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August 29, 2013

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, August 28

by Zach Mortimer

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“The Good”

  • James Baldwin, CF, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 2-2, 3B, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB. Baldwin has tools—such as solid-average running ability, power potential, and the ability to play center field. However, he will sell out far too often for power and not make consistent contact. Baldwin will get every opportunity, but he will have to start making contact soon or he will fall completely off the prospect radar.
  • Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 2-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB. Candelario has had somewhat of a hot streak here to end the 2013 season. He has the tools, but he will have to apply them more consistently if he wants to stay on the radar; .286/.333/.524 with 4 2B and 2 HR.
  • A.J. Cole, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Cole offers a fastball that works in the mid 90s and can be a dominant offering. However, some scouts that I have spoken with question how consistent the secondary offerings will be. Cole will be a major-leaguer, but let’s approach him with some caution; 45.1 IP, 31 H, 11 ER, 10 BB, 49 K in 7 starts.
  • Brett Eibner, CF, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB. Eibner offers bat speed and power potential. He also offers the ability to be an asset defensively, but if he does not make more consistent contact, it will all be for naught.
  • Jordan John, LHP, Tigers (Low-A West Michigan): 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 13 K. John doesn’t offer one plus pitch, but he is able to attack hitters with his four-pitch mix. He uses a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup with a clean delivery that allows him to command all of his pitches. He will have to prove himself against advanced competition; 39.2 IP, 39 H, 15 ER, 12 BB, 43 K in last 10 appearances.
  • Kevin Keyes, 1B, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 2-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB. Keyes has plus raw power, but uses a long swing and will have trouble making consistent contact versus advanced pitching. He provides minimal defensive value and should not really be considered a major prospect.
  • Dalton Pompey, CF, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 3-5, 2 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI. Pompey is an athletic prospect with solid-average speed and deceptive strength. He needs to prove he can consistently square up quality pitching before he really enters the prospect realm.
  • Chipper Smith, RHP, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K. On this night, Mr. Smith had it working. The scouting report is very limited, and I do not believe he is much of a prospect, but I’m sure he’ll never forget this one.
  • Bubba Starling, CF, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI. I’m without a doubt the guy still holding the flag for Bubba. The overall combination of tools could be pretty crazy. He has the potential to have plus power, plus-plus running ability, and a plus-plus defensive profile. The hit tool needs work, but if it even reaches below average, Bubba has the chance to be a game-changer; .333/.364/.619 with 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR in last 42 at-bats.

“The Bad”

  • Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 7 BB, 4 K. Biddle started the year strong, but it has been a struggle down the stretch.
  • Keury De La Cruz, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 0-4, 3 K. De La Cruz takes a healthy swing, and that will lead to nights like this on occasion.
  • Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 0-4, 3 K. Williams' feel for hitting is superior to his teammates' in Hickory, but on this night it looks like he caught the strikeout bug.

“The Ugly”

The weather in Wilmington. It looked like it was going to be clear, so I could go and see first-rounder Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez, but what happens when I get over there? The skies open up, and now tomorrow gets even busier. Speaking of tomorrow—it will be the final MLU of the season. I’m not even sure where to start, but I just want to thank everyone that took the time to read these this year.

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:  Prospects,  Minor Leagues,  A.J. Cole,  James Baldwin

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