Hitter of the Day: Amed Rosario, SS, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 3-4, R, 2B, 3B, SB.
Rosario's glove still leads the way, but we see glimpses of improvement in the bat from time to time. He's still inconsistent on a daily basis, which has led to stretches of improved play (like May, when he hit .318) followed by stretches in which he looks lost (like June, when he hit .214). These are the perils of promoting a 19-year-old player from short-season ball to the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. The good news is that Rosario hasn't let the fluctuations affect his defense, which continues to be a plus tool and will carry him to the big leagues.
Pitcher of the Day: Gabriel Ynoa, RHP, Mets (Binghamton, AA): 7 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, 5 K.
There are times when Ynoa almost throws too many strikes, given that his stuff doesn't have the life necessary to miss enough bats in the zone. When he is able to avoid barrels, however, his control becomes an extreme asset. This was Ynoa's third straight start without issuing a walk, and he's issued just three since the beginning of June. Suffice it to say that he's an elite-level strike-thrower, which can help to make up for his inability to do anything else at an elite level. Ultimately, it's a back-end profile, but one that could fit nicely in cavernous Citi Field.
Best of the Rest
Jake Bauers, 1B, Rays (Montgomery, AA): 4-4. Bauers was one of the more surprisingly impressive performers in the first half of the Florida State League season, though not to the point that his promotion to Double-A was expected. Still just 19, Bauers features a compact left-handed swing with above-average bat speed that generates natural backspin. His home-run power was limited in the FSL and may not manifest this season against the advanced pitching in the Southern League, but above-average power is in there. It's not the typical first-base profile, but he has enough power to be productive at the position while complementing it with a strong hit tool and on-base skills.
Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 6 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, 4 K. Shipley has struggled this season in his ability to throw strikes and miss bats, taking steps back in both departments. He got one straightened out on Monday, going an outing without issuing a free pass for the first time in 18 starts this season. He's still not missing bats the way a player with his stuff should, but throwing strikes is a step in the right direction, even for one night.
Corey Littrell, LHP, Cardinals (Palm Beach, A+): 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Littrell has seen enough of the Florida State League, and FSL hitters have likely seen enough of him. The command of a plus breaking ball is enough to put most hitters at that level away, and he's refined the location of that pitch over his current scoreless stretch, which now spans his past four starts. The ceiling isn't exceptionally high, but his breaking ball will carry him to the big leagues.
Franklin Barreto, SS, Athletics (Stockton, A+): 4-5, 2B, HR. After taking his lumps in April to the tune of a .171 batting average, Barreto has adjusted to life in the California League, a far cry from short-season ball even with the help the stadiums give to hitters. It's still advanced pitching by comparison, and Barreto has adjusted tremendously, hitting over .400 in the month of July. He's still too aggressive for his own good, but at 19, that's to be expected. It's his barrel skills and power potential that have stood out.
Fight Another Day
Willy Adames, SS, Rays (Port Charlotte, A+): 0-4, 2 K. Adames has been fantastic this year, but it's important to remember that he's still raw. He has made strides in his approach at the plate and control of the strike zone, but his natural tendencies take over some nights, and he'll expand the zone. It's all a part of the developmental process and not a reason for concern. After all, he is having a very strong season and has shown improvements just in the past few months. Still, he could be a player who is susceptible to streaks, both good and bad, as he continues his refinement.
Adalberto Mejia, RHP, Giants (Richmond, AA): 2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 5 BB, K. Without high-ceiling stuff, Mejia has to have command of his pitches in order to be effective. Specifically, he needs to be able to get ahead with his fastball to let his changeup, which is his best pitch, play off of it. He's had command issues within the zone in his past, but on Monday night, it was finding the zone altogether that was the issue.
Notable Starting Pitchers:
Casey Meisner, RHP, Mets (St. Lucie, A+): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K.
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