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Michael Ynoa, RHP, Athletics (Rookie-level AZL A's): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

In case you were beginning to wonder if Ynoa was some kind of myth, like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, he finally threw his first official pitch a little less than two years after signing. The 18-year-old Dominican retired nine of the 11 batters he faced, including four by way of the strikeout, and we can finally stop talking about what he can be, and start talking about what he is – and yes, he really does exist.

Max Kepler, OF, Twins (Rookie-level GCL Twins): 3-for-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI

If you missed the most recent episode of the podcast, you missed a fascinating discussion with Tom Gillespie of MLB International on the strides baseball is making in Europe. One of the poster boys of this progress is Kepler, a German who received $800,000 to sign last spring. Tom discussed how Kepler's U.S. connection (his mother is American) helped exposed him to baseball, and how the academies hopefully prepared him to at least hold his own in the Gulf Coast League this summer. In his pro debut, the 17-year-old did more than hold his own.

Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K

Just when it looked like he was cooling off, the 2007 first-round pick has gone a bit nuts again, going 12-for-20 in his last five games with four doubles and a pair of bombs. With a batting line of .355/.421/.704 in 52 games for the Naturals, he's been one of the best hitters in the minors this year, and could get a real look next spring.

Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (Rookie-level GCL Yankees): 2-for-4, HR (1), R, 4 RBI, BB, K

One of the biggest prizes in last year's international market, Sanchez signed for $3 million last summer, and the Yankees have waited nearly a year for his name to show up in a box score. The 17-year-old didn't take long to fill up his stat sheet with a grand slam in his second plate appearance as a pro, and the Pirates wasted no time testing his strong, but at times inaccurate throwing arm, as they ran five times on him, getting caught once. Sanchez has some special tools for a backstop, and one of the higher ceilings among position players in the system.

Others Of Note:

  • Lars Anderson, 1B, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 0-for-5, K. 1-for-34 slump (wow) has dropped Triple-A line to .197/.308/.338.
  • J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (15), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Becoming an MLU regular; 10 home runs in last 21 games and .375/.420/.797 mark in June.
  • Josh Bell, 3B, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI, K. Might be finally finding a real groove; .291/.375/.491 in 15 June games.
  • Tyler Chatwood, RHP, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 2.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 1 K. Undersized righty with outstanding sinker had 1.77 ERA in Cal League; Texas League debut not so good.
  • Aaron Crow, RHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 BB, 2 K. Not all news is good in Royals land, as '09 first-rounder has allowed 28 runs over 18 2/3 innings in his last five starts.
  • Matt LaPorta, 1B/OF, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 3-for-4, RBI. 21-for-51 (.412) run since demotion gives some reason for optimism.
  • Matt Lipka, SS, Braves (Rookie-level GCL Braves): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI. Nice debut for Braves' top pick; great athleticism and makeup.
  • Nick Longmire, OF, Cardinals (Short-season Batavia): 4-for-5, 2B, HR (2), R, 4 RBI, SB. Fifth-round pick has great tools; but rarely performed up to expectations in college.
  • Carlos Perez, C, Blue Jays (Short-season Auburn): 1-for-5, HR (1), R, 4 RBI, K. Feature in yesterday's Ten Pack; responds with home run.
  • Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Reds (Rookie-level Billings): 3-for-5, R, 3 RBI. Still loaded with tools; still just 17 years old.
  • Tony Sanchez, C, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 2-for-2, HR (4), R, RBI, SB. .314/.414/.454 in season that's seen him play through a number on minor injuries.
  • J.B. Shuck, OF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 2-for-4, R, RBI. Grinding outfielder who gets the most from limited tools is 26-for-54 (.481) in last 13 games and .326/.399/.395 overall.
  • Donavan Tate, OF, Padres (Rookie-level AZL Padres): 0-for-5, 2 K. Pro debut for last year's third overall pick. 
  • Cory Vaughn, OF, Mets (Short-season Brooklyn): 2-for-3, HR (1), 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Fourth-round pick and son of Greg with first big pro game.
  • Kolbrin Vitek, 2B/3B Red Sox (Short-season Lowell): 3-for-3, 2B, BB. First-round pick was 1-for-9 in first three games, now he's hitting .333.
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ostrowj1
6/22
Regarding Ynoa, I am curious why it took 2 years before he played in the rookie league. Is this common for Latin American prospects? What has he been doing?
Androo
6/22
This might be a nice area to do an extended Future Shock article (similar to the excellent Josh Bell piece last year when he was traded). I think a lot of readers might like to see some of the process between the initial international signing and when the player starts showing up in boxscores in the States. At least, I know I'd enjoy it.
kgoldstein
6/22
He was signed in 2008, but it was a 2009 contract, and then last year he had elbow issues, thus . . .
SydFinch
6/22
He'll be 19 in September, so his "peer group" is really the 2010 prep draft classe (Taillon, Cole, COvey, Whiston, Allie, etc). Nice start, but if he sits 92-94 I guess he still is very projectible (6'7" and skinny) but his velo and stuff wouldn't stand out against the above peer group
leites
6/22
Are scouts providing an explanation for Lars Anderson's erratic performance? Are there other players who come to mind with similar extreme swings in performance, apparently not as a result of injury? Or maybe his back is acting up again?
leites
6/22
Anderson is starting to remind me of Andy LaRoche
uptick
6/22
Where's the love for Chris Davis? He was 3-5 last night with a HR, and is now hitting .361 at OKC...what more does he have to do to get back in the bigs?
kgoldstein
6/22
Where are you going to play him? You want to bench Smoak or Vlad? Lemme know.
uptick
6/22
If the Rangers are committed to Smoak at 1B, which seems to be the case, then why not trade Davis? The Rangers are supposedly looking for a SP, and I gotta believe that Davis would be of interest to teams needing someone at 1B or 3B
kgoldstein
6/22
I'm not sure Davis has that much trade value. 1B who has failed twice in the big leagues? I'm not saying he stinks, but you wouldn't get much for him.
Schere
6/22
The Orioles would give you Atkins and, um....Wigginton? Would that get it done for ya?
uptick
6/22
that may well be, but Davis would start at either 1B or 3B for a few MLB teams right now, so I would think that he'd have at least some value
Peter7899
6/23
If the Rangers would be interested in Ted Lilly and change, I wouldn't mind having Chris Davis man 1B for the Cubs next year.
manoadano
6/22
Any word on what Ynoa was throwing, in terms of velocity and/or pitch type? Thanks.
SydFinch
6/22
I read 92-94
markpadden
6/25
Is this a recent report?
leites
6/22
Any thoughts about Andy Oliver, who will apparently start for the Tigers on Friday?
leites
6/22
Ah, just found your excellent write-up about him at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11021
shmooville
6/22
In line with the Ynoa mention; could you explain a little bit about Miguel Jean Sano, (or whatever name he is currently going by these days), and what the Dominican Summer Rookie League is versus U.S. counterparts? I originally heard he was going to be playing in the GCL, but now it looks like he's in the DSL. How comparable is it to stateside rookie leagues? Thanks.
FalcoT
6/22
Kevin, could you maybe write an article about an international signee who is now in the majors and his trajectory from sigining to his current place? That would help me put guys like Ynoa and Sano in perspective.
dantroy
6/22
I've heard Sano is expected to shift to the GCL in July, though I may be a few weeks behind the news on this.
tombache
6/22
Why has Anderson such a highly regarded prospect? He's never been good for an entire season and basically his whole career is the 41 games at Double A at the end of 2008 and the 17 games beginning this season. Is it simply the fact that he was a highly regarded player coming out of high school and got a big bonus?
saucyjack88
6/22
Nice to see Carlos Perez get the "Goldstein Bump"!!