Hitter of the Day: Bradley Zimmer, OF, Indians (Akron, AA): 2-3, 3 R, 2 HR, BB.
Zimmer’s breakout first full season hasn’t slowed down much since he was promoted to Double-A, and most importantly, the power has actually picked up. With the ability to stay in center field, Zimmer won’t need a ton of pop, but he should develop more than enough power to make him a plus player at an up-the-middle position.
Pitcher of the Day: Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Nationals (Potomac, A+): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K.
This is what upper-90s fastballs can do to an A-ball lineup when they’re commanded properly. Lopez’s arm is dynamic, but his secondary stuff is still lagging slightly behind the potential of his fastball. Still, in the Carolina League, fastball command is more than enough to get by, and on days when he has it going, Lopez can dominate with that pitch alone.
Best of the Rest
Byron Buxton, OF, Twins (Rochester, AAA): 4-5, 2 R, K. Injuries have kept Buxton from exhausting his prospect eligibility just yet, but he’s still every bit the player he was when he topped our prospect lists in years past. When healthy and playing regularly, he’s a dynamic dual-threat up-the-middle athlete with enough skill and athleticism to dominate on both sides of the ball. He was likely rushed by the Twins in the first place and a return to Triple-A isn’t the worst thing in the world for his development.
Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies (Clearwater, A+): 4-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B. The only knock on Hoskins in his breakout first half was that he was old for his Low-A level. After a mid-season promotion, we can’t say that any more. Hoskins has managed to continue his power production into the Florida State League, a circuit that suppresses power more than any other. He’s continued to show an advanced approach at the plate, which has allowed him to limit his strikeouts without sacrificing power production. By continuing his success post-promotion, he’s helped legitimize himself as a prospect within the Phillies’ ever-strengthening system.
Brett Phillips, OF, Brewers (Biloxi, AA): 4-4, R, 2B, 3B, BB. Wednesday could represent the day Phillips announced himself to the Brewers organization. He’s struggled slightly since coming over at the trade deadline, but it’s the potential combination of power and speed that had the Brewers interested in him in the first place. With moderate power and an up-the-middle profile, Phillips projects as a potential everyday center fielder at the big-league level.
Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (Fresno, AAA): 8 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 8 K. Appel has always had the stuff to dominate games like this no matter which league he was in. The only question has been his ability to bring that stuff to the ballpark outing after outing. The pure stuff is top of the line, but he’s had starts like this before only to back them up with below-average outings. If he can string a few outings like this together, perhaps he could get himself in line to help the Astros down the stretch.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies (Reading, AA): 2-3, 2 R, HR, BB, SB. Don’t underestimate Crawford’s power. It’ll never be a major aspect of his game, and might be his weakest tool, but he has enough of it to keep pitchers honest and potentially reach double digits in home runs in his prime. When coupled with the other potentially elite tools he possesses, the power creates yet another way he’ll be able to beat teams.
Notable Prospect Starters
- Jorge Lopez, RHP, Brewers (Biloxi, AA): 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K.
- Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, BB, 9 K.
- Jarlin Garcia, LHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 6 IP, 3 H, R, 4 BB, 6 K.
- Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves (Rome, A-): 4 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 2 K.
- Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 3 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 3 K.
- Kohl Stewart, RHP, Twins (Ft. Myers, A+): 6 2/3 IP, 8 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K.
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