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Hitter of the Night: Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (New Britain, AA): 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR, BB, K. Story’s storybook (I’m not sorry) start to the season is showing no signs of slowing down and he continues to torch the Eastern League at the plate. He’s back playing primarily shortstop this season after splitting time at second base last year. Story is a premium athlete with tools for days, but gets knocked for his approach at the plate. The approach isn’t actually the issue, however. He doesn’t lack patience and even takes his share of walks. He just swings and misses a lot. That’s tolerable, however, when you're a middle infielder with double-digit home-run power and 20-steal potential.

Pitcher of the Night: Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (Las Vegas, AAA): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K. This is the version of Syndergaard that has Mets fans so excited, and with good reason. Armed with a mid-90s fastball that he maintained deep into the game, Sydergaard has bat-missing stuff and the size and strength to lead a rotation. Repeating Triple-A this year, he’s ready when the Mets call upon him and is one of the reasons they can be comfortable working in a six-man rotation for part of the season to save Matt Harvey’s arm.

Best of the Rest

Josh Bell, 1B, Pirates (Altoona, AA): 4-5, 2 R, CS. Bell has a strange swing, and an even stranger one from the right side. He’s what many scouts refer to as a weird athlete (some have even called him a bad athlete) and he doesn’t look smooth on the field (especially at first base), but there’s no denying his ability to make contact and feel for the barrel of the bat. The power that some scouts believe is in there (and will be necessary for first base) has yet to manifest itself in games, but he continues to hit at every level.

Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 3-5, R, HR. Alfaro got to show off one of his plus tools on Monday for the first time this season, collecting his first home run of the year. Power is his calling card, with more to spare than most catching prospects. He’ll need to hit for power to play every day because his free-swinging ways lead to a ton of outs, but he shouldn’t have a problem clearing the low bar for offensive production behind the plate.

Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 2-4, 2 R, 3B, BB, K, SB. Gallo has yet to connect on a home run in three games since returning from heel surgery. That wouldn’t be news for anybody other than the most prodigious power hitter in the minors. Gallo is healthy again, however, and showed that there is more to his game than just power. The home runs steal the show, but he’s also turned himself into a good third baseman with an elite arm.

Willy Adames, SS, Rays (Charlotte, A+): 2-4, 3 R, 2 2B, BB, 2 K. With Adames, it’s all about seeing the flashes of excellence. They don’t show up in every at-bat or every play on the field, but when they do, they stand out. He’s dripping with potential, but is very much still learning how to use it on the field. He profiles as a potential above-average offensive shortstop, though his body could potentially force him to third base where he would require more power production.

Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers (Tulsa, AA): 6 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K. Urias continues to defy logic. Still shy of his 19th birthday, Urias remains unfazed by his increasingly difficult level of competition. He’s pitching as well as ever and throwing more strikes. With Brandon McCarthy done for the season, there were inevitable questions about whether or not Urias could be considered to replace him, which were met with the proper amount of scoffing for such a ridiculous suggestion. What Urias is doing in the minors is equally as ridiculous, however, so while he’s not coming to the majors any time soon (nor should he be), I certainly wouldn’t bet against him being able to handle such a challenge.

Robert Gsellman, RHP, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 6 IP, 2 H, R, BB, 6 K. Gsellman is relatively unknown, flying under the radar in a deep Mets farm system, but it’s time to change that. A 13th round pick in 2011, the right-hander isn’t overpowering but sat comfortably in the low 90s with a two-seamer on Monday night that got good run on a strong downward plane. The separator for Gsellman, however, was his curveball, a 12-6 offering that is a true plus pitch. He threw it to hitters from both sides and generated swings and misses all night. One plus pitch will get you to the major leagues, and Gsellman has one, as well as a career ahead of him.

Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals (Palm Beach, A+): 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Reyes has worked deeper into games this year and has struck out more batters, but this might just be his best start of the season because he threw more strikes. That’s the most important thing for Reyes’ development right now. The arm is obviously lightning, but it’s time to learn how to use it more effectively. His walk rates have actually increased at each new level, but his strikeout rates have done the same, spiking to ridiculous new highs this year.

Preston Tucker, OF, Astros (Fresno, AAA): 3-3, R, HR. Tucker has some holes in his swing and isn’t much on defense, but he has big time power despite some strike out concerns. Sounds like an Astro, doesn’t it?

Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 2-3, R, HR, BB, K. Your daily reminder that even though they’ve promoted two of the top five prospects in the game to the majors in the past two weeks, the Cubs are far from out of impact-level prospects. And this one can catch.

Peter O’Brien, LF, Diamondbacks (Reno, AAA): 3-4, R, HR. This one can’t catch. No matter how badly some want him to be able to stick behind the plate, and no matter how bad the Diamondbacks current catching situation is, O’Brien is just not a big-league catcher in anything more than a pinch. The Diamondbacks have him in the outfield at the moment because of some yip-ish throwing issues that arose behind the plate in spring training. Even without this issue, however, he’s generally regarded as a poor receiver and a below-average thrower to the bases; and my brief looks have yielded the same conclusion. He does have good power, though it will come with swings and misses, but he could do enough damage with the bat to play if the Diamondbacks can find him a position.

Fight Another Day

Jonathan Gray, RHP, Rockies (Albuquerque, AAA): 3 2/3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 3 K. It may be time to officially start worrying about Gray. The stuff has regressed from the arsenal that got him selected third overall less than two years ago, and he profiles now as more of a mid-rotation starter than a potential staff ace. Now he’s put together four poor starts in a row to begin the season.

Jhoan Urena, 3B, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 0-4, 2 K. It was difficult to watch Urena on Monday. The tools that I’ve gushed about are all still evident, but he looks utterly lost at the plate, at times taking hittable fastballs early in counts to fall behind and other times flailing helplessly at what are surely some of the best off-speed pitches he’s ever seen. It’s almost as though there’s a huge gap between New York-Penn League and Florida State League off-speed pitches. Wait… The good news is that Urena looked quite good at third base, showing off good, soft hands and a plus arm. He doesn’t have great range, but he moves well enough to be a decent defender at the hot corner. Urena will ultimately be fine, but he’s in over his head in the Florida State League and I fail to understand how struggling at this level helps his development.

Notable Starting Pitchers

  • Trevor Williams, RHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Parker Bridwell, RHP, Orioles (Bowie, AA): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
  • Ben Lively, RHP, Phillies (Reading, AA): 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, BB, 7 K.
  • Luke Jackson, RHP, Rangers (Round Rock, AAA): 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 5 BB, K.
  • Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (Chattanooga, AA): 6 IP, 2 H, R, 4 BB, 5 K.
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BPKevin
4/28
If Jed Lowrie is out for an extended period with his thumb injury, do you thnk the Astros call up Carlos Correa? I know they don't want to start his clock, but what other options do they have at SS?
Plucky
4/28
Marwin Gonzalez is an adequate fill-in for the short/medium term. They wouldn't bring Correa up unless it's July, Lowrie is out for the year, and they are within 2 games of the WC. Correa isn't even on teh 40-man yet, I would expect Gonzalez and Jonathan Villar to be given extended chances at SS first
BPKevin
4/28
Thanks, forgot about Villar.
Dgalloway15
4/28
Was trading Gio Gonzalez for Corey Seager a good or bad idea in a dynasty league?
Thesalamander
4/28
O'Brien "swing and miss" down quite a bit this year compared to career average (in early going)
Cdub2k
4/28
Felix Hernandez got called up in his age 19 season in August 2005 Why is it so outlandish of an idea to give Urias the ball at the big league level? It's been done before in the past (Dwight Gooden) but it's been done way more for position players. If the kid is this dominant and with the Dodgers being in "Win now" mode I don't see why they wouldn't give him a shot after the ASB if they are still having health issues in their rotation.
chris0501
4/28
Myles Jaye (23 year-old RHP at AA Birmingham) pitched 7 no-hit innings with 7 K's and no BB's. Also, who says Schwarber profiles as a ML catcher? Keith Law says no baseball people see him as a catcher besides the Cubs of course.
moore315512
4/28
Well in this case, I'm saying it. Keith is entitled to his opinion, and there are certainly some people who don't think he can stick as a catcher, but it's far from the majority opinion. I've talked to my fair share of baseball people too and it's pretty split. No one is advocating that he'll be great back there, nor am I. The question is whether or not he can handle it adequately because if he can, the bat will play highly at the position. I've seen him behind the plate multiple times since turning pro and I think he can do a fair job, at least in the early parts of his career before he loses some athleticism. As I said, he won't be great, but in the context here of comparing him to O'Brien, he's far ahead. O'Brien has little chance to ever catch regularly in the majors, while there's a good chance Schwarber does. Also, don't discount the fact that the Cubs believe he can. They have a better look at him than anyone and might just know what they're doing.
chris0501
4/28
"Also, don't discount the fact that the Cubs believe he can. They have a better look at him than anyone and might just know what they're doing." They may know what they're doing, but to NOT discount any team's evaluation of their own prospects is naive beyond belief.
moore315512
4/28
It would be naive if that is what I was doing, but please be careful not to make assumptions. By no means am I taking the Cubs at their word. At no point did I say "well if the Cubs believe he can catch than it must be true." Heck, in this article alone I questioned the Diamondbacks for thinking that O'Brien can catch and the Mets for skipping Urena over Low-A. I second guess organizations constantly, especially once I've seen something with my own eyes that goes against their decision making. My point is, when it comes to player personnel decisions like this, there's always a reason for the decision and often times it's something that we on the outside aren't aware of. I like to give the benefit of the doubt to the organization until I see something that makes me believe otherwise. I've seen that O'Brien is a below-average catcher. I just saw Urena look lost at the plate against FSL pitching. And I've seen Schwarber catch and do an acceptable job. I'm not just going to blindly give any org the benefit of the doubt when they're in the minority (or any other time for that matter) and when what I've seen with my own eyes goes against what the organization believes I say that. But when what I've seen jives with what an organization believes, then yes, I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt even of there are disbelievers.
Dgalloway15
4/28
Happy belated birthday to Nomar Mazara and Corey Seager

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