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Games of Friday, April 19

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Andrew Oliver, LHP, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K; this left-hander has a big fastball that can touch 96, but he’s still developing consistency with his curveball and changeup; 21.1 IP, 12 H, 5 ER, 12 BB, 29 K.

Position Prospect of the Day: Maxwell Muncy, 1B, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K; advanced pitch recognition; able to consistently get barrel to ball; power potential; limited to first-base defensively; 22-for-65, 2 2B, 8 HR, 19 R, 16 RBI, 16 BB, 12 K in 18 games thus far.

Other notable prospect performances from April 19:

“The Good”

  • Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians (Double-A Akron): 2-4, 2B, 4 RBI, K; A first-base only prospect with good raw power, Aguilar will struggle versus quality pitching and profiles best as a platoon option.
  • Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; fastball working up to 94 with good command; average curveball at 76-78; solid-average changeup at 83-85 with good fade.
  • Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; A positive start for Bauer, who was able to go seven innings with only one walk.
  • Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 4-6, 2B, 3 R, RBI, K, SB; Bethancourt is making strides offensively, and showing an improved ability to make contact; .341/.356/.500 in 44 at-bats.
  • Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 3-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K; hit and power tools could both be better than plus; overall defensive position in question; monster fantasy potential; 9-for-16 in his last four games.
  • Ryan Carpenter, LHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K; Carpenter uses a four-pitch mix (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup), and the slider has plus potential; 19.0 IP, 14 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 24 K.
  • Kurt Heyer, RHP, Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K; A 2012 College World Series ace, Heyer offers a four-pitch mix (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup) with enough polish to have his way in Low-A.
  • Jared Hoying, CF, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, 2 K; pull-side power; ability to play all three defensive positions in the outfield; good bat speed; hit tool will be tested at the highest level; .323/.373/.613 in 62 at-bats this season.
  • Matt Loosen, RHP, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K: fastball can touch plus velocity; curveball has potential to miss bats; fringy changeup; sleeper-prospect type.
  • Barret Loux, RHP, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; solid fastball command; ordinary secondary stuff; shoulder injury cost him over $1 million in the draft; traded from Rangers to Cubs for Geovany Soto.
  • Cody Martin, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K; solid-average fastball; plus slider; usable curveball and changeup; good pitchability; profiles best as a back-end starter, but could also be a meaningful two-pitch reliever.
  • Brandon Nimmo, CF, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 4-4, 3B, 2 R, BB; good body; good bat speed; solid-average power potential; average defensive profile; still raw.
  • Kevin Plawecki, C, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 3-4, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB; advanced approach; strong wrists; pull-side power potential; overall defensive package is still a work in progress.
  • Colin Rodgers, LHP, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; small frame; three-pitch mix (fastball/curveball/changeup); good feel for secondary offerings.
  • Yorman Rodriguez, CF, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 4-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; Rodriguez has plus raw power, but his shaky hit tool may not allow him to tap into all of it.
  • Bruce Rondon, RHP, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; The flame-throwing relief prospect was deemed unready for the closer role on Opening Day, but has started the season well in Triple-A; 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K so far.
  • Eddie Rosario, 2B, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 4-5, HR, R, 4 RBI; potential plus hit tool; plus running ability; potential solid-average game power; still gaining baseball instincts; .352/.385/.507 in 71 at-bats.
  • Mark Sappington, RHP, Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; fastball has plus-plus potential; slider could be solid-average; delivery has some effort, so he may be better suited for the bullpen long term.
  • Jerrud Sabourin, 1B, Indians (High-A Carolina): 3-3, R, BB; Sabourin, the all-time hits leader at Indiana, has an outstanding hit tool, but his limited power doesn’t profile well at first base; 22-for-53, 3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 9 R, 4 RBI in 15 games.
  • Ryan Wheeler, 3B, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI; improving at third base after playing first base only as an amateur; power potential; average contact; if he shows the ability to play the outfield defensively, he’ll have a solid utility-man profile; .357/.408/.595 in 42 at-bats.

 “The Bad”

  • Stetson Allie, 1B, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 0-4, 3 K; Allie has easy plus-plus raw power, but plenty of contact question marks.
  • Courtney Hawkins, CF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 0-3, BB, 3 K; Hawkins continues to pile up the strikeouts, and he now has 34 of them in 51 at-bats.

“The Ugly”

Mike Zunino, C, Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 0-4, 3 K; Zunino has slipped into a bit of a slump; 0-for-20, 10 K in his last six games.

Games of Saturday, April 20

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Nate Karns, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 K; Plus fastball; plus curveball; developing changeup; could be an interesting piece if the Nationals are in the mood to deal at the deadline.

Position Prospect of the Day: Matthew Szczur, CF, Cubs (Double-A Tennesse): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI; still gaining baseball polish; plus-plus speed; bat has a solid-average ceiling with average power; my ankles are still recovering from the juke he put on me back in my high-school football glory days; .299/.364/.433 in 67 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances from April 20:

 “The Good”

  • Delino Deshields, 2B, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 3-3, 2 3B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SB; legitimate burner; potential for a plus hit tool; aggressive player with a gamer mentality; .349/.417/.558 in 43 at-bats this season.
  • Scooter Gennett, 2B, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 3-5, 3B, 3 R, BB, SB; grinder type; solid-average hit tool; solid-average runner whose instincts play up his speed; .396/.418/.453 in 53 at-bats.
  • Pierce Johnson, RHP, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; plus fastball; potential plus curveball; inconsistent changeup; number-three starter ceiling.
  • Devin Lohman, SS, Reds (Double-A Pensacola): 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB; bat will be just good enough; solid-average runner with good baseball instincts; can play shortstop; utility-man profile.
  • Brandon Miller, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI; easy plus raw power; developing pitch-recognition skills; grinder-type player.
  • Rafael Montero, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; fastball is his only plus pitch; average slider and changeup; plus command of all three pitches plays up the offerings; not extremely far from being big-league ready; 22.2 IP, 15 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 27 K in four starts.
  • Renato Nunez, 3B, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI; plenty of bat speed; plus power potential; defense is a work in progress; .326/.383/.628 in 43 at-bats.
  • Danny Salazar, RHP, Indians (Double-A Akron): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K; Salazar has a potential plus-plus fastball, a plus slider, and a developing changeup.
  • Rock Shoulders, 1B, Cubs (Low-A Kane County): 3-3, HR, R, 3 RBI; power potential; best name in baseball; .424/.477/.695 in 59 at-bats.
  • Domingo Tapia, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 7.0 IP, 4H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; fastball has monster potential; changeup with easy plus potential; working to improve curveball; 19.2 IP, 14 H, 5 ER, 7 BB, 18 K in four games.
  • Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 3-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, K; athletic prospect with a very intriguing bat; .324/.356/.676 in 68 at-bats this season.
  • Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K; Wojciechowski, acquired by the Astros from the Blue Jays, offers a solid-average fastball, an average cutter and curveball, and a changeup that still needs work; 18.0 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 19 K in four games this season.

“The Bad”

  • Barrett Barnes, CF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 0-5, R, 3 K; tough start to the 2013 season for Barnes, a sandwich-round pick in 2012.
  • Stephen Bruno, 2B, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 0-4, 4 K; Bruno, who relies on his compact swing and hitting ability, had an uncharacteristically rough day at the plate. 
  • Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 0-4, BB, 3 K; it has been a tough start to the season for this international bonus baby; 25 strikeouts in 66 at-bats.
  • Nick Ramirez, 1B, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 0-4, 3 K; A former Cal State Fullerton standout, Ramirez may not have the bat speed to stay on prospect radars for much longer.

“The Ugly”

Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 0-4, 3 K; Story is struggling with swing-and-miss issues early in the season; 24 strikeouts in 56 at-bats.

Games of Sunday, April 21

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Rafael De Paula, RHP, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K; potential plus-plus fastball, plus-plus curveball, and plus changeup; about ready for a promotion; 17.1 IP, 12 H, 7 ER, 9 BB, 33 K in four starts.

Position Prospect of the Day: Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 3-4, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, BB, K; big raw power; improving defense; a combination of work ethic and pure baseball instincts that could make him special.

Other notable prospect performances from April 21:

 “The Good”

  • Dylan Baker, RHP, Indians (Low-A Lake County): 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; Fastball that can touch plus velocity; hard slider; mixes in changeup and curveball; profiles best as a two-pitch reliever.
  • Josh Bell, RF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 4-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, SB; A toolsy, but raw prospect, Bell missed the majority of the 2012 season and was behind velocity all spring.
  • C.J. Edwards, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; potential plus fastball; curveball with at least solid-average potential; changeup still a work in progress; 48th round selection in 2011; great prospect to root for; 18.1 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 22 K in four starts in 2013.
  • J.R. Graham, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; big-league fastball with serious sink; slider with plus potential; average changeup; small frame; could be a number-two or -three starter or a high-leverage reliever at worst.
  • Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI; Hanson has not gotten off to a great start in 2013 and will need to make adjustments as he moves up the ladder and faces more advanced pitching.
  • Odubel Herrera, 2B, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 5-5, 2B, 3 R, RBI; quick bat; very athletic; profiles best a utility player.
  • Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI; easy plus-plus raw power; swing can get long; good right-field profile; great work ethic that will allow him to handle the struggles he faces during a full-season assignment at the age of 17.
  • Michael Perez, C, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, K; potential solid-average power; improving plate discipline; still gaining polish behind the plate defensively.
  • Robbie Ray, LHP, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 K; a well-over-slot draft pick in 2010, Ray’s stuff—which includes a three-pitch mix (fastball/slider/changeup) was down in 2012; 26 strikeouts in 23 innings so far.
  • Chris Reed, LHP, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; potential plus fastball and slider; changeup still a work in progress; delivery concerns combined with changeup ineffectiveness may force Reed to move to the bullpen.
  • Connor Sadzeck, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K; Fastball sits in the low 90s as a starter but has touched 98 in relief; slurvy breaking ball.
  • Corey Seager, 3B, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3-3, R; advanced plate discipline; good bat speed; still working to develop power.
  • Bubba Starling, CF, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 2-5, HR, 2 R, RBI, K; crazy-raw ability; swing can get long; pitch recognition is a work in progress; plenty of bat speed; easy plus defensive profile.
  • Christian Walker, 1B, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB; excellent college pedigree; plus contact ability; limited to first base; overall future will be tied to how much punch he can provide; .377/.458/.525 in 61 at-bats.

No time for “The Bad”

I was in a positive mood today, and did not even look for negative performances. I hope everyone takes that attitude into the workweek.