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Prospect of the Day:

Tim Locastro, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 4-5, 4 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI.
That’s a proper cycle, for those of you scoring at home – the first one I’ve seen live in about three years. Bought Acquired from the Blue Jays last July, Locastro just hits. He gets early, subtle rhythm through his setup into a fluid weight transfer, consistently keeping his hands back and attacking the ball with his wrists and arms. He shows an advanced ability to adjust in-swing, he handles velocity, and there’s enough pull-side pop to keep pitchers honest. He posts plus run times with good instincts on the bases, and the defensive projection is that of a fundamentally sound, solid-if-unspectacular glove at the keystone. So how come he doesn’t get more attention, you may ask? Well, he was a D3 player in college who’s been age-appropriate for each level, and he toils in the Dodgers’ system, where he’s approximately the 412th-best prospect, give or take. He can play, though.

Others of Note:

Harrison Bader, CF, St. Louis Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 4-5, 2 R, 3B, 2 HR, K, CS. Oh, nothing, just another polished college outfielder raking away at Double-A for the Cardinals. What’s that? There’s also a chance he can competently handle center field in the big leagues? Oh.

Austin Voth, RHP, Washington Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 6 IP, 6 H, 7 K. Voth has now pitched shutout ball in four of his six starts this spring (don’t ask about the other two), and his deception and tough pickup of a quality three-pitch mix has produced an outstanding 36-to-5 ratio of strikeouts to walks in the early going. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Nats turn to him or Giolito if and when another rotation arm is needed.

Austin Dean, LF, Miami Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 3-5, 3 R, 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI. Dean has had himself a strong start to the season, showing off the quality bat-to-ball and zone control skills that give him a chance to play big league baseball. Yesterday’s power explosion should be understand as significant exception to his rule to date, but the former fourth-rounder is showing capably against tough competition thus far.

Tyler O’Neill, RF, Seattle Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 3-4, R, 2 2B, RBI, K, SB. O’Neill continues to shred Double-A pitching with his Canadian moose strength, and his frame has not yet become so large as to preclude him from thieving the occasional base either. He’s still striking out at an uncomfortable clip, but he’s showing thus far that last year’s production wasn’t just a Mojave mirage.

Chris Ellis, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7 IP, 3 H, BB, 5 K. Ellis has struggled with his control this spring, but batters have struggled more with his three-headed monster of a fastball.

Austin Slater, CF, San Francisco Giants (Double-A Richmond): 5-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI. Stop me if this sounds familiar, but Slater is a solid hitter with some defensive versatility in the Giants’ system. After spending most of last season at the keystone he has migrated to center field this spring, and the transition hasn’t hurt his bat. His linear swing doesn’t offer a ton of over-the-fence projection despite some size and strength, but he can square velocity and he’s showing early signs of an improved approach.

Blake Snell, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham): 5.1 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 7 K, HRA. Not much left to say about Snell, who’s just biding his time until he heads back to The Show for a longer look.

Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 3-4, R, 3B, RBI, CS. Dansby Swanson at High-A this spring: .333/.441/.526. Dansby Swanson at Double-A this spring: .324/.432/.541. He is good at playing baseball.

Dinelson Lamet, RHP, San Diego Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 6 IP, 4 H, BB, 7 K. I wrote up Lamet’s first start of the season, in which he showed a strong fastball-slider combination that looked the part of high-leverage material. He’s since begun working his changeup into the mix with greater regularity, and given the athleticism in his clean delivery there’s still an open path to a big-league rotation down the line if he can hone that offering.

Edwin Diaz, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Double-A Jackson): IP, 2 K. Just last week in our Ten Pack Brendan Gawlowski expressed cautious optimism about the idea of Diaz as a starter, but then the Mariners up and converted him to a permanent relief role a few days later. Questions about his durability and stagnant third pitch—the latter of which general manager Jerry DiPoto cited—appear to have won the day, and Diaz will look to fast-track his big-league debut in short bursts.

Yeyson Yrizarri, SS, Texas Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 3-6, 2 R, RBI, 2 K, SB, CS. The approach remains extremely aggressive, and he glove ahead of the bat, but progress is progress, and Yrizarri has shown some in the season’s first few weeks.

Phillip Ervin, CF, Cincinnati Reds (Double-A Pensacola): 2-5, BB, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, SB, K. Ervin hasn’t quite lived up to his first-round draft hype, but he’s quietly put together an extended stretch of solid power-and-speed offensive production in spite of a still-raw hit tool.

Conner Greene, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 5.2 IP, ER, 6 H, 3 K, 6 BB. Greene continues to give up his share of baserunners—55 now in 37-plus innings—yet has made his pitches and limited the damage thus far. Will Haines noted Greene’s big fastball a couple weeks back, but the secondaries still appear too raw for prime time.

Hoy Jun Park, SS, New York Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 3-5, 3 2B, RBI, K, SB. The Yankees gave Park $1 million during their most recent international spending spree, and so far he’s made the investment look well-founded. A graceful defender with the speed and arm to stay at short, he’s demonstrated signs of an approach at the plate and some gap power in the low minors.

Thank you for reading

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delatopia
5/11
Yasiel Sierra posted his first clean sheet last night in his third start, against Lancaster: 6 2 0 0 3 3.
delatopia
5/11
That's Yaisel Sierra ... thanks, autocorrect.
BuckarooBanzai
5/11
Yeah, I was at this start, will file a report on it shortly. Saw his debut start too, and this one was certainly better. Lancaster's offense has been poor so far, so take the numbers with some salt. But much better effort. Came out similarly (91-93 FB, 80-83 SL, inconsistent rhythm/timing to release, balls wandering armside) but then settled into a groove in the 4th and 5th innings that showed another gear: 93-94 crisp fastball with solid run and some sink, SL up to 85 with tight, vertical action and some two-plan bite when he wanted it. Much better mound presence (probably not a coincidence that Gabe Kapler was there), didn't fight Julian Leon, trusted his FB more. Still very much a work in progress, and hasn't shown much at all of a third pitch, but a nice baby step in the right direction.
dgalloway15fish
5/11
It seems obligatory to lead every Phillip Ervin write up with "hasn't lived up to first round draft hype".
BuckarooBanzai
5/11
Increasingly I'm not sure that's going to be true. Not a star/impact player, but has a broad and consistently developing skill set that can be valuable on a major league roster if it continues to progress.
BPKevin
5/11
He hasn't yet made it to the MLU and granted he was 0-4 yesterday, but there's a thought in Philly that Tommy Joseph could be called up to replace Darin Ruf. Batting; .368 (32-87), 7-2B, 6-HR through May 10...thoughts?
BuckarooBanzai
5/11
Matt Winkelman wrote a lot of smart words about Joseph yesterday over at The Good Phight. Basic takeaway was that he's probably going to have to earn it over a longer sample of success, but there've been some interesting early-season adjustments and he very well may force the issue sooner than later. He's a guy that struggled with the effects of a concussion and has lost a *lot* of on-field development time (barely 500 plate appearances since the end of 2012). Was relatively raw when he was drafted in the 2nd round, too, so it's a steep climb. Still just 24 though.

http://www.thegoodphight.com/2016/5/10/11639624/making-sense-of-tommy-joseph-start
Unraveller
5/11
Thanks for this column by the way.

This update, and "The Stash List" are the first things I check every morning.
bigchiefbc
5/11
Raimel Tapia with another multi-hit day. He's raised his OPS 180 points in 6 games. Is he all the way back?
BuckarooBanzai
5/12
I certainly wasn't the biggest Tapia fan you'd have found last year, but he absolutely has bat-to-ball ability and the early walks are a great sign for a player with the approach he showed all season in 2015.
bubba3m
5/11
Brendan Rodgers has been killing it in Low A with an obscene line with 17 XBH out of his 41 hits as a 19 year old. Any BP eyes on him yet this year to see how real this is? Or is this just an expected line for a top 3 draft pick in Low A?
BuckarooBanzai
5/12
We'll have eyes on him next week, but short answer is that yes, this is what you hope your third-overall pick does in Low-A. Asheville's a nice place to hit (like many a Sally park), and production like this is always a fine thing to see. Reports forthcoming about how he's looking while he's doing it though, soon come.
cope06
5/12
Do you think Edwin Diaz will be in Seattle in 2016?
BuckarooBanzai
5/12
Wouldn't be surprised if that were the goal, and given the start to his season wouldn't be surprised at all if he made it.