Hitter of the Day: Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Round Rock, AAA): 3-4, 3 R, 3 HR, K.
Well, it wasn’t as if he lost his power. Gallo is just fine. In fact, he’s the same player he was before he was got his cameo in the majors and during it. He’s always going to strike out and always going to hit a ton of home runs in between. The question is how much of each and if he can find a way to mitigate for the former that doesn’t completely hinder the latter.
Pitcher of the Day: Jack Flaherty, RHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 K.
Flaherty was already in the midst of a solid first full season after being selected 34th overall in 2014, but his career-best single-game strikeout performance from Thursday may be the exclamation point on the campaign. He’s done a good job of using his four-pitch mix successfully in the Midwest League this year, but he hasn’t missed bats consistently. We sometimes see pitchers develop that skill later along the developmental path, and that could be the case for Flaherty.
Best of the Rest
Trey Mancini, 1B, Orioles (Bowie, AA): 4-4, 2B, BB. The knock on Mancini has been a long swing that keeps his impressive raw power from playing as consistently in games as it could. It hasn’t kept him from hitting for average as a professional, but when combined with an overly aggressive approach, it’s something that will likely catch up with him eventually. He has a first-base-only profile, which means he’ll need to reach his offensive ceiling in order to play regularly. Even if he doesn’t reach it, however, the power could make him an attractive bench option for a team than can deal with his lack of versatility.
Josh Tobias, 2B, Phillies (Williamsport, SS): 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, CS. For a 10th-round senior sign, the Phillies landed a player with more potential than most. There’s not a lot of room for growth with Tobias, and his tools aren’t terribly loud (which is how you end up being a senior sign in the first place), but he’s just a darn good baseball player. He had success at the University of Florida and has carried that over into pro ball, where the Phillies are trying him out at second base. I’m not sure if that experiment is going to work, but it should increase his versatility, which, coupled with his natural third-base position, could help him become a solid utility option off the bench.
Lewis Brinson, OF, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 2-3, R, HR. There are some—not many, but some—who prefer Brinson to former Rangers farmhand Nick Williams. It’s easy to see why scouts drool over him: His tall, lean frame is ideal for a growing power hitting prospect, yet it’s not one you typically find on an elite-level center fielder. Additionally, Brinson has taken steps forward with his approach, allowing his pure hit tool to play up and his power to translate to game production. He’s still raw, but he has all the tools a player can have.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies (Reading, AA): 3-5, R, 2B, 2 K. For all the excitement about the new additions to the Phillies system, no one has even insinuated that Crawford isn’t still the top dog. There are many reasons why, but one anecdotal note that suggests why is that his two strikeouts on Thursday marked only the sixth time in 59 games this season that he’s fanned twice or more in the same contest. In addition to plus up-the-middle defensive tools and athleticism, he’s also a remarkably polished hitter who has elite-level contact skills. The floor is exceptionally high with Crawford, but so is the ceiling.
Fight Another Day
Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Indianapolis, AAA): 4 2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R (1 ER), 6 BB, 6 K. Glasnow had been doing quite well in his biggest area of weakness—throwing strikes—before Thursday’s outing. It’s likely a minor blip on what has become an otherwise-stellar radar for the Pirates right-hander, who has improved greatly at his worst skill, something I always look for in a prospect.
Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (Scranton/W-B, AAA): 0-5, 3 K. In his last three games, Judge is now 0-for-13 with nine strikeouts. It happens to the best hitters, and a tall, long-armed hitter like Judge is more susceptible to streaks like this than most, though he generally does a good job of staying as short as possible with his swing.
Notable Prospect Starters
- Tyler Kolek, RHP, Marlins (Greensboro, A-): 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K.
- Spencer Adams, RHP, White Sox (Kannapolis, A-): 5 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 8 K.
- Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves (Mississippi, AA): 5 1/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 8 K.
- Kohl Stewart, RHP, Twins (Ft. Myers, A+): 7 IP, 6 H, R, 2 BB, 6 K.
- Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Nationals (Potomac, A+): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K.
- Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (Fresno, AAA): 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K.
- Matt Imhof, LHP, Phillies (Clearwater, A+): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
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