Hitter of the Day: Dalton Pompey, OF, Blue Jays (New Hampshire, AA): 4-6, R, HR, 2 K.
You didn’t forget about him, did you? After stumbling in the majors this season (despite being my preseason pick for AL Rookie of the Year—oops!), Pompey is back where he probably should have been all along. Simply put, the Blue Jays rushed him. At just 22, Pompey was a late bloomer to begin with, and once he took the Florida State League by storm, the Blue Jays fast-tracked him in an attempt to fill a hole at the major-league level. He got just a half-season in High-A ball, just 31 games in Double-A, and just 12 in Triple-A before reaching the majors. Despite his success in the minors, it was too much. He was in over his head this spring, and still a mess after being demoted to Triple-A. He’s still technically rookie-eligible (and thus technically still a prospect by our standards), and more importantly, he’s still just as talented as ever, as a potential up-the-middle and top-of-the-order dual threat.

Pitcher of the Day: Gabriel Ynoa, RHP, Mets (Binghamton, AA): 9 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K.
There have been some questions about Ynoa’s ability to miss enough bats to be successful, especially against more advanced competition, but when his changeup is working, he has the ability to do exactly that. His other breaking stuff is below average, which limits his ceiling as a starter, but with a live arm capable of running his fastball up to 94 mph, he could profile as a reliever with a unique repertoire.

Best of the Rest

Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (Connecticut, SS): 2-5, R, HR, 3 K. It took six games for the former Tennessee Volunteer to hit his way out of the Gulf Coast League, where the breaking balls aren’t nearly sharp enough to give him trouble. They shouldn’t be too much tougher to handle in short-season ball either, but some issues with pitch recognition could catch up to him eventually. In the meantime, the 34th-overall pick from this year’s draft should be able to do plenty of damage.

Devin Williams, RHP, Brewers (Wisconsin, A-): 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 8 K. A talented second-round pick from 2013, Williams has handled his first assignment to full-season ball as well as the Brewers could have hoped. With the potential for three usable pitches, some of which could be better than that, Williams is missing plenty of bats. As is the case with most youngsters—he’s still just 20—the fastball command has yet to come, but there’s no reason to believe it won’t get to where it needs to be.

Justin O’Conner, C, Rays (Montgomery, AA): 3-4, 2 R, 2B. O’Conner had been able to get away with raw ability up through the A-ball level, but it’s been a different story since he was promoted to Double-A last season. It’s gotten even worse this year, as his 74-to-7 K:BB ratio has led to inconsistent contact, a .211 batting average, and even worse, a .237 on-base percentage.

Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 2-4, R, HR. There’s really very little not to like about Mazara’s game. Big, strong, powerful, and most importantly, refined, Mazara is handling Double-A pitching like a seasoned veteran despite having skipped High-A ball and being just 20 years old. He’s an elite talent, any way you slice it.

Corey Littrell, LHP, Cardinals (Palm Beach, A+): 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Not that the Cardinals needed another one, but Littrell is yet another big-league arm, and one that they acquired almost as an afterthought in last year’s John Lackey/Allen Craig trade. It’s not a high ceiling, but with a potential plus curveball, a 89-91 mph fastball with cutting action, and a diving changeup, Littrell fits the exact profile the Cardinals will stash in Triple-A in his early 20s and call upon each year when they need starters nos. 6-8 due to injuries, attrition, and the like. He’s not exciting, but there will be a time in the next few years when we say, “Where do the Cardinals keep getting these guys?” because of Littrell.

Ali Sanchez, C, Mets (GCL Mets): 3-4, R, 2B, K. A big international signing by the Mets back when they still had the money to do such things, Sanchez has the kind of bat that’s difficult to gauge on that scene. Stateside for the first time and in the GCL at 18, he handles the bat quite well with a strong feel for the barrel and plenty of bat speed. He’s also already well built for his age. There are questions about his arm behind the plate, but the bat is strong enough that it could play at other positions even if he has to move.

Fight Another Day

Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies (Reading, AA): 5 IP, 9 H, 6 R, BB, 7 K. The biggest issue throughout Biddle’s developmental process has been consistency, though at least that has been a consistent trend. When he’s on, Biddle can look dominant, missing bats and profiling as a mid-rotation starter. When he’s not commanding his fastball, however, it can go downhill quickly with nothing for his breaking pitches to play off of. The talent is there, and the health has returned, but the consistency from start to start remains an issue.

Notable Prospect Starters

  • Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Tigers (Lakeland, A+): 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 10 K.
  • Jorge Lopez, RHP, Brewers (Biloxi, AA): 7 2/3 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 9 K.
  • Luis Severino, RHP, Yankees (Scranton/W-B): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
  • Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Royals (NW Arkansas, AA): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
  • Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 5 2/3 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Pierce Johnson, RHP, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 5 IP, 6 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K.
  • Michael Kopech, RHP, Red Sox (Greenville, A-): 6 IP, 6 H, R, BB, 5 K.

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No Jon Gray on today's list? He had one of his better games with 9 K's.
Probably should have been in the notable starters but still have up 3 runs in 6 innings. Sadly that is one of his better starts though.
Jorge Lopez is actually having a pretty nice breakout season
Mark Appel continues to struggle, giving up 9 hits and 3 runs while striking out 6 in 5.2 innings at AAA Fresno. He just does not miss enough bats for a 1/1 pick.
Kyle Zimmer in the bullpen?