Prospect of the Day:
Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics (Double-A Midland): 2-for-4, 2 HR, K.
There was never a doubt in this guy’s mind that Chapman had pop, but after slugging .566 in the cozy confines of the Cal League, it’s nice to see that he’s carrying that over in the less-friendly Texas League. There are serious contact issues here, but he compensates by taking his walks, and, of course, dingers. He’s also an above-average defender at third with a howitzer of an arm at the hot corner, and he should be able to stay at third despite his lack of speed. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if this guy is the Athletics third baseman by the end of the 2017 season.
Others of Note:
Carlos Asuaje, IF, San Diego Padres (Triple-A El Paso): 4-for-4, 2 R, 2B. He’s the “other” infielder acquired in the Craig Kimbrel trade, but Asuaje is a nice player—with average tools everywhere but power—and he can hold his own anywhere in the infield.
Joe Musgrove, RHP, Houston Astros (Triple-A Fresno): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. I severely underrated this guy during list formation time. In fact, you could probably say he’s the best pitching prospect in their system right now.
Clayton Blackburn, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Triple-A Sacramento): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Easily his best start of the 2016 season. I am not a huge fan of Blackburn’s upside, but I have been surprised by his struggles because of his advanced stuff.
Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B. Even without big power numbers, Bell has been impressive, as his approach just gets better and better with each passing season.
Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Kansas City Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 2-for-3, 2 HR, 2 BB. Bonifacio’s stock was at an all-time low coming into the season, but he’s crushed PCL pitching to the tune of .320/.386/.562 over this first two months, which can only help.
Alex Bregman, SS, Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 3-for-4. He can beat you in so many ways. The kid is just good.
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. He seems to follow games where the control is bad with games like this, which isn’t surprising given the changes he made to the delivery. He’s still the best pitching prospect in baseball by a substantial margin.
Andrew Suarez, LHP, Giants (Double-A Reading): 7 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Suarez has advanced feel for his secondary stuff, and he can give you an uncomfortable at-bat with four average to a tick-above-average pitches.
Harold Ramirez, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-5, 2 R, HR, K. There’s no doubt Ramirez can hit, it’s just a case of him tapping into the raw power he’ll show during batting practice in games.
Gleyber Torres, SS, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 3-for-5, 1 HR, 2 SB. A scout told me that Torres has been much more assertive over the past couple of weeks, and it’s showing up in the stats. He’s really good.
Nick Ciuffo, C, Tampa Bay Rays (High-A Charlotte): 4-for-4, 2 R, 2B. The power hasn’t come for Ciuffo at all, but he’s gotten better with the glove, and the hit tool may be good enough to allow him to be a competent backup.
Richie Martin, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton):2-for-4, 2 R, HR, BB. Martin is better known for his glove, but the 2015 first-round pick does have some offensive talent, and he should enjoy hitting in the Cal League for the next couple of months.
Raudy Read, C, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 3-for-4, 2 2B. In addition to having a fantastic name, Read has above-average power potential from the right side, and he’s showing better feel for the barrel. The glove has a long, long way to go, however.
Anfernee Seymour, SS/OF, Miami Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 3-for-5, R, 2 3B. If he can play every day, he’s gonna hit a lot of those triple things, just based on being a lot faster than pretty much everyone else.
Anderson Espinoza, RHP, Boston Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Anderson Espinoza is five months older than Jason Groome, and more than a year younger than Blake Rutherford. Keep that in mind when you see what he’s doing. It’s pretty neat.