Hitter of the Day: Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox (Greenville, A-): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, BB, K
As though an already stacked Red Sox farm system needed another potential impact bat, it appears they may have landed one in this year’s draft. Selected seventh overall just two months ago, the undersized Benintendi doesn’t scream power hitter. But the former Arkansas Razorback could be just that, with a balanced skill set that could see him hit for power and remain in the middle of the field.

Pitcher of the Day: Amir Garrett, LHP, Reds (Daytona, A+): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Garrett is following up his first full baseball season last year with a similarly impressive campaign this year. The development of a third pitch and some needed improvement in terms of fastball command will determine whether or not he remains a starter, but his two-pitch fastball/breaking-ball mix will give him a big-league career in some capacity.

Best of the Rest

Max Kepler, OF, Twins (Chattanooga, AA): 4-5, 2 R, HR, BB. A huge breakout year for Kepler continues to get more impressive as the German native keeps gaining steam as the season winds down. He’s added some power to his game, but the most impressive thing has been the evolution of his hit tool and his ability to continue to make contact at tremendous rates while doing so.

Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers (Tulsa, AA): 6 IP, H, R, BB, 8 K. Missing two months in the middle of the season didn’t seem to affect Urias, who has gotten back to his impressive bat-missing ways since returning to action. His overall innings count on the season has been limited, but the Dodgers are letting him finish strong and throwing at full capacity.

Trea Turner, SS/2B, Nationals (Syracuse, AAA): 4-6, R, 2 2B, K. There’s an additional position next to Turner’s name today because he’s gotten the start at the keystone the past two nights. Scouts are split on his defensive abilities at short, though most believe he’d be capable there at the very least. But getting him some time at second could allow him to provide the Nationals options off the bench should he receive a September call-up, meaning any playing time there should be looked at as a way to increase his versatility rather than a comment on his ability as a shortstop.

Jomar Reyes, 3B, Orioles (Delmarva, A-): 2-4, 2 2B, K. Other than being interrupted midseason by injury, Reyes has had an impressive breakout campaign in his first year of full-season ball. Given that he provides little defensive value and may have to move off of third base, he’ll need to grow into the power production that should come with his impressive size, but most scouts are confident that he’ll be able to do so with ease.

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (Scranton/W-B, AAA): 2-3, R, HR, BB. Even those of us who were high on Greg Bird (of which I am one) probably wouldn’t have projected that he’d beat Judge to the big leagues, let alone to his first career two-homer game. Judge shouldn’t be too far behind, however, should the Yankees end up with a similar need. There’s been an adjustment period for him in Triple-A, but he’s gone through that at other levels as well and come out just fine on the other side.

Sean Newcomb, LHP, Angels (Arkansas, AA): 5 IP, 4 H, R, 3 BB, 8 K. It’s not that Newcomb has these massive bouts of wildness. It’s just a matter of there simply being too many extra baserunners for him to continue to get away with such a process against better competition, not to mention the way it limits his ability to pitch deep into games. He’s incredibly talented, as evidenced by his ability to miss bats, and the walks haven’t caught up with him yet, but they will if he doesn’t start throwing more strikes.

Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres (El Paso, AAA): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR. Renfroe struggled mightily in his transition to Double-A, but he’s off to a good start in preventing that at the minors’ highest level. Renfroe showed off his power potential in his Triple-A debut on Wednesday, and that power will be his ticket to the big leagues. It’s going to come with an average hit tool and some swing and miss, but he’s made some necessary adjustments to ensure that he’ll do enough damage in the meantime to be an everyday bat.

Notable Prospect Starters

  • Blake Snell, LHP, Rays (Durham, AAA): 5 IP, H, R, 2 BB, 7 K.
  • Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Blue Jays (Dunedin, A+): 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), BB, 4 K.
  • Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Rockies (New Britain, AA): 4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, BB, 4 K.
  • Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Tigers (Lakeland, A+): 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K.

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I haven't really looked at Snell's WHIP, but if it's over 1 that has to be due to walks. Seems every time he throws he gives up only a few hits; he doesn't look as though he's throwing as hard as he is, either. And my sense is he's gotten even better in AAA, though they rarely pitch him beyond 5 innings.

There has to be quite a bit of movement on his fastball to frustrate bats at an elite level Minor League -- not only just with strikeouts but with poor contact when he's not down badly in the count.
Snell's WHIP is 0.98 this year over 3 levels, 0.75 since getting to AAA.

The entire Bulls team had quote a day yesterday, with Richie Shaffer going all Greg Bird on us-- 3-5, 4R, 2HR, BB, K.

My two picks for the top 50 that missed the cut here, Kepler and Renfroe, are also making a case for themselves the second half of the season. I've like both over Winker -- Renfroe for raw power and Kepler for developing power and a great approach. Some of those early season doubles and triples are getting over the fence in the second half of the season, and all without Buxton and Sano as protection.
Tyler White, 2 for 3 with a walk at AAA Fresno. Now slashing 401/495/618 at AAA in , and 313/423/494 in his minor league career.
I al pretty sure the scouts do not like the body
Reid-Foley is with Lansing in the Midwest League. I saw the game last night. He pitched 5 shutout innings then, after a messed up double play ball by an outfielder playing 2nd, gave up back-to-back homers and was gone.