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Pitching Prospect of the Day: Matt Loosen, RHP, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. Loosen has tightened up his delivery in the best way possible. He has improved his line to the plate and his stuff has taken steps forward. He utilizes a fastball that touches the mid 90s, a solid-average curveball, a usable slider, and a fringy changeup. Loosen is taking steps forward as a prospect, and this outing will be one he never forgets.

Position Prospect of the Day: Joseph Wendle, 2B, Indians (High-A Carolina): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K. Wendle is a natural hitter with natural bat-to-ball abilities, and he displays present pull-side power. Wendle is a solid-average runner with excellent baseball instincts. I believe he has a big-league future; it may only be as a utility player, but that is an excellent find for $10,000 in the sixth round;.405/.452/.784 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, and 3 SB in last 37 at-bats.

Other notable prospect performances on July 8:

“The Good”

  • Raul Alcantara, RHP, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Alcantara, now in his second level of the 2013 season, has taken steps forward. He utilizes a plus fastball, a potential solid-average slider, and a usable changeup. Scouts are leery about the command profile, but he has the stuff and the command has improved in 2013.
  • Chad Bettis, RHP, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Bettis missed over a month with an oblique injury, but since returning he has had two solid outings. Bettis utilizes a plus-plus fastball that touches upper 90s when needed, a potential plus-plus slider that will miss plenty of bats, and a well-below-average changeup. Bettis has a profile that most scouts believe will work best in the bullpen, where he should be able to pitch high-leverage innings; 10.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 11 K in last two starts since being activated from disabled list.
  • Sean Nolin, LHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Nolin has a classic back-end starter profile. He does just enough to remain a starter, but does not pack enough punch to pitch at the front end of a rotation. Check out my scouting report on him.
  • Tanner Rahier, 3B, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI. Rahier, a second-round selection in 2012, projects to have an average hit tool with average power potential. He has a plus arm that will play at third base. Rahier currently is a fringy runner and may slow down as his body matures. Overall, he will have to reach his ceiling offensively in order to profile as an everyday regular; .359/.359/.487 with 5 2B in 39 at-bats.
  • Jose Ramirez, 2B, Indians (Double-A Akron): 4-6, 2 2B, 3 R, RBI, 2 SB. The Indians must believe in Ramirez, who was skipped over High-A due to a full middle infield. Ramirez is a potential plus hitter with plus-plus speed, but he has well-below-average power. Scouts are worried that advanced pitching will knock the bat out of his hands. Defensively, he is solid, but he must play on the right side of the infield. He will have to provide offensive value at second base, and look for the second half of 2013 to tell us a lot about his prospect status going forward; .404/.440/.532 with 6 2B and 10 SB in last 47 at-bats.
  • Mark Sappington, RHP, Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 8.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. Sappington was suggested to me by our own Chris Rodriguez. Sappington’s fastball worked at 90-94, and he added a solid-average slider, and an inconsistent changeup. A major note about Sappington is that he is struggling to maintain his arm speed on secondary offerings.
  • Eugenio Suarez, SS, Tigers (Double-A Erie): 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB, K. I saw him for one game and thought he had a little bit of something, but not a lot of anything. Our own Mark Anderson wrote him up here.

“The Bad”

  • Travis Harrison, 3B, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 0-3, R, 2 BB, 3 K. Harrison is a player I receive solid reports on daily, but tonight was not his night at the plate.
  • Matt Purke, LHP, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 3.2 IP, 11 H, 9 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. Purke had some success in Low-A, but his second start in High-A was not a positive one.
  • Sam Selman, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. I just wanted to personally thank Selman for displaying his 30-grade fastball command, and for the hour it took him to get through two innings.

“The Ugly”

Courtney Hawkins, CF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 0-4, 4 K. I talked to a scout who suggested that Hawkins should actually be displaying his skills in short-season ball.