Cody Buckel, RHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K

Buckel has been fantastic all year, and after his best start of the season he has a 1.14 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 47.1 innings and just 23 hits allowed. Those are some of the loudest numbers in the minors, but this is not a pitcher with a profile that screams ace. He’s undersized, but extremely athletic, and his fastball, which sits at

90-92 mph and touches 93-94 is noted more for it’s movement than it’s velocity. What he does have is a complete arsenal, with a curveball that is a tick above-average and a true plus changeup, the kind of combination that will give A-ball hitters fits. He’s an excellent pitching prospect to be sure, but one with more assurances of being a good starter down the road than a future ace.

Others Of Note:

  • Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Twins (High-A Ft. Myers): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI. .972 OPS in May and .304/.360/.472 overall. Needs to hit as other tools are a bit flat.
  • Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 3-for-4. Starting to heat up again, which could get him closer to the big leagues; .302/.355/.423 in 40 games.
  • Tyler Austin, OF, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 1-for-2, HR (13), R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Home runs in back-to-back games and .291/.350/.702 overall; hitting just .193 in May, but eight of 11 hits have gone for extra bases.
  • Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. And one could argue that this is his least dominant start of the year.
  • Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Third straight quality start; 3.47 ERA with 40 Ks in 36.1 innings.
  • Clayton Blackburn, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 10 K. Strike-throwing, ground ball machine with outstanding sinker; 4.94 ERA but 41 Ks in 31 innings and GB rate of nearly 3-to-1.
  • Julio Borbon, OF, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 2-for-5, 2 HR (4), 2 R, 4 RBI. Not doing enough to get back to the big leagues; .258/.318/.380 in 38 games.
  • Corey Brown, OF, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI, K, CS. Arguably the hottest hitter in the International League by going 12-for-26 with three home runs over the last week; .286/.402/.500 in 41 games.
  • Chris Carter, 1B/DH, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-5, 2 HR (6), 4 R, 6 RBI. Six home runs but has gone deep in just three different games; .283/.358/.474 in 38 games.
  • Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 2-for-3, R, 2 BB, CS. A ridiculous 31-for-72 (.431) during 18-game hitting streak, but ridiculous all year at .411/.462/.556.
  • Matt Den Decker, OF, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K. Continues to surprise with the bat and one of the best defensive outfielders in the minors; .305/.363/.543 in 37 games.
  • Adam Eaton, OF, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, SB. An impatient hitter with no power, but also a line drive machine with plus speed; .403/.466/.538 in 28 games.
  • Wilmer Flores, 3B, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): Hitting .368 in May and .324/.359/.504 overall as prospect status is bouncing back.
  • J.R. Graham, RHP, Braves (High-A Lynchburg): 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 6 K. Short righty with outstanding slider and 12-to-1 ground ball ratio last night; 2.50 ERA in eight starts.
  • Grant Green, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-6, 3B, 4 R, K. 18-for-40 in last ten games and .303/.340/.472 overall; reviews of outfield play are improving.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres (Triple-A Tucson): 2-for-3, 2B, 3 R, 2 BB. Triple-A debut.
  • Miles Head, 3B/1B, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 4-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB. At .366/.415/.648 he can really hit, but as a short, wide-bodied bad defender who is R-R and maybe limited to first base, it’s a weird profile.
  • Danny Hultzen, LHP, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Has reeled off best two starts of season; 1.81 ERA with 20 hits allowed in 44.2 innings.
  • Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 3-for-4, 3B, HR (4), 2 R, RBI. Snaps out of ugly 2-for-25, 11 K slump; .241/.341/.447 in 36 games.
  • Brandon Jacobs, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3-for-4, K, 2 CS. 14-for-29 in last seven games and up to .308/.354/.421 overall; key to future will be power development, as he’s limited to left field.
  • Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians (Low-A Lake County): 2-for-4, R, K. Sixth straight two-hit game and on 29-for-72 (.403) run; .327/.372/.490 in 35 games.
  • Jefry Marte, 3B, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (2), 3 R, RBI, BB. 20-year-old has shown more consistent defense while breaking out with the bat; .311/.370/.434 in 33 games.
  • Fernando Martinez, OF, Astros (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 2-for-6, HR (7), 2 R, 3 RBI, 3 K. Might get back to the big leagues with .318/.374/.520 line in 38 games and it’s hard to imagine that he’s still just 23.
  • Deck McGuire, RHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Bounces back from worst start of career, but still at a 6.75 ERA with the Eastern Legaue hitting .312 against him.
  • Anthony Meo, RHP, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Missings bats but also having command issues; 3.95 ERA with 50 Ks in 41 innings.
  • Bryan Mitchell, RHP, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K. 2009 pick finally might be harnessing stuff that has always been there; 2.63 ERA with 39 Ks in 37.2 IP.
  • Wil Myers, OF, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-for-5, RBI. Triple-A debut.
  • Derek Norris, C, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-5, 2B, 4 RBI. .305/.343/.500 in 34 games and worth watching if Kurt Suzuki goes on the trade market in July.
  • Chris Owings, SS, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, R. 22 total bases in last three games have numbers up to suddenly stunning .339/.371/.589.
  • Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 2-for-3, 2 R, RBI, K. Intriguing bat with solid all-around tools; .333/.397/.435 in 18 games.
  • Tyson Perez, RHP, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 9 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB 2 K. A bit of a sleeper with a low-90s fastball, plus curve and outstanding location; scouts wonder how many bats he’ll miss down the road.
  • Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 1-for-2, R, 2 BB, K. Hitting streak up to 27 games; .292/.349/.494 overall.
  • Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 1-for-3, HR (14), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Home runs in three straight games and seven in last nine games; .359/.422/.717 in 38 games and it’s time for the Cubs to start figuring out how to shoehorn him into the lineup.
  • Daniel Rosenbaum, LHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K. 0.62 ERA in eight starts with zero earned runs in five of them; needs to move up to see if this is for real, as the pure stuff is far from inspiring.
  • Josh Sale, OF, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 2-for-4, HR (4), R, 3 RBI, K. Suddenly looking like the offensive beast from the 2010 draft; on-base 20 times in 11 games with 23 total bases (.333/.475/.767).
  • Domingo Santano, OF, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 2-for-5, 2B, HR (5), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Three home run in last five games and up to .254/.315/.500 in 29 games.
  • Jake Smolinkski, OF, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, BB. No home runs but 11 doubles and 19 walks in 107 at-bats; .318/.434/.458 in 29 games.
  • Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Best outing of year as inning count has gone from three to four; 1.88 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 28.2 innings.
  • Michael Taylor, OF, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 3-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, SB. Has failed to build on last year’s big step forward; .254/.371/.390 in 35 games.
  • Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 2.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 2 K. Baffling season as he seems to crap the bad once a month; 3.31 ERA in 35.1 innings.
  • Yordano Ventura, RHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Has shown more command and better secondaries to go with plus-plus fastball; 2.97 ERA with 49 Ks in 39.1 innings.
  • Zach Wheeler, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 8 K. Lapses in control have been the only ding; 2.15 ERA with 45 Ks, 19 BB in 37.2 innings.
  • Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB. 10-for-20 in last four games and .331/.400/.459 overall; In line for September look?
  • Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins (High-A Jupiter): 3-for-4, 2B, HR (7), R, RBI, K. Power growth continues; .283/.367/.566 in 31 games.


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I am not trying for a comp but it seems like the "definition" of Buckel was also used for Tyler Skaggs when Skaggs was in Hi A.
Kevin- Also, thanks for your efforts of writing up 40 some players, great work.
I believe Skaggs had more potential for a velo increase. Buckel is already using his entire body to get every bit of velocity out of his delivery.
No no. MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH more projection.
Carter has homered off Ramon Troncoso, Michael Antonini (5/17, at Albuquerque); Charles Brewer twice, Alex Capaul (4/22, at Reno); and Tom Layne (4/14, home vs. Reno). This is not exactly major-league pitching, is not clear to me how Capaul got into a game at AAA, after 73 decent innings at low-A last year.
Ah, Capaul was called up from extended spring training when the Reno bullpen was particularly taxed. He's back at Yakima now.
It's a bit difficult to hit HRs off major-league pitching while in AAA.
Kevin, can Smolinski play center?
Absolutely not.
Most impressive in Biddle's last start, to me? Zero walks. How much attention should we pay to walk rates by pitchers in the minors?
Cody Asche is hitting 360/386/500 in High A, but he's 22 and I've heard some scouts have doubted his glove at third base. Any projection there, or is he just a guy?
Kevin, have you seen/heard anything to explain Gary Brown's struggles so far this year?
Kevin: when you say "much much...more projection" are you saying that Buckel has more projection or that Skaggs had more when he was in A ball?
Skaggs had WAY more.
WongSanity (TM pending) - CATCH IT!
I'm driving the bandwagon. No talking to driver while bandwagon is in motion.
Cody Buckel kinda sounds like Colby Lewis' replacement in the rotation in 2014. Same type of pitcher. Lewis can K 200 guys without ever topping 92mph.
Fernando Martinez is kind of following a Nellie Cruz pattern of tease, tease some more, fail, tease ...get, tease.... then Nellie suddenly figured it out and his last four years or so have been well above league average even with the injuries.
If you are the Chicago Cubs.... will LeHair's trade value ever be higher?
Regarding Syndergaard & Bundy: is this something new: breaking in pitching prospects with a month or two of 3 inning outings before progressing to four innings and so on? What do you think of this approach?