[Craig didn’t write an introduction, so I’m writing one for him. “Welcome to this week’s Wrap!” is what Craig should have said. So, from me to you: Welcome to this week’s Wrap. -ed.]
On The Shelf
Congrats on Your New Job
Fresh off signing his first professional contract, Brewers second-round pick Cody Ponce has been pushed up to Low-A Wisconsin following a couple appearances in Rookie ball. He’ll bring his four-pitch mix (fastball, cutter, curve, change) to the Midwest League, with his cutter receiving particularly positive reviews.
Never shy about being aggressive, the Blue Jays promoted a pair of 19-year-olds to High-A Dunedin in 2014 second-rounder Sean Reid-Foley and 2012 international free agent Richard Urena. Reid-Foley can run his fastball up to 95 mph from the right side, and sits a tick below, complementing the heater with a developing change and a slider that has bat-missing potential. Urena should have little trouble sticking at shortstop, and while he is a switch-hitter, he just started that last year; he has, predictably, been much better from his original (left-handed) side. While he’s not known for his over-the-fence power, Urena proved he had pop with 12 home runs in Low-A Lansing.
It’s been a rough year at Double-A for Yankees prospect Greg Bird (Eyewitness Report), though only in the sense that an .804 OPS for a 22-year-old can be considered rough. Still, he’s fallen short of some expectations after he acclimated quickly to the level in ’14. All that’s behind him though, as the patient hitter tackles Triple-A. Bird has very real power, but his contact-oriented approach at Trenton appeared to limit its in-game functionality. We’ll see if that approach remains now that he’s on the verge of the majors.
Switch-hitting Twins prospect Jorge Polanco (Eyewitness Report) received a promotion to Triple-A this week, and while he’s shown the ability to hit for average, his utter lack of power could limit him to a second-division profile. He lacks the arm to stick at shortstop (or play effective defense if his team insists he play there), but profiles nicely at the keystone assuming he can continue to hit for a high average.
The Jesse Biddle Experience (Eyewitness Report) is on the upswing, as the Phillies promoted their 2010 first-rounder to Triple-A. He’s just a couple starts short of matching last year’s total number of starts, so it’s nice that he’s been healthy, but the production has seen a steep decline. He’s not missing nearly as many bats, but perhaps the coaches in Lehigh Valley can get him back to form.
The Braves promoted Tyrell Jenkins (Eyewitness Reports), received in the Jason Heyward trade, to Triple-A Gwinett this week. The athletic Jenkins features dynamic stuff, but his command wavers and causes him to miss fewer bats than he should.
Back in Action
After a nasty collision left many thinking he’d be out the rest of the year, David Dahl (Rockies) is on the mend and on the field. He’s played in Rookie games as part of his rehab.
Ketel Marte returned to the field for the Mariners’ Double-A team in Jackson after missing time with an injured thumb.
Hector Olivera, the Dodgers’ prize acquisition from Cuba, began a rehab assignment in Rookie ball this week as he works back from a strained hamstring.
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