The big-budget Cuban import has struggled with the bat during his first year in the United States, but one scout that recently saw him felt that the bat would come around, as his swing worked mechanically and his fast hands would ultimately serve him well. Since going 2-for-15 in his first four Double-A contests, the 21-year-old has gone 11-for-34 with four doubles, and as for the defense (which got him all that money in the first place), the scout said, "he could excel in the big leagues right now, glove-wise."
Keucel is hardly a monster prospect, but he'll likely be a big leaguer, as there are two thnk he does extremely well – throw strikes and get ground balls. The reason he caught my eye was the headline on the Lancaster press release for last night's game, which said "Dallas Keuchel Makes JetHawks History In 3-2 Win." The history? It was Keuchel's third complete game of the year, tying a team record. That's right, three, and his only true nine-inning version, as he went the distance in a seven-inning game, and also took the loss during one that just required eight innings of work. Because of his efficiency, he leads the Cal League with 114 2/3 innings, and teams need guys like this as well – just look at what many teams are throwing out the as their No. 4 or 5 starters for evidence of that.
Others of Note:
- Juan Arias, SS, Reds (Rookie-level AZL Reds): 2-for-4, HR (3), R, 4 RBI, K. Projectable, athletic shortstop is generating a lot of buzz in Arizona with .329/.363/.579 batting line, but also has 12 errors in 16 games, including two more last night.
- Joe Benson, OF, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 2-for-4, 2B, K, 2 CS. Three multi-hit games in last four and overall line of .256/.347/.539; tools are highly underrated as he's a rare prospect with above-average power, speed and arm strength.
- Dellin Betances, RHP, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 3 K. You had to expect a bump in the road at some point, no?
- Christian Colon, SS, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 1-for-2, HR (1), R, RBI, BB. First pro home run for highest signed pick (fourth overall) from the 2010 draft.
- Matt Davidson, 3B, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 2-for-5, HR (11), R, 2 RBI, K. Ten-game hitting streak and .291/.374/.493 overall for South Bend team filled will high 2009 picks that have mostly disappointed.
- Khris Davis, OF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 4-for-4, 2B, HR (16), 5 R, 2 RBI, BB. Cal State Fullerton product is a bit too advanced for Midwest League; 12-for-18 with four home runs in last six games and .313/.412/.566 overall.
- Derek Dietrich, SS, Rays (Short-season Hudson Valley): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (1), 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, K. First pro home run for second-round pick out of Georgia Tech; .268/.333/.378 line disappoints.
- Matt Dominguez, 3B, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Supplied all the offense for the South in the Southern League All-Star game; power and outstanding defense keeps him an intriguing prospect, but will he ever really hit?
- Chris Dwyer, RHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Just add him to the list of Royals prospects who have taken a big step forward this year; has the stuff to be a good big league starter.
- Daniel Fields, OF, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 2-for-4, HR (4), R, RBI, K. Struggling overall in High-A as a 19-year-old at .246/.360/.379; impressive athlete with big upside and starting to come around with the bat, including 1059 OPS in ten July games.
- Harold Garcia, 2B, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 2-for-4, 2B. Promoted once Florida State League record hitting streak ended; back-to-back two-hit games after 2-for-14 start.
- Charlie Jones, OF, Giants (Rookie-level AZL Giants): 3-for-4, HR (4), 3 R, RBI, SB. Seventh-round pick last month has home runs in four of last five games and overall line of .326/.348/.721; 6-3, 235 beast with oodles of raw power.
- Leon Landry, OF, Dodgers (Rookie-level Ogden): 3-for-4, 3B, RBI, CS. Third-round pick and LSU product could likely play at full-season league right now; weird fact: has yet to have one hit in a game with nine multi-hit efforts and four 0-fors making up .373/.393/.542 line.
- Kirk Niewenhuis, OF, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 2-for-5, 2B, R. An insane 24-for-47 (.511) during current 10-game hitting streak, with a just as crazy 12 doubles over that stretch; up to .306/.348/.541 and teams should be asking about him in trade talks.
- Luis Noel, RHP, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K. Mild sleeper who had career delayed by visa issues; Plus command of average stuff; could profile as back-end starter in the end.
- Eric Surkamp, LHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 10 K. 24 strikeouts in last two starts and 106 on the season in 99 innings; does it with command and secondary pitches, as fastball is fringy.
- Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Blue Jays (Rookie-level GCL Blue Jays): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K. Pro debut for 38th overall pick who signed for below-slot bonus of $600,000.
- Jacob Turner, RHP, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. First good start at High-A; looks kind of fluky from a distance.