Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and Cardinals lefty Tim Cooney.
Hitter of the Night: Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (Winston-Salem, A+): 3-5, R, HR, K.
Anderson has plus tools but is also extremely raw, which makes his .279 batting average somewhat impressive, but oh my goodness does his 42-to-4 K:BB rate scare me.
Pitcher of the Night: Tim Cooney, LHP, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 9 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
A minor-league complete game is rare, but Cooney was two pitches away from the even-more-rare minor-league “Maddux,” finishing at 101 pitches. His strikeout rates have dropped in Triple-A this year and his walk rate his spiked, a surprising occurrence for a player who gets by with average stuff thanks to plus command.
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Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, and Tyler Glasnow.
Hitters of the Night
Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 3-4, R, 2B, HR. There is little doubt that Correa is going to be a very good player, even though he’s still just 19 and a few years away from the majors. The big question is just how good. If he remains at shortstop and his power reaches its ceiling, he’ll end up being among the top five players in the game.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rangers catcher Jorge Alfaro and Marlins lefty Andrew Heaney.
Hitter of the Night: Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 5-5, 2B, 3B.
It’s days like this that make scouts salivate over Alfaro. Sure, he’s still ultra-aggressive at the plate, a problem that may ultimately hold him back, but how many catching prospects can collect five hits in a game, have one of them be a triple, and still not feature their best tool (his arm)?
Pitcher of the Night: Andrew Heaney, LHP, Marlins (New Orleans, AAA): 6 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K.
The real test in the minors is the jump to Double-A, but Heaney handled that with aplomb. The jump to Triple-A hasn’t slowed him down either, as he’s now allowed just eight hits and one run in his first 11 innings while striking out 14. It’s hard to believe he won’t be in the majors to help the Marlins by the end of June.
Notes on prospects who stood out over the Memorial Day Weekend.
While I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend, and I know I did, let’s not forget that we got the extra day off not so our big-league heroes could wear camouflage uniforms, but to honor the real heroes who wore those colors because they had to.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Cubs shortstop Javier Baez and Cardinals lefty Rob Kaminsky.
Hitter of the Night: Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 4-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR.
No, one hot week doesn’t make up for six horrendous weeks, but it looks like Baez is officially out of his funk. He’s now 12-for-his-last-28 over his past seven games, and the power has returned as well, with five doubles and three home runs in that stretch. The most important indication that he’s turning things around, however, is that he has just five strikeouts over that span, and three of those came on Wednesday. For a player whose free-swinging ways are what gets him in trouble, putting the ball in play is half the battle, because when he does, he usually does it very hard.
Pitcher of the Night: Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), BB, 9 K.
Kaminsky’s big-time curveball has the ability to rack up strikeouts by the bunches when he’s throwing strikes, which he hasn’t done enough this year in his full-season debut.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Dodgers lefty Julio Urias and Diamondbacks first baseman Jonathan Griffin.
Hitter of the Night: Jonathan Griffin, 1B, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 5-6, 4 R, 4 HR.
This space is typically reserved for prospects, and a 25-year-old first baseman who appears to be stalling at Double-A hardly qualifies as one, but I’ll make an exception for what might go down as the individual game of the year. Griffin is a massive human being who exploited low-minors pitching but has had trouble hitting for power in Double-A, Wednesday night notwithstanding.
Pitcher of the Night: Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
It’s been a little rougher transitioning to the California League for Urias than it was in the Midwest League last year, but he’s hardly the first pitcher to have that problem. He may, however, be the youngest. Still just 17, Urias’ control has abandoned him at time this season, but this is a good start to get things back on track.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and Astros righty Jake Buchanan.
Hitter of the Night: Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 4-5, R, 2B.
Much is being made out of Taveras’ NL Central counterpart Gregory Polanco and the Pirates’ unwillingness to promote him, but Taveras is making his case quite well, too. With a lot of struggling offensive players and a need for a jolt, it’s a race to see which team will make a move first.
Pitcher of the Night: Jake Buchanan, RHP, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 9 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K.
The strikeouts aren’t typical of a Buchanan start, but the lack of walks and effective pitching are. His upper-80s arsenal doesn’t leave much of a ceiling (he can touch 91), but his extreme command gives him a chance to stick in the back end of a rotation.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rockies outfielder Raimel Tapia and Brewers righty Damien Magnifico.
Hitter of the Night: Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies (Asheville, A-): 3-3, 3 R, HR, 2 BB.
It’s been a rough start for Tapia, but games like this give us a glimpse of the kinds of things he’s capable of. His pure hitting ability can get him in trouble because of his aggressive approach, so any time he’s taking pitches and getting himself into hitter-friendly counts, it’s a recipe for him to do some damage.
Pitcher of the Night: Damien Magnifico, RHP, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K.
For a player with a big-time fastball, Magnifico’s strikeout numbers are remarkably low, though he is doing a much better job of limiting damage in his second go-round in the Florida State League.
Notes on prospects who stood out this weekend, plus an obligatory Gregory Polanco update.
Friday, May 16
Miles Head, 1B, A’s (Midland, AA): 3-4, R, HR. Head is struggling once again, now in his third go-round in Double-A. It was already a tough profile as a right-handed-hitting first baseman, but Head’s power outage is enough to diminish his status as a prospect. For what it’s worth, Head also homered again on Sunday.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk and Red Sox righty Anthony Ranaudo.
Hitter of the Night: Randal Grichuk, OF, Cardinals (Memphis, AAA): 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 BB, K.
Perhaps it’s the taste of the big-league lifestyle, or perhaps it’s just that Triple-A pitching doesn’t look so formidable after you’ve seen its major-league counterpart, but Grichuk is now hitting .458 since being sent down in an attempt not to be passed on the Cardinals organizational depth chart by Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty.
Pitcher of the Night: Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K.
Ranaudo still battles inconsistency from start to start, but he’s close to what he’s going to be at this point, which is a guy who can dominate on any given night but who also tosses out some clunkers and ultimately settles in as a mid-rotation type. He’s ready if the Red Sox need him for a spot start.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rockies righty Eddie Butler and Padres outfielder Rymer Liriano.
Hitter of the Night: Rymer Liriano, OF, Padres (San Antonio, AA): 3-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 K.
One of the few impact position players in the Padres farm system that is close to being major-league ready, Liriano is hitting for more power now than he did before missing the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery. He is still an overly aggressive hitter. which could hurt him in the majors.
Pitcher of the Night: Eddie Butler, RHP, Rockies (Tulsa, AA): 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K.
Butler’s strikeout rates are down this season, but he is generating lots of weak contact thanks to his heavy sinking fastball.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Giants first baseman Adam Duvall and Orioles righty Parker Bridwell.
Hitter of the Night: Adam Duvall, 1B, Giants (Fresno, AAA): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, K.
Duvall is a hitter with some flaws, most notably an over-aggressive approach, but his power production has returned in a serious way this season. He’s playing primarily first base now, which means the home run power will have to stick around, but with Brandon Belt out for a while, Duvall could be a temporary solution.
Pitcher of the Night: Parker Bridwell, RHP, Orioles (Frederick, A+): 8 1/3 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K.
Bridwell has been one of the most underwhelming prospects in baseball over the past few years, with performances that simply haven’t matched the raw talent. Bridwell throws 93-94 with his fastball and features inconsistent off-speed stuff, but this is what he can do when it all comes together for a night.