Prospect of the Weekend:
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K.
Since May 9th, Giolito has an ERA of 1.77 in just under 36 innings, and he’s struck out 33 and walked 14 in the process. Maybe those aren’t the dominating strikeout totals we were expecting to see, but I can assure you, he will certainly miss more than enough bats with his stuff to be a top-of-the-rotation starter, and he’s becoming a more complete pitcher in the process. He’s the best pitching prospect in baseball, and over the last month, he’s pitched like it. That’s fun.
Others of Note
Nate Smith, LHP, Los Angeles Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 8.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Being the most advanced pitching prospect in the Angels system isn’t saying a ton, but… I don’t know how to finish this sentence. Jokes aside, Smith has flashed a plus change in 2016, and he’s shown three average offerings to complement that pitch.
Peter O’Brien, OF/1B, Arizona Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 3-for-5, 3 R, 3B, 2 HR, 2 K. No one ever has or ever will doubt the raw power: It’s immense. What people will doubt is the approach at the plate, as he’s walked only seven times compared to 59 strikeouts in 48 games.
Tyler O’Neill, OF, Seattle Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 3-for-4, 2 R, HR, K, SB. It’s tough to imagine that anyone has been more impressive in the Southern League this year than O’Neill, which is in large part because there hasn’t been anyone more impressive, at least statistically.
Ricardo Pinto, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Double-A Reading): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. He’s struggled in 2016, but when Pinto is at his best, he shows a plus fastball and change, and throws them for strikes. There are serious questions about the slider, however.
Mauricio Dubon, SS, Boston Red Sox (High-A Salem): 4-for-4, 3 R, 2B, SB. His double-play partner is more famous—and for good reason—but Dubon has four tools that flash above average, and scouts just love this young man’s understanding of the game.
Gleyber Torres, SS, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 3-for-4, 3 R, 3 2B, BB. What’s interesting about Torres’s season is that he’s only hitting .151 against lefties. To say that is unsustainable is the understatement of this article—or, heck, all articles.
Dillon Tate, RHP, Texas Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. An eyewitness account tells me that Tate’s statline was a bit misleading, but it’s still nice to see the 2015 fourth-overall pick missing bats.
Nick Neidert, RHP, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. A solid first 2016 start for the Mariners second-round (and first team selection) pick.
Lucas Herbert, C, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome): 4-for-7, 2 R, 2B, HR, K. Herbert is definitely better with the glove than the stick, but he will have enough of these types of days to make you not want them to DH for him instead of the pitcher.
Clayton Blackburn, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Triple-A Sacramento): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. You have to wonder, with Blackburn’s advanced feel for pitching and the Giants being super-duper good, if this is a guy that might be on the trade market. He could help a team right now.
Socrates Brito, OF, Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno): 2-for-5, 2 R, HR, K. I’d make a pun about his name, but that’s not really my philosophy.
Joey Wendle, 2B, Oakland Athletics (Triple-A Nashville): 3-for-5, 2 R, HR. He’s 26 now and hasn’t had a good year, but I still think Wendle could become a competent bench bat.
Cody Bellinger, 1B, Dodgers (Double-A Tulsa): 3-for-5. Even when the hits weren’t dropping, Bellinger was showing an excellent approach at the plate. The hits are falling now.
Jason Garcia, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. This was a much-needed successful start for Garcia, a right-hander who has huge arm strength but hasn’t shown the ability to harness his stuff at all.
Nick Gordon, SS, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 3-for-5, 2B, K. May was not kind to Gordon at the plate, but so far so good in June, and he was outstanding in April. These are the months of the year.
Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, BB, 2 K. He’s not going to provide much defensive value at all. But who cares? He can flat-out hit.
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Gonsalves has very quietly been one of the most dominant pitchers in the minor leagues the last two years. It’s time to see what he can do in the upper levels.
Peter Lambert, RHP, Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. There were certainly pitchers with better stuff than Lambert in the 2015 draft. Heck, the Rockies took one in Mike Nikorak. There weren’t many (if any) with more advanced stuff, though, and he’s been sensational for most of 2016.
Andy Ibanez, 2B, Rangers (Low-A Hickory) 3-for-4, 3 R, 2 HR. I think the only people more anxious to see Ibanez take on a higher level are Low-A pitchers.
Monte Harrison, OF, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 2-for-2, 2 HR, K. In a year where almost nothing has gone right for Harrison, something finally went right. As a fan of talented players doing well, this made me happy.
Blake Snell, LHP, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. That’s 77 strikeouts in 57 innings now for Snell. His stuff is okay.
Nick Williams, OF, Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 2-for-5, 2 R, 3B, HR, K. Since May 16th, Williams is hitting .299/.536/.507 with three homers and a couple of stolen bases. That’ll work.
Deven Marrero, SS, Red Sox (Triple-A Pawtucket): 3-for-4, R, 2B, K. The depth the Red Sox have up the middle is borderline unfair.
D.J. Peterson, 1B, Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 2-for-5, 2 HR. After a disaster of a start, Peterson is tearing the cover off the baseball. It’s too early to say he’s “fixed,” but a very encouraging sign for Seattle.
Jacob Nottingham, C, Brewers (Double-A Biloxi):3-for-4, HR, K. Everything said about Peterson is true for Nottingham, with the difference being that Nottingham plays a premium position, so he’s better.
Luke Weaver, RHP, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K. How’s that for a 2016 debut? Pretty good? I think it’s pretty good.
Robert Gsellman, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton) 8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Is he another darn ace for the Mets? No, but there are two plus pitches in his fastball and change, and the curve has made some progress in 2016.
Franchy Cordero, OF, Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore):3-for-3, 2B, BB, SB There’s way too much swing-and-miss here for someone without even average power, but he’s a good athlete, and he makes a ton of hard contact.
Spencer Adams, RHP, Chicago White Sox (HIgh-A Winston Salem): 9 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Adams hits his spots, and the fastball and slider are plus offerings. Does he have a pitch to get lefties out on a consistent basis, though? I’m not so sure, but it helps that he throws everything for strikes.
Michael Gettys, OF, San Diego Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 K. If the 2016 version of Gettys is real, he’s going to be an above-average regular, because he already impacts games with his plus-plus speed, arm, and glove.
Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Ya know, the Blue Jays get talked about as a system that’s on the down path, but there’s some pretty darn good right-handed pitching here, and Reid-Foley might have the most upside of any starter in the system.
Franklin Perez, RHP, Houston Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Perez was one of the best pitching prospects of the 2014 IFA class, and he’s already showing swing-and-miss stuff led by a 92-94 mph fastball and quality curveball.
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