Hitter of the Day: Clint Frazier, OF, Indians (Lynchburg, A+): 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR
Frazier seems to have found just enough balance in himself as a hitter to let the talent that got him selected fifth overall in 2013 come out on a consistent basis. The strikeouts will always be a part of his game given the length and ferocity involved in his swing, but he’s reined the swing-and-miss in just enough to allow the power to play more consistently, which is a huge step for his development. Any time a young player makes a noticeable improvement in his biggest area of weakness, it’s a huge developmental green light.
Pitcher of the Day: Jorge Lopez, RHP, Brewers (Biloxi, AA): 7 IP, H, 0 R, 4 BB, 9 K
After an up-and-down season in 2014 that involved playing through some serious family issues, Lopez has really put it together this season in Double-A. He’s always had the arm that scouts love, generating easy low-90s velocity with movement. He’s improved his strike-throwing capabilities this season, as well as his ability to miss bats, thereby taking the next step forward.
Best of the Rest
Peter O’Brien, OF, Diamondbacks (Reno, AAA): 3-6, 2 R, HR, K. At 25, there’s not much left for O’Brien to prove in the minors. He’s continued to produce the same way he did with the Yankees and since coming over to the Diamondbacks, hitting for prodigious power numbers but with few walks, many strikeouts, and no defensive value. He’s no longer a catcher, but the move to a corner-outfield spot really doesn’t hurt his value much given that few outside of the Diamondbacks organization believed he’d remain behind the plate in the first place. The question, as it always has been, is whether his big swing will translate into power production at the big-league level, and it’s one that we won’t know the answer to until we see it in action.
Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies (Clearwater, A+): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, BB. Any questions about whether Hoskins’ breakout first half at Lakewood was a product of him picking on younger competition have been answered since his promotion. Despite just 50 games in the suppressed offensive environment, Hoskins already has more home runs than all but five FSL first basemen do on the entire season, proving that legitimate in-game power plays in any setting.
Brandon Drury, 2B/3B, Diamondbacks (Reno, AAA): 5-6, 3 R, 2B, HR. Drury made the most of one of those Pacific Coast League games that looks more like a football score than anything else. Most of his major offensive production has come in hitter-friendly environments, which can be scary, but Drury has some legitimate raw pop and enough of a hit tool to allow it to play in games. His ability to play multiple infield positions further increases his value.
Yoan Moncada, 2B, Red Sox (Greenville, A-): 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 SB. Moncada continues to impress in the second half of the season, justifying our (and many other people’s) lofty ranking of him on our midseason lists. True talent tends to come out, and the adjustment period he went through should be of no surprise. Nor should what he’s doing now.
Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (Round Rock, AAA): 2-5, R, 2 2B. As though hitting .284/.357/.443 in Double-A as a 20-year-old wasn’t outrageous enough, Mazara got off to a rousing start in his first Triple-A game on Tuesday after forcing yet another aggressive promotion from the Rangers. With an ideal build and the talent level to match it, the sky is the limit for Mazara.
Jack Flaherty, RHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K. The Midwest League doesn’t appear to be providing Flaherty with much of a challenge any more, as the 2014 first-rounder has now allowed just one run over three August starts to put an exclamation point on what was an impressive first season. With three potential plus pitches, Flaherty could likely handle getting his feet wet in the Florida State League should the Cardinals want to get him acclimated to his home for next season.
Notable Prospect Starters
- Jarlin Garcia, LHP, Marlins (Jacksonville, AA): 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 7 K.
- Jose De Leon, RHP, Dodgers (Tulsa, AA): 4 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 7 K.
- Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Twins (Fort Myers, A+): 7 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 7 K.
- Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (Frisco, AAA): 4 2/3 IP, 12 H, 9 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 3 K.
- Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Royals (NW Arkansas, AA): 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R (1 ER), BB, 5 K.
- Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Nationals (Potomac, A+): 3 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K.
- Kyle Freeland, LHP, Rockies (Modesto, A+): 7 IP, 10 H, 6 R, BB, 3 K.
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