Hitter of the Day: Tyler Goeddel, 3B, Rays (Montgomery, AA): 3-4, 3 R, 3 HR.
Goeddel has always looked the part, which is why he was a first-round pick for the Rays in 2011, but his in-game production has never matched his appearance. He’ll need more power production like he showed on Thursday to make up for a below-average approach, some holes in his hit tool, and below-average defense at third base.
Pitcher of the Day: Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Twins (Fort Myers, A+): 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K.
Gonsalves has had success to this point primarily on the back of his changeup, because in the low minors, a decent changeup that a pitcher can throw for strikes obviates an incredible amount of other flaws. That isn’t to say that Gonsalves doesn’t have talent. The lefty features a low-90s fastball to go with the changeup, but he lacks the quality breaking ball that he’ll need at higher levels, especially as a left-hander.
Best of the Rest
Austin Dean, OF, Marlins (Jupiter, A+): 3-5, R, 3 2B. After a breakout season in Low-A last year, Dean has struggled this season in the Florida State League. Without any standout tools, and few average ones for that matter, Dean doesn’t offer a ton of value unless he’s hitting close to .300. He has some gap-power potential that could lead to some strong doubles totals, but it’s a pretty limited profile considering he’s destined for a corner outfield position.
Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals (Springfield, AA): 4 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 8 K. In case there was any doubt about the swing-and-miss quality of Reyes’ stuff, the Cardinals right-hander wanted to reassure everyone just how dominant he can be by striking out 13 batters in his first 8 1/3 Double-A innings. The Cardinals are monitoring him closely (which was the real reason he was held out of the Futures Game, and not the shoulder injury that was reported), but he’s continued to take steps forward while he’s been on the mound, and even the strike-throwing ability is improving.
Max Kepler, OF, Twins (Chattanooga, AA): 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR. The execution of Kepler’s hit tool has improved dramatically this season, as many believed it would eventually, but the power production has not taken the steps forward that he’ll need if he’s destined for first base or a corner-outfield spot. Still, with his size and profile, more power has always been expected and his swing and contact skills indicate that there should be more in there. He’ll need to show it in games more frequently, but there are some reasons to believe that it could come.
Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (Binghamton, AA): 2-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, SB. You can’t maintain a .382 BABIP forever, can you? If you hit enough balls hard you can, but it’s a tough skill to maintain, and that strategy absolutely won’t work in the big leagues. Anderson strikes out a ton for a guy without much power, though his build suggests that there could be more in there. But other than his swings and misses, he ends up with a ton of balls in play, thanks to an aggressive approach that is going to get him in trouble eventually. In the meantime, however, he continues to square balls up consistently and get away with his flaws thanks to elite athleticism and hand-eye coordination.
Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (Scranton/W-B, AAA): 2-3, R, 2B, HR, BB. Finally in Triple-A after what seemed like forever, it’s easy to forget that Sanchez is still just 22. He’s hitting for more power this season than he has in the past despite some contact issues and an aggressive approach. He’ll never be a great catcher, but as long as he can stay there, his power production will be above average and his arm will be an asset. That’s a powerful combination for a 22-year-old.
Willy Adames, SS, Rays (Port Charlotte, A+): 4-9, R, 3 K. Yes, that’s all in one game, as the Rays Florida State League affiliate went 19 innings. Kudos to the scouts who were there and maintained the ideal of never leaving a game early, which is every quality scout’s credo. As for Adames, he has made substantial improvement throughout the course of the season, consistently putting together quality at-bats and displaying a better understanding of the strike zone. He remains a quality shortstop with a plus arm, and his understanding of how to hit has given him a chance to be an above-average player at the position at the big-league level.
Notable Prospect Starters
- Austin Gomber, LHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 7 2/3 IP, 3 H, R, 0 BB, 7 K.
- Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Reds (Louisville, AAA): 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K.
- Erick Fedde, RHP, Nationals (Auburn, SS): 5 IP, 7 H, R, BB, 2 K.
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