Prospect of the Weekend:
Adrian Rondon, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (Short-Season Princeton): 3-for-4, 3 HR, 1 BB.
For those of you who find RBI to a predictive stat, Rondon also knocked in nine on Friday. Signed for close to $3 million out of the Dominican in July of 2014, Rondon has everything you’re looking for in a first-division shortstop, but to say those tools didn’t translate over to his 2015 season (.491 OPS in 164 at-bats) is an understatement. They sure did on Friday night, however, and again, the tools are really impressive. It’s just gonna take a long time before they show up on a consistent basis.
Others of Note
Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque): 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. That’s 20 strikeouts in his last 13 innings, while walking no one and giving up just four runs. Don’t be surprised to see him in Colorado at some point in July.
Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Chicago Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 K. Candelario’s OPS in Double-A: .690. Candelario’s OPS in Triple-A: 1.111. Yeah it’s only 58 at-bats, but it’s still pretty darn impressive.
Gabby Guerrero, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 2-for-4, R, 2 2B. Some of the shine has worn off, but he’s still a really intriguing corner-outfield prospect because of the bat speed and the howitzer of a right arm.
Erik Skoglund, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. None of Skoglund’s pitches flash more than average, but he has a chance to start because of his ability to throw them for strikes along with his advanced feel for pitching.
Andrew Stevenson, OF, Washington Nationals (High-A Potomac): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, BB, SB. Stevenson has two plus tools in his speed and glove—with the glove possibly being double-plus—and he’s shown more feel for the barrel than anyone anticipated.
Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland (Low-A Lake County Captains): 3-for-4, SB. Mejia is hitting .347/.384/.531, and the scary things are that he’s just starting to tap into his offense, and that he’s even better with the glove. The potential here is, well, scary.
Imani Abdullah, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K. The Dodgers gave Abdullah $650,000 after taking him in the 11th round last June, and he’s shown a plus sinking fastball and a curve that flashes above average.
Juan Hillman, LHP, Cleveland (Short-Season Mahoning Valley): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. I was a little surprised that Cleveland held Hillman back because the stuff is so advanced for a teenager, but who am I to judge what Cleveland is doing right now?
Leodys Taveras, OF, Texas Rangers (Short-Season AZL Rangers): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 SB. The reports I’ve gotten on Taveras are outstanding; he’s flashing four plus tools, and there’s a chance for average power as well. Yep, the Rangers are good at this.
Francis Martes, RHP, Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. After that disastrous April, Martes has been much better in June, posting a 1.48 ERA and—most importantly—walking only eight compared to his 30 strikeouts.
Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 8 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K. That’s the fifth double-digit strikeout total in his last seven starts, and he hasn’t walked more than two hitters in that same stretch.
Aristides Aquino, OF, Cincinnati Reds (High-A Daytona): 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, SB. If you see Aquino on the right day you’ll wonder if he’s the best hitting prospect in the Cincinnati system. It sounds like Saturday was one of those days.
Edmundo Sosa, SS, St. Louis Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 4-for-5. It’s been a slightly disappointing season for Sosa at the plate, but while the approach leaves a lot to be desired, the rest of the tools are there for him to be a starting shortstop.
Pedro Payano, RHP, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. The only reason I’m not demanding Payano gets moved up is because I wouldn’t wish the Cal League on any pitcher.
Demi Orimoloye, OF, MIlwaukee Brewers (Short-Season AZL Brewers): 2-for-7, 2 R, HR, 4 K, SB. The Brewers have crushed it in the draft the past couple of years, and Orimoloye was one of their most intriguing picks: a Canadian with plus power, speed, and arm potential. Whether or not the hit tool will translate over is another question, but the upside here is massive.
A.J. Cole, RHP, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. He’s been usurped by a several pitchers in the system, but Cole still has four usable pitches he can throw for strikes. It wouldn’t shock me if he were moved at some point before the deadline.
Trea Turner, RHP, Nationals (Triple-A Syracuse): 3-for-4, 3 R, 2B, HR, BB. Seriously, every time I type his name in one of these updates I get annoyed. There’s no reason for him to be down here. None.
Ian Happ, 2B/OF, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 3-for-4, 2B. How about 8-for-12 with three extra-base hits since being promoted to Double-A? Does that work for you?
Carson Fulmer, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. After walking 23 hitters in May, Fulmer has walked only eight in June. There’s a lot of work to be done, but throwing strikes is a very nice start.
Mike Gerber, OF, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 2-for-2, 2 R, HR, BB. After impressing in the AFL, he’s disappointed for most of 2016. Perhaps his .299/.368/.519 line in June is a sign of better things to come.
Isael Soto, OF, Miami Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 3-for-4, R, K. Soto has plus power potential and a strong throwing arm that will serve him well in right field. He also came into the game with a .334 OPS in his 12 games in June, so it’s fair to say that he needed this.
Devin Williams, RHP, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. He’s been sort of a forgotten name in the Brewers system, but the fastball is plus, and the change still flashes in that range, too. Can he throw enough strikes to start?
Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Dodgers (Short-Season AZL Dodgers): 4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Not quite as dominant as his debut, but still pretty impressive. Expect to see him get a chance to pitch somewhere not in Arizona in the coming weeks.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., OF, Toronto Blue Jays (Short-Season Bluefield): 1-for-4, HR, 2 K. I wouldn’t really recommend a trip to Bluefield for any other reason, but if you’re near the area, go check out Vladdy, Jr. He’s impressive.
Thank you for reading
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