It took until July, but Decker has seemed to finally find his stroke, and plate discipline. In his last nine games for the Storm, the stocky outfielder is 16-for-32 with four double, two home runs and seven walks, raising his OPS more than 100 points in the process with a triple-slash line of .263/.358/.445. This is good news for a bat-only prospect who needs to put up big numbers in order to maintain his big league target.
The knock against Kipnis when he was putting up huge numbers at Arizona State was that he small and not very physical. Those issues go away as a second baseman, and it's safe to call him the hottest hitter in the Eastern League with six straight multi-hit games (15-for-25) to bring his averages up to .338/.416/.551 since his promotion in mid-June.
Nobody expected Liddi to repeat last year's crazy numbers once he left High Desert, but he's suddenly hitting like he's there again, with home runs in three straight games to lift his season averages to .272/.342/.462 in 91 games. Still just 21, and with far less experience than most his age, the native of Italy has all the tools in the world to be an above-average everyday player in the big leagues.
While Montero struggled during the first half of the season, scouts never wavered on him, as reports still turned in the 20-year-old as a potential number three hitter on a championship team. Now batting .383/.500/.702 in 14 July games, he's suddenly looking like one in the numbers as well.
Others Of Note:
- Lars Anderson, 1B, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 2-for-4, K. Clearly out of his miserable June slump; 18-for-44 (.409) during 11-game hitting streak.
- J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K. What? No home run?
- Xavery Avery, OF, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 3-for-4, RBI, K, 2 SB. Back-to-back three hits games bring averages up to .289/.356/.400.
- Peter Bourjos, OF, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 3-for-6, HR (9), 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K. Batting .455 (35-for-77) in July and .298/.349/.454 overall; 70 runner and good outfielder.
- Drake Britton, LHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Third straight excellent out as his arm gets stretched out after Tommy John surgery; fastball has been up to 95 mph.
- Tanner Bushue, RHP, Astros (Low-A Lexington): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Second-round pick from '09 has been inconsistent (4.55 ERA) but has the stuff to miss bats with 83 Ks in 87 IP.
- Adrian Cardenas, 2B/3B, Athletics (Double-A Midland): 4-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI. Finding stroke again after Triple-A washout; up to .379/.465/.552 in 32 Double-A games.
- Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (22), 3 R, 2 RBI, BB. 16 total bases in last two games; 47 of 86 hits have gone for extra bases to make up for .242 batting average and 108 strikeouts in 94 games.
- Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals (Rookie-level Idaho Falls): 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, SB. Royals already moved 17-year-old out of complex league; bat is highly advanced.
- Eduardo Escobar, SS, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 2-for-5, RBI, 2 K. Moved up to Double-A last week; 21-year-old Venezuelan can hit a bit, but is better known for his defense, including a plus-plus arm.
- Danny Espinosa, SS, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 1-for-4, HR (14), R, 2 RBI. Four home runs in last three games have pushed slugging up 41 points to .261/.337/.460.
- Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, K. 8-for-15 in last three games and .282/.331/.373; this week's podcast (up tonight) has a bit of an argument over his future.
- Jiwan James, OF, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, 2 K. Batting .394 (28-for-71) in last 18 games; tools rate with anyone in the system not named Domonic Brown.
- Corey Kluber, RHP, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 7 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 9 K. Big righty has good fastball, even better slider, and 121 strikeouts in 109.2 innings.
- Ryan Lavarnway, C, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 K. 7-for-18 in first five Double-A games after a .289/.392/.487 line at High-A; time to start taking him more seriously as a prospect.
- Nick Longmire, OF, Cardinals (Short-season Batavia): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI. Fifth-round pick has size, power and speed; batting .299/.381/.570 in first 27 games.
- Corey Luebke, LHP, Padres (Triple-A Portland): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Second Triple-A start after putting up a 2.40 ERA at Double-A; best lefty in the system could be in rotation by next year.
- Lance Lynn, RHP, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 11 K. Season high in strikeouts for otherwise disappointing righty (5.17 ERA).
- Trey McNutt, RHP, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Left game with blister problem.
- Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 1-for-3, HR (1), R, RBI, K. First Triple-A homer; just 4-for-23 since promotion.
- Justin O'Conner, C, Rays (Rookie-level GCL Rays): 2-for-4, HR (2), R, 4 RBI, K. Six hits and two home runs in last five games; first-rounder still only at .177/.274/.323 in 19 contests.
- Francisco Peguero, OF, Giants (High-A San Jose): 3-for-5, HR (5), R, 4 RBI, K, SB. Batting .380/.450/.549 in July and .301/.335/.442 overall. Just 13 walks all year in 79 games, but six in his last nine.
- Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K. Best start since Opening Day as expected break out has yet to happen for big right-hander.
- Eury Perez, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 3-for-5, 2B, R, K, 4 SB. 15-for-33 in last nine games, but also 11 stolen bases over that time; still at just .268/.315/.333.
- Guillermo Pimentel, OF, Mariners (Rookie-level AZL Mariners): 3-for-5, 2B, HR (1), 3 R, 2 RBI, K. First pro home run for last year's $2 million bonus baby out of the Dominican.
- Jose Ramirez, RHP, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 8 K. 19-year-old Dominican already has plus velocity at 91-94 mph and throws strikes.
- Eddie Rosario, OF, Twins (Rookie-level GCL Twins): 4-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB. Fourth-round pick out of Puerto Rico is batting .370/.409/.568 in 22 games; bat and above-average wheels are best tools.
- Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-for-5, HR (2), 2 R, 4 RBI. 6-for-14 with double and two home runs in last three games.
- Donavan Tate, OF, Padres (Rookie-level AZL Padres): 2-for-4, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Batting .250/.410/.438 in 14 games, but 23 Ks in 48 ABs.
- Michael Taylor, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI. Currently in 15-game hitting streak and batting .354/.440/.508 in July; back on track . . .
- Cory Vaughn, OF, Mets (Short-season Brooklyn): 3-for-5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI, SB. 9-for-18 in last four games and .303/.381/.607 overall in 32 games; also has seven stolen bases in eight attempts.
- Jose Vinicio, SS, Red Sox (Rookie-level GCL Red Sox): 2-for-4, 3B, R, 3 RBI, BB, CS. 17-year-old Dominican is batting .300/.333/.429 in 18 games; got $1.95 million last summer based more on outstanding defensive ability.
- Brett Wallace, 1B, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-5, HR (16), 2 R, 3 RBI. Hitting just .227 in July; still at .291/.354/.494 overall.