The Cubs' recently promoted prospect gets to stay in the big leagues at least a little longer, plus all the action from Thursday and what to watch this weekend.
The Thursday Takeaway
With a .227 career True Average, Darwin Barney is no Wally Pipp. And Arismendy Alcantara—despite being billed as a “future first-division player” on the BP Top 50—probably won’t enjoy the legendary career of Lou Gehrig. But after seeing Alcantara’s four-hit afternoon, Barney ought to be a bit concerned that a few days on paternity leave might cost him his job.
Notes on prospects who stood out over the weekend, including third basemen Kris Bryant and Ryan McMahon.
Friday, April 25
Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians (Columbus, 1B): 3-5, R, HR, 2 K. Aguilar’s power has come in streaks this season, as he followed his home run on Friday with another on Saturday, giving him seven on the young season. He’s still striking out in bunches, too, but he’s also walking at a higher rate, making it an acceptable tradeoff.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco and Reds righty Ben Lively.
Hitter of the Night: Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 3-5, 3 R, HR, 2 K.
Polanco is perhaps the best candidate currently in the minors for a contract extension without ever having played a major-league game, due to his talent level but also his proximity to the majors and the Pirates’ blatant need for him right now. Instead, we’ll just have to sit through Travis Snider and Jose Tabata while the Pirates second-best outfielder (yes, he may already be better than Starling Marte) tears up Triple-A.
Pitcher of the Night: Ben Lively, RHP, Reds (Bakersfield, A+): 6 IP, H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K.
Lively has done nothing but miss bats since being selected in the fourth round last season, and Tuesday night’s outing was his second straight 10-strikeout performance. His delivery has some effort to it, but if he can maintain that throughout his outings, he’ll be able to remain a starter.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including the Rangers' Kellin Deglan and Luke Jackson.
Hitter of the Night: Kellin Deglan, C, Rangers (Hickory, A-): 3-3, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, BB.
Deglan’s status as a prospect has all but disappeared after he failed to hit in three years of full-season ball between Low- and High-A. The hit tool simply isn’t there, Monday night notwithstanding, of course.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Astros first baseman Jonathan Singleton and Blue Jays righty Marcus Stroman.
Hitter of the Night: Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, K.
Apparently the mantle of “best hitter in Oklahoma City” isn’t too much for Singleton to handle now that George Springer is in the big leagues. He won’t be too far behind Springer, though the Astros will probably wait until June to promote him.
Pitcher of the Night: Marcus Stroman, RHP, Blue Jays (Buffalo, AAA): 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K.
Remember when Stroman struggled badly this spring and everyone worried about whether a short pitcher would be able to generate enough downward plane to miss bats? Well, he’s still short. When Stroman keeps the ball down, he’s lights out, thanks to a plus change-up. He can get hurt when he misses up, but who doesn’t?
From Xander Bogaerts to Gary Sanchez and everyone in between.
The following is an excerpt from the upcoming Baseball Prospectus Futures Guide 2014, our second-annual prospect book, which will collect all of BP's offseason prospect content (plus exclusive prospect and fantasy offerings) in book and e-book form. Here's a look at last year's book; expect an even more meaty offering this time around.
In an age where there’s more statistical information available on players than ever before, you’ve come to the right place to differentiate yourself from your league-mates. Even if you don’t play in a keeper or dynasty league where you can own minor leaguers without wasting roster spots, the importance of reading scouting reports and knowing who these players are becomes obvious when a few years later you are faced with the dilemma of choosing them for your roster.
Kyle Crick, Colin Moran, and Stephen Piscotty come off the board to kick off picks 57 through 98.
Continuing with the theme of less filler and more of the good stuff, let’s jump right in here. If you want to revisit the parameters of the draft, they are all in the initial post of the series. If you don’t, you may skip right over this: