Prospect of the Day:
Nick Gordon, SS, Minnesota Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 5-for-5, 2 R, 3B
After a so-so—and that might be putting it nicely—2015 season, Gordon has shown why so many were so high on him in the 2014 draft this year. The hit tool is probably closer to above average than plus, but that will certainly play, especially when you combine it with his above-average speed and 55-grade glove. A superstar he will not be, but a solid regular at a premium position is a very valuable thing. Gordon can reach that level relatively easily.
Others of Note:
Raimel Tapia, OF, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque): 3-for-4, K, SB. If you thought he wouldn’t keep hitting upon a promotion to Triple-A, you must really not like Raimel Tapia. Why don’t you like Raimel Tapia?
Nate Smith, LHP, Los Angeles Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake City): 6 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. It’s been an inconsistent season for Smith, but with three average pitches and a plus change, there’s still a chance Smith is a back-end starter.
Gavin Cecchini, SS, New York Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-for-4, R, 2B. If Cecchini was already on the 40-man roster he’d already be up. At least I hope that’s why he’s not up. I don’t know what more he can do in Triple-A.
Cody Bellinger, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers (Double-A Tulsa): 4-for-4, 2 HR. Is Bellinger the best first-base prospect in baseball? No, because Dominic Smith. Bellinger might be a pretty close second, though, depending on your thoughts on Josh Bell. I like Josh Bell.
C.J. Hinojosa, SS, San Francisco Giants (Double-A Richmond): 3-for-4, HR. There’s nothing that really stands out about Hinojosa, but he’s shown a quality approach at the plate, and despite a lack of speed, he might be able to hold his own at third or second base, with the bat playing better at the latter position.
Gavin LaValley, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (High-A Daytona): 3-for-6, 3 R, 2B, HR. LaValley is massive (he played offensive line as a prep), and there is plus power in his right-handed bat. The question is how that power will play, and whether or not he’s a good-enough athlete to play in the field.
Spencer Turnbull, RHP, Detroit Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Turnbull missed the first few months of the season with shoulder issues. Since his return, he’s shown an above-average fastball that sits in the low 90s, and his slider has flashed above average. It’s just a matter of throwing strikes and staying healthy for him to become a back-end starter at some point.
David Thompson, IF, Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 2-for-5, R, 2B. It’d be very surprising if Thompson were a full-time third baseman, but with plus power from the right side and quality plate discipline, he could be a very nice corner-infield option off the bench. If everything goes right, he might even make sense as a DH.
Miguel Diaz, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. Diaz doesn’t have a third pitch and the control/command leave a lot to be desired. That being said, his fastball touches the mid 90s with loads of movement, and the slider is a solid second offering. He could be nasty in relief, but one cannot blame Milwaukee for giving him a chance to start.
Magneuris Sierra, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (Low-A Peoria): 4-for-4, 3 R, 2 2B, SB. I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I’d bet you one shiny nickel that Sierra is hitting at the top of the Cardinals lineup by 2018. I’m just kidding. I gamble quite a bit.
Eddy Martinez, OF, Chicago Cubs (Low-A South Bend): 2-for-4, R, K. Maybe this hasn’t been the breakout season so many (me) expected, but there have certainly been flashes this year for Martinez. His ceiling competes with that of any hitter in the Cubs system not named Eloy Jimenez.
Garrett Whitley, OF, Tampa Bay Rays (Short-season Hudson Valley): 4-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B. There’s a long way to go until Whitley is ready, but I’d take his upside over any hitter in the Tampa Bay Rays system. Yes, that includes Willy Adames.
Ricardo Cespedes, OF, Mets (Short-season Kingsport): 4-for-4, R, 2 2B. No relation, but Cespedes is like Yoenis in taht… well, they’re both outfielders. Ricardo has a chance to have average tools across the board, and he’s shown to be more advanced than some anticipated in 2016.
Aaron Civale, RHP, Cleveland (Short-season Mahoning Valley): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Cleveland’s third-round pick this June, Civale’s slider is nasty, and he’ll touch 94 mph with his above-average fastball while throwing strikes with those and two other average pitches.