Hitter of the Night: Jonathan Griffin, 1B, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 5-6, 4 R, 4 HR.
This space is typically reserved for prospects, and a 25-year-old first baseman who appears to be stalling at Double-A hardly qualifies as one, but I’ll make an exception for what might go down as the individual game of the year. Griffin is a massive human being who exploited low-minors pitching but has had trouble hitting for power in Double-A, Wednesday night notwithstanding.
Pitcher of the Night: Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
It’s been a little rougher transitioning to the California League for Urias than it was in the Midwest League last year, but he’s hardly the first pitcher to have that problem. He may, however, be the youngest. Still just 17, Urias’ control has abandoned him at time this season, but this is a good start to get things back on track.
Best of the Rest
Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Angels (Salt Lake, AAA): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR. The power that Lindsey showed off last year hasn’t quite reappeared this season, in what should be a significantly easier hitting environment. He is, however, controlling the strike zone significantly better, so there’s no reason to panic. There’s not much ceiling with Lindsey, but he should be an everyday player.
Preston Tucker, OF, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 3-5, R, HR, 2 K. Scouts don’t buy into Tucker because of the lack of bat speed and athleticism, but at some point, as he continues to produce, we’ll have to start believing a little. There’s probably a platoon/role player in there somewhere.
Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 4 K. It’s not easy to lower your ERA when it starts the day under 1.00, but Norris managed to do just that with another effective start.
Dalton Pompey, OF, Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 2-4, R, 2B, HR. In our most recent round of eyewitness reports, I put a 60 on Pompey’s OFP, with the caveat being that his power has a long way to go. If he gets to the 20-homer range, which I believe he has in him, he’s going to be one heck of a valuable player.
Victor Roache, OF, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 3-4, R, 2 2B, HR, K. I was in attendance for Roache’s impressive game, and it was a good display of what he can and can’t do. His home run came on a hanging curveball that most hitters would hit, though few would have done it with his raw power. He later waved badly at a much better curveball, looking helpless on the swing. It’s rotational and one-dimensional, but he should hit mistakes and lefties well enough to potentially carve out a niche.
Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks (South Bend, A-): 6 IP, 5 H, R, 2 BB, 6 K. Shipley has run into some bad luck this season, but his peripheral numbers all match up with his potential as a mid-rotation starter or better.
Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 3-3, 2B. The problem with the California League is that when good hitting prospects like Seager go out and hit .357, we have to discount it slightly because of the context of the league, even if he’s earned it. He may need a mid-season promotion just so we can better gauge his development in a more neutral setting.
Tyler Naquin, OF, Indians (Akron, AA): 2-5 R, HR, K. It would be nice to see some more power like this from Naquin in case the scouts that believe he’ll have to move to a corner outfield spot are correct.
Dilson Herrera, 2B, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, SB. Herrera showed off all of his tools on Wednesday, and he has a lot of them. Premium athleticism leads to some special days, but he’s still learning how to have them more consistently.
Michael Taylor, OF, Nationals (Harrisburg, AA): 3-5, 3 R, HR, 2 K, 2 SB. Taylor can go from extremely impressive to completely lost from one game to the next, and sometimes even in consecutive at-bats. He’s an extremely inconsistent yet extremely talented player.
Franmil Reyes, OF, Padres (Fort Wayne, A-): 2-4, R, 2B, HR. The hulking 18-year-old is holding his own in full-season ball, hitting for some power and even drawing some walks. It’s a good start for a young player with some questions about his hit tool.
Sam Selman, LHP, Royals (Northwest Arkansas, AA): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K. Control and command issues have plagued Selman, but no one denies the electricity of the stuff. When he throws strikes, he’s very good.
Notable Pitching Performances
- Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (Las Vegas, AAA): 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.
- Matt Wisler, RHP, Padres (El Paso, AAA): 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
- Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates (Altoona, AA): 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K.
- Nick Travieso, RHP, Reds (Daytona, A-): 5 IP, H, R, 0 BB, 3 K.
- Sean Manaea, LHP, Royals (Wilmington, A+): 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 10 K.