Hitter of the Day: Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 3-5, 2 R, 2 HR, K, SB.
Say what you will about the small sample size that has been Williams’ season thus far, but hitters as talented as Williams don’t double their walk rate four months into their Double-A campaigns by accident. No one has been harder on Williams than I had been entering this season, and with just cause. He swung at everything, and that held him back. I’ll admit, I didn’t ever think he’d adjust. Once you get to this point in the minors, it’s rare to see hitters adapt their approaches significantly. But Williams appears to have done it, and that’s a testament to his efforts. Whether he can keep it up remains to be seen. The pitching will only get better, and he’s still not exactly patient. But with his ability, he doesn’t have to draw a ton of walks to be successful; he only needs enough of them to keep pitchers honest. Williams has shown the ability to draw an adequate volume this year for the first time, and the dividends have been impressive.
Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Altoona, AA): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K.
No one has ever doubted Glasnow’s stuff, or his ability to miss bats. For the Pirates’ prospect, it’s always been about throwing strikes. We won’t even discuss his fastball command—he has little of it—because with the combination of velocity and movement that Glasnow wields, command within the zone is much less important than his ability to hit the zone at all. When he does hit the zone, he’s always been almost unhittable.
Best of the Rest
Richard Urena, SS, Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 4-5, R, 3B, K. Urena is remarkably talented, though his promotion to Dunedin seems ill advised. He was handling his first full-season assignment well, though not so well that he had forced the Jays’ hand by any means. He has good power for a shortstop, an asset that can’t be ignored, but he remains unrefined, and a promotion won’t aid that process. Urena is ridiculously talented, but promoting a 19-year-old with a 61-to-9 K:BB ratio seems like an unnecessary challenge, no matter his talent level.
Nick Longhi, OF, Red Sox (Greenville, A-): 4-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, K. Longhi has to hit, given his defensive limitations, and he’s hit well thus far, though the power has yet to live up to positional expectations. It’s going to have to get there, for a player who must have a run-producing profile, but he’s talented with the bat. The Red Sox will have to hope that his doubles turn into home runs as he moves up the chain.
Clint Frazier, OF, Indians (Lynchburg, A+): 3-4, R, HR, SB. The swings and misses have made Frazier maddeningly streaky, as evidenced by his drastic undulations this season from month to month. He was cold in April, then heated up in May, only to cool back off in June. He’s hitting again, which is good, but he’ll have to find a way to be more consistent against better pitching.
Javier Guerra, SS, Red Sox (Greenville, A-): 3-5, R, 2B, HR, K. We can credit his home park all we want for his power production, but the fact is that Guerra has more pop than we expect him to have. The power is slightly ahead of the hit tool at present, which, despite some steps forward with his plate discipline, is still unrefined. But with his glove, nothing has to be above average, even though the power could get there.
Daz Cameron, OF, Astros (GCL Astros): 2-4, K, 2 SB. One day after struggling through the bad part of our list, Cameron puts it together for a day and shows us what its like to be 18 and incredibly talented. We know Cameron can hit and is a fantastic athlete up the middle, and we also know that the process of putting it all together is going to be long. Still, we can already see glimpses of why he was so highly coveted.
Notable Prospect Starters
- Jose De Leon, RHP, Dodgers (Tulsa, AA): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 10 K.
- Jaime Schultz, RHP, Rays (Montgomery, AA): 4 2/3 IP, 3 H, R, 7 BB, 8 K.
- Ashe Russell, RHP, Royals (Burlington, R): 2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 BB, K.
- Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds (Louisville, AAA): 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
- Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies (Lehigh Valley, AAA): 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 3 K.
- Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves (Carolina, A+): 6 IP, 5 H, R, BB, 8 K.
- Keury Mella, RHP, Giants (San Jose, A+): 7 IP, H, R, 0 BB, 5 K.
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