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“The Good”

  • Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. I have teased my write-up on Barnes for awhile. Of course, I forgot to send it in because I went to the game without sending the email. So, next week, the Barnes report will be in. The fastball is a quality offering, the changeup flashes, but I’m not in love with the curveball. I believe Barnes can be a starter, but I’m thinking it’s more of a very good back-of-the-rotation starter.
  • Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K. Crick offers a fastball that works in the mid 90s and can touch 96, a curveball with plus potential that works in the low 80s, and he's still working on developing a changeup. Crick has the potential to be an impact starting pitcher.
  • C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels (Double-A Arkansas): 2-4, R, HR, R, 3 RBI, K. Cron offers major power, but he will have to continue to make consistent hard contact if he is going to be a valuable major-league asset. Cron provides little defensive value, so he will have to really hit to be a contributor.
  • Kyle Gaedele, OF, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 4-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, K. Gaedele offers potential plus power, but will have to make a lot more consistent contact if he is going to be a prospect. Gaedele may be more of a guy who enjoys a nice minor-league career, but never develops into a major-league quality bat.
  • Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez, RHP, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. I was at Gonzalez’s start tonight and to say he was filthy would be an understatement. Gonzalez offers a fastball that works 94-96 with cut, sink, and run. He throws a true cutter at 88-91 with late darting action that is a potential plus pitch. He also throws a slider at 86-88 that has a larger break, but is not as consistent as the cutter. Finally Gonzalez throws a changeup at 86-88 with armside fade. This is a very small sample size, but Gonzalez looks like a potential impact arm; 19.0 IP, 15 H, 6 ER, 9 BB, 15 K in five High-A starts.
  • Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-4, 2 3B, R. Hanson is a plus runner with plus bat speed. He has plus power potential, but he can be exploited by quality pitching. I’ve never been the biggest Hanson fan, and I think he is a second baseman all the way. He is much more of a steady regular than a potential impact bat for me.
  • Erik Johnson, RHP, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. Johnson may very well be the top prospect in the White Sox system. He offers a plus fastball, plus slider, average curveball, and usable changeup. Johnson should be in the majors in 2014; 57.1 IP, 43 H, 10 ER, 19 BB, 57 K in 10 starts.
  • Daniel Oliver, RHP, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 12 K. Oliver may not be much of a prospect, but on this night he really had it going.
  • Sam Selman, LHP, Royals (High-A Wilmington): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Selman has found a groove late in the season. He shows a potential plus-plus fastball and plus slider. His delivery will never lead to a high level of command, but he could be a very useful piece in the bullpen; 31.2 IP, 13 H, 7 ER, 18 BB, 40 K in six August starts.

“The Bad”

  • Jason Esposito, 3B, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 0-4, 3 K. The Orioles paid Esposito a lot of money, and he is not a prospect.
  • Kevin Keyes, 1B, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 0-4, 3 K. Well, Mr. Keyes, you lucked into "The Good" so it is your turn to wear it in "The Bad."
  • Victor Roache, RF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 0-4, BB, 3 K. I’ve been told to be very leery about Roache’s ability going forward.
  • Jake Skole, CF, Rangers (High-A Myrtle Beach): 0-3, 3 K. Skole can play center field, but he will struggle to hit and may never be able to contribute at the upper levels.
  • Kyle Smith, RHP, Astros (High-A Lancaster): 2.0 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. Smith put up gaudy numbers in the Carolina League, but he has had some struggles in the California League. The curveball is an easy plus pitch, but I struggle to see any other pitch in his arsenal being very effective.
  • Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 0-4, 4 K. Williams is a natural hitter, but he’s struggled a bit down the stretch.

“The End”

Well, everyone, this is it. The MLU goes on hiatus until next year. I want to thank all of you who left excellent comments all summer long. I will not lie: When I started this task in March, I was not sure how successful I would be, because I could never claim to be a writer. But I love the game and everything to do with it. Daniel Rathman deserves a ton of credit for helping my work to be readable on a daily basis. As always, if any of you ever have any questions at any point, feel free to shoot me an email or a tweet or anything. The prospect rankings are going to be top notch, so I hope all of you look forward to them coming out in the near future. Thank you all again!

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Behemoth
8/30
The quality of the coverage is very much appreciated. If you're looking for a project for the next couple of months, you could maybe review how much progress certain prospects have made over the year, kind of like you had the progress reports on the 1st rounders earlier on. Some groups that might be of interest would be more draft picks, people in the top ten lists, or prominent IFAs from recent years.
wjmcknight37
8/30
Great work Zach. The fact that I got pissed when the MLU missed a day is a testament to the quality of the piece. I'm looking forward to Spring Training when it comes back. Although, what about the AFL?
cooper7d7
8/30
"The End"? No AFL MLU? Withdrawal!
whappo
8/30
Read every day and enjoyed greatly. Look forward to next year.
cswarren2
8/30
Great job all year. The fact that this is ending will be a daily disappointment. Thanks for sticking with MLU this season. I look forward to its return.
pjbenedict
8/30
I will massively miss this column. Thank you for writing it, thank you for sharing your knowledge base with us, and thanks Daniel for editing. Wait 'til next year!
amisaid1
8/30
Great job this season! I would subscribe to BP for this feature alone.
Shawnykid23
8/30
Agree with everyone above. Truly great work. One of my first reads when I wake up.
prhood
8/30
Great work. This is one of my favourite articles. It will be missed but I also plan to re-read them for useful information.
mhmosher
8/30
Great year, guys. Thank you.
sho044
8/30
Zach, this column is outstanding, and honestly, the main reason that I visit this site on a daily basis. Of course, there is a ton of other great coverage at BP, but this feature is what usually gets me here so frequently.
bmmolter
8/30
I echo everyone's comments. This has been an outstanding follow-up to Goldstein's interpretation.
rgrunder
8/30
Read it daily, and will miss it. Thanks for the great work, see you in '14!
seabass77
8/30
Started my day everyday with this.
cummings
8/30
I agree 100% with all the other comments.
rawagman
8/30
Zach, thanks much for your work this year.
jfranco77
8/30
It's been really enjoyable reading this all year. I'm hoping that if we all stand up and cheer loudly enough, you'll do the AFL as an encore.
jsdspud
8/30
I really enjoy this series, one of the main reasons I subscribe to the site.
dee150586
8/30
Great job this season Zach! Going to miss these.
kcboomer
8/30
This is a great column. Zach did a great job with it. Read it every day and will miss it.
HPJoker
8/30
Gosh, I feel like I never truly took the opportunity to read this as often as I should have. Good job, Zach.
hotstatrat
8/30
Thanks, Zach. I know in effect you discuss each prospect's meaningful progress, but taking up space with a day's accomplishment misappropriates some of the focus. If a player has been hot for a week or a couple of weeks or even a month, there is a greater chance it might be indicating some growth. One hot game can be very misleading. Is there a chance there will a switch to a more meaningful lead in set of stats?
Clemente
8/30
Thank you for all the work and enjoyable reading. Great project.
davidrawnsley
8/30
Zach, I've told you it's the first thing I read from BP every day, it's a great column and I hope you do it next year as well. DR/PG
hyprvypr
8/30
It will be greatly missed! Yet another reason to look forward to early April though. Great work.
bornyank1
8/31
Glad to hear that everyone is so happy with the way MLU went this season. Thanks for reading. Zach will be bringing it back for AFL action.