Prospect of the Day:
Travis Demeritte, 2B, Texas Rangers (High-A High Desert): 2-for-4, 2 HR.
There’s still a lot of work to be done before Demeritte is ready to contribute at the big-league level, but to say he’s shown a big improvement in 2016 is an understatement. He’s tapping into that big raw power he showed as a prep, and while there are huge contact issues here, when he does make contact, it’s loud and hard. He’s a competent defender at second base, and his plus arm and average speed would also make him a viable option at the hot corner.
Others of Note:
Alex Dickerson, 1B, San Diego Padres (Triple-A El Paso): 4-for-4, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR. The big-league experiment didn’t go so well, but that was a pretty limited sample size, and he’s absolutely crushing the ball in the PCL.
Chad Kuhl, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. On most Triple-A teams, Kuhl would be the ace. On the ridiculously loaded Indianapolis pitching staff, he’s the No. 4. Good time to be a Pirates fan.
Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres (Triple-A El Paso): 3-for-5, HR, K. Something tells me when Renfroe gets the call he’ll get a little more of a leash than Dickerson did. Call it a hunch.
Jaime Schultz, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. He keeps missing bats, and even if the command will never be great, he’s throwing enough strikes to keep the starting-pitcher dream alive.
Ozzie Albies, SS, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 3-for-5, R, 2B. Let’s keep in mind that Albies is still a teenager, and he’s holding his own in Triple-A. That’s fun.
Alex Bregman, SS, Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 3-for-4, 3 R, 2 2B, HR. I recently had a scout tell me that he believes Bregman is ready to contribute for Houston right now. He’s not going to, but that should give Houston fans some excitement.
Josh Hader, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers (Double-A Biloxi): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Had a scout recently call him the second-best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. That’s a lot of fun, too.
Carson Fulmer, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 2 K. That’s 13 walks in his last two starts, but five shutout innings is five shutout innings. In case you can’t tell, I really try to go with an optimistic vibe here.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 2-for-4, 3 R, HR, BB. When you’re looking at Atlanta’s roster and wondering if they’re going to win 50 games, just remember that Swanson and Albies and a crapton of other quality prospects are on the way.
Wilmer Difo, IF, Washington Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 3-for-4, 2 R, SB. The hits weren’t dropping in early, but the approach stayed solid, which is an excellent sign when a player is struggling.
Trey Ball, LHP, Boston Red Sox (High-A Salem): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Not all players develop the same way. It’s too early to say he’s “fixed,” but this is a very positive development, indeed.
Taylor Ward, C, Los Angeles Angels (High-A Inland Empire): 3-for-4, K. The reason the Angels took him in the first round is the glove, so seeing him show spurts of offensive ability is a pretty nice bonus.
Nick Gordon, SS, Minnesota Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 3-for-5, HR, SB. The swing is very much geared toward contact, but Gordon’s bat speed and strong wrists mean he’s capable of hitting double-digit homers at his peak.
Tyler Alexander, LHP, Detroit Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 7 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. It’s easy to make fun of the Tigers farm system, but if you’re just stat-scouting, you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that has done better in the 2015 draft than Detroit, with Alexander being among the nicest surprises.
Luis Guillorme, SS, New York Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 3-for-5, R, 2B. Speaking of guys whose offense is an added bonus. Guillorme is a double-plus defender with a plus arm, but he also works counts and can slap a ball by a defender, too.
Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 2-for-4, 2 R, HR. As good as he is with the stick, he might be even better with the glove. He’ll be a top-five third-base prospect pretty soon.
Brett Martin, LHP, Texas Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. The Rangers’ 2014 fourth-round pick, Martin shows two 55 pitches in his fastball and curve, and the change should be a competent third offering in time.
Jakson Reetz, C, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 3-for-3, 3 R, HR, BB. Reetz’s on-base percentage now sits above .400, and as we mentioned yesterday, the glove is making nice progress.
Victor Robles, OF, Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-for-4, R, BB, 2 K. The upside on this guy is really tough to match. If you wanted to argue that the Nationals have the pitcher and outfielder with the most upside in baseball, I don’t think I’d call you a crazy person.
Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves (Low-A Rome): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. If he ever figures out where the hell the ball is going to go, he’s going to be awesome.
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Matt: On Bregman, I donâ€™t know anything about his defensive abilities, but the numbers say that Correa has not been a great defensive SS in the Majors. Any chance they could move Correa to 3B and have Bregman play SS?
Klaw: Iâ€™m defaulting to my old assessment of Correaâ€™s future, which was that heâ€™d be better off at third base. He did work his tail off to stay at short, but he might be elite at third. Worked out OK for Machado, at least.
Roster move necessary.