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Hitter of the Day: Harrison Bader, OF, Cardinals (State College, SS): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, K.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Bader’s swing when he was at the University of Florida, but there’s no doubting his production in college, and this is a heck of a professional debut. He shows good power and a good feel for the barrel, but there’s a prolonged weight transfer that concerns me. If he can control that against better offspeed stuff, however, the Cardinals could have a steal in the third round.

Pitcher of the Day: Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals (Palm Beach, A+): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
Kaminsky is the epitome of a limited left-hander, but like the majority of the ones who have had extended success, Kaminsky really knows how to pitch. The ceiling is limited because he’s a high-80s/low-90s lefty without a good breaking ball, but his command and changeup give him a chance to compete as a back-end starter.

Best of the Rest

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (Scranton/W-B, AAA): 4-4, 3 R, 2B, BB. It didn’t take long for Judge to make the adjustment to Triple-A, where he’s also handling an assignment as the world’s largest center fielder. Staying up the middle is a bit of a stretch, but Judge doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his defensive abilities. He’s a plus right fielder with a plus (and potentially plus-plus) arm, which is not only strong but tremendously accurate. It’s easy to look at his size and assume he’s about nothing but power, but Judge’s game is much more well-rounded than you’d expect.

Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 7 1/3 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K. Owens has battled himself and his control this season, so it’s good to see him in the zone and not surprising to see him be effective when he is. No one has doubted Owens’ stuff at any point along the way, but his inconsistencies that have spurred skepticism. Sometimes it’s really simple, and for Owens it comes down to control. If he can throw strikes, he can be effective.

Michael Conforto, OF, Mets (Binghamton, AA): 3-5, 2 R, HR, K. Conforto is good, but he’s not great, and that’s important for Mets fans to remember. As the U.S.S. Sinking Ship continues to make a beeline for Queens, there are calls for players like Conforto to be the saviors. Again, Conforto is good, but that’s not the role he’s going to play. He’s not the answer, but a piece on a good team. He’s likely an everyday player, but not the kind you build a lineup around. That’s not an insult. Everyday players aren’t all that common within a farm system. But given that he’s a Met, things are bound to be blown out of proportion.

Bradley Zimmer, OF, Indians (Lynchburg, A+): 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, K. Zimmer is driving the lead float in the underrated prospect parade—that is, until the release of the #BPTop50 on Monday. He’s talented across the board, and while none of the tools may scream at you, the combination of them makes for a legitimate impact player. Stay tuned. You’re going to be hearing a lot more about Zimmer.

Braxton Davidson, OF, Braves (Rome, A-): 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, BB. In his first full season, Davidson is showing an incredibly advanced approach at the plate for a 19-year-old. Davidson is not going to offer much of anything with the glove, so the bat will have to carry him, but with plus bat speed and a strong feel for the strike zone, the early returns tell us there’s a good chance it’ll do so.

Jacob Gatewood, SS, Brewers (Helena, R): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. After spending the first three months of the season being utterly lost at a level he had no business seeing less than year after being drafted, Gatewood followed in the footsteps of other prospects the Brewers have traditionally (and nonsensically) over-tested and then demoted them, going down to Helena. The Rookie-level league is a more appropriate challenge for the powerful but tremendously free-swinging Gatewood, who can be exposed with decent offspeed stuff. He won’t see too much of that in Helena, so this will be a good test for his power and a good opportunity for him to get some confidence back.

Aramis Garcia, C, Giants (Augusta, A-): 3-4, R, 2B, HR, BB. After a slow start, Garcia is beginning to come around. He’s still not hitting for average, but he’s controlling the strike zone quite well and running into his fair share of power production. He won’t have to hit a ton to be an effective big leaguer, thanks to strong defensive skills behind the plate and his ability to handle a pitching staff.

Notable Prospect Starters

  • Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (Lansing, A-): 5 IP, 7 H, R, 2 BB, 6 K.
  • Austin Gomber, LHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 1/3 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K.
  • Tyler Beede, RHP, Giants (Richmond, AA): 7 IP, 4 H, R, 3 BB, 5 K.

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dtothew
7/01
Bader, Kaminsky, Gomber. Cardinals gonna Cardinal.
mhmosher
7/01
As a Mets fan, I'm pretty sure most of us realize Conforto is not a savior. They need about five Confortos to get over the top.
carlbrownson
7/01
I don't know how many times I heard people say that David Wright was just a solid, everyday player, not a star. (By the numbers, he was a star.) maybe something about the Mets makes people say that.
huztlers
7/01
Many Mets prospects are way overblown. It is very strange that Conforto gets this treatment. In reality nobody is a savior. I don't know why that has to be at the forefront with Conforto.
mhmosher
7/01
When in the last few years have Mets prospects been overhyped? I agree with carlbrownson. Something about their team creates a slight negative bias.

I think a lot of this perception about Mets prospects comes from the Generation K aftermath.
BarryR
7/01
Exactly which Mets prospects have been overblown? Surely not the pitchers, as they all seem to be as advertised, except for DeGrom, who has been better. All of the Mets hitting prospects have been downplayed - deservedly so. Were Lagares and Flores supposed to be something special offensively? I don't think so. Most catchers take a little longer to develop offensively, so d'Arnaud needed a few hundred AB before he became what he was supposed to be.
I don't think most Met fans think Conforto is gonna go all Kris Bryant on the league. That's not the question. The question is whether he is ready to be better than Cuddyer. And when Nimmo actually plays for a month or two without getting hurt, all he has to be is an improvement on Lagares, which is a mighty low bar to hurdle.
Last month, the Mets three best hitters by OPS (min 50 PA) were Granderson (.914), Lagares (.677) and Tejada (.628) - Conforto doesn't have to walk on water, just not sink like a stone.
mhmosher
7/01
Yeah - I don't see it either. I remember Alex Escobar being incredibly overhyped. Same with Alex Ochoa and Lastings Milledge as well. But not lately. And especially not Michael Conforto.
davinhbrown
7/01
Harvey, Wheeler...
Ike Davis, hell anyone with a pulse in NY or LA gets over blown in any sport.
What was that 'big 3 arms' back in the day? Bill Pulsipher, and two others?

mhmosher
7/01
Yeah, I mentioned that if you read the other comments.
tcfatone
7/01
What the heck is the Red Sox plan for Rusney Castillo, anyway? He's been crushing it in AAA.
Muboshgu
7/01
I think the better question would be: "What the heck is the Red Sox plan?" Pablo and Hanley and an overloaded outfield, poor pitching, Justin Masterson over giving Brian Johnson a shot?
Schere
7/01
As the Orioles have shown, there's big team upside to average players replacing sub-replacement-level dreck.
jfranco77
7/01
Man I really want to go to Scranton and see Aaron Judge play CF.