Hitter of the Day: Jurickson Profar, DH, Texas Rangers (Surprise Saguaros) 2-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K
Oh hey there, haven't seen you in a while. Profar may end up the ultimate post-hype sleeper. If the shoulder is finally healthy, there is still “no. 1 prospect in baseball” talent here. The Rangers might have trouble finding him a place to play given Andrus' contract and Odor's awesomeness, but that is one of those good problems to have, and given the time he has missed, Profar will probably need some Triple-A reps in 2016 anyway.
Pitcher of the Day: Jharel Cotton, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Glendale Desert Dogs) 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Cotton had a dominant season across three levels of the minors. Our Wilson Karaman saw him twice this year and noted that the body and mechanics scream reliever. He uses a violent uphill motion that sacrifices command for deception and struggles with his breaking ball. He does sit in the mid-90s, and there is a good change there, but the track record for FB/CH right-handed relievers is not illustrious. From Wilson's description, he doesn't sound all that different from his countryman Akeel Morris, who dominated lower levels of the Mets organization, but doesn't project as an impact bullpen arm in the majors.
Others of Note
Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Surprise Saguaros) 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Reyes can probably just take up permanent residence in this space, but that would get boring quickly. I don't think the report has changed since last week, but just to be sure, let's check in with a dude that really, really likes Dom Smith.
Some guy named Alex Reyes was 94-98 with movement in the first.
— Christopher Crawford (@CVCrawfordBP) October 22, 2015
Lucas Sims, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Peoria Javelinas) 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Sims had a rough 2015. He was injured in the Carolina Mudcats bus crash back in May, and never really got going until the last month of the season in Double-A. He is still only 21, and fall ball is a good chance for him to get some more reps under his belt and hopefully refine the three potential plus offerings that have kept him atop our Braves prospect lists the past two seasons.
Raimel Tapia, CF, Colorado Rockies (Salt River Rafters) 1-4, K, SB
Tapia is starting to see a bit of prospect backlash, and his 2015 ranking may have been a case off too much, too soon. When I saw him with Asheville it was just “good,” although I have been told you have to see him a lot for it to really click. I get that, but I prefer the tools to be a bit more obvious on first glance. He is a good athlete, and I could see him growing into more power than you think, but I didn't love the two-strike approach, and Double-A should be a real test of the bat. On the plus side, if it does take a lot of looks to 'get it,' that shouldn't be a problem for me in 2016 as he likely joins a stacked Hartford Yard Goats squad.
Evan MacLane, LHP (Estrellas de Oriente) 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
One of my favorite things about Winter League box scores is seeing dudes like Evan MacLane pop up year after year, just killing the league. It's easy to understand why guys like Felix Pie play there year after year. They grew up around these leagues. These are meaningful games. Evan MacLane on the other hand is 32 and pitched a grand total of two major-league innings. The only reason his name even jumped out at me is because he was a marginal lefty command/control prospect in a bad Mets system a decade ago. He was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Shawn Green in 2006, then debuted with the Cardinals in 2010. In his major-league debut he gave up a walkoff home run to Chris Iannetta, the first batter he faced. He pitched one more time and one more inning after that.
After 2010 it was off to Japan, then Mexico. But almost every winter he would find a Caribbean league job. Even going back to his prospect days. Sometimes Venezuela, mostly in the Dominican. He's been with the Estrellas since 2008. He's pitched over 1,700 innings and won over 100 games in his professional career. I think it is safe to say that it is unlikely he will find a major-league job at this point, but he takes the ball in whatever time zone will have him. There is a sense of romanticism I associate with these players, a whiff of Louis L'Amour protagonist. The last of the honorable, itinerant gunslingers. Perhaps it is just a misguided bit of exoticism on my part. Would I have the same romantic feelings about MacLane if his Baseball-Reference page were filled with stat lines from the Atlantic League? I don't know. But regardless, his name brought a smile to my face tonight. I hope he pitches until he's 40.
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