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Prospect of the Day:

Triston McKenzie, RHP, Cleveland Indians (Short-Season Mahoning Valley): 6 IP, ER, 2 H, 8 K, HRA.
Well, McKenzie finally gave up his first professional run, but as of this writing it’s the only one he’s given up in his first three starts and 16 2/3 innings. It’s going to take forever and a day for Cleveland to really get a bead on just what they’ve got with McKenzie, who won’t turn 19 until August and still boasts a frame that would make Ric Ocasek blush. As career origin stories go, however, his first couple pages have featured quality prose.

Other Prospects of Note:

Charlie Tilson, LF/CF, St. Louis Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 3-5, 3 R, HR, RBI, SB. I swear Tilson was only drafted in 2011; it only feels like it was a decade before that. Dude’s fast, dude can hit a little, dude can run down balls and throw them in competently from anywhere on the grass… it ain’t a bad profile, Chuck.

Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 3.2 IP, 6 R (4 ER), 6 H, BB, 4 K, HRA. That’s a couple of clunkers in a row now from Reyes, and it underscores that for all of the ridiculous bat-missing ability he’s continued to display since returning from suspension the command remains a work in progress, as does the third pitch.

Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Triple-A Rochester): 7 IP, H, BB, 6 K. See? I told y’all last week that Berrios is really, really, good, and check it out: He pitched like a really, really good pitcher again yesterday. Boom. Nailed it.

Andrew Benintendi, CF, Boston Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 4-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI, SB. It’s been a bit feast-and-famine for Benintendi of late, with the hits coming in bunches offset by 0-fers. He’s getting his at a reasonable rate, however, especially given his standing as one of the youngest regulars in the Eastern League.

Wilmer Difo, SS, Washington Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 4-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 7 RBI, E. Difo just hasn’t been able to sustain anything at the dish this year, and he’s struggled to finish plays while working exclusively at the six-spot after spending some time across the second-base bag last year. Yesterday’s outburst with the stick was much needed, but his 19th error…not so much.

Adrian Marin, SS, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 3-4, 2 R, HR, 5 RBI, SB. Marin filled out the box score like a champ last night, but Adam McInturff is skeptical he can do it frequently enough to finagle a career at the highest level.

Chance Sisco, C, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 2-5, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, E. Sisco celebrated his Future’s Game selection by hitting his inaugural triple and homer of the season. The bat still profiles more towards hit than power, and the glove is a ways away still. At just 21 and already in Double-A, however, he’s got time to build on the modest progress he’s shown with the latter this season.

Jorge Alfaro, C, Philadelphia Phillies (Double-A Reading): 1-3, R, HR, RBI, K. We’re overdue for a check-in with Alfaro. After missing most of last year his .826 OPS is impressive. He’s stretched the limits of space-time to get there, however, with a gnarly 48-to-4 ratio of whiffs to walks in 223 plate appearances. That’s a 1.8 percent walk rate if you’re scoring at home. Walk rates aren’t everything, but… well, they’re something, and that’s a lot of pressure to put on the ol’ bat-to-ball. He’s been among the best pitch-framers at Double-A this year though, which is a welcome advance in his receiving skills.

Texas League All-Star Spectacular:

Alex Bregman, SS, Houston Astros (heading to Triple-A Fresno): 2-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, K.

Ryan Cordell, LF, Texas Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 3-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI, 1 MVP Award.

Harrison Bader, CF, St. Louis Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 4-5, R, 2B, K.

Alex Verdugo, RF, Los Angeles Dodgers (Double-A Tulsa) 3-5, R, 2B.

Bregman celebrated his imminent promotion to Triple-A with a two-hit performance, including a two-run shot in the first to get the scoring started. Cordell snagged MVP honors, continuing to prove that last year’s power outburst in the Cal League wasn’t league-generated. Bader just keeps hitting despite an aggressive approach, and I’m contractually obligated to note that he is “polished.” Verdugo has more than held his own with an above-average OPS as one of the youngest hitters in the league. I liked the raw material during his Cal League pit stop last summer, and Kit House expressed similar cautious optimism a couple weeks ago.

Jesus Tinoco, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 7 IP, 6 H, BB, 3 K. Tinoco got crushed in four Cal League starts to begin the year, suffering through diminished velocity and allowing 37 hits in 13 1/3 innings (not a typo) to prompt a return to extended spring training. He’s been solid in three of four since reemerging in the Sally, albeit with fewer missed bats in the small sample.

Alex Jackson, RF, Seattle Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 2-4, 2B, RBI, K. The multi-hit game was Jackson’s third in his last five, and he’s shown at least some ability to drive the ball in games. James Fisher touched on him in yesterday’s Ten Pack, however, and was not convinced the pop will play well at all against higher-level pitching.

Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome): 7 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 7 K, HRA. Soroka has been one of the most impressive prep arms of the 2015 class as a professional, with David Lee gushing recently about his advanced combination of stuff and intelligence.

Tyler Mark, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Short-Season Hillsboro): 7 IP, 3 H, 10 K. Mark has suffered through one of the worst statistical seasons of anyone across the minors to start this year, coughing up 31 runs on 48 hits in 34 innings and enduring a demotion from the Midwest League back to a second go in short-season ball in the process. The former reliever was the Snakes’ sixth-rounder a year ago, and the club converted him to starting on the strength of his clean delivery and solid three-pitch mix. He struggled last summer after the transition, too, so hopefully yesterday’s deep breath gives him some confidence to build on.

Thank you for reading

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BPKevin
6/29
How much time do you think Bregman will last in AAA? 3-4 weeks? Think it depends mostly on how the 'stros are doing and Valbuena's performance?
philly604
6/29
Would be great to get an update of McKensie's stuff. Winter reports were much more about projectibility with the present stuff - certainly velocity - a bit pedestrian. Are these early results a sign that some of that projectibility is happening?