Updates on Daniel Robertson, Nomar Mazara, Dominic Smith, and more.
Hitter of the Day: Daniel Robertson, SS, Rays (Montgomery, AA): 7-9, 3 R, 3B, BB (DH). Robertson’s future in the field may be up in the air, but whether or not he can hit is not. I’m not sold that he’ll be able to remain at shortstop, as he could outgrow the position, but even if he is forced to slide over to third base, he should provide enough offensive production to be an everyday player at the position. Robertson took advantage of the hitter-friendly California League last season, but he’s continued to drive the ball this year
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Updates on Robert Gsellman, Dalton Pompey, Jorge Alfaro, and more.
Hitter of the Day: Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians (Lake County, A-): 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR, K. The Midwest League was an aggressive assignment for a high-school, third-round pick from last summer, and the results haven’t been shining—though even before Monday’s breakout game there were a few things to feel good about. Bradley has controlled the strike zone well thus far and hasn’t swung and missed excessively. As it warms up in the Midwest, it will be important for Bradley to continue to show off this kind of power, as the bar is high for first base prospects.
Updates on Billy McKinney, Noah Syndergaard, Blake Snell, and more.
Hitter of the Night: Billy McKinney, OF, Cubs (Myrtle Beach, A+): 1-1, 2 R, HR, 4 BB. If you favor tools, and our team admittedly does as a whole, then McKinney may not be your guy. He doesn’t have the flashy raw tools, but he’s about as polished of a 20-year-old as you’ll find. There’s nothing left for him to prove in A-ball, as he’s handled all three leagues at the level and is showing that his approach is far too advanced for the pitching he’s facing. Double-A will be a test, but he’s well equipped to handle it. Big raw power? No. Blazing speed? No. Premium defender? No. Great pure hitter? Yes. Sign me up.
Updates on A.J. Reed, J.P. Crawford, Clint Frazier, and more.
Hitter of the Night: A.J. Reed, 1B, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 3-4, 5 R, 3 HR, 2 BB. Reed was drafted as an advanced college bat in the first round last year, though he had split time in college with his pitching responsibilities. Still, a college hitter with his pedigree mixed with the hitting atmospheres in the California League can make for some pretty potent offensive numbers. He hasn’t shown the consistency yet that the Astros had hoped, but his power potential preceded him and pitchers have pitched him accordingly—and Reed has taken what they’ve given him. There’s some swing and miss in his game that could restrict the hit tool, but likely not enough to restrict him too badly. The challenge will be whether he has the bat speed to handle better competition, once he gets there.
Updates on Wilmer Difo, Nomar Mazara, Jose Peraza, and more.
Hitter of the Night: Tommy Murphy, C, Rockies (New Britain, AA): 4-5, 2 R, 2B, 2 HR. After missing most of 2014, Murphy is spending part of his third-straight season in Double-A, making him old for the Eastern League at 24. Before the injury, Murphy profiled as a prospect who could stick behind the plate while also providing some pop. Our own Al Skorupa was in attendance last night and saw much of the same.
Updates on Raimel Tapia, Jake Thompson, Brandon Nimmo, and more.
Hitter of the Night: Elier Hernandez, OF, Royals (Lexington, A-): 2-5, R, HR, K, SB. Pitchers exploiting aggressiveness from young hitters is becoming a theme tonight, and we can add Hernandez to the list. The 20-year-old is repeating Low-A ball after hitting just .264/.296/.393 there last year, but his 25/4 K:BB ratio tells the story. Hernandez’s calling card is plus raw power, but it has yet to manifest itself in game action on a consistent basis because of his approach.
Pitcher of the Night:Robert Gsellman, RHP, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 8 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K. I wrote up Gsellman last week and was pretty aggressive in my assessment of him. Frankly, after seeing him again on Monday night, I might have been low. Gsellman carved up Palm Beach hitters by commanding a hard-running two-seamer and his plus curveball, but in this outing, he also showed more comfort with the changeup, which he used more frequently and more effectively. His polish and plan was no match for Florida State League hitters, and despite being just 21, he could be pitching his way into a mid-season promotion.
Updates on Gleyber Torres, Steven Matz, Trea Turner, and more.
Hitter of the Night: Brett Phillips, OF, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 3-3, R, 2B, HR. Phillips has done nothing but produce since reaching full-season ball last year, and that’s not slowing down any time soon, especially as long as he’s in the California League. He’s got tools across the board and production to spare, which makes it odd that he’s generally overlooked in most prospect circles. That won’t be the case for long if he continues to back up his first strong season with a second act.
Updates on Justus Sheffield, Gleyber Torres, Francisco Mejia, and more.
Hitter of the Night: Tucker Neuhaus, 3B, Brewers (Wisconsin, A-): 3-5, 2 R, 3B, HR. Neuhaus is a virtual unknown in most prospect circles. Two years ago, Jason Parks mentioned him on our Brewers list as a potential on-the-rise player to watch, but the tools that scouts saw then haven’t come to fruition on the field. He’s just getting his 2015 season under way, but this is a solid second game of the season to get things off on the right foot. He’s still not 20 yet and is in full-season ball for the first time, so he could be a prospect to watch.
Updates on Brent Honeywell, Austin Hedges, Carlos Correa, and more.
Hitter of the Night: Phil Ervin, OF, Reds (Daytona, A+): 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR. You’re not supposed to be able to hit for this kind of power in the Florida State League, but Ervin continues to show off his best tool on a nightly basis, giving him six bombs on the season. More importantly, he’s doing so without the massive strike-out numbers which plagued him last season.
Updates on Trevor Story, Noah Syndergaard, Julio Urias, and more.
Hitter of the Night: Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (New Britain, AA): 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR, BB, K. Story’s storybook (I’m not sorry) start to the season is showing no signs of slowing down and he continues to torch the Eastern League at the plate. He’s back playing primarily shortstop this season after splitting time at second base last year. Story is a premium athlete with tools for days, but gets knocked for his approach at the plate. The approach isn’t actually the issue, however. He doesn’t lack patience and even takes his share of walks. He just swings and misses a lot. That’s tolerable, however, when you're a middle infielder with double-digit home-run power and 20-steal potential.