Prospect of the Day: Chih-Wei Hu, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Double-A Montgomery): 7 IP, 2 H, B, 6 K.
Hu was one of the most impressive arms I saw climb the hill at the Futures Game, sitting mid-90s (touching 97) and complimenting it with a devastating palm ball that moved like a splitter with fade at 89-90. There’s some deception to his release, which helps the fastball play up despite a fairly straight path, and it makes the slide-piece tougher to pick up as well. He’s still learning how to sequence and miss bats consistently, but the stuff is there for a quality no. 4 starter, and he’s got a frame you can hang all of the innings on.
Others of Note:
Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 2-3, BB, R, HR, 3 RBI, K. Gallo’s been scuffling of late, though he’s strung together a modest run of hits in six of his last seven. Last night’s line is about as quintessential as it gets, so it was perfect for the 4.3 million scouts there in attendance ahead of the trade deadline.
Trey Mancini, 1B, Baltimore Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 3-5, R, 3B, 3 RBI, K. All Mancini really needs is a chance at this point, as he’s just sort of doing his thing at Triple-A. He swings and misses some, and he rolls over on balls a lot, so the average isn’t ever likely to be great. But he has the power, and he can get to a good bit of it in games, and oh man, he sounds like 44 other dudes in the Baltimore organization, doesn’t he?
Daniel Robertson, INF, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham): 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. Robertson’s season in the box has been more “meh…” than “yeah!” But his on-base numbers have held up against Triple-A pitching, and he’s ramped up his reps at second and third, the latter of which he played yesterday. He sees you, Ben Zobrist. So do the Rays.
Jordan Patterson, RF, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, K. I could just put a little heart emoji here, but I’m a professional, damn it. The over-the-fence power isn’t quite where it looks like it should be when you see his hulking frame in the box, but he hits a lot of hard line drives and can do left-handed Scott Van Slyke things if you’ll let him.
Jeff Brigham, RHP, Miami Marlins (High-A Jupiter): 7 IP, 4 H, BB, 10 K. Well then! Brigham does have this kind of an outing in him – I caught a similar outing last year – but the package of frame, arsenal, and command profile is probably best suited to a bullpen role.
Yency Almonte, RHP, Colorado Rockies (High-A Modesto): 6 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 8 K. Almonte has submitted one of the more pleasant performances in the Cal League this year, continuing to build on the consistency he finally started to establish last year after three tough post-draft seasons in the low minors. He’ll touch 96 with a fastball that can miss bats and show two competent benders, though the change lags. He can start though, and adds yet another layer of depth to Colorado’s increasingly impressive collection of pitching prospects.
Tyler Alexander, LHP, Detroit Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 7 K. There isn’t anything particularly exciting about Alexander’s profile, but he’s left-handed and he controls the heck out of a three-pitch mix. Steve Givarz has seen the former second-rounder approximately 53 times this season, and will happily address any questions you may have about his favorite breakfast cereal.
Magneuris Sierra, CF, St. Louis Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 3-5, 2B, 2 SB. A top-shelf athlete with playable speed, Sierra responded well after a demotion last year, and he’s carried over his second-half success into a solid season in the Midwest League. He’s still figuring out an approach, but there’s some strength and projectability to the frame, and the glove gets solid reviews in center.
Touki Toussaint, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome): 4 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 3 H, 4 BB, 11 K, HRA. Weirdly enough, excepting the 11-of-12-outs-by-strikeout aspect, this line is a pretty decent little microcosm of Toussaint’s season. He’s been missing bats and proving tough to square on the regular, which is good. But he’s struggled with walks and hasn’t pitched well out of the stretch, which has maximized the damage against him.
Hoy Jun Park, SS, New York Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 3-5, R, 2B, SB, K. I can’t with all these quality Yankee shortstop prospects, enough already. A former million-dollar international bonus baby out of Korea, Park has the glove, the wheels, and the strike-zone command already. His frame has projection for days, too, and it’s not at all inconceivable that he develops some over-the-fence pop down the line.
Dillon Tate, RHP, Texas Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 6 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, K. Six innings of one-run ball qualifies as a smashing success for the former fourth-overall pick, who has struggled to find consistency this year at a level that the organization would probably have just as soon seen him graduate by now.
Vladimir Guerrero, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays (Short-Season Bluefield): 1-2, 3 BB, 2 SB, K. Adam McInturff put his eyes on Guerrero recently, and will have more in-depth notes forthcoming. But given the ultra-aggressive approach, Appy League pitchers are clearly terrified of this guy, as he’s now ended almost as many plate appearances with a walk as he has with a whiff. There’s titillating raw power potential here, along with a to-be-continued decision on whether to deploy his howitzer of an arm at the hot corner or in right field.