Hitter of the Night: Wayne Taylor, C, Mariners (Pulaski, R): 4-4, 4 R, 2 2B, HR, BB.
It’s almost not fair to count the damage big-time college hitters do in short-season leagues right after getting drafted. Their experienced approach typically helps them take advantage of much younger pitchers, but this was a really impressive game from the Mariners 16th-round pick this year out of Stanford. Taylor is now 12-for-23 with three home runs as a professional.
Pitcher of the Night: Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves (Lynchburg, A+): 7 IP, 0 H, R (0 ER), 4 BB, 6 K.
Sims’ evening was his best start of the year and included a season-high in strikeouts, redirecting what had been suspiciously low strikeout totals compared to last year. It came at a good time for the Braves, too, as there were likely more than a few teams with their eyes on Sims as a potential trade piece, as the Braves look to add to their 2014 club. Despite his numbers this season, Sims still has the stuff and build to project as a potential no. 2 starter.
Best of the Rest
Jorge Lopez, RHP, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Lopez continues to get by with just two pitches, something that can be done in the Florida State League when both pitches (fastball and curveball) have above-average to plus potential. Without the development of a decent changeup, however, he’s going to struggle at the next level.
Arismendy Alcantara, 2B, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 2-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. I’d still like to see Alcantara stay in Triple-A as long as possible to continue to refine his aggressive approach at the plate, but that’s because I always err on the side of waiting as long as possible to promote prospects to complete their development. For the Cubs, Alcantara may not be their highest-ceiling prospect (though he would be in a few organizations), but the upgrade from Darwin Barney to him may be the biggest improvement from current to future player. For what it’s worth, Alcantara went 0-3 with two strikeouts in the second game of Iowa’s double header and also saw some time in center field.
Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 4 IP, 3 H, R, 4 BB, K. After one complex-league start, the Diamondbacks sent Bradley to Double-A for his first real start of the season. In typical Bradley fashion, he wasn’t hit too hard but had control issues. That can be at least partly attributed to the fact that he hasn’t pitched in three months, though we can’t ignore the fact that it’s been an issue in the past, at least as we move forward and begin to wonder if he’ll get a major-league call-up this fall.
Casey Meisner, RHP, Mets (Brooklyn, SS): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, BB, 7 K. A good changeup is almost unfair at the short-season level, and that is going to lead to some gaudy strikeout numbers for Meisner. His changeup isn’t great yet, but it has the potential to be an above-average pitch and will have tons of deception coming out of his tall, 6-foot-7 frame.
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Hagerstown, A-): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 9 K. The reins are coming off of Giolito, and he’s being allowed to work deeper into games. Look out. It’s about to be a really bad time to be a Sally League hitter.
Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 3-5, R, HR. There are concerns about the lopsided K:BB ratio and ultra-aggressive approach at the plate, but those who have seen him rave about the pure hit tool Williams boasts. He hasn’t been exploited yet, but it would be nice to see him rein it in a little.
Fight Another Night
Michael Feliz, RHP, Astros (Quad Cities, A-): 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 K. A bad start like this will raise your ERA a full run when your organization only lets you throw four to five innings every time out, which is just one more reason why you can’t scout with box scores. Feliz has been good, though he’s walked a few more batters this season than his track record had suggested he would. Still, he’s missing bats and generally not getting hit to hard.
Dorssys Paulino, SS, Indians (Lake County, A-): 0-4, 3 K. After an aggressive assignment last season, the Indians sent Paulino back to Lake County to see him take some positive steps forward. Instead, his batting average has dipped, his strikeouts have risen, and the power production he’s going to eventually need when he’s forced to move off of shortstop hasn’t appeared.
Notable Pitching Performances
- Josh Hader, LHP, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 K.
- Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, BB, 5 K.
- Aaron Blair, RHP, Diamondbacks (Visalia, A+): 6 IP, 5 H, R, BB, 7 K.
- Justin Nicolino, LHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K.
- Luis Heredia, RHP, Pirates (West Virginia, A-): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K.
- Michael Lorenzen, RHP, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
- Ian Clarkin, LHP, Yankees (Charleston, A-): 6 IP, H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K.
…and it was Joey Gallo’s turn to homer.