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Hitter of the Day: Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Reds (Louisville, AAA): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR.
Talk about a big day. Rodriguez not only had a monster showing at the plate, but he was also named to the Futures Game roster in his future home ballpark, a dream for any prospect. Rodriguez feels like he’s been around forever, in part because he has been, now in his seventh year of minor-league baseball. Still, he’s just 22. He’s never hit for the power expected from him, but that doesn’t mean there’s not more in there. Despite all this time in the minors, he’s still a bit of a project, but he also may still have some potential in the tank.

Pitcher of the Day: Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals (Palm Beach, A+): 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 8 K.
Kaminsky doesn’t have upper-echelon stuff, but he sure knows how to pitch. In the Florida State League, that and halfway-decent fastball command is more than enough to get by. Kaminsky could have a rough adjustment period at higher levels, or at least when he gets to the big leagues, but he’s savvy enough on the mound to make the necessary changes to make his stuff work against better hitters. The only setback is the lack of an impact breaking ball, which leaves him with a solid-yet-sometimes-underwhelming fastball/changeup combination.

Best of the Rest

Aramis Garcia, C, Giants (Augusta, A-): 4-6. Garcia has been a personal favorite from his college days, when he showed strong leadership abilities behind the plate and everything you’d want from a catching prospect. The bat hasn’t come along as quickly as a professional, but that should change as he continues to acclimate himself to the pro game. Garcia has plenty of bat speed and strength to be a good hitter and even hit for a little power. He also has a strong idea of the strike zone. He may never be an impact hitter, but the offensive bar is low at catcher, and his natural skills are good enough to clear it.

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (Scranton/W-B, AAA): 1-3, R, HR, BB. The recently promoted Judge made a solid first impression with his Triple-A teammates on Thursday, getting that first Triple-A home run out of the way in his fourth game with the new team. The power comes naturally to Judge, who doesn’t have to sell out to generate it thanks to massive size and strength. This allows him to balance himself as a hitter and offer a more neutral approach. He’ll always strike out as a byproduct of his size and length, but he’s as refined and compact as a hitter of his magnitude can rightfully expect to be.

Billy McKinney, OF, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 3-4. If you’re a fan of flashy, elite tools, then McKinney may not be your guy. It’s for this reason that he often gets overlooked, even within his own farm system. But if you’re looking for a prospect that can simply hit, then look no further. No, McKinney isn’t an elite athlete destined to stay up the middle (though he can handle center field until he fills out in his late-20s/early 30s). And he may not offer upper-echelon bat speed. But his innate feel for the barrel is as pure as it comes and he continues to prove his hitting prowess at every level. Still just 20, he’s now handling a promotion to Double-A as well as could anyone could have reasonably expected.

Yoan Moncada, 2B, Red Sox (Greenville, A-): 2-3, R, 2B, BB, K, 2 SB. The spotlight was heavy on Moncada this spring when he arrived stateside for the first time, and despite what should be refuge in Low-A Greenville, the bright lights of being a big-time international (and Red Sox) prospect have barely dimmed. His production hasn’t matched the tools and ability just yet, but it’s important to remember that this is a player who took a large chunk of time off from the game in order to get to this country and is also going through the natural acclimation process. There’s a lot more to digest with Moncada than just hits and outs.

Jesse Winker, OF, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 2-5, 2 R, HR, K. Winker has returned to his old self this June after two disappointing months to begin the season. The power hasn’t returned yet, but that’s only a matter of time. The positive sign is that even while his production wavered, his idea of the strike zone held firm.

Brandon Nimmo, OF, Mets (Binghamton, AA): 2-4, R, 2B. After some injury issues and an adjustment period to Double-A pitching, Nimmo is once again back to hitting like the potential top-of-the-order bat we’ve known him to be. Due to his patient approach, he was initially exploited by Double-A pitchers more capable of throwing consistent strikes. He’ll always be patient, but now Nimmo has found a better balance between patience and passivity. He’ll likely never hit for the power his size and profile would suggest, but he’s a good enough hitter with a strong enough eye to project a future atop the Mets lineup.

Fight Another Day

Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants (Richmond, AA): 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 4 BB, K. Crick is officially a mess, consistently failing to throw strikes and work even to respectable depths in his starts. Even when he’s on, he rarely makes it past the fifth inning, and when he’s off, it’s a disaster. The stuff is there, but now five seasons into his professional career, he still has no idea how to use it.

Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves (Carolina, A+): 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, BB, 2 K. For as highly touted as Sims’ stuff has been over the years, he simply does not get the job done. While the arsenal is enticing, at some point a good pitcher gets people out on a consistent basis. Sims simply does not.

Notable Prospect Starters

  • Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Potomac, A+): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K.
  • Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, BB, 6 K.
  • Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (Lansing, A-): 4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

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lonechicken
6/26
What happened with Giolito? Relief night?
faztradamus
6/26
Rain Out.
BCermak
6/26
Sean Manaea made his first start coming back from injury-- 5 IP, 2H, 1R, 1BB, 6K