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Neftali Soto, 1B, Reds (Double-A Carolina): 2-for-4, 2 HR (24), 2 R, 4 RBI, K.

Soto began the year as a player who had stiffened up to the point where he was a first base only player without enough bat to profile as anything more than a good organizational player. He was probably still seen as that as late as the All-Star break, but since then, he's been the minor league's biggest home run machine, blasting 19 bombs in 39 games to raise his season totals to .282/.337/.609 in 77 games overall. He's a dead-red hitter with a poor approach and no tools after the bat, other than a good arm that is wasted at the position, but he's generating some buzz.

Others Of Note:

  • Raul Alcantara, RHP, Red Sox (Rookie-level GCL): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Has gone five-plus innings while allowing one our fewer hits in half of his eight starts; 0.84 ERA with league hitting .139 against him.
  • Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 2-for-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI. 18-year-old is raw, yet big and athletic; .235/.310/.490 line is arguably more impressive than in looks.
  • Bryce Brentz, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 1-for-4, HR (14), R, 3 RBI, 2 K. Fourteen home runs in 165 High-A at-bats; .255/.310/.576 in 43 Carolina League games.
  • Parker Bridwell, RHP, Orioles (Short-season Aberdeen): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. Can dominate off stuff or struggle due to command issues; 4.12 ERA with 52 Ks in 43.2 innings.
  • Travis D'Arnaud, C, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): Hitting .377/.434/.594 since the break; hard not to love a highly athletic catcher with plus hit tool and power.
  • Brett Eibner, OF, Royals (Low-A Kane County): 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Finally healthy and getting the hang of it? 13-for-33 w/ four doubles and three home runs in last nine games; .220/.344/.457 overall.
  • Scooter Gennett, 2B, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 3-for-6, R, 3 RBI, K, SB. Hard not to love a 5-foot-9 second baseman named Scooter; .353 since the break and .297/.333/.393 overall.
  • L.J. Hoes, OF, Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K. 16 total bases in last five games to lift OPS more than 50 points to .326/.389/.455; continued power surge to lead to more believers as a corner bat.
  • Drew Hutchinson, RHP, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Has been good or better in seven of eight Florida State League games; 45.1 IP, 35 H, 11 BB, 46 K.
  • Austin Hyatt, RHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 12 K. Command and control right has excellent changeup and 143 strikeouts in 124.1 innings; at some point his performances over-ride the lack of stuff.
  • Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB. .268/.384/.521 line should get him a September call-up, but only one outfield job is open in 2012 due to Soriano and Byrd contracts.
  • Jeff Locke, LHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K. 25 IP, 15 H in last four starts; 4.22 ERA in 22 games overall still below expectations.
  • Jason Martinson, SS, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (13), 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB. Semi-sleeper alert! 2010 fifth-round pick has some power, some speed and a whole lot of swing-and-miss; .256/.361/.432 in 101 games.
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 3-for-5, HR (15), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Snaps out of 1-for-16 slump; .300/.344/.519 overall.
  • Ariel Ovando, OF, Astros (Short-season Greeneville): 4-for-5, 3B, 2 R, BB. Doesn't turn 18 until September and already driving balls; .299/.340/.460 in 23 games.
  • Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Twelve innings without an earned run in last three starts after crashing out at Double-A.
  • Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 3-for-4, 2 HR (14), 2 R, 3 RBI, K. Explosivo! Four home runs in last three games has season line of .251/.327/.463 looking much more impressive.
  • Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Blue Jays (Short-season Vancouver): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Northwest League debut after putting up 1.41 ERA in seven Appy League games.
  • Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB. Just one home run in 101 games and not impressive defensively; .284/.350/.371 overall.
  • Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 4-for-4, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB. First minor league game since July 28, 2010.
  • Tony Wolters, SS, Indians (Short-season Mahoning Valley): 5-for-6, 2 R, RBI, K. Snaps out of 1-for-15 slump; .308/.397/.407 in 43 games.