Hitter of the Day: D.J. Peterson, 1B, Seattle Mariners (Peoria Javelinas) 2-4, 2 HR
Peterson is following up a disappointing 2015 MiLB regular season with a strong start out of the gate in the AFL. That's important for the once-polished third-base prospect as he's essentially moved across the infield, and his bat will have to play up to expectations at first. Peterson's early performance offers hope that he can tap into his power and have a strong bounce-back year in 2016.
Best Pitcher: Sean Manaea, LHP, Oakland Athletics (Mesa Solar Sox) 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
Zero walks is the big story for Manaea as the stuff has never been in question. The makings of a solid no. 3 starter are evident as he has two plus potential pitches and a change that can play to average. If he can harness the command, he will be a solid mid-rotation arm.
Best of the Rest
Gary Sanchez, DH, New York Yankees (Surprise Saguaros) 3-4, 1 HR
Some of the shine has come off his hit tool but the power still remains, giving Sanchez a shot at being a productive major-league player. He's been able to stay behind the plate despite a below-average glove. The arm is plus-plus but his slow-moving feet will make him a liability blocking pitches, and his overall feel for receiving still needs improvement.
Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Chicago Cubs (Mesa Solar Sox) 3-4, 1 2B, 1 RS
It seems as though I've spent a lot of words on the trials and travels of Jeimer Candelario. He shows a feel for contact and an understanding of the strike zone, but that can go away when he tries to drop the shoulder and create loft in that manner. It eats away at his contact skills, and it led to a terrible 2014 season. He’s rebounded well and he turned around on high velocity in this game, encouraging signs that there's some life left in his bat.
Taylor Rogers LHP, Minnesota Twins (Scottsdale Scorpions) 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
Rogers confounded hitters tonight to post a high strikeout total, but his profile is that of a back-end starter or a swingman, as he possesses average stuff with plus command.
Gabby Guerrero, RF, Arizona Diamondbacks (Salt River Rafters): 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 RS
Guerrero had a rough ride in Double-A this year as his tenuous grasp of the strike zone was exposed. The talent is still there—Guerrero has plus raw, the makings of an average hit tool, and an arm that plays in right—but his strike-zone command has some growing up to do.
Clint Frazier, CF, Cleveland Indians (Scottsdale Scorpions): 3-3, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 RBI, 2 RS
At this point, Frazier is the likely poster boy for the phrase "development isn't always linear.” Frazier has five-tool potential with a few plus grades thrown on the profile. He struggled heavily in the Midwest League but finished strong before disappointing in 2014. Frazier found his footing once again and appears to be on the rise. His stock could gain serious momentum with a strong showing in the AFL.
JaCoby Jones, 3B, Detroit Tigers (Scottsdale Scorpions): 2-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 3 RS
Jones has been moved around the diamond a bit as he never had the defensive chops to stick at short. He played third base today and has the athleticism to play center thanks to his plus speed. Jones' arm isn't well suited for third base, and his hit tool and approach all belie what was a strong game for the Tigers’ farm hand. Jones' potential skews more towards utility player than starter.
Fight Another Day
Trey Michalczewski, DH, Chicago White Sox (Glendale Desert Dogs) 1-5, 4 SO
His frame and projection all point towards latent power, which makes the switch-hitting third baseman intriguing. He has yet to dip into the potential as a professional, however, and this game showcased a key concern for Michalczewski moving forward. His propensity to strike out will be a limiting factor on his OFP. He's an adventure out at third base as well, so while he's a definite prospect, he settles more into the role-player mold, rather than projecting as a first-division regular.
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Colorado Rockies (Salt River Rafters) 0.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO
it's hard to take away many positives from a start like Freeland's. His stuff was flat during his short stint, which is a shame because he has the potential for three plus pitches and a solid-average cutter.
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