Hitter of the Day: Ryan McMahon, 3B, Rockies (Modesto, A+): 2-2, R, HR.
Power masks a lot of flaws, and while McMahon’s overall game doesn’t have too many gaping ones, it alleviates some of the concern that comes with his exceedingly high strikeout rate. There’s more swing and miss in his game than many would like, though his walk, strikeout, and power rates have all stayed relatively stable in the hitter-friendly California League from the year before, suggesting that there’s nothing fluky about his production. Still, his ability to punish fastballs will have to continue to outweigh his inability to track and lay off of offspeed pitches outside the strike zone.
Pitcher of the Day: Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves (Rome, A-): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 8 K.
Touki is still raw, but it’s outings like this that suggest the Diamondbacks are going to end up regretting letting him go for financial reasons. There’s still a big chance that Toussaint ends up being a reliever—heck, there’s a decent chance Toussaint doesn’t end up making the big leagues at all. Such is the volatility of 19-year-old pitchers. But few at his age can spin a breaking ball the way he can, and when he’s around the strike zone, he’s incredibly difficult to hit.
Best of the Rest
Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (West Michigan, A-): 3-4, K. Stewart’s professional career is off to a strong and fast-moving start, as the former University of Tennessee star is already on his third level. The tools that got him selected 34th overall are evident—starting with the power production—but so are the flaws in his game: mainly his ability to recognize spin on breaking balls. The latter will hinder the former, with the main question being to what extent.
Renato Nunez, 3B, Athletics (Midland, AA): 3-4, 2 R, HR, K. There are holes in Nunez’s game, but the A’s third baseman deserves credit for maintaining his power production after leaving the California League while also limiting his strikeouts. He’s actually decreased his strikeout rate this season, and while his overall offensive production is down slightly, that’s to be expected when going from Stockton to Midland. His raw power is impressive, and the show he put on during batting practice at the Futures Game was on par with the best of that select crowd. His free-swinging ways will get him in some trouble, but his hit tool is better than advertised and should be strong enough to allow the power to play.
Tyler Kolek, RHP, Marlins (Greensboro, A-): 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Kolek was advertised as being a big boy with big -ime stuff, but as we near the end of his first professional season, the former ended up being much more accurate than the latter. He still throws hard, but not at the elite levels he reached as an amateur, and the secondary stuff hasn’t taken the developmental step forward many had hoped for. This start is a good piece of progress, but will ultimately go down as a disappointing best start of the season for last year’s second-overall pick.
Dalton Pompey, OF, Blue Jays (Buffalo, AAA): 2-3, 2 R, 2B, CS. Don’t sleep on Pompey, who has recently been promoted to Triple-A after getting back on his feet in Double-A. Also don’t underestimate the damage being in over his head at the major-league level can have on a player and the lingering effect it can have on his production. After soaring through the Jays system last year, Pompey was overwhelmed in the big leagues to start the season and took some time to get straightened out. His talent level, however, hasn’t changed.
Alex Bregman, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 3-5, 3 R, BB. The Astros jumped Bregman, the second-overall pick from this June’s draft, directly to full-season ball, a move that is befitting of a player who played at a program as storied as LSU and in a conference as difficult as the SEC. The former Tiger is handling the assignment admirably, with his power still yet to follow him to the Midwest League but the rest of his skillset translating nicely.
Micah Johnson, 2B, White Sox (Charlotte, AAA): 3-4, 2 R, HR. Johnson wasn’t performing all that poorly in the big leagues when the White Sox sent him back to Triple-A, in part to work on his defensive consistency. He’s done that, working on making the routine plays more routinely. His offensive potential hasn’t changed, as he still offers little in the power department but makes up for it with some on-base ability and good speed. He’s not a lineup-changer, but he’s better than what the White Sox have been trotting out to the keystone for most of this year.
Colin Moran, 3B, Astros (Corpus Christi, AA): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR. It’s been more of the same for Moran, who, between the injuries, has continued to show an ability to put the barrel of the bat on the baseball but little-to-no power, especially in terms of home-run production. While his hit tool is strong, it’s not elite enough to carry him at run-producing positions without more power.
Notable Prospect Starters
- Sean Manaea, LHP, Royals (NW Arkansas, AA): 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 5 K.
- Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Rays (Port Charlotte, A+): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
- Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (Oklahoma City, AAA): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, BB, 5 K.
- Tyler Beede, RHP, Giants (Richmond, AA): 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, BB, 2 K.
- Justus Sheffield, RHP, Indians (Lake County, A-): 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, R, BB, 6 K.
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