Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rangers outfielders Lewis Brinson and Nomar Mazara.
Hitter of the Night: Nomar Mazara and Lewis Brinson, OF, Rangers (Hickory, A-): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, K.
We have identical yet impressive stat lines for a pair of Rangers outfielders, both of whom offer some power projection along with plate discipline issues. Brinson, however, should stick in center field.
Pitcher of the Night:Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 7 BB, 10 K.
I can almost assure you that this will be the season high for walks by a pitcher of the night, but no runs and double-digit strikeouts in five innings get it done for Reyes. The walks are a concern, as they've been an issue longer than just Wednesday night, but you can't deny the potential in the arm. It's just got a long way to go, that's all.
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How would the first round of the 2011 draft go down with the benefit of hindsight?
It's been just over three years since the deep 2011 draft, and we've gotten a good look at how that crop of highly touted amateurs has has performed in the pros. To see how much perceptions of those players have changed, we decided to do the draft over again, just as we did with the 2013 draft and the 2012 draft. We assigned 32 picks to BP authors and re-drafted from scratch, selecting only from the pool of players who were drafted and signed in 2011 and ignoring team need. Here's how the first-round redraft shook out.
1:1 Pittsburgh Pirates Actual Selection:Gerrit Cole, RHP Re-Draft Selection:Jose Fernandez, SP, Miami Marlins (2011 no. 14 pick) Draft Position Change: +13 Explanation: Fernandez's arsenal is downright nasty, and his pitchability is as advanced as his rapid ascent to the majors would suggest. There are always concerns about rehab from Tommy John surgery, but given his makeup I'd expect him to return to form and be one of the best arms in baseball into the next decade. —Chris Mellen
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Nats outfielder Steven Souza and Phillies righty Aaron Nola.
Hitter of the Night: Steven Souza, OF, Nationals (Syracuse, AAA): 3-5, 2 R, 2 HR.
What Souza is doing in Triple-A this year is nothing short of incredible, and while it’s also not sustainable, especially at the major league level, he does have good pop and on-base skills and can play all three outfield positions. A logjam in Washington means he’s not going to get a chance to prove it at the major league level anytime soon, but if I were a potential trading partner with the Nationals, I’d be inquiring about Souza in just about any deal. He should carve out a nice niche on a major league roster.
Pitcher of the Night: Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies (Clearwater, A+): 4 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
It won’t get the fanfare that his first start got, but this was considerably more impressive and was closer to what the Phillies were expecting from Nola than his first outing. It only went four innings as he works himself back into game shape and the Phillies limit his workload, but that’s an impressive start for a guy who was pitching in the SEC a month ago.
The Astros call up the outfielder they stole from Philadelphia.
The Situation: On Sunday, Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow indicated that Domingo Santana (the no. 8-ranked prospect in the system entering 2014) still had some developing to do in Triple-A. But with outfielder Dexter Fowler finding himself on the 15-day disabled list, the Astros have a need for an outfielder already on the 40-man roster. Checking off both of those prerequisites, Santana was summoned to the big leagues from Triple-A Oklahoma City and debuted with a three-strikeout, 0-for-4 performance on Tuesday.
Background: Santana, acquired by the previous regime in Houston, came to the Astros as the fourth and final piece of the trade that sent outfielder Hunter Pence to the Philadelphia Phillies. Santana didn’t become a member of the Astros organization until two weeks after the trade went down, having originally been listed as player to be named later. But it's still puzzling that the Astros were able to acquire Santana, who has been tapping into his raw power since entering pro ball as a 16-year-old. It might have been a mistake on Philadelphia’s part, and not in the figurative sense, if you believe this report (and not this denial).
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Phillies third baseman Zach Green and Red Sox righty Anthony Ranaudo.
Hitter of the Night: Zach Green, 3B, Phillies (Lakewood, A-): 4-8, R, HR, K.
Green hasn’t shown much of the power he’s going to need in order to make it at third base, but his size should allow him to grow in to more of what we saw in the NYPL last season. The bat speed is there for more power, but the hit tool may limit it’ transition to in-game production.
Pitcher of the Night: Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K.
There are still some questions about Ranaudo’s future, but there’s little left for him to prove in the minors, and he has answered some questions about his inconsistency with yet another strong season thus far. If the Red Sox trade Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront proves ineffective again, Ranaudo could be the one to get the call.
The top 25 players you might want to put on your fantasy bench for help down the road.
The Graduates: Taijuan Walker (2), Mookie Betts (6), Marco Gonzales (21)
After firing a complete-game shutout in his last turn in Tacoma, Walker got the win on Monday night in his 2014 debut with the Mariners in Houston. If the shoulder problems are really behind him, Walker could be a solid third starter the rest of the way with that park at his back. There have been very few prospects to get people on both sides of the aisle (fans and writers) in a tizzy like Mookie Betts. There are some who think he’s going to perform like a top-10 second baseman (or shortstop, depending on eligibility) right out of the gate, and while I don’t see that happening, there should be room for him on almost any roster. The counting stats may not be plentiful hitting towards the bottom of the lineup for now and he’ll likely struggle to even show below-average power in game, but the average and steals will be helpful. With Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia, and Joe Kelly all sidelined, Gonzales will get a few runs in the Cardinals’ rotation to prove he belongs. It’s very possible with a strong pre-break showing, he could stick in the rotation rather than Carlos Martinez—who Mike Matheny may opt to keep in a setup role anyway. The upside isn’t high, and he’s just a fringy mixed league play, but his control will make some friends in the WHIP category.
Updates on Frederis Parra, Eddie Rosario, Casey Gillaspie, Raimel Tapia, and others.
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Notes on prospects who stood out this weekend, including Astros outfielder Domingo Santana and Mets lefty Steven Matz.
Friday, June 27
Domingo Santana, OF, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 4-5, 3 R, HR, K. The fact that Santana is now hitting over .300 probably has something to do with the effect of the PCL, but the fact that he’s slugging over .500 does not. Santana could stand a to have a little more contact in his game and refine his approach at the plate, but that’s probably not going to happen at this point. He’s close to being a finished product, if he’s not there already, and should be joining the Astros soon.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Mariners catcher Wayne Taylor and Braves righty Lucas Sims.
Hitter of the Night: Wayne Taylor, C, Mariners (Pulaski, R): 4-4, 4 R, 2 2B, HR, BB.
It’s almost not fair to count the damage big-time college hitters do in short-season leagues right after getting drafted. Their experienced approach typically helps them take advantage of much younger pitchers, but this was a really impressive game from the Mariners 16th-round pick this year out of Stanford. Taylor is now 12-for-23 with three home runs as a professional.
Pitcher of the Night: Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves (Lynchburg, A+): 7 IP, 0 H, R (0 ER), 4 BB, 6 K.
Sims’ evening was his best start of the year and included a season-high in strikeouts, redirecting what had been suspiciously low strikeout totals compared to last year. It came at a good time for the Braves, too, as there were likely more than a few teams with their eyes on Sims as a potential trade piece, as the Braves look to add to their 2014 club. Despite his numbers this season, Sims still has the stuff and build to project as a potential no. 2 starter.