Hitter of the Night
Danny Diekroeger, 3B, Cardinals (State College, SS): 2-5, 4 R, HR, BB. You may not know this about the update but there is a legacy at stake here. That's why when #Mort texts me at night to tell me about a player, he's (the player, not Mort) almost certain to make the update and is someone you should watch.
Pitcher of the Night
Justin Nicolino, LHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 9 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. You're never going to get a high strike out total out of Nicolino, who pounds the strike zone with his fastball to set up his plus change-up, but by throwing a ton of strikes he's always going to set himself for success. It's not the highest ceiling pitching prospect by any stretch of the imagination, but Nicolino is going to be a reliable starter for a long time because he can throw strikes and change speeds.
Best of the Rest
Domingo Santana, OF, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 4-4, R, BB. I wouldn't include a prospect who had already been in the majors and dealt with such extreme struggles as Santana if he didn't reach base all five times safely in one game. Santana has all the qualities of a AAAA prospect but enough power to overcome it if utilized properly.
Franklin Barreto, SS, Blue Jays (Vancouver, SS): 2-4, 2 R, HR, SB. There are some major questions about where Barreto ends up in the field, with most believing that he'll eventually move off of shortstop to center field, but he has enough of a hit tool to carry him if that's where he ends up.
Jed Bradley, LHP, Brewers (Huntsville, AA): 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K. The ceiling has lowered on Bradley but he's still producing at a level requisite with a major league ceiling. He still throws a lot of strikes which will always give him a fighting chance, even if the strike out totals never wow anyone. He's a back-end starter, but it's important to remember that those guys have value too.
Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs (Daytona, A+): Schwarber continues to get practice behind the plate despite a future that suggests another position. He can hold his own despite below-average receiving and blocking skills, but it's going to be his bat that carries him. Luckily that bat is quite good and is holding its own against Florida State League pitching.
Jack Lopez, 2B, Royals (Wilmington, A+): 2-4, K, 2B, SB, CS. There's a chance that Lopez may never hit, but his defensive prowess at 2B is good enough to play SS regularly. He'll be a big leaguer based on his glove alone, though that distinction will be enough to keep him in a utility profile.
Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies (Asheville, A-): 3-5, 2 R, HR, K. There's no denying Tapia's bat-to-ball skills and he's beginning to show even more potential for growth between his present doubles power and his future over-the-fence power.
Roman Quinn, OF, Phillies (Clearwater, A+): 4-5, R, 2 SB. It's a speed-based game for Quinn, whose bat has improved since moving to the outfield full time. There's still a long way for him to go to be an everyday player but the speed and defense is a nice starter kit.
Fight Another Day
Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (New Britain, AA): 1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K. Even top prospects have a bad start, and Berrios' comes after his promotion to Double-A. You won't find a disparaging word about Berrios here, and he remains one of the game's top prospects until he proves he can't make it through a full season.
Notable Pitching Performances
- Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (New Hampshire, AA): 4 IP, 4 H, R, 4 BB, 5 K.
- Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 4 2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 6 K.
- Dae-Run Rhee, RHP, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 5.
- Luis Severino, LHP, Yankees (Trenton, AA): 5 2/3, 2 H, R (0 ER), 2 BB, 7 K.
- Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (Rochester, AAA): 5 IP, 2 H, R, 5 BB, 5 K.
- Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
…and Kris Bryant homered.