Hitter of the Day: Clint Frazier, OF, Indials (Lynchburg, A+): 3-3, 3 2B, BB.
Frazier has taken an important step forward this season, slightly lowering his strikeout rate, which had been bordering on dangerous last season, while also increasing his power production. Any time a prospect, especially a young one, makes an improvement in their biggest area of weakness, I see it as one of the most positive developmental signs a player can produce.

Pitcher of the Day: Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Tigers (Lakeland, A+): 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K.
Last season, Ziomek missed a ton of bats, but also missed the strike zone a little too often. This season, he’s brought both down to more realistic levels, throwing more strikes while missing fewer bats, though still striking batters out at a more-than-acceptable rate. The left-hander has always had a good arm, but his command has wavered because of issues repeating his delivery. When he’s zoned in with his mechanics, he can be incredibly effective.

Best of the Rest

Luis Guillorme, SS, Mets (Savannah, A-): 4-7, 3 R, K. Guillorme is the best defensive shortstop in the Mets system, which is saying something considering it contains Amed Rosario. In fact, he’s one of the best defensive shortstops in all the minor leagues. The questions with Guillorme have always surrounded his bat, which is extremely limited thanks to little strength and no size. He’s making the most of his limited offensive skill set, however, handling himself quite nicely in his first taste of full-season ball by showing a patient approach at the plate, a strong understanding of the strike zone, and an acceptable contact rate. He offers absolutely no power, even in the form of doubles, so the glove will still have to carry him, but there have been a few positive signs with the bat thus far this season.

Michael Fulmer, RHP, Tigers (Erie, AA): 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K. Fulmer clearly brought his season-long progress with him when he was traded to the Tigers last week, continuing his dominance of the Eastern League despite being in a different uniform. Fulmer’s stuff has taken a step forward this season across the board, up from a disappointing showing last year and into the mold of what should be a viable major-league starting pitcher.

Josh Hader, LHP, Brewers (Biloxi, AA): 5 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 9 K. In keeping with the trend of solid first impressions with a new team, Hader was dominant in his first start in the Brewers organization. Hader has a solid three-pitch arsenal, all of which can flash plus at times. However, his funky mechanics and lack of strength make for difficulties repeating his delivery and inconsistencies with his command and the quality of his stuff. He has the arsenal to stick in the rotation, but currently lacks the consistency, which could lead to a relief role, where he has the skills to succeed.

Jesse Winker, OF, Reds (Pensacola, AA): 4-7, 3 R, HR, BB, 2 K. The power hasn’t been consistent enough for Winker this season, which is concerning given his profile as a bat-first corner outfielder, but the rest of his offensive game has remained intact, including an impressive ability to limit his strikeouts. There’s no reason to doubt his bat, though the limited power this season might temper the profile slightly.

Chad Pinder, 2B/SS, Athletics (Midland, AA): 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, K. The rare A’s player who actually hits better after leaving Stockton, Pinder has managed to almost match his power production from last year despite moving up a level and into a tougher hitting environment. What Pinder lacks in standout tools he makes up for in balance and a well-rounded profile that has few holes. His biggest flaw is an overly aggressive approach that leads to a lot of outs, but he balances that with above-average power production at power-starved positions.

Francis Martes, RHP, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 10 K. Scouts have raved to me this year about Martes, and it’s easy to see why. With a high-90s fastball and a plus curveball that could have even more potential, Martes has a one-two punch that can manhandle minor-league hitters. He tackled his first assignment to full-season ball so well that he forced the Astros to promote him before they had likely envisioned. There will be some bumps in the road due to Martes still being quite raw and the hell that is pitching in Lancaster, but in between the bumps, there will be nights like Tuesday, when Martes can be absolutely dominant.

Notable Prospect Starters

  • Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals (Springfield, AA): 3 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K.
  • Ashe Russell, RHP, Royals (Burlington, R): 4 IP, H, R, BB, 3 K.
  • Carson Fulmer, RHP, White Sox (Winston-Salem, A+): 3 IP, 2 H, R, 0 BB, 3 K.
  • Blake Snell, LHP, Rays (Durham, AAA): 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R (1 ER), BB, 7 K.
  • Amir Garrett, LHP, Reds (Daytona, A+): 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 7 K.
  • Brent Honeywell, RHP, Rays (Port Charlotte, A+): 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, BB, 4 K.
  • Jake Thompson, RHP, Phillies (Reading, AA): 7 IP, 6 H, R, 0 BB, K.

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No Erick Leal? He threw 9 no-hit innings for the South Bend Cubs last night.
Oh man...2 Tigers mentioned in this....haven't seen that in quite a while.
Under Winker it says "including an impressive ability not to limit his strikeouts."
Yeah got a double negative messed up there. He doesn't strike out a ton is what I was going for there.
Fixed. Thanks!
First it was the "Cosart-Moran" deal between Miami and Houston, but this year it seems to have gradually morphed into the "Cosart-Marisnick" to the "Cosart-Cameron" to the "Cosart-Martes" deal....Most of the pieces on the Houston side are still potential as opposed to major league producers, so you have to reserve judgement...but you have to figure the Astros are fairly pleased with the deal.

Add in the fact that the key pieces in the two deadline deals, Nottingham and Phillips, were 6th round picks from HS who were not on anyones's radar before last season....after all the kerfuffle about their analytical approach, seems like somebody in Houston can find and develop players from places other than the top of the draft....