Prospect of the Day:
Jose De Leon, RHP, Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 7 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 10 K
Seriously, the Dodgers have to be about ready to give De Leon a chance to help them down the stretch. He’s been nearly unstoppable after one atrocious start back from injury, and the more he keeps torturing Triple-A hitters like this, the fewer opportunities he has to help push the Dodgers to the playoffs this season. Get him to L.A. Make it happen.
Others of Note:
Conner Greene, RHP, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, K. I’ve watched Greene a couple of times this season after jumping on the bandwagon late last summer, and while he hasn’t jumped forward as many had hoped, there is still plenty to like. He needs to gain consistency and miss bats with his fastball and breaking ball, but in the meantime, it’s nice to see him work deep in games against advanced hitters without bat-missing stuff.
Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 3-5, 3B, CS. It’s easy to forget just how young Albies is (he doesn’t turn 20 until January) while playing in Double-A and Triple-A this season, and when you forget how young he is, you may fall into the trap of occasional disappointment with his performance. Albies is a potential top-flight player who should pair well with Dansby Swanson for a very long time.
Max Fried, LHP, Braves (Low-A Rome); 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 6 K, HRA. Back on the mound after nearly two seasons lost to injury, Fried has shown flashes of brilliance mixed with evidence of necessary development. At his best Fried is back to working in the low-90s from the left side with a nasty curveball and potentially average changeup.
Lucas Erceg, 3B, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 2-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, BB, K. Now 30 games after his first professional promotion, Erceg has continued to crush the ball with the look of a fast-moving prospect. Even a move to High-A to start next season is unlikely to really challenge Erceg, and he should see Double-A in short order, giving such a polished hitter the first real test of his professional career.
Domingo Leyba, 2B, Diamondbacks (Double-A Mobile): 3-4, 2 R, HR. Despite having scouted Leyba since he was 18 years old in the New York-Penn League and generally watching him hit at every level, I continue to struggle projecting him as more than a fringe regular. Leyba has a knack for contact and can hang at second base, but he lacks the ability to drive the ball consistently and is a below-average runner. Unless he routinely hits .320-plus, I just don’t see where the big-league value comes from.
Brady Aiken, LHP, Indians (Short-Season Mahoning Valley): 5 IP, 3 H, R/ER, BB, 6 K. I really enjoy seeing Aiken back on the bump and pitching well. He’s had occasional control problems this summer, but games like this are what should be expected of him as he continues to return to full strength.
Dominic Smith, 1B, Mets (Double-A Binghampton): 3-3, 2 R, 2B, HR. As a Smith skeptic, it is getting harder and harder to hold my position of doubt. Things seem to be clicking at the plate.
Christian Turnipseed, RHP, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): IP, H, 0 R/ER, BB. I could BS all of you and tell you this is a real prospect and I wanted to highlight a relative unknown, but I really just wanted an excuse to publish this name. That said, Turnipseed (see, I got to type it again) is a max-effort guy with a low-90s fastball and hard breaking ball, and a small chance to be a middle reliever or seventh-inning arm.
Jose Pujols, OF, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 3-4, R, HR. I will probably have a hard time ever giving up on the dream of what Pujols could become with his ridiculous raw power. I was a sucker for his profile—not unlike the sucker I have long been for Steven Moya—from the minute I saw him as a 16-year-old.
Danny Beddes, RHP, Pirates (Short-Season West Virginia): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, BB, 8 K. Beddes isn’t going to shop up on many prospect lists, but I expect he’ll make his way through the minor leagues with a decent chance to pop up on a big-league roster thanks to a lively fastball that tops out at 94-95 mph, good breaker, and a developing cutter. Beddes has the strong, durable frame necessary to start, but he may fit better in relief long term.
Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Rays (Triple-A Durham): 4-5, 3 R, 2 HR. What you see is what you get here; raw power and some feel for hitting. Gillaspie has to rake to make it as a right-right first baseman and he’s doing his best to make sure that’s exactly what he does.
Jesus Sanchez, OF, Rays (Rookie Princeton): 5-6, 3 R, 2B, HR, SB (Double-Header). The Rays gave Sanchez $400,000 in 2014 and once he made his pro debut in 2015 he tore through the DSL like it was nothing. Pushed aggressively as an 18-year old, Sanchez dominated the GCL with a .323/.341/.530 line before a promotion to the Appy League where he’s now gone 8-for-14 in his first five games. Sanchez has a sexy swing and an innate gift for hitting, combined with above-average speed and plus power potential.
Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Red Sox (Short-Season Lowell): 3-5, 2 R, 3B, HR, K. There were more than a few scouts that wondered whether Dalbec could hit in pro ball, believing he should stick to the mound and rely on his power arsenal. The early returns at the plate have been very promising, in spite of some known swing-and-miss issues.
Tyler Wells, RHP, Twins (Rookie Elizabethton): 7 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 14 K. Wells signed for $90,000 as a 15th-round pick this summer out of Cal State San Bernardino, and just as he did last night, he’s missed plenty of bats in his pro debut. Wells is a mammoth 6-foot-8, 265 pound right-hander that fires from a high arm slot with improving velocity and a developing breaking ball. He’s very much a project, but a project with upside and the potential to be an intriguing arm.