Prospect of the Weekend:
Sam Howard, LHP, Colorado Rockies (High-A Modesto): 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K.
This was yet another dominant performance for Howard, which has been a recurring theme in the month of May. Yes, he’s a little old for the level, but you can take one step back for the age and two steps forward when you consider what he’s doing in the Cal League. Both the fastball and change flash plus, and his slider has been a real weapon so far in 2016. You could soon see Howard challenging hitters in Double-A Hartford, and maybe challenging big leaguers in the back of the Rockies rotation at some point in the next two seasons.
Others of Note
Austin Voth, RHP, Washington Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Voth hasn’t been quite as dominant in May as he was in April, but he’s still missing bats and not walking people, and that’s kinda the goal, isn’t it? (Note: it is.)
Ben Gamel, OF, New York Yankees (Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre): 3-for-5, 2 R, HR, CS. Even if you don’t include the small-sample struggles in New York, it’s been a disappointing season for Gamel. There are still five average tools in his bag, though, so don’t give up on him helping New York in 2016 just yet.
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland (Double-A Akron): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. I’m a little troubled by the contact issues, but everything else is just so darn good.
Tyler O’Neil, OF, Seattle Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 3-for-4, R, 2 2B. This system desperately needed someone to break out, and it really does appear O’Neill is that guy.
Matt Koch, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Koch doesn’t have a single plus—or even above-average—pitch in his arsenal, but he does have four 45-50 grade offerings that he throws for strikes, which gives him a chance to start.
Max Povse, RHP, Atlanta Braves (High-A Mississippi): 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K. One scout I talk to frequently keeps calling Povse “Mini-Glasnow,” which is fun because 1) You can’t be mini if you’re 6-foot-8, and 2) being compared to that guy is pretty impressive.
Jack Flaherty, RHP, Cardinals (High-A Palm Beach): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. The word “regressed” has come up more than once when speaking about Flaherty, so seeing him show the flashes of dominance he showed in 2015 is most welcome, indeed.
Stone Garrett, OF, Miami Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 3-for-5, 2 HR, 2 K. Speaking of plate discipline, Garrett doesn’t have it, but he is an impressive athletic specimen who is beginning to tap into his plus raw power in games.
Brendon Davis, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2B, K. It’s still amazing to me that Davis is playing in full-season baseball when you consider that he not only won’t turn 18 for another two months, but that he missed his senior season after breaking his wrist.
Charlie Tilson, OF, Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 3-for-6, 2 R, 2B. Tilson has two plus tools in his speed (which is double-plus) and glove, and the hit tool could be above average as well. He’s going to be a very useful player someday.
Trea Turner, SS, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 3-for-5, R, 2B, 3B, K. ¯_(ãƒ„)_/¯
Nick Williams, OF, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 3-for-4, K. The guy can hit. Plain and simple.
Anthony Banda, LHP, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. For all the (justifiable) things we say about the Arizona system, they do have quite a few quality southpaw pitching prospects, and Banda might be the most ready to help the rotation.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 2-for-4, HR. They don’t have this guy, though. And they should.
Ronald Guzman, 1B, Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 2-for-4, 2 HR. This is a huge year for Guzman, and he’s responded by having, well, a huge year. His stock has really risen over these past couple of months.
Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Phillies (High-A Clearwater):7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. I was very curious what was going to happen with Eshelman as a pro now, knowing he couldn’t just rely on pinpoint control. The results have been mixed, but a good kind of mixed, like trail mix with chocolate chips in it.
Miguel Andujar, 3B, New York Yankees (High-A Tampa): 3-for-5, 2 HR. Andujar doesn’t look the part, but there’s plus power in his right-handed bat, and he also has a cannon of an arm at the hot corner for good measure.
Taylor Sparks, 3B, Cincinnati Reds (High-A Daytona): 3-for-5, 2B, HR. There are four average to above-average tools in Sparks’ bag of tricks. It’s just too bad that the hit tool isn’t one of them, or even close to that.
Cody Reed, LHP, Diamondbacks (Low-A Kane County): 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. If you’re not impressed with a 55-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio, we can’t be friends, and I’ll thank you for not attending my birthday party.
Michael Santos, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER 1 BB, 7 K. The Giants have had several breakout pitching performances in 2016, and Santos is certainly one of them, showing four pitches that flash in the 55 range.
Magneuris Sierra, OF, Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, BB, SB. There’s just so much to like about this kid, and if we can just start seeing that BB in the stats column a time or 20 more, he has a great chance of being an impact big leaguer.
Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. One of the nice things about the Braves being so atrocious is that they can give guys like Jenkins a chance. I hope they give a guy like Jenkins a chance.
Jason Coats, OF, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR. Coats has the potential to be a very nice weapon off the bench, as he can handle both corner outfield positions and has enough offensive talent to make him a solid option against left-handed pitching.
David Dahl, OF, Rockies (Double-A Hartford): 4-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B BB. The power is really nice to see, obviously, but the Rockies wanna see this young man get on base, and he’s doing that, too.
Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 12 K. When everything clicks, he looks like another future ace for the Nationals. The stuff is electric.
Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 1-for-2, 2 R, HR, 3 BB. The on-base percentage (.363) is now 13 percent higher than the batting average (.232), which is really fun to see considering his lack of professional experience.
Grant Holmes, RHP, Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Holmes is still showing two strikeout pitches in his fastball and curve, and on Sunday, he showed the quality change that he needs to be successful, too.
Jose Mujica, RHP, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. The highs are high and the lows are low, and that is to be expected when you’re a 19-year-old.
Chase Vallot, C, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 3-for-5, R, 2B, HR, K. Do you like your catchers to show plus power and to draw walks? Of course you do, and that’s what Vallot has done in the first 40 games of 2016.
Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 3-for-3, HR, BB. Dingers and walks. Walks and dingers.
Willson Contreras, C, Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 4-for-5, 3 R, 2 HR. Some scouts I spoke with were expecting Contreras to go through an adjustment period against Triple-A pitching. I don’t wanna say those scouts were wrong, but… I don’t know how to finish this sentence.
Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2 SB. After a dreadful first week or so, Meadows is now up to .277/.350/.446 and playing plus defense in center field. He’s long been a personal favorite, and nothing has changed.
Adalberto Mejia, LHP, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 8.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. He was impressive in the AFL, and he’s more than carried that over into the start of this year’s campaign. Mejia’s a sneaky candidate to help the Giants in 2016.
Ryan Castellani, RHP, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. Castellani gets big sink on his fastball, and though neither secondary pitch has much consistency, when everything is clicking both the slider and change flash in the solid to above-average range.
Luis Urias, IF, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 4-for-5, 2 R, 2B. There’s almost no power here, but Urias has excellent feel for the barrel, and he’s torn the cover off the baseball in the month of May.
Johan Cruz, IF, White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 3-for-5, 2B, K. You’re not going to see a ton of these games from Cruz, but with 55 defense and a 70 arm, you just need him to be competent at the plate. That might happen.
Jake Woodford, RHP, Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Woodford can throw four pitches for strikes very well for any age, but especially for a 19-year-old, and two of those pitches (the fastball and curve) flash plus.
Thank you for reading
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