Prospect of the Day:
Kevin Newman, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 4-for-4, 3 R, HR, BB.
Newman’s statline is even more impressive when you consider it’s his second game back after missing three weeks with a scary eye injury. He’s not going to hit for much power, and he’s not going to be an all-world defender. What Newman will do, however, is get on base, and he’ll run a little bit, too. He has one of the best hit tools in minor-league baseball, and he was a gosh-darn steal with pick no. 19 last June.
Others of Note:
Chad Pinder, SS, Oakland Athletics (Triple-A Nashville): 3-for-4, 4 R, HR, BB, E. There are serious doubts about whether Pinder can stay at shortstop, but the bat has been better than anticipated, and if he were to move to third, he’d be a plus defender at the hot corner.
Hunter Dozier, 3B, Kansas City Royals (Triple-A Omaha): 3-for-6, 2B, HR, K. The 43-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio he’s accumulated since joining Omaha doesn’t work. The 15 extra-base hits in 35 games and quality defense work just fine.
Dillon Overton, LHP, Athletics (Triple-A Nashville): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Overton has three above-average pitches and throws them all for strikes. It’s a back-end profile, but he’s shown significant improvement in 2016.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 3- for-3, 2 R, 2 2B, BB, SB. It’s only a matter of time until we see these games on a consistent basis. It’s only a matter of time until we see them happen in the big leagues.
Josh Bell, OF, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 2-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2 BB. Same. Different, but same. It might take an injury to see him up, and we don’t root for that because we’re good people, but Bell’s ready to hit.
Jordan Montgomery, LHP, New York Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K. Montgomery throws strikes with all four of his pitches, the best of them being an above-average change that allows his 91-93 mph fastball to play up.
Anthony Banda, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile):8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. He’s missing more bats than anticipated, and the only thing missing here is the competent third pitch. If Banda gets that, he’s a mid-rotation starter.
J.T. Riddle, SS, Miami Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 4-for-5, 3 R, RB, K. There’s very little offensive upside in Riddle’s bat, but he’ll work counts, and he makes enough hard contact to make you not wish Jose Fernandez were hitting instead. The glove is the selling point here, though.
Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 HR, K. Hernandez has tantalized and frustrated scouts for years, but he’s having his most complete season as a 23-year-old in Double-A, showing more feel for hitting while still showing the plus speed and arm. It’s all very intriguing, like a Netflix miniseries.
Cole Tucker, SS, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 3-for-5, R, 2B. He doesn’t have Newman’s offensive potential, but Tucker’s a better defender with a stronger arm, and he’s not exactly bereft of offensive ability.
Jordan Stephens, RHP, Chicago White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 9 K. The walks are problematic, the swing-and-miss stuff with four competent pitches is not. Many wonder if his command profiles best in the bullpen, but they should give him every chance to start.
Jake Stinnett, RHP, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 7 IP, 8 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. The 2015 campaign was a struggle for Stinnett, but 2016 has been much better, as he’s shown his 60-grade fastball and above-average slider more consistently. He still probably ends up in the bullpen, but that’s not a foregone conclusion.
Felix Jorge, RHP, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Jorge’s ERA is now 1.59, and he’s missing bats (61 strikeouts) while pounding the strike zone (10 walks) with three pitches that flash above average. Long story short, he’s worth monitoring.
Patrick Weigel, RHP, Braves (Low-A Rome): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K. The Braves just crushed last year’s draft. Weigel doesn’t have the upside of some of the other names, but he has a high floor and prototypical starter size. Cheer up, Atlanta fans.
Hoy Jun Park, SS, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 SB. Park has three plus tools in his game, and though none of them is the hit or power tool, he has a quality approach at the plate. Don’t be surprised if this guy is hitting at the top of an order in half a decade or so.
Peter Lambert, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 5 Ip, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Hot take: When/if Jeff Hoffman graduates, this guy will be the best pitching prospect in the Rockies system. I still won’t give up on Mike Nikorak just yet, but Lambert’s feel for pitching and quality stuff gives him the edge.
Alex Jackson, OF, Seattle Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 2-for-7, R, BB, 2 K. The second hit was a walk-off single in the 14th. Good to know that not being assigned for an eternity didn’t mess with the clutch gene (that may or may not but probably doesn’t exist).
Lucius Fox, SS, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 2-for-4, 2B, BB, 2 SB. Fox’s speed is elite, and when you combine that with four other tools that have a chance to be above average, you get a guy with a ton of upside. You’re just gonna have to wait ‘til the next election to see it at the big-league level.
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