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Prospect of the Day: Aaron Hicks, CF, Twins (will start the season as the Twins’ regular center fielder): 3-5, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI. Hicks has stood out throughout this spring training season, showcasing his running ability while hitting for power and exhibiting solid bat-to-ball skills. And all of this has come just a year after some wondered whether Hicks would have to transition back to the mound to showcase his plus-plus arm strength; .379/.419/.682 in 66 spring at-bats.  

Other notable prospect performances from March 26:

  • Michael Choice, OF, Athletics (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Midland): Built like a bowling ball, Choice displays plus-plus raw power, but it comes with a tendency to swing and miss; .313/.346/.458 in 48 spring at-bats.
  • Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Bowie): 3.2 IP 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Gausman has turned scouts’ heads this spring, leaving some evaluators wondering whether he, and not Dylan Bundy, is the top arm in the system; 17 strikeouts in 16 spring innings pitched.
  • Sugar Ray Marimon, RHP, Royals (anticipated to start the season in Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. The Colombian with arguably the best name in the minors has a three-pitch mix (fastball/curveball/changeup) and a bulldog mentality on the mound.
  • Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (anticipated to start the season in High-A Fort Myers): 1-5, R, RBI. The top slugger in the minor leagues will take his talents—80-grade raw power and 70-grade arm—just northwest of South Beach in 2013.
  • Marcus Stroman, RHP, Blue Jays (anticipated to start the season in High-A Dunedin): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. “Height can’t measure heart!” was the phrase written on the shirt that I saw Stroman wearing the other day. The small-framed righty sure does not have small stuff. He features a plus fastball, a potential plus-plus slider, and a major-league average changeup.
  • Bruce Rondon, RHP, Tigers (expected to pitch in the late innings for the Tigers): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2K. The fire-balling Venezuelan has always been able to miss bats, but he also misses the strike zone too much; 16 strikeouts and seven walks in 10 2/3 innings pitched.
  • Drew Vettleson, OF, Rays (anticipated to start the season in High-A Port Charlotte): 1-3, K. A 2010 supplemental first-round pick, Vettleson has a short stroke with good bat speed and projects to be at least an above-average major-league hitter.
  • Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Cubs (anticipated to start the season in Low-A Kane County): 0-0, BB. The 20-year-old hefty lefty shows advanced plate discipline and the potential for plus power.
  • Kenny Wilson, CF, Blue Jays (anticipated to start the season in Double-A New Hampshire): 0-1. Wilson, a former second-round pick, has always had plus-plus speed, but he has failed to make consistent contact in the minors; 1-for-6 this spring.

Note: The Minor League Update will take a one-day break tomorrow as Zach travels home from Florida, where he has been scouting prospects. It will return on Friday with notes from both Wednesday's and Thursday's games.

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nschneider
3/27
Stroman may start his season in Dunedin, but it won't be until late May or early June. He's sitting out a 50-game suspension for an illegal substance in a supplement he was taking.
mort10
3/27
Yes, Stroman will start his season working out in extended spring training.
juice133
3/28
Curious Zach, did you hear from the organization that Stroman was going to start in Dunedin? After they pushed him to New Hampshire last year I sort of assumed they would do the same this year. This wouldn't be the first (or last) time I was completely wrong in my assumption(s). It would make more sense to start him in High-A if they were planning to have him start.
mort10
3/28
Hey mark, I just heard rumblings from a few Front-office people that they were planning on keeping Stroman in Hi-A as a starter. I believe they will try this method to start, but do not be surprised if he is bumped up very quickly. If Stroman is moved to the bullpen I think he has the ability and polish to make it to the majors by late July/ early August.
juice133
3/28
Agreed. Thanks, Zach.
robbtodd
3/27
Like the work you're doing, Zach.
mort10
3/27
Thank you, but also make sure you thank Ben he is an 80 editor.
bornyank1
3/27
Daniel Rathman deserves more credit for MLU editing than I do.
myshkin
3/27
The missing line from the Michael Choice entry: 2-5, R. (He got the start in CF, too.)