Fort Wayne): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K. Fried is still very young and working on his craft. With two potential plus pitches (FB and CB) and a developing change, he could be very good soon. Games like this from him are a positive.
  • Christian Lopes, 2B, Blue Jays (Class A Lansing): 3-5, 2B, HR, 5 RBI, K. The first big night in a while for Lopes. He’ll need to have nights like this much more often if he wants to be taken seriously as a prospect.

“The Bad”

  • James Paxton, LHP, Seattle (Triple-A Tacoma): 3.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. Paxton had been fairly consistent his last 10 starts, before this short outing. He could be a back-end guy, but his plus fastball and curve might play better in the bullpen.
  • Michael Ynoa. RHP, Oakland (High-A Stockton) 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K. This isn’t really about the stats: Ynoa was removed from the game with shoulder tightness. Yeesh.

The Ugly

  • Andres Avila, RHP, Oakland (Class A Beloit) 1.0 IP, 13 H, 12 ER, 0 BB, 1K. Well, he didn’t walk anyone, I guess.

The Farewell

These two nights have been fun, but it’s time to hand the reins back to Star Mortimer. He’ll be back Monday. I cover the Cal League for BP, and you can follow me on Twitter (@chrisrod13) if you’d like.

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

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