The BP Merch Store is now open! BP360 is back, plus tons of apparel options!

Clayton Blackburn, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K.

Blackburn is having one of the best pitching seasons in the minors, as after another dominant outing on Monday night, he has a 2.55 ERA with a remarkable 137 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 123.1 innings.

The walk rate speaks to a big reason for his success, as pitchers with outstanding location can crush Low-A hitters, but while Blackburn is not a monster stuff guy, his 90-92 mph sinker is a special pitch because of both the control and the movement, as he has a groundball ratio of 2.30 right now while giving up just three home runs. He projects as a No. 3 or 4 starter, which might seem light based on the numbers, but is hardly an insult.

Others Of Note:

  • Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K. When he's on and throwing strikes, he's crazy great; 3.62 ERA but 137 strikeouts in 124.1 innings and .175 opponent's average.
  • Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 2-for-4, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K. Has suddenly added a ton of walks to everything else he does well offensively; .292/.408/.483 in 55 games since promotion.
  • C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 4-for-6, 2 2B, 2 HR (26), 3 R, 5 RBI, K. Strange player to figure out as bat-only type with power but surprisingly little patience; .297/.332/.518 in 122 games.
  • D.J. Davis, OF, Blue Jays (Rookie-level Bluefield): 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K, SB, CS. First-round pick has four multi-hit games in six Appy League starts; 9-for-23 (.391) since promotion.
  • Delino DeShields, 2B, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K, 2 SB. Sets an Astros system record with his 88th and 89th stolen bases of the year; .300/.391/.350 in first 10 Cal League games.
  • Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 4-for-5, 2 2B, HR (14), 2 R, 3 RBI, K. Soon-to-be 20-year-old is hitting just .264/.325/.430 on the year, but has been among league's best performers in second half, with .327/.386/.533 line.
  • Courtney Hawkins, OF, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 4-for-5, 3 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB. 18-year-old seems just fine in a full-season league; .314/.385/.543 in nine Sally League games.
  • Miles Head, 3B, Athletics (Double-A Midland): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, K. Recovering from slow Texas league start by going 9-for-16 with 16 total bases in last four games; .272/.344/.438 in 43 games.
  • Melky Mesa, OF, Yankees (Triple-A Empire State): 3-for-4, HR (5), 2 R, RBI. Toolsy outfielder with horrible approach; five home runs in 76 International League at-bats for weird line of .250/.278/.513 in 21 games.
  • Sean Nolin, LHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Upper-level debut for six-foot-five lefty with solid stuff, good location and a lot of angles.
  • Ariel Ovando, OF, Astros (Rookie-level Greeneville): 2-for-2, 2 HR (6), 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB. 18-year-old Dominican has made big progress with that bat; .300/.354/.464 in 54 games.
  • Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 2-for-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI. 18-for-42 (.429) during 10-game hitting streak and 1036 OPS in 53 games since All-Star break;. 314/.397/.522 overall for Dodgers best positional prospect.
  • Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 9 IP, 6 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K. Just 97 pitches in complete game; 4.11 ERA but 62 Ks in 114 innings is concerning.
  • Jerry Sands, OF/1B, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque): 5-for-6, 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI. Hitting .403/.467/.724 since the All-Star break; even if seen as a product of Albuquerque, isn't he better than James Loney?
  • Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Rookie-level Ogden): 2-for-3, 2B, HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Ogden is a great place to put up numbers, but Seager is generating glowing reports from scouts as well; .309/.375/.503 in 38 games.
  • Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Cubs (Short-season Boise): 3-for-4, HR (9), 2 R, RBI, BB. Hasn't slowed one bit in college-heavy Northwest League. All he can do is hit, but .343/.417/.686 line is certainly hitting.
  • Keenyn Walker, OF, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 K, SB. Another pleasant surprise in the White Sox system as big tools player has shows raw power, speed, good approach, but too much swing and miss; .273/.376/.434 in 25 games since promotion.

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
.292/.408/.483 in the Cal League = ???/???/??? in the FSL? I've had this pet theory that Angels offensive prospects get overrated in A ball for a while now. Could Cowart be the next?
Wow. GB ratio of 2.30 is crazy good.
Is Franco a Top 101 sleeper?
Wondering the same thing about Pederson!
How does Blackburn compare to Crick? Better command but not as much "stuff" as Crick?
Exactly. Not nearly as much stuff as Crick, actually.
The numbers for Vogelbach are crazy good, but they have to be for him to make it, right? Just how difficult will it be to rank him?
It's tough. 20 run and bad defense. If there's a definition of a bat only guy, it's Vogelbach.
KG - hearing anything on Kellen Sweeney? He was very disappointing (moreso than even Kevin Ahrens) for most of his first two+ abbreviated seasons, but has been on the first hot stretch of his career since approximately the beginning of the month. Progress real?
Cron will never see LAA, so Mil and Hou should be knocking on the door. He kind of sounds like Adams out in Stl who will chase ROY like Freeman did next year.
glad to see ovando making progress with the stick. I've been overly pessimistic about him.