Hitter of the Day: Clint Coulter, OF, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 3-4, 2 R, 3 2B, BB, K.
Coulter may not be the most polished hitter with the most polished swing, but he generates good bat speed and his strong frame leads to good power production, even in the tough Florida State League. He’s also taking to the outfield nicely, and while it’s not always fundamentally sound and natural, he’s a better athlete out there than was expected from the converted catcher.
Pitcher of the Day: Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Potomac, A+): 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 7 K.
This is the best pitching prospect in the game at its finest, and yes, that’s a tease for the upcoming #BPTop50. When he’s commanding everything, his combination of two plus-plus pitches is certainly unhittable for Carolina League hitters and won’t be much more fun for big-leaguers.
Best of the Rest
Cole Tucker, SS, Pirates (West Virginia, A+): 4-5, 3 R, 2B, BB, SB, CS. Tucker has had some ups and downs in his first season as a professional, in large part because the Pirates handed him an aggressive assignment right to full-season ball less than a year removed from high-school competition. He’s handled it admirably, and in June, he added a power component to his game that he’s now carried over into July. He’s not clearing the fences very often just yet, but he’s reaching the gaps with more frequency, which is a step in the right direction.
Gleyber Torres, SS, Cubs (South Bend, A-): 3-5, 2 R, K, 2 SB. There’s no getting around the significance of what Torres is doing this season as an 18-year-old in full-season ball. The consistency with which he’s hit throughout the season is remarkable, but now he’s beginning to hit for some power as well, which is even more impressive.
Lazaro Leyva, RHP, Orioles (Aberdeen, SS): 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K. The 20-year-old Leyva was impressive on Wednesday night, touching 99 mph during his stint, according to our own Tucker Blair, who was in attendance:
Lazaro Leyva touched 99 mph in his 3rd inning of work #Orioles
— Tucker Blair (@TuckerBlairON) July 2, 2015
It’s a relief profile with max effort in the delivery, but a premium arm nonetheless.
Willy Adames, SS, Rays (Charlotte, A+): 2-4, R, HR, K. The tool set for Adames has always been impressive, even before the Tigers sent him to the Rays last year in the David Price trade, but he’s made progress this season in turning those tools into actual production. His power is being suppressed by the Florida State League, but he’s putting together better at-bats and showing a more refined approach. In short, he’s improving at his weaknesses, which is always a strong developmental sign.
Alex Blandino, SS, Reds (Daytona, A+): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. Considered a high-floor potential shortstop when the Reds selected him 29th overall last year, Blandino does everything well but nothing spectacularly. He controls the strike zone quite well and has enough power to keep pitchers honest. That should be more than enough, however, to be an everyday shortstop given the state of the position in the majors right now.
Seth McGarry, RHP, Pirates (GCL Pirates): 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K. The former FAU Owl was plucked out of Boca Raton, Florida, by the Pirates in the eighth round this year. McGarry was a reliever in college, but the Pirates are going to work him as a starter until be proves he can’t handle it. A fantastic athlete, he also has a solid three-pitch arsenal that could work in a rotation. He’ll only be in the GCL long enough to build up his endurance before heading to West Virginia.
Fight Another Day
Frederis Parra, RHP, Cardinals (GCL Cardinals): 5 2/3 IP, 16 H, 11 R, 0 BB, 3 K. A year ago, I came across Parra dominating the Gulf Coast League and it felt like finding a diamond in the rough. Fast-forward to Wednesday, and I saw a completely different story. His entire arsenal was a down a grade, if not more, and his fastball was particularly hittable, sitting at 88 mph, primarily down the middle and easily destroyed by a GCL Mets lineup full of teenagers. It was painful to watch, and not just because of the 101-degree heat index.
Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants (Richmond, AA): 2/3 IP, H, R, 3 BB, K. In a move that has been a long time coming, the Giants used the hard-throwing Crick as a reliever for the first time this year. His complete lack of command has long suggested a relief role, but unfortunately, his first attempt out of the ‘pen ended with more of the same.
Notable Prospect Starters
- Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (Buffalo, AAA): 7 IP, 6 H, 6 R (4 ER), 2 BB, K.
- Jarlin Garcia, LHP, Marlins (Jupiter, A+): 6 1/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K.
- Joe Ross, RHP, Nationals (Syracuse, AAA): 5 IP, 4 H, R, BB, K.
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