Hitter of the Night: Kevin Plawecki, C, Mets (Las Vegas, AAA): 4-4, 2 R, 2 HR.
Good seasons for hitters have a tendency to get even better when they end in Las Vegas, and Plawecki is putting a solid stamp on the end of a second straight solid minor-league year. If you’re looking for some power from your catcher, Plawecki may not be your guy, though he does offer some in the gap variety. What he does do well is control the strike zone and put the barrel of the bat on the baseball.
Pitcher of the Night: Dylan Covey, RHP, Athletics (Stockton, A+): 7 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K.
Covey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Wednesday, but it will go down as a rare highlight in an otherwise disappointing season. The stuff that once got him selected in the first round (in 2010 out of high school) is no longer there, though he does still throw a ton of strikes, which is something.
Best of the Rest
Franklin Barreto, SS, Blue Jays (Vancouver, SS): 3-4, 3 R, HR, SB. His position is still up in the air, but Barreto’s season at the plate is very encouraging for his future. Scouts expect more pop than the six home runs he’s had this year, and his high doubles total indicates that there could be more on the way.
Austin Gomber, LHP, Cardinals (State College, SS): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Gomber entered the college season expected to be one of the better pitchers in Conference USA, but a disappointing year for FAU saw his stock drop and him slide to the fourth round. Naturally, the Cardinals picked him up and he’s pitched well in the New York-Penn League. The stuff has diminished, however, from what it was earlier in his collegiate career, and his funky delivery will likely send him to the bullpen long-term.
Angel Villalona, 1B, Giants (Richmond, AA): 3-4, 3 R, 2 2B, HR. It feels like Villalona has been around forever, but he just turned 24 a few weeks ago. Of course, he was playing stateside at 18, so there’s a reason for that feeling. This will likely be Villalona’s last chance at getting to the majors, as his raw approach from the start and time away from the game have proved to be too much for him to overcome, despite glimpses like the one he gave on Wednesday.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (Las Vegas, AAA): 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, R, BB, 9 K. The big question is whether or not Syndergaard will get called up to the big leagues next week, but I’d guess that he won’t be. Vegas is headed for the PCL playoffs, and the Mets may want to let him finish off the minor-league season. Additionally, he’s approaching their self-appointed innings limit on him, and a postseason start or two will put him over it. Lastly, he’s ending a rocky 2014 season on a relatively good note, and it may be wise to let that ride its way through the winter.
Eric Jagielo, 3B, Yankees (Tampa, A+): 2-6, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. I’m not crazy about Jagielo’s ceiling, especially for a recent first-rounder, and he can be exposed by pitches on the outer half pretty easily, but he does have some natural power due to his size and strength, and can pop one when he gets a specific pitch. His average power from the left side will get him to the big leagues, but I’m not sure he’ll ever be a terribly productive regular.
Fight Another Day
Clayton Blackburn, RHP, Giants (Richmond, AA): 1 2/3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, BB, 2 K. It’s actually been a stellar year for Blackburn, who has outshined some of the more high-profile pitching prospects in the Flying Squirrels rotation. Blackburn doesn’t have a ton of impact potential, but he’s going to be a major-league starter and fill in somewhere in the middle of the Giants rotation.
Rafael de Paula, RHP, Padres (Lake Elisnore, A+): 5 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 2 K. There’s a lot to like about de Paula’s arm, but there’s also still a long way to go with his consistency, and he’s now in a league where missing your spots gets you punished a lot more.
Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 0-5, 4 K. Scouts rave about Williams’ hit tool, but days like this are the risk with players who are so extremely aggressive.
Notable Pitching Performances