Prospect of the Day: Anthony Alford, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (High-A Dunedin): 2-for-6, R, 2 BB, K, 3 SB.
This has been a disappointing season for Alford, without question, but it’s games like this that remind you just how talented he is. Keep in mind that not only is he only 21 years old, but he also had his development in baseball delayed by that egg-shaped sport. He’s still a tremendous athlete who has shown he has a game plan at the plate, and he’s going to be a big-leaguer because of his speed and ability to go get it in center field. It’s not a fast-track profile, but if you’re patient, this could be a leadoff hitter someday.
Others of Note:
Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 3-for-3, R, 2B, BB. By all accounts, he’s ready to go. They just need to move an outfielder to accommodate him. Jay Bruce? Anyone want Jay Bruce?
Alex Bregman, SS, Houston Astros (Triple-A Fresno): 3-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 SB. So, this Gurriel thing probably changes the Bregman path a little bit in the short term, but I imagine they’ll find a place for him to play. He’s fantastic.
Jake Hager, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham): 3-for-5, 3 R, 2 2B, Hager isn’t going to be an everyday shortstop, but he’s a competent defender at the six spot, and he should be able to provide competent defense all over the infield with just enough offense to be a utility guy.
Andrew Suarez, LHP, San Francisco Giants (Double-A Richmond): 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. Suarez won’t typically miss this many bats, but he does have outstanding feel for pitching, and he pounds the strike zone with four usable pitches.
Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 2-for-3, 2B, Hr, 2 BB, K. Since June 1st, Smith is batting .319/.396/.522 with six homers. If I have a concern it’s that he’s hitting just .222 and slugging .284 against lefties. Haha, concern. This guy is perfect.
Dylan Cozens, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (Double-A Reading): 2-for-5, 2B, HR, SB. I was impressed with the amount of progress Cozens has made in 2016; we are not that far removed from this guy being a significant bust. Sometimes things just click, especially when the player is as young as Cozens is/was.
Michael Kopech, RHP, Boston Red Sox (High-A Salem): 5 IP 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. Is this the hardest thrower in minor-league baseball right now? He might be. I’m excited to see how his stuff plays at the higher levels, and you should be, too.
Keury Mella, RHP, Reds (High-A Daytona): 6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. The ERA is fine, the strikeout-to-walk ratio leaves a lot to be desired. There’s still mid-rotation starter potential in this young man’s right arm, though.
Gleyber Torres, SS, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 4-for-5, 3 R, 2 2B, 3B, BB, K. Just when you thought Eloy Jimenez was catching up to be the best prospect in the system, Torres does something like this.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 2-for-4. With Moncada and Andrew Benintendi now in Portland, Devers is the best prospect left in Salem. Some would argue that Devers was the best prospect in Salem even with those two.
Josh Naylor, 1B, Miami Marlins (Low-A Greensboro): 5-for-5, 2 2B. Naylor has had his share of growing pains on and off the field, but he’s still certainly the best offensive prospect in the Marlins system.
Tyler Stephenson, C, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 4-for-4, 2B. Speaking of guys who have had growing pains, Stephenson certainly had had his share, but he’s looked much better in the second half and earned a promotion back to the Midwest League.
Luis Lugo, LHP, Cleveland (Low-A Lynchburg): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K. Lugo’s curveball is an out pitch, and though the rest of his arsenal is pedestrian (a nice way of saying mediocre), he’s improved his ability to throw said arsenal for strikes, which gives him a chance to start.