The Cardinals call up last year's first-round pick to patch a battered rotation.
The Situation: With Jaime Garcia now their third starting pitcher on the disabled list, the Cardinals once again turn to a first-rounder from just one year before to help bolster their starting rotation, calling up left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales to make his major-league debut on Wednesday.
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Notes on prospects who stood out this weekend, including Nomar Mazara, Corey Seager, Jose Peraza, and a Cardinals righty who shined in his stateside debut.
Friday, June 20
Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 1-4, 2 R, HR. In what feels like it’s being written posthumously, Correa hit what may be his final home run of the 2014 season before suffering a leg injury on Saturday. He’ll be fine, but it might bring an end to what has been a fantastic season.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rockies shortstop Trevor Story and Pirates righty Tyler Glasnow.
Hitter of the Night: Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (Modesto, A+): 3-3, 2 R, 3B, HR.
Story returned from a month on the DL (broken finger) with gusto, falling a double short of the cycle. Before the DL stint, he was performing more like the dynamic offensive player that he was thought to be entering last season, though he still hasn’t shown the power he’s thought to have to go with the strikeouts he already racks up in bunches.
Pitcher of the Night: Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Bradenton, A+): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
Control has been an issue for Glasnow, but he hasn’t allowed a run in four straight starts and has permitted just two runs total in his last six outings. He’s still raw, making up for missing the first month of the season and missing a ton of bats, all of which the Pirates will take.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including White Sox second baseman Micah Johnson and Pirates righty Nick Kingham.
Hitter of the Night: Micah Johnson, 2B, White Sox (Charlotte, AAA): 4-4, 2 R, HR, SB.
While he’s not stealing bases at nearly the rate or effectiveness of his 84-steal 2013 campaign, he is still getting on base at a good clip and is doing it against better competition, or at least he was until a promotion to Triple-A. The minors’ highest level had given him some troubles until Wednesday, when he entered the night hitting just .218. He’s been moved along aggressively despite questions about his defense and whether his hit tool will allow him to get on base enough to use his legs, but a patient-enough approach at the plate has helped to combat the latter thus far.
Pitcher of the Night: Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 7 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, 2 K.
The Pirates sure do love drafting and developing tall, prep right-handers and perhaps no one fits the mold better than the 6-foot-5 Kingham. He’s been excellent at every level and stellar in his first two Triple-A starts, providing the Pirates with additional depth in a season that has seen them tear through starting pitching. The ceiling isn’t the highest on Kingham—it’s that of a mid-rotation starter—but he should give them a better shot to win games than Vance Worley, Jeff Locke, or Brandon Cumpton.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber and Cardinals righty Tyrell Jenkins.
Hitter of the Night: Kyle Schwarber, OF, Cubs (Boise, SS): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 HR, BB.
Short-season ball can be a nice, soft landing spot for newly drafted players to ensure they are put in the best possible situation for success upon their arrival in pro ball, but for the elite college hitters, like those drafted near the top of the first round, it’s simply not enough of a challenge. Schwarber won’t be spending his first Fourth of July as a professional baseball player in Idaho.
Pitcher of the Night: Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Cardinals (Palm Beach, A+): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
In his 2014 debut, the former supplemental first-rounder tossed six no-hit innings, dispelling concerns about the shoulder injury that cost him the first half of the season. I didn’t get to see him on Tuesday night, but I’ll have a first-hand report on his development soon.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Tigers outfielder Steven Moya and Twins righty Trevor May.
There are a few leagues on their all-star breaks this week, but luckily for us, short-season leagues began to help pick up the slack.
Hitter of the Night: Steven Moya, OF, Tigers (Erie, AA): 3-5, 2 R, HR, K.
Moya is a massive human being and has great raw power that is actually playing more in games than it ever has before. That said, he still has a horribly aggressive approach at the plate and a complete lack of pitch recognition, which will ultimately hold him back.
Notes on prospects who stood out this weekend, including Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson and Pirates righty Nick Kingham.
Friday, June 13
Delino DeShields, Jr. OF, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 0-5, 3 K. It’s not fair to judge a prospect based on an injury, and both DeShields’ season and career are still extremely young, but the fact remains that, in small sample sizes for both, he had an .811 OPS before his gruesome facial injury and a .628 OPS since returning.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Mets infielder Aderlin Rodriguez and Pirates righty Tyler Glasnow.
Hitter of the Night: Aderlin Rodriguez, 1B/3B, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 4-5, R, 2 2B, 3B.
On Wednesday night, I submitted a report to BP on Rodriguez saying that he had 80 raw power but a 30-grade hit tool that would limit him from ever becoming a major leaguer. Naturally, he went out Thursday and fell a home run short of a cycle, missing out on the one part he does well. Regardless of one good game, Rodriguez’s complete inability to recognize anything offspeed will keep the power from ever reaching anywhere near its 80 ceiling in games and will keep him from being a major leaguer. I was in attendance for his performance on Thursday and he did a great job of taking advantage of terrible pitching, but he won’t see those pitches very often.
Pitcher of the Night: Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Bradenton, A+): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
Glasnow’s ceiling still remains as high as ever, but it’s been a battle for him this year to throw strikes and miss bats the way he did in his full-season debut last year. The control still has a long way to go, but this is closer to the Glasnow that the Pirates were hoping would make the transition from West Virginia to Bradenton.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Reds outfielder Jesse Winker and Brewers righty Jimmy Nelson.
Hitter of the Night: Jesse Winker, OF, Reds (Bakersfield, A+): 3-3, 4 R, 2 HR, 2 BB.
Winker is perhaps the best hitter in the minors that no one is talking about. He’s just 20, he’s hitting for power and controlling the strike zone in High-A ball, and if it weren’t happening in the California League, we’d be going nuts over his season thus far. That’s not fair, of course, as Winker has all the tools to be a fantastic hitter, and his youth gives the Reds plenty of time to let him work his way slowly through their farm system.
Pitcher of the Night: Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Brewers (Nashville, AAA): 6 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 10 K.
Nelson has been exceptional this season in Triple-A, limiting his free passes while continuing to miss bats. He’s 25 and ready for the majors as soon as the Brewers have an opening for him.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Astros outfielder Preston Tucker and Rockies righty Jonathan Gray.
Hitter of the Night: Preston Tucker, OF/1B, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 2-5, 3 R, 2 HR, BB, K.
I touched on Tucker yesterday, but he followed up that performance with an even better one. He’ll need to keep hitting, as almost all of his value will come from his bat, but he has excellent bat-to-ball skills, which can make up for a lot of weaknesses. He also doesn’t have the massive strikeout totals that typically plague power hitters.
Pitcher of the Night: Jonathan Gray, RHP, Rockies (Tulsa, AA): 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K.
There have been reports that Gray’s fastball and slider are both down a tick from their 70-grade possibilities, but that doesn’t mean their ceilings aren’t still there. His two-pitch combo is still as dangerous as that of any pitcher in the minors, though it would be nice to see a little more dominance from a recent third-overall pick.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Cubs shortstop Javier Baez and Nats righty Lucas Giolito.
Hitter of the Night: Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 2-4, 3 R, 3B, HR, K, SB.
The good with the bad, people. We’ve got to take the good with the bad. We’re going to get four-strikeout games and three-homer games. They might even be back to back. It’s going to be a wild ride, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Even for Cubs fans.
Pitcher of the Night: Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Hagerstown, A-): 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K.
As strict as the Nats are with their young pitchers, they weren’t going to let Giolito keep going just because he hadn’t given up a hit. He’s missing a ton of bats and living up to all of the hype thus far, and it’s only a matter of time before he begins dominating deeper into games.
Notes on prospects who stood out over the weekend, including Dodgers infielder Corey Seager.
Friday, June 6
Alberto Tirado, RHP, Blue Jays (Lansing, A-): 1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 3 K. The first go-round in full-season ball hasn’t gone as the Blue Jays had planned for Tirado, who has had major difficulties throwing strikes. The talent is still there, so don’t get too worried about the results, as he’s hardly the first 19-year-old to have trouble with his control upon reaching the Midwest League.