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August 26, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of August 23-25

by Zach Mortimer

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Games of Friday, August 23

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Kyle Hansen, RHP, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K. Hansen offers a fastball with sink that works in the low 90s and can touch higher. He offers a potential solid-average slider and a changeup that is in the early developmental stages. Hansen has a relief profile and is taking positive steps in 2013.

Position Prospect of the Day: Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 5-6, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 R, 7 RBI. In a recent article I said that Betts would need to make sure he maintains his plate discipline and approach going forward. To clarify that statement, I believe that Betts’ impressive bat speed is the type that can get away from a prospect and tempt him to expand the zone. He is not a free swinger, but against quality stuff he will need to continue to harness his swing. Betts has plenty of tools and has put himself squarely on the prospect radar; .325/.393/.546 with 9 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, and 17 SB in 163 High-A at-bats.

“The Good”

Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-5, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI. Alfaro has potential plus-plus power and is a top-notch athlete. The hit tool still needs work, but Alfaro has top-of-the-scale bat speed and should be able to make small tweaks in order to make more consistent contact going forward. This season was not the huge breakout for Alfaro, but at any moment the switch could go on, and his ceiling rivals that of any prospect in the minors; .282/.349/.641 with 2 2B, 4 HR, and 2 SB in last 39 at-bats.

Hunter Dozier, 3B, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 4-4, 2B, R, RBI. Dozier was the butt of many jokes on draft night, but he has come to play in 2013. He has a strong, athletic frame and should develop over-the-fence power going forward;.342/.390/.474 with 5 2B in 38 at-bats.

C.J. Edwards, RHP, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Edwards offers a fastball with life that works in the low 90s and can touch higher, a solid-average curveball, and a developing changeup. Because of his frame, his ability to handle the workload of a starter is a major question. I believe he will be able to do so; 18.2 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 28 K in five starts.

Sergio Gomez, RHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Gomez has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and flashes above, a changeup that has potential, and a curveball that he’s just beginning to refine. He has potential, but isn’t really on the radar.

Randal Grichuk, RF, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 2-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB. Grichuk will need to make consistent contact to tap into his power. His future is still a bit cloudy; most believe it is a big-league future, but probably in a reserve role.

Eddie Rosario, 2B, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 5-5, 2 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI. Rosario has a very pretty swing and plus natural bat-to-ball ability. He creates bat speed and has power potential, and he offers plus running ability. However, Rosario’s future is tied very closely to his bat, because he does not offer much in the way of defensive ability.

“The Bad”

Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 1-5, SB, 3 K. I saw Sano this weekend and will be seeing him again this week. He is going to be a special player.

“The Ugly”

Trayce Thompson, CF, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 0-4, 3 K. I really liked Thompson, but I always thought he might have trouble making consistent contact.

Games of Saturday, August 24

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Sam Selman, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 8.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K. I’ve seen Selman numerous times; his fastball can work into the mid-90s, and his slider has plus potential. Selman’s curveball and changeup can be usable pitches. On this night, he had it all working, reminding everyone why he received a large bonus out of Vanderbilt.

Position Prospect of the Day: Joey DeMichele, SS, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, K. The White Sox have moved DeMichele to shortstop, but defense is never going to be an asset for him. His swing is contact oriented and lacks bat speed. DeMichele profiles as a potential utility option going forward.

“The Good”

Sean Coyle, 2B, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K. Coyle offers potential plus power and plus running ability, but his future will depend on making enough contact to apply his supplemental skills. His hit tool will have to hit its ceiling for him to be playable on an everyday basis.

Steven Matz, LHP, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Check out the Ten Pack to read more about Matz.

Francellis Montas, RHP, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. Montas was one of the major pieces in the Jake Peavy trade. He offers a fastball that can work in the upper 90s, but he’ll need to develop his secondary offerings to succeed.

Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K. Odorizzi has a mature arsenal and could be useful at the major-league level for most clubs. His ultimate role will be as a solid back-of-the-rotation starter.

Tyler Webb, LHP, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. In this installment of “a non-prospect shoving,” Tyler Webb had a great outing in Charleston.

“The Bad”

Eric Garcia, 2B, Braves (Low-A Rome): 0-4, 3 K. Garcia did not make contact on this night.

Hunter Renfroe, RF, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 1-4, 2B, 3 K. Renfroe has plenty of ability, but hasn’t made consistent contact.

Luis Urena, OF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 0-3, 3 K. Another tough night for Urena.

“The Ugly”

Keon Barnum, 1B, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 0-4, RBI, 3 K. After being drafted high in 2012, Barnum has not impressed many scouts as a professional.

Games of Sunday, August 25

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Jonathan Gray, RHP, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Jonathan Gray was selected third overall, and he’s pitching like he wants to prove to everyone that he was the top talent in the draft.

Position Prospect of the Day: Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB. Sano offers top-of-the-scale raw power, and he will hit more than enough to tap into it. Defensively, he has a rocket for an arm and is more than adequate at third base.

“The Good”

Chris Beck, RHP, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Beck has a fastball that works in the low 90s, and the potential for an average slider/changeup combination. Some have seen him struggle to sustain velocity this season.

Luke Jackson, RHP, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Jackson has a heater that works in the mid-90s to go along with a potential solid-average curveball and changeup combination. He has some effort in his delivery, and he struggles to command both of his secondary offerings at the same time, but he has the chance to be an impact arm.

Joe Kurrasch, LHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta ): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 K. Kurrasch is not really on the prospect radar, but he used his mature arsenal to rack up quite an impressive stat line.

Deck McGuire, RHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. I’ve never seen McGuire have a good day, but outings like this make you wonder whether he would have more success if he were used in short stints.

Rougned Odor, 2B, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI, K. Odor has the potential to hit for contact with power and speed. He has taken a major step forward in 2013 and needs to be considered one of the best second-base prospects in the game. Odor has an excellent feel for the game and will be an asset defensively.

Tony Renda, 2B, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI. Renda is a college bat spending the entire season in Low-A. He has piled up a very solid stat line, but scouts I’ve talked to do not believe he’ll make a major impact in the future; .291/.378/.405 with 41 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, and 27 SB in 494 at-bats.

Daniel Robertson, SS, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Robertson has the potential to have a solid-average hit tool and provide power. Scouts I’ve spoken with think that ultimately he will have to move to third base, but his offensive ability will keep him on the prospect radar at any position.

Bubba Starling, CF, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 2-4, HR, R, RBI, K. If Starling can have a 4 hit tool, he has the potential to be an impact player. He shows all the other tools that you want and could be a top-of-the-scale defender in centerfield. It’s a small sample, but there are some positive signs for Starling; .333/.381/.667 with 1 2B, 3 3B, and 2 HR in 39 at-bats.

“The Bad”

Josh Bell, RF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 0-4, 3 K. Tough day for Bell, who has actually had a solid season after being sidelined for a majority of last year with an injury.

Cameron Gallagher, C, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 0-4, 2 K. Scouts I spoke to really felt that Gallagher was going to hit, but it appears that he will have to repeat Low-A in 2014.

“The Ugly”

Renato Nunez, 3B, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 0-4, 4 K. Nunez has some violence in his swing and can work himself into trouble at times.

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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