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Prospect of the Day:

Dillon Tate, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 10 K.
As if the Rangers needed more high-ceiling prospects, Tate represents the best pitching prospect in the system. Performances like Thursday night, where he completely dominated the competition, will ensure that he reaches at least High-A this year, on his way to a rapid climb to the major leagues.

Others of Note:

Victor Alcantara, RHP, Angels (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 0 K. The Angels no. 3 prospect entering the season, Alcantara certainly has potential to become a late-inning reliever, but his development hinges on his ability to throw strikes consistently.

A.J. Reed, 1B, Astros (Triple-A Fresno): 3-5, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, K. Everyone knows it’s only a matter of time before Reed is the everyday first baseman in Houston. With his first home run of the 2016 season, Reed could get rolling and force his way to the big leagues in time to compete for the American League Rookie of Year award.

Sean Newcomb, LHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 5 IP, H, R/ER, 4 BB, 4 K. The first of three Atlanta prospects to terrorize opposing hitters last night, Newcomb should reach Triple-A this year and has a chance to help anchor the Atlanta pitching staff the next time they approach contention.

Aaron Blair, RHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 3 BB, 6 K. Blair was even more dominant than Newcomb on Thursday night, shoving at Triple-A. He should reach Atlanta this season and can provide a nice complement to a front-end arm like Julio Teheran.

Max Fried, RHP, Braves (Low-A Rome): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 4 BB, 7 K. Much further away than Newcomb or Blair, Fried still struggles with his control at times, but when he’s around the strike zone, he has filthy stuff that can prevent his unrefined command from costing him runs.

Donnie Dewees, OF, Cubs (Low-A South Bend): 2-3, 2 R, 2 3B, BB. As everyone knows, the Cubs don’t lack for prospects. What they do lack for are under the radar prospects with a chance to impact the big league roster. Dewees can flat-out hit, and most fans have yet to seriously start tracking him as a guy that could someday make a difference in Chicago.

Phil Bickford, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, BB, 6 K. Known just as much for the fact that he didn’t sign with the Blue Jays after being a high pick a couple of years ago as he is for his electric fastball, Bickford should make quick work of the South Atlantic League before moving on to a stiffer test in High-A.

Jomar Reyes, 3B, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, K. Reyes has a chance to emerge as one of the better corner-infield prospects in the game with a breakout season at High-A. He’s been on the radar of Orioles fans for some time, but he should find his way onto the national scene as he cranks more home runs like last night.

Jake Thompson, RHP, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 3 IP, 6 H, 5 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 K. I’ve always been on the lower end with Thompson, and nights like last night where his command was reportedly off and he never found his groove are part of the reason why. Thompson’s performance can fluctuate wildly, which will likely make him a frustrating player over the long term.

Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, ER, BB, 7 K. After his big-league debut, Stephenson returned to the minor leagues and let his electric arsenal dominate Triple-A hitters. Reports from the game were positive in terms of velocity and also surprisingly in terms of his control, which would be a very nice development.

David Dahl, OF, Rockies (Double-A Hartford): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, K. My fellow colleagues, Chris Crawford and Wilson Karaman have already documented the power spike in Dahl’s performance so far this season, so I won’t repeat that. I’ll just sit here and enjoy the breakout of a player I continued to back strongly throughout the offseason.

Jose Azocar, OF, Tigers (Low-A West Michigan): 2-5, 2B, 2 K. Not necessarily the craziest line of the night, but an excuse to talk about an emerging prospect. Azocar is an impressive athlete with plus speed, potential plus defense, and an offensive game that could fit toward the top of the lineup. In a thin system, Azocar could be a standout by year’s end.

Kohl Stewart, RHP, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 6 IP, H, 0 R/ER, BB, 6 K. Most would be hard-pressed to find too many positives in Stewart’s career so far, but last night’s performance in the Florida State League would qualify as a positive. Stewart still has considerable potential, but he has to stay on the field and perform somewhere near this level on a consistent basis this summer to reestablish his prospect stock.

Jorge Mateo, SS, Yankees (High-A Tampa): 2-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K, SB. This isn’t just Yankees prospect hype, Mateo is for real. He can impact the game in so many ways that even without complete and total maturation of his tools, Mateo could be a quality big-leaguer.

Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, K. Sanchez impressed in spring training and is in the process of regaining his lost prospect value. Still rough with the glove, Sanchez’s bat could cover some of those misgivings and make him a viable option behind the dish for the Yankees.

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