Prospect of the Day:
Zach Eflin, RP, Philadelphia Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 7 IP, 4 H, BB, 6 K.
That’s three straight outstanding starts for Eflin, who continues to evolve into an impressive pitching prospect. He’s a smart kid, and sometimes smart kids take some time to figure things out. After struggling to find a balance between his four- and two-seam fastballs he’s finding that happy place now, and rapid development of a curveball he just added to the mix last year has helped him boost his strikeout totals significantly.
Others of Note:
Bradley Zimmer, CF, Cleveland Indians (Double-A Akron): 3-4, BB, R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, K, SB, CS. Cleveland’s top prospect had been mired in a funk for a while before yesterday’s breakout, with Adam Hayes noting ongoing contact issues that threaten the ultimate offensive potential. That said, there’s plenty in the underlying skillset so that, he has above-average potential as a big league center fielder even if the swing never quite gets there, and that ain’t bad.
Adalberto Mejia, LHP, San Francisco Giants (Double-A Richmond): 7 IP, 4 H, 6 K. Mejia has allowed more than two runs in just one of his eight starts now, as his advanced feel for adding and subtracting velocity and sequencing the pants off his opponents continues to win the day. The 22-year-old has been outstanding in the Eastern League and looks just about ready for a next challenge.
Matt Olson, RF, Oakland Athletics (Triple-A Nashville): 4-5, R, 2B, K. Theeeere it is. His conversion to full-time right fielder has been smoother than his work in the box, though until recently so was the special Krusty-O. After a positively brutal start to the season Olson finally cracked the Mendoza line with yesterday’s effort, capping a 10-game run in which he’s raised his average by nearly 50 points. He’s still walking at a well above-average rate, and we know the power is in there.
Mike Yastrzemski, OF, Baltimore Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 4-6, BB, 3 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 SB. Chris just wrote up Yastrzemski the other day, and the spawn of Carl’s spawn (and fellow alumnus of my high school) clearly liked the attention, as he’s now in the midst of a four-game multi-hit bender.
Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 6 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 6 K. Garcia’s big fastball carved through the Sally last year with some help from a slider with swing-and-miss potential. He was greeted rudely in the Florida State League this April, but progress with his changeup has helped him settle into a nice groove over his last several starts.
Roman Quinn, CF, Philadelphia Phillies (Double-A Reading): 4-4, BB, 4 R, 2 SB. Quinn’s OBP is now up to .362 on the year, and his stolen-base success rate (21-for-24) in the early going suggests that his speed utility is all the way back after the gnarly ruptured Achilles he suffered a couple of years ago.
Michael Gettys, OF, San Diego Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 3-4, R, 3B, RBI, 2 SB, K. There remains nascent power in Gettys’ game, but first things first, he’s hitting well and flashing his top-shelf athleticism in the field and on the bases this spring. That’s good news for a Padres system that can use some.
Enyel De Los Santos, RHP, San Diego Padres (Low-A For Wayne): 6 IP, ER, H, BB, 5 K. For a kid who’s supposed to be pretty raw, he certainly hasn’t had a ton of trouble putting Midwest League hitters in their place. The get for San Diego in last year’s Joaquin Benoit deal, De Los Santos has ridden an electric fastball and notable development of both his curve and change to success this spring.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 2-4, R, 2 2B, K. Tellez is the youngest regular in the Eastern League right now, and he has more than held his own despite the poor batting average. His walk rate has spiked dramatically as he’s made a concerted effort to hone his approach, and while that has led to some short-term passivity at times he’s kept his whiffs in check while tapping into his power in games. His rollover tendencies suggest he’ll like face his fair share of shifts along the way, and the hit tool may ultimately play down a peg because of it. But so far, so good for his development this spring.
Andrew Morales, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 7 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 6 H, 8 K. The Cardinals reached for Morales with the 72nd-overall pick in 2014 despite average stuff and a modest frame, and sure enough, after a rough full season in the Texas League last year he has adjusted well in his second go-‘round this season. He remains a borderline-at-best candidate to stick in a rotation, but the slider is a swing-and-miss weapon and he has shown the ability to limit self-inflicted damage in the early going.
Ronnie Jebavy, CF, San Francisco Giants (High-A San Jose): 3-5, BB, 3 R, 2B, HR, RBI, K. Jebavy’s calling card is his plus glove in center, but after a slow start to the season he has heated up considerably on San Jose’s current long road trip. I saw him flash sneaky pull-side power the other night when he jerked one over the left field wall at Rancho Cucamonga, and he struck again yesterday.
Anthony Alford, CF, Toronto Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, K. Alford suffered a scary injury on Opening Day when he crashed into a catcher and left hobbling on his previously-reconstructed knee, and he missed close to a month subsequently rehabbing it. He didn’t look good when he finally came back, either, but the tide has slowly started to turn over the past week. Yesterday’s blast was his first of the season, and he’s now riding an eight-game hit streak.
Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K, HRA. David Lee noted that Jenkins’ fastball location was on and the curve was biting in this start, and the result was as many strikeouts as he’s posted in a start since 2012.