Prospect of the Day:
Trea Turner, SS, Washington Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 5-6, BB, R, RBI, SB.
The Nats opted for the extra year of club control with Turner by anointing Danny Espinosa their Opening Day shortstop, but Turner’s done his best through four games to make the club regret that decision. His five hits in yesterday’s doubleheader gave him six hits and four walks (to go along with three successful thieveries) in his first 13 plate appearances in the International League. At this rate, it won’t be long, my pretties.
Others of Note:
Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves (High-A Carolina): 3-4, 2 BB, 3 R, 2B, SB. Our runner-up for Prospect of the Day status had himself a game. The Diamondbacks really appear to have found themselves a franchise cornerst- what’s that? They… really? Oh. Uh. Well, in other news, tragedy today as former president Gerald Ford was eaten by wolves…
Aaron Judge, RF, New York Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 4-6, 2 R, 2B, RBI, K. Judge has beaten up Pawtucket pitching for two straight days now, which Yankees fans hope is a harbinger for the next half-dozen years.
Blake Snell, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham): 4.2 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 9 K. Snell emerged last year as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, and he hasn’t missed a beat in a return engagement with International League hitters. He’s as good a bet as any to be one of the next top prospects called up to The Show.
Jorge Mateo, SS, New York Yankees (High-A Tampa): 3-4, 2B, 2 R, SB, RBI. Mateo’s top-of-the-scale speed is unquestioned, but the hit tool is still a work in progress. He’s balanced the ledger thus far: nine whiffs and nine hits in his first 25 plate appearances.
Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago Cubs (Low-A South Bend): 4-5, 2B, RBI, 2 SB. After homering yesterday, Jimenez followed up with this monster game today. I drooled about his upside in a recent Ten Pack, and this two-game set is what it may someday look like.
Michael Fulmer, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Triple-A Toledo): 5.2 IP, 4 H, BB, 7 K. Detroit’s top prospect (thanks Yoenis) acquitted himself well in his International League debut, building on a breakout 2015 campaign. Mark Anderson wrote nice things about him last summer.
Jorge Bonifacio, RF, Kansas City Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-4, HR, R, RBI. Bonifacio has evolved as he’s filled out from a guy who hits liners the opposite way into a guy with pop and contact issues. There’s a window in KC if he can figure out how to integrate both of those things into a present profile.
Miguel Almonte, RHP, Kansas City Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 4.2 IP, 3 R, 0 ER, H, 3 BB, 7 K. Almonte was cruising until a sloppy fifth lowlighted by three walks and a couple errors knocked him out. In addition to the seven whiffs he generated another seven outs on the ground to just two in the air.
Domingo Acevedo, RHP, New York Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 6.2 IP, ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K. Acevedo has a cool backstory—he was literally signed off the street with no baseball-playing experience at 16—and the inexperience coupled with a long 6-foot-7 frame has led to a very slow burn. He can throw a hundred with plane, though, so he’ll be afforded all the time he needs.
Kyle Tucker, RF, Houston Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 3-3 BB, HR, R, RBI, SB. The no. 5-overall pick last June, Tucker hasn’t posted the most statistically pretty professional debut to date, but this is the kind of offensive outburst he’s perfectly capable of producing on the more regular.
Andrew Knapp, C, Philadelphia Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 3-3, BB, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Knapp crushed he Eastern League after a promotion last summer and he picked up right where he left off with yesterday’s outburst in his second game of the year.
Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (High-A Charlotte): 6 IP, 4 H, BB, 6 K. Honeywell sat 93-95 all night with his trademark screwball doing its namesake to hitters’ timing. A scout comped him to Kenny Powers last summer (in a good way).
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Colorado Rockies (Double-A Hartford): 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, 3 K. After a rocky (hey oh!), injury-interrupted Cal campaign last year the org jumped their number nine prospect aggressively to Double-A, and he’s responded with consecutive solid starts to begin his campaign.
David Dahl, CF, Colorado Rockies (Double-A Hartford): 0-4, 2 K. Dahl has left the yard three times in his first half-dozen games, but he’s also whiffed in 12 times in his first 23 plate appearances.
Bobby Bradley, 1B, Cleveland Indians (High-A Lynchburg): 0-3, SF, 3 K. The whiffs will always be a big part of the big man’s profile, and yesterday was an example of “bad” Bradley. He’s 3-for-16 to begin the year at High-A.
Justus Sheffield, LHP, Cleveland Indians (High-A Lynchburg): 6 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K. An efficient outing saw Cleveland’s fourth-best prospect peel through six shutout on just 80 pitches. His advanced feel of a quality three-pitch mix makes him a candidate to move as quickly as any prep arm in the minors.
Kyle McGowin, RHP, Angels of Anaheim (Double-A Arkansas): 7 IP, ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K. A former fifth-rounder, McGowin took some time to get back into things last year after losing time to an elbow injury in 2014. Now healthy, he’ll show a solid fastball-slider combo, and if he can continue developing the change and command he could enter the Orange County rotation mix if any further injury attrition strikes the big club.
Nate Smith, LHP, Angels of Anaheim (Triple-A Salt Lake): 5 IP, R (0 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K. Don’t be fooled by the gaudy whiff total, for the next Clayton Kershaw he is not. But Smith has put together a couple nice starts off the jump, and will battle McGowin and others for depth-chart supremacy throughout the season.
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