Games of Friday, August 9

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Tanner Peters, RHP, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 8.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 14 K. Peters has a fastball that works in the upper 80s/low 90s with good command, a potential plus changeup, and a developing curveball. He may not be the brightest prospect, but a start like this is impressive.

Position Prospect of the Day: High Desert Mavericks, Entire Roster, Mariners (High-A High Desert): Seriously, just go take a look at how many runs they put on the board.

Other notable prospect performances on August 9:

“The Good”

  • Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K. Bradley has emerged as the top pitching prospect in 2013. Bradley offers a fastball that can work in the upper 90s, a plus-plus curveball, and a changeup that will be fine as his third offering. Bradley profiles a number-two starting pitcher; 103.0 IP, 81 H, 24 ER, 44 BB, 100 K in 17 Double-A starts.
  • Sean Coyle, 2B, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 4-5, 2 2B, HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, BB, K. Coyle is rehabbing an injury in Low-A (he’s currently on the High-A roster) and he is crushing inferior pitching. Coyle offers plus power and solid-average speed, but needs to make more consistent hard contact.
  • Phillip Ervin, OF, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI. I wrote about Ervin as well as many other first-rounders in the special editions of the MLU last week.
  • Justin Haley, RHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Haley has a fastball that works in the low-to-mid 90s with good downhill plane and is still developing his secondary offerings (curveball/changeup); 48.0 IP, 32 H, 13 ER, 27 BB, 45 K in last nine starts.
  • Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Lee is quietly putting up very good numbers in the Southern League. Lee offers a solid-average fastball, a plus slider, a solid-average changeup, and a usable curveball. Lee profiles best as a middle-of-the-rotation starter; 124.2 IP, 111 H, 43 ER, 29 BB, 117 K in 25 appearances this season.
  • Steven Matz, LHP, Mets (Low-A Savannah): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Matz has a fastball that can work in the mid 90s with life, and he complements that with an average curveball and changeup. Matz has had injury questions in the past, but he has put himself squarely on the map during 2013; 91.1 IP, 76 H, 25 ER, 29 BB, 100 K in 18 starts.
  • Matt Purke, LHP, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. Purke has been very up and down since being promoted to High-A. The stuff and command fluctuates from start to start. Purke is going to need to be more consistent in 2014 if he wants to take steps forward as a prospect.
  • Bubba Starling, CF, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 2-3, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI, K. The bat-to-ball ability may not be there, but Starling has all of the other tools. The power has easy plus potential, he’s plus-plus runner, and he has an easy plus defensive profile. If the hit tool can even be below-average he will be valuable; .367/.472/.567 with 3 2B, 1 HR, and 3 SB in last 30 at-bats.
  • Yordano Ventura, RHP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Well, if you don’t know Ventura’s stuff by this point, then obviously you don’t pay a lot of attention. The kid has major-league stuff, and if the Royals stay hot and need a bullpen arm, look for Ventura to get a shot.

“The Bad”

  • Larry Greene, LF, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 0-5, 3 K. Oh, Larry Greene. It’s just not going to work, is it?
  • Brandon Jacobs, LF, White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 0-4, 3 K. I wasn’t the biggest Jacobs fan and thought that the Red Sox got a steal in the Thornton trade.
  • Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 0-3, 3 K. Someone told me Story got hot when the update wavered. I come back and you give me this, Trevor?
  • Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 0-4, 3 K. Some feel that Williams doesn’t do anything natural other than hit, but most enjoy the way he hits.

“The Ugly”

Lancaster JetHawks, Pitching, Astros (High-A Lancaster): Again, go take a look at that box score.

Games of Saturday, August 10

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds (High-A Bakersfield): 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Stephenson’s fastball can touch elite velocity, and he pairs it with a plus power curveball. The changeup and mechanics still need refinement, but Stephenson has top-of-the-rotation potential.

Position Prospect of the Day: Victor Roache, OF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K. The scouting report on Roache is clear: He offers plus-plus raw power, but scouts are unsure how much contact he will be able to make against quality pitching.

Other notable prospect performances on August 10:

“The Good”

  • Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 7.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Berrios offers a potential solid-average fastball that works in the low 90s, a potential plus curveball, and a potential average changeup. Berrios profiles perfectly as a mid-rotation starter.
  • Jackie Bradley, CF, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB. Bradley Jr. offers the potential to be a plus hitter, and he should provide just enough power. Defensively, he plays an outstanding center field. The Red Sox should insert him into the lineup everyday in 2014.
  • John Lamb, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Lamb still has plenty of pitchability, but to say the stuff is down from its pre-injury caliber is putting it very mildly.
  • Rougned Odor, 2B, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, RBI, BB, 2 K. Odor has the potential to be a plus-plus hitter with fringe-average power. He’s an average runner and could become a plus defender. Odor has excelled in Double-A this year at the age of 19; .326/.383/.674 with 4 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR in last 43 at-bats.
  • Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB, K. Sano has taken a step forward as large as anyone in the minors in 2013. He shows a feel for hitting with elite raw power. On this night, Sano hit a bomb that easily cleared 450 feet.
  • Kyle Smith, RHP, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Yes, I know, I wrote up Kyle Smith before and said he will be nothing more than a swingman. I still believe that. Smith has a knockout curveball, but doesn’t offer much of a fastball. I want to see how Smith handles more advanced hitters.

“The Bad”

  • Ricky Oropesa, 1B, Giants (High-A San Jose): 0-4, 3 K. Ricky, tonight just was not your night.
  • Sebastian Valle, C, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 0-3, BB, 3 K. It appears Valle will not hit enough to be relevant as a prospect.

“The Ugly”

Jordan Lennerton, 1B, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 0-3, 2 BB, 3 K. I mean, this guy is a lumberjack in the offseason, so don’t tell him I said this.

Games of Sunday, August 11

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Miguel Nunez, RHP, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Nunez’s fastball works in the low 90s, and he adds a developing curveball and changeup. Nunez has a large frame and gets good plane on his pitches. He has a shot to develop into something, but it is a long way away.

Position Prospect of the Day: Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves (Double-A Mississsippi): 4-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Everyone knows about Bethancourt’s elite defensive ability. Scouts always questioned how much Bethancourt would be able to hit. He has shown in 2013 that he can handle Double-A pitching, and if it continues up the chain, he will profile as an everyday player; .341/.349/.537 with 2 2B, 2 HR, and 2 SB in last 41 at-bats.

Otner notable prospect performances on August 11:

“The Good”

  • Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 3-4, HR, R, 5 RBI. I’ll enjoy seeing Betts for the next few games. A scout texted me this about hIm: “I’m not sure why people don’t like Betts more. I really think he can play!”
  • Brandon Drury, 3B, Diamondbacks (Low-A South Bend): 3-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI. Drury offers raw power and a plus arm at third base. He has shown a solid feel for hitting in 2013, putting himself squarely on the prospect radar; .317/.391/.585 with 5 2B, and 2 HR in last 41 at-bats.
  • Randal Grichuk, OF, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 4-4, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, BB. Plus power is Grichuk’s calling card, but he will need to improve his contact rate if he wants to improve as a prospect.
  • Kyle Parker, OF, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. I put Parker on here in honor of the upcoming college football season, as he’s a former quarterback for Clemson. Parker offers plus raw power, a solid-average arm, an average hit tool, and the potential to play right field defensively. He will need to continue to hit, but he has a chance to be an everyday player.
  • Kevin Pillar, OF, Blue Jays (Triple-A Buffalo): 3-5, 2 2B, 3B, R, 4 RBI, K. Pillar is not the toolsiest of players; he profiles best as a good fourth outfielder.
  • Daniel Robertson, SS, Athletics (Low-A Beloit):2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, K. Robertson shows a feel for hitting and developing power. The consensus is that he will not be able to handle shortstop and most likely will end up at third base. The ultimate future depends on the degree to which the bat develops.
  • Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 3-5, 3 2B, 2 R, K. This is what Trevor Story was supposed to do in the hitter-friendly California League. He has the potential to offer both speed and power at a premium defensive position. The issue is that Story just hasn’t brought his tools to the field consistently in 2013.
  • Adam Walker, RF, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 2-4, 3B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, K. Walker has easy plus raw power and a plus arm. He is very similar to Roache in that most scouts wonder how much he is going to hit against quality pitching.

“The Bad”

  • Travis Jankowski, CF, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 0-4, 3 K. Jankowski can really run, but he needs to show that he will make enough contact to be relevant on the prospect radar.
  • Peter O’Brien, 3B/C, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 0-5, 3 K. O’Brien has now moved off of catcher and is playing a bit of third base. He will really need to hit to stay on the prospect radar.

“The Ugly”

Keury De La Cruz, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 0-4, 3 K. De La Cruz never gets cheated in his at-bats, but that style can create swing-and-miss issues.

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Love the MLU - thanks despite the occasional update 'wavers' as you say.

Stephenson promoted to AA I think I saw?
Lol I meant with the draft updates. I did see that Stephenson got promoted to AA good for him. Bakersfield is not exactly the best spot to have a star pitching prospect.
How bad is Brandon Jacobs? Matt Thornton is on the DL and the Red Sox still won the trade!
Role 4 if you squint and you enjoy squinting a lot.
Here's the box from that Mavericks game mentioned above:
Does Matt Purke's injury history and age put him on an unusual developmental track? In other words, as a 23 year-old in high-A, is he showing enough for the Nationals to believe that their lottery ticket might pay off, even if not necessarily with a star player, but perhaps with a role-5 player? Are they disappointed that as a college pitcher he hasn't moved more quickly through the lower levels or are they just thrilled to see him healthy and promising?
Heard recently that the Rockies tried to change Trevor Stories swing this spring, even after the good season he had last year. And that recently they have let him go back to his old swing. Have you heard anything like this and could this be the reason that he was such a mess in the first half of the year?