The Situation: Manuel Margot hit the shelf with a strained calf, and the Padres will continue making good use of their catastrophic start to work another rookie into big-league experience by unleashing Franchy on the expansive Petco center field landscape. After starting to put it together with a strong performance across two levels last year, Cordero has continued to hit well at Triple-A El Paso, posting a .289/.349/.520 line across 42 games to start the season. That sound you hear in the distance is a giddy Jason Parks (#RIP) merrily frolicking along a hillside under a cool, come-hither sky.
The Background: The Padres inked Cordero to a $175,000 deal in November of the 2011 international signing period when he was 17, and he tantalized with explosive quick-twitch athleticism and projectability in the DSL the following summer before heading stateside in 2013, where he showcased more of the same. Parks said he had Role 6 potential in Spring Training of 2014, though he noted at the time that Franchy’s home would probably need to migrate from the six spot he’d occupied up until that point. He remained there through a successful short-season debut, but moved to the outfield grass in time for full-season ball in 2015. The gap between his raw present and intriguing potential future skill was on display in the Midwest League in 2015, but despite struggling with the bat he impressed the brass enough to warrant promotion to the Cal League in 2016, where he started to pick things up production-wise. He hasn’t really stopped hitting over the past calendar year, traversing three levels in the process to arrive at the doorstep of the majors.
Notes on Michael Chavis, Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez, Lewis Thorpe, Ian Anderson, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox (High-A Salem): 5-9, 2 BB, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K, E
It’s tough to overstate just how hot Chavis has been to start the season, as yesterday’s outburst in a double-header included his fifth multi-hit game in his last ten and raised his season’s line to .360/.440/.712 through 37 games. The former first-rounder started hot last year, too, before a thumb injury derailed his season. He’ll look to continue this round of early dominance after an inevitable promotion to Double A comes, likely on the sooner side of later at this rate.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Castellanos has been a big disappointment. Will that change with an adjustment?
During the pre-season I spouted several things that, at least so far in the few months since, have proven to have been damned, dirty lies. One of these things was that Nick Castellanos was gonna be a Guy. The pedigree as an elite hit-tool guy was there, I noted, and at 6-foot-4, 210 with a rapidly heightening launch angle, he was a perfect candidate to break out in a big way.
Improvement on his fastball and curveball, and excellent location spotting no matter the type of pitch, put Biagini in position to succeed. The Jays have given him an opportunity to start and he's running with it.
Joe Biagini put on a couple of clinics the other night, first in how to let it snowball right quick, and then another in how to regain control of a lost cause. After ceding six runs without the benefit of an out—and, we must mind for context, unleashing the most fantastical of crescendos in the form of a three-run shot by Kurt Suzuki—he quietly proceeded to send 12 straight back to the pine and grind out four tidy innings that the bullpen didn’t have to.
Notes on Eloy Jimenez, Mitchell White, Amed Rosario, Ronald Acuna, Kyle Funkhouser, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Eloy Jimenez, RF, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 2-4, R, HR, RBI
He’s baaaaaaaack. After losing out on the season’s first six weeks on account of a bum shoulder, the Cubs’ top prospect hasn’t missed a beat in going five for his first 11 with yesterday’s inaugural dinger. And it was a dinger, alright. This ball was, um, hit.
Notes on Willy Adames, Brent Honeywell, Erick Fedde, Mike Gerber, Jesus Tinoco, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Mike Gerber, RF, Detroit Tigers (Double-A Erie): 4-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Gerber’s been prone to this kind of outburst this season, and it jives with his boom-bust offensive approach. He whiffs a too much for a kid with fringy game power, but he also does a lot of things decently enough that the sum of the parts adds up to a probable big-league asset.
What is this Phillies outfielder made of, and can he sustain it?
Since assuming regular playing time in mid-April, Altherr has gone off for the Phillies, culminating with four homers and 10 runs batted in across two games and a pinch-hitting appearance earlier this week. So what’s his deal, anyway? And how sustainable is some manner of toned-down production of this ilk?
Notes on Franchy Cordero, Kolby Allard, Anthony Banda, Carson Kelly, Tyler O’Neill, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Franchy Cordero, CF, San Diego Padres (Triple-A El Paso): 5-5, R, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 SB
Franchy’s hit tool remains a question mark-filled slice of scouting real estate, and prior to yesterday the season had largely been a big ol’ struggle for him at Triple A. But even throughout the early scuffles he’s still done him some interesting slugging, and the quick-twitch athleticism has never been in question. The secondary skills are good enough for him to carve out a 25-man role as is. How much farther he goes from there, we’ll have to wait and see.
The question of short starting pitchers is one that has always interested me, ever since Kevin Goldstein (#RIP) asked about it broadly on these pages way back in 2008. Does a pitcher’s height really matter in regard to his ability to get hitters out, particularly through multiple turns of a lineup? Is being tall an evolutionary predisposition for successful starting pitching?
Notes on Yadier Alvarez, Zach Shepherd, Josh Hader, Mark Appel, Nick Senzel, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Zach Shepherd, 3B, Detroit Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 2-3, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, K
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, Oi, Oi! Signed by Detroit as a 16-year-old from Sydney, Shepherd announced his stateside presence with authority during a stellar GCL debut back in 2014, but has failed to move the needle much since. He hit a whopping .186 in his first go against High-A pitching last year, but so far, so much better in 2017, as a return engagement has brought a .306/.400/.556 line through his first 20 games this season. There isn’t a carrying tool here, but the glove is decent at third and there’s some intriguing raw material with the bat.
Mister Christian / Oh the time has come / And you know that you're the only one...
The Situation: The Giants are rocking a collective .236 TAv, which is 25th in baseball, and while their 69 runs scored entering play yesterday was nice and all, it rated just 23rd. Starting third baseman Eduardo Nunez has been a big ol’ part of that problem, sitting on a .208 TAv his own damn self, and the now-DFA’ed Chris Marrero had failed to plug the hole left behind by left fielder Jarrett Parker’s broken collarbone. Enter number two prospectChristian Arroyo, owner of a ho-hum .446/.478/.692 line through 16 games at Triple-A Sacramento.
The Background: The Giants drafted Arroyo 25th overall in 2013 as a prep shortstop, signing him to a slot deal and sending him to the Arizona Rookie League, where he promptly hit .326 in a 45-game professional debut. Outside of a briefly rude introduction to full-season pitching the following year, he hit everything thrown at him up to Double A, climbing to the organizational top spot heading into the 2016 season. Still just 21, he yesterday became the lucky thirteenth member of the first round of his draft class to step between the lines of a big-league baseball game.