Games of Friday, April 12

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 K; Here’s a conversation I had with a scout. Scout: “Have you seen Taillon?” Me: “Yes.” Scout: “That curveball could be a (expletive expletive)!”  

Position Prospect of the Day: Rosell Herrera, SS, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 3-3, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB; Herrera is a switch-hitter with an uncanny ability to barrel balls and plus power from the left side of the plate. Since he’s already 6-foot-3, a move off of shortstop to the hot corner is imminent.

 “The Good”

  • Stetson Allie, 1B, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K; this pitcher-turned-hitter has big-time raw power but is still getting comfortable at the plate.
  • Josh Bell, OF, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 4-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, K; after an injury-shortened 2012 season, Bell is starting to regain some of the bat speed and skills the Pirates saw from him as an amateur.
  • Timothy Berry, LHP, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; fastball up to 92 with movement; curveball that flashed solid-average; changeup was average. Berry is a sleeper arm in the Orioles system.
  • Wil Browning, RHP, Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K; Side-arm right-hander with a fastball that touches 90, plenty of deception, and a usable slider. Browning is a super-deep middle-relief sleeper. 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K thus far.
  • Sean Coyle, 2B, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI; Strong small frame that has plenty of bat speed and power; after a tough 2012 season, he is working on staying within himself and just playing the game; 11-for-33 with 3 HR and 3 SB to date.
  • Derek Dietrich, 2B, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI; Acquired in the Yunel Escobar trade, Dietrich has plus power but can try to do too much at the plate and will need to continue to work on his discipline; 9-for-35, 3 2B, HR, and 6 RBI thus far.
  • Max Fried, RHP, Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; Fried was looked upon as the safest of the high-school arms in the 2012 draft. He has the potential for a plus fastball, easy plus curveball, and a changeup that could be a usable major-league pitch. Fried has a very clean arm action and repeats his delivery well, giving him plus command of all his pitches.
  • Ismael Guillon, LHP, Reds (Low-A Daytona): 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; A fastball that can run up to 94 combined with a plus changeup makes Guillon an interesting arm. He struggles with his mechanics, which leads to below-average command, and some believe a move to the bullpen is not far off.
  • Patrick Light, RHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; Light received a $1 million bonus out of Monmouth in the 2012 draft. He has a heavy, sinking fastball that can touch plus-plus velocities and also employs a slider and changeup.
  • Brad Miller, IF, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 3-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI; Miller is a well-rounded player that offers skills in all areas. He has a grinder mentality and will get the most out of his ability.
  • Hunter Morris, 1B, Brewers (Triple-A Nashville): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K; Morris has good raw power, but some question whether he will make enough contact to allow his power to play at the highest level.
  • Tom Murphy, C, Rockies (Low-A Ashville): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI; Murphy, a bat-first catcher, has a short stroke with solid-average power and is working on his defensive skills.
  • Peter O’Brien, C, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI, K; O’Brien keeps showing his power, but he will need to stay at this level to continue to develop his defense.
  • Kevin Plawecki, C, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 3-4, 2 2B, R, RBI; Plawecki keeps showing superior contact ability but must prove that he can stick behind the plate to earn a promotion to St. Lucie.
  • A.J. Schugel, RHP, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; Fastball has excellent life and touches the mid-90s; Schugel also uses a solid-average changeup, making him an arm to keep an eye on despite a messy breaking ball.
  • Drew Steckenrider, RHP, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; Real-deal fastball, rough secondary offerings.
  • Chris Stratton, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; Stratton, a first-round selection in 2012, features a plus fastball of which he has good command, a small breaking slider, and a developing changeup.
  • Oscar Taveras, CF, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 4-5, 2B, 2 R; It was only a matter of time before the sweetest-swinging prospect put together a night worthy of a spot on this list.
  • Michael Taylor, RF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB; The former “blue-chip” prospect has never been able to transfer his tools to the major-league level. Until he does so, I would continue to believe these numbers are a product of the friendly confines of the Pacific Coast League.  
  • Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB;  A bat-first second baseman, Yarbrough makes a lot of contact but some worry about whether the bat will play against quality pitching.
  • Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; Featured a fastball up to 97 and a curveball that has plus-plus potential. Zimmer has picture-perfect mechanics, which enhance his plus command but also allow batters to pick the ball up early.

 “The Bad”

  • Cito Culver, SS, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 0-5, 3 K; Culver has a hitch in his swing which clouds his projection going forward, in my view.
  • Chuckie Jones, OF, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 0-5, 4 K; Jones has a lot of swing and miss in his game, so nights like this will happen.
  • Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Brewers (Double-A Huntsville): 2.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; Jungmann is still developing consistency with his three-pitch mix (fastball/slider/changeup).
  • Kyle McPherson, RHP, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 1.2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, K; McPherson offers plus command of all pitches, but his mediocre stuff will occasionally produce clunkers like this one.
  • Jeremy Rathjen, OF, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 0-4, 3 K; Rathjen is an interesting 2012 draftee, but his swing can get lengthy.
  • Bubba Starling, CF, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 0-3, 3 K; The Royals drafted Starling as a long-term project, so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and time to get things right with him. Still, lines like this one leave you uneasy.

“The Disappointing”

Matthew Hobgood, RHP, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K; It’s good to see that the 2009 first-round selection was at least able to get back on the mound.

Games of Saturday, April 13

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Yordano Ventura, RHP, Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; Ventura has a lightning-fast arm with the best fastball in the minors (according to Baseball Prospectus), a power curveball that is an easy plus pitch, and a changeup that is improving. If everything comes together, Ventura will be able to pitch at the front of a rotation, and if the changeup never comes, he still has the stuff to be a top-notch closer.

Position Prospect of the Day: Dilson Herrera, 2B, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 4-4, 2B, HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB; Herrera has a good stroke with plenty of punch. He has a small frame and plus speed, and has made the move to the right side of the infield full time in 2013.  

“The Good”

  • Stetson Allie, 1B, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 2-6, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 K; Oh, Stetson, back again? I’m glad to see that you are showing off that raw power in Low-A. Allie will need to continue on this path and to return to the prospect radar.
  • Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 2-3, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB; Arenado keeps showing his ability at the plate, so the waiting game for his promotion to the majors continues.
  • Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R; Baez wears his chain out, has crazy bat speed, but had been struggling in High-A. It’s only a matter of time until his superior skill set helps him to flourish as a prospect.
  • Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K; Bauer has the stuff to dominate. He will continue to work on his command before returning to The Show.
  • Chris Beck, RHP, White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K; Beck has a three-pitch arsenal (fastball/slider/changeup). The fastball has plus potential, while the slider and changeup both could be usable pitches in the majors.
  • Chris Bostick, 2B, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 3-5, 2 3B, HR, R, 3 RBI, SB; Bostick has an interesting bat with the ability to consistently square up balls and is working on improving defensive actions.
  • Andrew Burns, 3B, Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB, K; Burns profiles best as a future utility man. He has the ability to play all over the diamond defensively, but will have to continue to produce with the bat.
  • Christian Colon, SS, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI; Colon has never been one of “my guys.” He offers good plate discipline, but has limited tools. He is a very fringy defender at short and would benefit from making the move to the right side of the keystone.
  • Travis D’Arnaud, C, Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI; d’Arnaud is just biding his time in Triple-A. He has the tools (5 hit and 6 power) to one day become an All-Star catcher.
  • Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K; Foltynewicz has a three-pitch mix (fastball/curveball/changeup), and all three of those offerings will be major-league-level pitches.
  • Fred Ford, 1B/OF, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 2-3, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB; Ford has plus-plus raw power and will continue to work on making enough contact to allow his power to play in games.
  • Nate Karns, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K; Fastball up to 95 with a plus curveball and a fringy changeup.
  • Mason Melotakis, LHP, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; Melotakis has a fastball that can touch the upper 90s combined with a slider that shows plus potential.
  • Adam Morgan, LHP, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K; A four-pitch mix (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup) with a bulldog mentality means that Morgan will soon be knocking on the door.
  • Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 9 K; Odorizzi has been showing swing-and-miss stuff, but is buried in a system with a wealth of pitching talent.
  • Daniel Paolini, 2B/OF, Mariners (Hi-A High Desert): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, SB; Paolini has plus raw power, but a swing that is not conducive for consistent contact and questionable bat speed inflates the risk here.
  • Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K; Pimentel, acquired in the Joel Hanrahan trade, has a big fastball and potential plus changeup, but has yet to find a breaking ball and his command can waver.
  • Yasiel Puig, RF, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI; It was about time to get Puig on the list. Puig offers a crazy skill set, which could include 7 power, 6 run, 6 throw, 6 range and 5 hit tools.  
  • Chad Rogers, RHP, Reds (Double-A Pensacola): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; Sinking fastball that sits in the low 90s with a hard slider and fringy changeup.
  • Angel Sanchez, RHP, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; Fastball that can touch 96 with a slider and changeup that currently need work. He will look to improve his command of the secondary offerings in 2013.
  • Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, K; Scout, “If he can get his hands extended watch out!” Sanchez offers big-time power, but will need to work on his defensive ability.
  • Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K; Syndergaard is able to throw fastballs in the upper 90s with a steep plane, and he adds a potential plus curveball and a plus changeup. He will need to continue to work to improve his command as the year goes on.
  • Tyrone Taylor, OF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; Good bat speed with solid-average power projection and solid-average speed.
  • Tomas Telis, C, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 3-4, 2B, R, RBI, K; Grinder type that has a knack for putting the barrel on the ball. Telis works as hard as anyone, but he lacks physical tools and must stick behind the plate in order to maintain his prospect status.

“The Bad”

  • Gregory Bird, 1B, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 0-4, 3 K; Long arms and a long swing that produces a lot of swings and misses.
  • Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 2.2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, throwing error, WP; An arm stroke that can get off line makes it hard for Glasnow to command his pitches. He has good stuff and should eventually be able to smooth out his mechanics.
  • Jefferson Olacio, LHP, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, fielding error, WP; Olacio has a massive frame and good velocity from the left side, but has struggled professionally thus far.
  • George Springer, OF, Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 0-3, BB, 3 K; Plenty of tools and plenty of swing and miss.
  • Angel Villalona, 1B, Giants (High-A San Jose): 0-4, 2 K; I’m sure the Giants are glad Villalona is back playing baseball and not in jail. Now it is time for him to get back into prospect form.
  • Mason Williams, CF, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 0-3, BB, 2 K; Williams has plenty of tools, but also plenty of room for improvement.
  • Austin Wright, LHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 1 K; The big lefty was not able to throw the ball over the plate in this one.

“The Dry Air of the Pacific Coast League”

Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 2.1 IP, 8 H, 9 ER, 3 BB, 3 K; Skaggs is looked upon as one of the best pitchers in the minors, but of nights in the unfriendly environments of the PCL can yield lines like this one.

Games of Sunday, April 14

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K; plus-plus fastball, easy plus curveball, and a usable slider and changeup. The combination of Wheeler and Harvey will put smiles on Mets fans’ faces for a long time.

Position Prospect of the Day: Michael Choice, OF, Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento): 4-5, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 R, 3 RBI; Built like a middle linebacker, Choice offers plus-plus power with an average hit tool.

“The Good”

  • Tyler Anderson, LHP, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; Anderson offers a high-80s fastball, average cutter, average curveball, and plus changeup. He has advanced pitchability and a deceptive delivery from which batters struggle to pick up the ball.
  • Alec Asher, RHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; Fastball can touch the upper 90s, but his curve and change are still developing.
  • Tony Cingrani, LHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K; Good-bye, Tony. I wish you and your solid stuff, and strange release point, well in The Show.
  • Brandon Drury, 3B, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI; Drury, acquired in the Justin Upton package, has a short stroke with power potential but will need to improve his plate discipline.
  • Ethan Martin, RHP, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K;  Big-league fastball with a big-breaking curveball, and an average slider. Unfortunately, Martin’s below-average command profile leads me to believe he’s destined for the bullpen.
  • Bruce Maxwell, C, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 3-5, 2 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI; Left-handed swing and plus power potential with a defensive profile that is still very raw.
  • J.R. Murphy, C, Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 3-6, 2B, 4 RBI, K; easy balanced swing with developing power and defensive ability keep Murphy squarely on the prospect radar.
  • Tyler Ogle, C/1B, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 4-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, BB; Ogle has plus raw power but his defense is still a work in progress.
  • Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 4-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI; Rendon has a sweet swing that allows him to square balls up with ease. He adds solid average power potential and the defensive chops to potentially move to second base.
  • Tony Sanchez, C, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 3-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB; The former first-round selection has improved his offensive ability but comes with defensive #want questions.
  • Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 3-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, K; Sano has plenty of bat speed and power; if you leave a mistake over the plate, it is gone.
  • Kevan Smith, C, White Sox (Triple-A Winston-Salem): 4-4, 3B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB; Smith has solid contact ability, but is a below-average receiver who must improve behind the plate to retain his prospect status.
  • Daniel Stumpf, LHP, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; A fastball up to 94 combined with a developing slider and changeup make Stumpf an interesting prospect to follow.
  • Alvin Toles, RF, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 3-5, 2 2B, R, 4 RBI, 2 K; ith plus-plus speed and a quick bat with sneaky power, Toles is a project that could be a household name or out of baseball entirely in five years.
  • Alex Torres, LHP, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K; after a disappointing 2012 season, this is a good sign for Torres, who has a low-90s fastball mixed with a cutter and changeup.
  • B.A. Vollmuth, 3B, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 4-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI; With a short stroke with solid-average power potential, Vollmuth crushes fastballs and struggles versus soft stuff.

 “The Bad”

  • Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 2.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; it was a homecoming back to Connecticut for Barnes, and since he only gave up singles, I’ll give him a pass.
  • Dellin Betances, RHP, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 0.2 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; The once can’t-miss prospect is now struggling to stay on any sort of prospect radar.
  • Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 0-4, K; Plenty of power and plenty of swing and miss.
  • Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; All part of the maturation process. I would be shocked if Stephenson doesn’t come out and shove it in his next start.

“The Ugly”

Mike Olt, 3B, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 0-4, 4 K; Not a good trend for Olt, who has scuffled since returning to Triple-A.


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" Baez wears his chain out" Literally or figuratively? If the latter, what does that mean?
Both, Baez is a player who knows he has elite skills. Some may take it as a negative, but I enjoy a player who walks the confidence/cockiness line. In order to be successful at the Major League level you have to believe no one can stop you.
Syndergaard is on the Mets. No take backsies!
Talk about a Freudian slip. My loyalty to the Blue Jays has been exposed.
Why is Matt Hobgood's performance "disappointing"? Because he gave up a hit? He only struck out three? I would bet the Orioles are pleased so far. He hasn't given up a run in three appearances. Mychal Givens, a converted shortstop now pitching, is also worth noting.
Nothing about Matt Hobgood's performance was disappointing. Matt Hobgood is disappointing. The fact that he is still in Low-A won't put a smile on Orioles' fans faces. Givens has converted to a reliever, but it is hard to get him a mention on here unless he starts putting up extreme strikeout numbers.
I realize he's being mentioned because he had a couple good games, but is Stetson Allie a real 1B prospect, or is he here only because he is a name that people know?
Currently more people know the name and how much draft bonus money he received. He shows the raw power, but swing can get lengthy. He is back on the road in the right direction, but I can only currently consider him a fringy prospect.
Is what Michael Taylor is putting up at home (in a pitchers park for the PCL) mean something, or is it just SSS at this point?
I would say SSS. I need to see Taylor do it at the MLB level before I change my tune.