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Hitter of the Day: Willy Garcia, OF, Pirates (Altoona, AA): 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR, K. Garcia has big power and plenty of arm for right field, but his disaster of an approach at the plate is going to catch up to him sooner or later. There’s a lot of swing-and-miss in his game, and while the power is good, it won’t be enough to overcome it unless some progress is made around the strike zone.

Pitcher of the Day: Matt Boyd, LHP, Blue Jays (New Hampshire, AA): 8 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K. Boyd is an unspectacular prospect currently getting by with an advanced repoitre, and doing a darn good job of it. Unfortunately, despite what his numbers suggest, his lack of an above-average pitch doesn’t project well against better competition. There’s a future there for anyone who throws a ton of strikes as Boyd does, and he misses enough bats to project some success, but the numbers have been inflated by being more advanced than every level of competition he’s faced. The profile isn’t exciting, but he’s a guy who can help the Jays in some capacity soon.

Best of the Rest

Ozhaino Albies, SS, Braves (Rome, A-): 4-4, R, BB. It’s been an impressive full-season debut for Albies, who has not only continued to hit for average, allowing his speed to play to its fullest extent, but he’s also controlled the strike zone quite well, keeping from getting over-powered by more advanced competition.

Matt Olson, 1B, A’s (Midland, AA): 2-5, 2 R, 2 2B, K. A drop off in production was to be expected this year for Olson, heading from the California to the Texas League, and we’ve seen some of that this season. He’s still controlling the strike zone well, but the power drop off has been further than expected. Luckily, with his patient approach at the plate, he’ll still get on base at a decent clip, which gives him a chance despite the holes in his hit tool. He will have to hit for power though in order to provide any value.

Yairo Munoz, SS, A’s (Beloit, A-): 3-5, R, HR, SB. Munoz’s aggressiveness at the plate has provided him with an even bigger challenge than his first taste of the Midwest League has, but his above-average raw power has allowed him to do some damage when he gets his pitch.

Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K. Shipley righted the ship on Wednesday after three rough outings in a row to close out the month of May. The control has wavered for Shipley this year, which has never been his biggest strength as a professional, but also hasn’t been an issue to this extent before. After 15 walks in his last four starts, it’s good to see him getting back to throwing strikes.

Christian Walker, 1B, Orioles (Norfolk, AAA): 3-4, 2 2B, K (Game 1). Walker has been unable to replicate the success he had last year in his breakout 2014 campaign, the majority of which came in Double-A. His power production dropped off after a mid-season promotion to Triple-A last summer, and he’s fallen off even further in terms of in-game over-the-fence production. He’s still hitting the gaps with regularity, which is a silver lining, but the lack of power has allowed pitchers to attack him more comfortably without the fear of getting hurt.

J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies (Reading, AA): 2-5, R, K. After getting a late start to the season, Crawford torched the Florida State League. A recent promotion to Reading has him once again facing off against much older competition, but he’s quickly making up for the time he missed in April. The most impressive things about Crawford, however, are his elite contact levels while maintaining his approach at the plate and his ability to control the strike zone so successfully at such a young age.

Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Tigers (Lakeland, A+): 7 IP, 8 H, R, BB, 7 K. These are the kinds of starts Ziomek can put together when he’s on, allowing his pure stuff to dominate A-ball hitters the way it should. He’s still working on bringing his best stuff to the park more often and having less variance from outing to outing, but when he’s on, he has the ability to dominate.

Eric Jagielo, 3B, Yankees (Trenton, AA): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, K. Jagielo has been squaring the ball up more consistently this season in his first taste of Double-A, but he still deals with some plate coverage and pitch recognition issues which could ultimately limit his ceiling. The power production when he gets his pitch is what will carry him and should give him a solid major-league career, but the refinement of his hit tool coupled with limited defensive value may keep him from being a big-time, everyday contributor.

Fight Another Day

Bryan Mitchell, RHP, Yankees (Scranton/W-B, AAA): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 7 BB, 3 K. This is the first ever scoreless outing to make the “Fight Another Day” category, but seven walks is just way too much and walks drive me nuts. Mitchell has learned to pitch with too many baserunners during his time in the minors, and that should serve him well when the Yankees ultimately transition him into a reliever, a role in which he could really thrive with strong velocity and a potential plus curveball.

Notable Prospect Starters

  • Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (Buffalo, AAA): 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, BB, 8 K
  • Andrew Heaney, LHP, Angels (Salt Lake, AAA): 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 9 K.
  • Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 5 IP, 2 H, R (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K.
  • Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Braves (Mobile, AA): 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K.
  • Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Brewers (Wisconsin, A-): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, BB, 4 K.
  • Luke Weaver, RHP, Cardinals (Palm Beach, A+): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, BB, 4 K.
  • Michael Mader, LHP, Marlins (Greensboro, A-): 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 3 R, BB, 2 K.

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In Houston we've been hearing scuttlebutt about Appel switching to a slide step being the cause or a main cause of his struggles prior to this outing. Anyone have any info?
Good to see Shipley bounce back. Were his problems over his previous 3 starts only with his command or was his velocity off? He was walking lots of people, sure. But he was also giving up more hits than you would expect with the stuff he has. I watched him pitch twice this year and his curve ball looked very good -- enough so that umpires were getting fooled on it, it looked like to me. I was beginning to wonder if he was tired, injured, or tipping his pitches somehow.
Glad to see JP Crawford finally make the Minor League update -- seems he never had a huge game in Hi-A, but was consistent. Hoping for more of the same at Reading (AA).
Garcia has drastically cut his K rate this year, at the expense of over the fence power until the last week. But his average is way up because of the better contact rate. He may be worth a deeper analysis.