Prospect of the Weekend:
Cody Reed, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Low-A Kane County): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K.
In Reed’s first two starts this year, he’s struck out 22 hitters, walked zero, and given up one more earned run than you and I have this season. The D’backs 2014 second-round pick is massive, and he uses that size and impressive arm strength to showcase a plus fastball. Both of the secondary pitches lack consistency, but this is a very talented southpaw who could pitch in the middle of a rotation in the next 2-3 years.
Others of Note
Gavin Cecchini, SS, New York Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 4-for-5, R, 2B. Cecchini will never be an elite hitter or anything close to that, but there’s enough offensive upside here to project a future regular at shortstop.
Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics (Double-A Midland): 3-for-4, 3 R, HR, BB. Plus power from the right side combined with an improving approach means Chapman might be closer to big-league ready than we anticipated.
Dominic Smith, 1B, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 1-for-3, HR, BB, K. I don’t know how to make GIFs but if I could I would just insert a picture of Captain Picard nodding.
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Colorado Rockies (Double-A Hartford): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. The Rockies’ 2014 first-rounder isn’t missing a ton of bats, but it’s tough to argue with a 0.87 ERA over the first month of the season.
Chris Shaw, 1B, San Francisco Giants (High-A San Jose): 3-for-3, 2 2B, HR, BB. The power is what made him a first-round selection, but it’s Shaw’s underrated feel for hitting that gives him a chance to become a regular.
Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Soroka has struck out 29 hitters in his first 27 innings and walked just three, and with a plus fastball and curve to go with advanced feel for pitching, there’s reason to believe it’s (relatively) sustainable.
Joe Gatto, RHP, Angels (Low-A Burlington): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 11 K. The command is nowhere close to where it should be, but Gatto’s the most talented pitcher in the Angels system.
Yeyson Yrizarri, SS, Texas Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 4-for-4, R, SB, CS. I have just two concerns: 1. Can he see enough pitches to play every day? 2. What’s with the disproportionate amount of Ys in his full name?
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees (Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre): 2-for-5, HR, SB, K. You’ve probably been taking this guy seriously for a while. He’s awesome, even if the strikeouts are a bit problematic right now.
Brandon Nimmo, OF, Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 K. The power is never going to come, but with an advanced approach at the plate and “good enough” defense, Nimmo can be a big-leaguer.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 2-for-3, 2B, HR. Could you at least make it look kind of hard, Dansby? This is boring.
Ryan Yarbrough, LHP, Seattle Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. The best southpaw in the Mariners system has an above-average fastball and change, and he’s generally around the strike zone.
Phil Ervin, OF, Reds (Double-A Pensacola): 3-for-4, 5 R, HR, BB, 2 SB. Has he been the quick advance some thought he was coming out of 2013? Nope, but there are flashes of brilliance, as seen here.
Jairo Labourt, LHP, Detroit Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. Labourt’s been dominant over the first month, but until he throws more strikes, it’s tough to take him seriously as a starting pitching prospect.
Drew Jackson, SS, Mariners (High-A Bakersfield): 2-for-6, R, 2B. Jackson has two double-plus tools in his speed and arm, he can stay at shortstop, and the bat just might be real.
Ofelky Peralta, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. Peralta gets downhill with a 70 fastball, and reports this spring say the slider has been a legit average offering, which is a big improvement/development.
Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. He’s ready.
Cody Reed, LHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. He’s ready, too.
Trea Turner, SS, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, SB. He’s been ready for like a year.
Jarrett Parker, OF, Giants (Triple-A Sacramento): 3-for-4, 3 HR, 1 BB. He came into the day hitting .171 and slugging .300. I’m not a math expert, but I bet those numbers went up today.
Wendell Rijo, 2B, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, BB. It’s been a slow start for Rijo, but there’s still a chance for five average tools here.
Tyler O’Neill, OF, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 2-for-3, 2 R, HR, BB, K. A source recently told me that he believed that O’Neill was the best prospect in the Seattle system, hitter or pitcher.
Matt Strahm, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Even without a plus pitch, Strahm has shown a feel for missing bats, as seen in his 28 strikeouts over just over 27 innings.
Malquin Canelo, SS, Philadelphia Phillies (High-A Lakeland): 2-for-3, 2 R, HR. He might be the best defensive shortstop in the system (and that’s saying a lot), and Canelo’s not completely bereft of offensive ability, either.
Luis Ortiz, RHP, Rangers (High-A High Desert): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. I loathe player comparisons, but I can’t help but be reminded of the young version of Bartolo Colon when I look at Ortiz. That’s a compliment.
Heath Fillmyer, RHP, Athletics (High-A Stockton):6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. He’s probably gonna have to move to the bullpen, but his plus fastball and solid-average curve should play up in that role. Starting isn’t completely out of the question if more efforts like Sunday’s happen, however.
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 3-for-7, 2 R, 2B. The Rockies have no reason to rush Rodgers, and you can argue that this is great for building confidence. That being said, good gosh is this kid good, and I’d love to see them challenge him in Modesto at some point in 2016.
Grayson Long, RHP, Angels (Low-A Burlington): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. It’s easy to make fun of the Angels system, because, well, look at it, but Long has been a very pleasant surprise over the first month of the season.
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