Prospect of the Day: Francis Martes, RHP, Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, 12 K.
Martes was cruising along into the seventh before yielding a two-run shot to Josh Van Meter, his final batter of the night. Since the end of May, he’s whiffed 76, walked 20, and allowed just 48 hits across 63 2/3 innings. The fastball-curve combo is one of the best in the minors, and it’s important to remember that he’s doing all of this as the only qualifying 20-year-old starting pitcher at the Double-A level. And you were worried about him after the first six weeks of the season…
Other Prospects of Note:
Ben Lively, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 8 IP, R (0 ER), 3 H, BB, 8 K. It’s easy to lose Lively in the shuffle of high-end young arms scattered throughout Philadelphia’s cup-runneth-over system, but he’s been doing more or less what’s been expected of him all year. The former fourth-rounder generates consistently poor contact by moving balls all around the zone, and he has the goods to profile as an innings-eating starter for most big-league clubs.
Bradley Zimmer, CF, Cleveland Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 3-4, BB, R, HR, RBI, K. Freed from the shackles of constant, unceasing comparison with Clint Frazier, Zimmer has hit the ball hard all over the place in his first baker’s dozen of games at Triple-A. It’s not impossible to envision a September call-up, especially at this rate.
Nick Pivetta, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Double-A Reading): 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, HRA. Pivetta’s a big boy who struggles some to harness his plus fastball, but he had things locked in good and proper yesterday. The lack of a consistent swing-and-miss secondary and that pesky loose command leave him ticketed for a likely swing profile, but he should be a durable one that provides occasional big-league value, and that ain’t bad.
Chesny Young, INF, Chicago Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 4-5, BB, 3 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, K. The power outburst isn’t the norm, but Young can really swing the bat. A career .374 hitter in college, he promptly paced the Carolina League at .321 in his first season last year, and yesterday’s effort puts him into whispering distance of .300 as a 23-year-old in Double-A. He’s played more or less equal parts second and third this year, and while he’s stretched at the latter spot he shows enough athleticism to keep it on the table. There’s very little power here, but thanks to the advanced hit tool this is a true-form utility profile, and a pretty solid one at that.
Andrew Moore, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 7 IP, 4 H, 3 K. Moore’s profile is one that demands he continue to produce at every stop, and so far, so good. He’s yet to give up more than three earned runs in any of his 12 starts since moving up to Double-A, riding his pinpoint control and deception to results in spite of limited stuff.
Zack Collins, C, Chicago White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 0-4, 4 K. The White Sox have been aggressive with Collins, pushing him to High-A after a brief three-game debut in Rookie ball. And yesterday’s sombrero notwithstanding, he’s responded decently enough through his first few weeks, slugging three homers and getting his feet wet behind a professional dish. There’s been a lot of swing and miss as he adjusts, but this was one of the best all-around hitters in the draft class.
Lucas Erceg, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI. Erceg is one of the tougher recent draftees to peg, as his draft-year transfer from Cal to an NAIA school and power-first corner profile made for a difficult scout heading into the draft. The Brewers grabbed him 46th overall, and he has responded by destroying everything in his path thus far as a professional.
Ruddy Giron, SS, San Diego Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 3-4, R, 2 2B, CS. Giron endured a positively disastrous first three months of the season, but finally started to find his footing in July, when he put up a .299/.358/.381 line. Grant Jones cautioned patience back at the beginning of June, and it appears as though the young shortstop has begun to make necessary adjustments.
Brett Sullivan, C, Tampa Bay Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 4-5, 2 R, 2B, 3 RBI, SB. Sullivan’s an interesting story, as he was a shortstop in college, then moved over to third after joining the Rays as a 15th-rounder. The organization liked his physicality, though, and moved him behind the plate last winter, where his intriguing power and average speed plays up. He’s held his own as a pitch-framer in his debut as well, and bears watching as an interesting little under-the-radar prospect in the Tampa system.
Joan Baez, RHP, Washington Nationals (Low-A Hagerstown): 6 IP, ER, 5 H, 8 K. It may seem like Baez is forever young after an up-and-down career that has him back in the Sally for a second time this year, and he might stay there but for fortune of a double-plus fastball and improving curveball. It’s a diamonds and rust profile, however, as he lacks much projection on a third pitch and struggles to repeat his delivery. Still, don’t think twice, it’s alright to get excited about his prospects as a late-inning arm down the line.
Yennsy Diaz, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Rookie Bluefield): 6 IP, 2 H, BB, 8 K. Diaz has quickly emerged as one of the premier talents Toronto scooped up in its 2014 international spending spree, generating mid-90’s velocity despite a modest frame thanks to premium arm speed and athleticism. The secondaries are what we call “developmental,” but that’s okay, because he’s in Rookie ball, so he fits right in. The change shows the most promise, and he’s managed to hold his own in the Appy despite being young for the level.