Prospect of the Weekend:
Ian Happ, 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 4-for-6, R, 3 2B, BB, CS.
When you consider that Happ was the ninth pick of last year’s draft and that he has a .410 OBP, for a system that is as prospect-crazy as any, he’s gone, dare I say, under the radar? There’s a chance every tool in his bag becomes above average, and I give him as good of chance for a plus hit tool as anyone from last year’s class—and yes, that includes the big three. Is he a future star? No. Is he a future regular? I’d bet at least some of my “reputation” on it.
Others of Note
Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 6 BB, 6 K. I abhor walks, but as much as they drive me crazy, there are far more positives than negatives in a start like this. The potential is just insane here.
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland (Double-A Akron): 2-for-2, R, 3 BB, 3 SB, CS. I told you he can do a little bit of everything. I just wish a little bit of everything didn’t include so many darn strikeouts.
Nick Pivetta, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Double-A Reading): 9 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Pivetta has excellent size, throws a plus fastball, and has made progress with his change and command. Long story short, he’s a fifth starter.
Drew Jackson, SS, Seattle Mariners (High-A Bakersfield): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 SB, CS. The numbers are nowhere near what they were last year, but last year was the definition of unsustainable. The glove is still the selling point here.
Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 2-for-4, R, 3B, SB. Are you a left-handed pitcher who is scheduled to face Robles? I’d go ahead and take the day off. He’s hitting .340/.446/.660 against them. Yowza.
Franklin Perez, RHP, Houston Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Striking out over a batter an inning like Perez has this year is wonderful, but what’s been even better is the lack of self-inflicted damage; he’s walked just five in just under 27 innings.
Antonio Santillan, RHP, Reds (Short-season Billings): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Santillan has been a personal favorite for a while now, a prep right-hander with big-boy size and big-boy stuff, including a 70 fastball and 60 curveball. If the change comes, look out.
Starling Heredia, OF, Dodgers (Short-season DSL Dodgers2): 3-for-4, HR. Heredia was the big “non-Cuban” signing from the Dodgers last July, and there’s a ton of potential in his right-handed bat, with a chance for plus power and a cannon of an arm.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 1-for-3, 2 R, HR, BB, SB. The power is obvious because he’s gigantic, but Judge is also a pretty darn good athlete, and 10-15 stolen-base seasons are well within the realm of possibility.
Gabriel Ynoa, RHP, New York Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. I included him last week despite his being atrocious just to include a pun, so I have to include him when he pitches well. Good for you, Mr. Ynoa.
Sean Newcomb, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. If you were to ask Jon Q. Braves-development, I think they’ll happily trade a few strikeouts for a few less walks.
Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 3-for-4, 3B. This guy should be talked about as one of the best outfield prospects in baseball, but he’s not, and it makes me mad on and offline.
Colin Bray, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 3-for-4, 2 HR. Bray has 30 power at best, but, well, the Cal League. He’s also a double-plus runner who is plus at all three outfield spots, so he doesn’t really “need” the power.
Max Povse, RHP, Braves (High-A Mississippi): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. It’s taken some time, but Povse really has taken a step forward in 2016. Don’t be surprised if he’s in the top 10 of a very, very good system next year.
Kolby Allard, LHP, Braves (Low-A Rome): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. Something tells me he might be in that top 10, too.
Daz Cameron, OF, Houston Astros (Short-season Tri-City): 2-for-4, 2B, BB, K, SB. It might be frustrating to Astros fans that Cameron earned a demotion, but it’s far from a death sentence. There’s a lot of time and reason for optimism.
Luiz Gohara, LHP, Mariners (Short-season Everett): 4.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. He’s been in the Mariners system since 2009 (slight hyperbole), but he’s still only 19 (no, really) and he still has the highest upside of any arm in the Seattle system.
Michael Clevinger, RHP, Cleveland (Triple-A Columbus): 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K. The big-league appearances didn’t go so well. The sample size there is way too small to take it seriously.
Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 1-for-5, HR. Welcome to Triple-A, Mr. Meadows. I’ve heard there’s great… I haven’t heard anything great about food in Indianapolis, to be honest.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 2-for-4, 3 R, K. Every time I hear someone mention that he’s “slumping” or some iteration of that, I curse Kris Bryant and others for being so dang good so quickly. Baseball is hard, man. Swanson is really good at it.
Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 13 K. Lopez has now struck out 90 over 68 1/3 innings. When everything is clicking, it’s dominant. When it’s not, it’s frustrating as you-know-what, but that’ll happen with volatile 22-year-olds.
Phil Bickford, RHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 13 K. Well, that’s announcing your presence to the California League with authority, isn’t it?
Ian Happ, 2B/OF, Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 3-for-4, R, 2B, HR, BB. There’s no rule the prospect of the weekend can’t appear twice. I’ve checked.
Josh Naylor, 1B, Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 3-for-5, R, K. I’d love to get into the insanity of the Naylor/Stone Garrett situation, but this isn’t the time. He’s held his own as a teenager in Low-A, and there’s a nonzero chance he’s an everyday first baseman.
Touki Toussaint, RHP, Braves (Low-A Rome): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. In his last two starts, Toussaint has allowed just one walk in 14 innings. Let’s remember that Atlanta is fantastic at this, and if this guy can throw strikes, the sky's the limit.
Jameson Fisher, OF, Chicago White Sox (Short-season Great Falls): 2-for-4, R, BB, SB. Don’t be surprised if Fisher gets a chance at full-season baseball this year. The hit tool could be a 55-grade, and there’s some pop in his left-handed bat as well.
Luke Wakamatsu, SS, Cleveland (Short-season Mahoning Valley): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, E. This was not your typical 20th-round selection. Wakamatsu has solid-average tools across the board, and has a great chance to stick at shortstop. He’s also the son of former Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, so, by rule, he has to have great instincts.