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June 4, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Tuesday, June 3

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Jabari Blash, OF, Mariners (Tacoma, AAA): 3-5, 3 R, 3 HR, K.
Blash has struggled mightily since a promotion to Triple-A a few weeks ago, but Tuesday’s game offers a glimpse of what his power can do. He’s flawed, with a poor swing path that leads to large strikeout numbers, but he does work walks and hit for power, giving him a chance to carve out a bench role.

Pitcher of the Night: Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Hagerstown, A-): 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
The Nationals are taking it very easy with Giolito, who hadn’t pitched since May 11 despite being healthy. His three-inning outing was pre-determined by the Nats, so there are no red flags associated with the early departure. He struck out five of the 12 batters he faced, and it’s not his fault he didn’t face more.

Best of the Rest

Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, SB. Usually, it takes a home run and a couple of hits or something else ridiculous to make this list, but I’m going to start making exceptions for Correa, because I want to talk about him, and he’s not hitting that many home runs yet. And that’s okay. Is there any prospect in baseball we’re worried about less? He’s 19, and it feels like we almost take him for granted already. Three more hits put him at .328 on the season, and we should get used to seeing him with batting averages that begin with a three. The only question about Correa is whether he settles into the 15-20-homer range as a major leaguer or if he reaches his true ceiling and hits 20-25 while playing shortstop.

Orlando Arcia, 2B, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 4-5, 2 R, 2B, HR. Mostly known for his glove, Arcia hit his first home run of the year in a rare display of power. He does a nice job of working counts and draws his share of walks, so that paired with a good glove means it won’t take much power for him to be a productive player. That said, he’ll have to develop more than he’s shown in games thus far to be a regular, and his small-ball approach to hitting won’t allow for a lot of growth in that department.

Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cardinals (Springfield, AA): 6 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 7 K. When the time comes, Gonzales and his plus left-handed changeups are going to be a nice change of pace to all of the hard-throwing right-handers on the Cardinals pitching staff. There’s not much room left for growth, as he’s mostly a finished product, with some refinement on the fastball command the last step he’ll need to be ready for the big leagues.

Aaron Blair, RHP, Diamondbacks (Visalia, A+): Blair is well developed, both physically and mentally as a pitcher. His ceiling isn’t exceptionally high, but a low-90s fastball and consistent offspeed pitches are more than enough to miss bats in the California League. Now just imagine what he could do if Crash Davis had gone out to manage him.

Adam Duvall, 1B, Giants (Fresno, AAA): 2-3, 2 R, HR, BB. The power has come back for Duvall in abundance since his return to California, and while he’s splitting his time these days at first base, he’s still seeing some at third. If he has to play primarily first base, he’s probably no better than a second-division regular, but right-handed power is a hot commodity right now.

Kevin Plawecki, C, Mets (Binghamton, AA): 4-5, 3 R, HR, BB. Plawecki isn’t being as patient at the plate as he had been in the past—a trademark of his—but he is hitting better and appears poised to pass his previous power checkpoints as a hitter.

Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Hickory, A-): 3-4, R, HR, BB. Typically the power from Mazara comes with strik outs, but on Wednesday, he managed to just bring the former. The raw power is there, but right now the lack of contact is getting in the way.

Fight Another Day

Adalberto Mejia, LHP, Giants (Richmond, AA): 1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, BB, K. Mejia is still just 20, left-handed, and throws very hard, so it’s hard to have too much concern, but he’s getting hit around considerably harder than anyone would have expected coming into the season, and his strikeout rates have dipped as well.

Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Orioles (Bowie, AA): 3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, BB, 4 K. The lack of a true put-away pitch came back to bite Rodriguez on this night.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Blue Jays (New Hampshire, AA): 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
  • Tim Cooney, LHP, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K.
  • Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners (Tacoma, AAA): 2 IP, H, R, 4 BB, 4 K.
  • Justin Nicolino, LHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K.

…and Kris Bryant homered.

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

Related Content:  Prospects,  Minor Leagues

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