May 12, 2014
Minor League Update
Games of May 9-11
Friday, May 9
Delino DeShields, OF, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, K. By now, you’ve probably seen the photo of DeShields after he got hit in the jaw with a pitch. He returned to action on Friday in tremendous fashion with a pair of home runs, something he doesn’t normally contribute.
Clint Coulter, C, Brewers (Wisconsin, A-): 2-3, R, HR, 2 BB, K. There are still some questions about whether Coulter will develop well enough to stick behind the plate, but there are few questions about his bat. Coulter is not only hitting for power, with eight home runs on the season, but is controlling the strike zone and ended the weekend with more walks than strik outs.
Garrett Gould, RHP, Dodgers (Chattanooga, AA): 6 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 9 K. A good example of the difference between control and command, Gould throws strikes but not usually good ones. He does have some velocity, however, so when he’s in the zone, he can miss bats.
Giovanny Urshela, 3B, Indians (Columbus, AAA): 3-5, R, HR, K. Urshela has been promoted year after year despite subpar performance at the plate, but he’s rewarded the Indians’ faith with eight home runs this year and a .968 OPS between Double and Triple-A.
Rafael Montero, RHP, Mets (Las Vegas, AAA): 5 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K. There is talk about calling Montero up to the majors to help secure the Mets leaky bullpen, but any players who can post a sub-4.00 ERA in Vegas the way Montero has this year would probably be put to better use helping out their rotation.
Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies (Lehigh Valley, AAA): 2-5, 2 R, HR. Franco is heating up at just the right time, hitting .318 in the month of May.
Saturday, May 10
Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 5-6, R, 2B. Of all of the things Correa can already do, and of all the things he may do well in the future, perhaps none of them are more impressive than his pure hitting ability.
Stephen Piscotty, OF, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 3-5, 3 R, 2 HR. Piscotty is known for his hit tool, but the power is developing nicely and helping him turn into an all-around threat at the plate.
Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 2-5, 2 R, HR, BB, 2 K. Bryant’s home run on Saturday was his 10th of the season and he followed it up with three more hits on Sunday. It’s only slight hyperbole to suggest that, at this rate, Bryant could justifiably be in the majors before Javier Baez, who had another 0-4, 3 K game over the weekend.
Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (Albuquerque, AAA): 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, K, CS. Now hitting .373 with 11 home runs, Pederson clearly isn’t being challenged in the Pacific Coast League. In any other organization, he’d be in the majors, but the Dodgers already have four starters for three spots.
Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, BB, K. There is still a strong debate going about whether he can stay at shortstop or will have to move to third base, but few debate his offensive potential, though he does have an aggressive approach at the plate, much like his other brother Kyle. Seager followed up this game with three more hits and two more doubles on Sunday.
Adam Duvall, 1B, Giants (Fresno, AAA): 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 K. Duvall continues to hit for big-time power but contact issues will plague him throughout his career. He’ll have to hit for this kind of power to be relevant as a first baseman.
Luigi Rodriguez, OF, Indians (Carolina, A+): 4-6, 3 R, 2B, HR, 2 SB. Known more for his speed than his power, Rodriguez showcased both on Saturday. He’s controlling the strike zone better this season than he has at any point as a professional.
Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles (Norfolk, AAA): 4 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K. The Orioles are still keeping a strict eye on Gausman’s pitch count, taking him out mid-inning after 77 pitches, but when he’s on the mound he’s been quite effective.
Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 K. A Gallo-esque day if I’ve ever seen one. Big power, big strikeouts, but enough balance to make a productive hitter.
Sunday, May 11
Billy McKinney, OF, A’s (Stockton, A+): 4-4, 2 R, 2B, BB. McKinney doesn’t have many secondary skills outside of his bat, and he’s struggled with contact thus far in his full-season debut, but even during his struggles he’s maintained his on-base skills.
D.J. Peterson, 3B/1B, Mariners (High Desert, A+): 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR. Peterson has been playing primarily third base, but he got the start at first on Sunday, a position that some believe will be his eventual destination. The power display on Sunday doubled his total for the season as the home runs haven’t come as easily this year as they did in his half-season last year after signing.
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Hagerstown, A-): 6 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 7 K. We told you this winter that health was the only thing standing between Giolito and becoming one of the best pitching prospects in the game. Well, he’s healthy. The control is still working its way back, but Sunday’s start was a step in the right direction.
Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates (Altoona, AA): 2-5, R, 2B, HR, K. Hanson is coming around at the plate after a rough start to the season, but he’s not the Pirates answer at shortstop, as he projects better at second base long term.
Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K. Stephenson has been erratic this season, both from start to start and in throwing strikes in general. He conquered the latter on Sunday and, not coincidentally, was a considerably more effective pitcher.
Orlando Calixte, SS, Royals (Northwest Arkansas, AA): 4-5, 3 R, 2 HR, SB. The Royals have long thought that Calixte’s doubles power would turn into home runs, and in his second game of the season after a delayed start, Calixte began to prove them right.