Hitter of the Night: Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, OF): 3-5, 3 R, 2 HR, K. If you know one thing about Williams, it’s his hit tool, but part of what makes it so exceptional is his natural bat speed, which will also lead to some power production. More power will come from Williams getting himself in better hitter’s counts, something he may never do with any frequency, but even if he doesn’t, his raw talent should give him moderate power production to go along with a plus batting average.
Pitcher of the Night: Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (Rochester, AAA): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 10 K. There are going to be a few more walks than we want to deal with, but Meyer is going to miss enough bats to make it work. There’s not much left for Meyer to do in Tirple-A, and it’s time to see just how much of Meyer the Twins can count on for next season.
Best of the Rest
- A.J. Reed, 1B, Astros (Tri-City, SS): 3-4, R, 2B, HR. The nation’s best two-way college player hasn’t seen his power translate to pro ball the way many had hoped, but his advanced approach at the plate gives him little challenge in short-season ball.
- Jose Peraza, 2B, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 4-5, 2 2B, SB. Peraza is known for his glove, but he continues to hit .300 at every level, including the big test at Double-A this season. He offers virtually no power and a limited on-base profile, but speed and up-the-middle defense go a long way.
- Victor Roache, OF, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 K. A remarkably one-dimensional swing leads to massive strikeout totals and a poor hit tool for Roache, but when he gets his pitch to hit, he is capable of doing some serious damage.
- Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs (Kane County, A-): 3-5, R, 2 2B, K. The home runs are nice, but it’s about more than that for Schwarber, who to this point has shown a well rounded offensive game. He’s also still splitting virtually even time between catcher and the outfield, and the longer that continues, the more value he has.
- Matt Skole, 1B, Nationals (Harrisburg, AA): 4-4, R, 2B, 3B. What was once a big time power/plate discipline combination has failed to come back to full capacity since he missed the entire 2013 season due to injury, but Skole was also essentially asked to jump over High-A ball and handle Double-A pitching after missing a year of development—a remarkably tough task. He’s 24 and has some contact issues and is now playing more first base than third, which limits his profile, but power is hard to come by, so if he proves he can still hit the long ball there may be a profile for him somewhere.
- Jacob Lamb, 3B, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 2-3, R, 2B, HR. Lamb gets credit for drawing a ton of walks to go along with his power, but that walk rate has dropped this year despite his success. Still, despite the flaws that scouts see in his game, he continues to hit .300 and is now doing it against advanced minor-league pitching, which is hard to ignore.
- Luis Severino, RHP, Yankees (Tampa, A+): 4 IP, 4 H, R (0 ER), 2 BB, 8 K. In a high-profile system void of impact pitching talent, Severino is at risk of getting more attention than he deserves. He’s a potent arm with a good future ahead of him, but at the moment he profiles as a reliever, which limits his upside.
Fight Another Night
- Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (New Hampshire, AA): 2/3 IP, 3 H 2 R, 2 BB, 0. Sure, Norris got off to a rough start to this game, but there was no explanation given for a hook this early. He hasn’t been traded, so that’s not it, leaving on-field performance as the only issue.
- Jorge Lopez, RHP, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, BB, 6 K. As the word gets out that he offers virtually nothing off-speed for hitters to worry about, it will get tougher and tougher for him to get through a lineup multiple times. Still, the pitching profile works well for a relief role.
- Stetson Allie, 1B, Pirates (Altoona, AA): 0-3, 3 K. Allie has been hurried though the Pirates farm system since converting to a hitter, but having made the switch early in his professional career, there wasn’t a need to rush him. He has contact issues, which have been exposed in Double-A this season and would have been aided by more time at High-A Bradenton. Still, his strikeouts haven’t kept him from hitting for power, even if it does keep his batting average down.
Notable Prospect Starters
- Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Visalia, A+): 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K.
- Chris Anderson, RHP, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 K.
- Jose Urena, RHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 6 K.
- Ben Lively, RHP, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 7 K.
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