Editor’s Note: With the end of the full-season leagues, there will be an abbreviated slate for the remainder of the minor-league campaign.
Prospect of the (Truncated-Schedule) Day: Gavin Lux, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Rookie Ogden): 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI
The 20th-overall pick has taken quite the shining to Pioneer League pitching since his promotion last week, reaching base in all seven games and hitting at a cool .423 clip. The foundations of a strong, across-the-board shortstop are here, yearning to be free.
Others of Note:
Kevin Kramer, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 3-5, 2 R, 2 K. I was a big fan of Kramer at UCLA, where I saw him hit line drive after line drive in his draft year, and I remain a fan of the approach and bat-to-ball ability. Shoulder surgery robbed him of a true left-side arm, but he has a nose for the ball and sound fundamentals that can translate into solid defense at the keystone.
Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 8 K. Keller cruised through three innings after being staked to a 6-0 lead, but struggled with his command as the outing wore on, with all three walks (and three wild pitches, and a throwing error) condensed into the fourth and fifth frames. His scoreless innings streak may have ended at 33, but the fact that he made it up to High-A for a Game One playoff start speaks volumes, given the organization’s typically conservative promotion schedules.
David Thompson, 3B, New York Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 3-5, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI. Thompson’s youthful indiscretions included playing football, and that poor decision-making cost his body to the tune of several surgeries in college that kept his star from shining until his junior season. After a solid run in the Sally he struggled initially after a mid-season promotion to the FSL, but has had a nice down the stretch. That’s good, because the bat’s the thing for Thompson, whose fringy defensive profile at third will put pressure on him to produce at every level.
Jhailyn Ortiz, RF, Philadelphia Phillies (Rookie GCL Phillies): 3-4, 2 RBI, K. A large human that was given a large international bonus for his large (and potentially playable) power tool, Ortiz has surprising athleticism for his (massive) size. His big-league debut might coincide with the arrival of my AARP card, but there’s impact right-handed power potential here, and the chance it plays from the outfield instead of first base.
Ricky Aracena, SS, Kansas City Royals (Rookie Idaho Falls): 3-3, 2 BB, R, 2B, 3 RBI, SB, CS. A high six-figure bonus baby in 2014, Aracena’s calling card is his defense, which includes quality range and instincts at the six-spot and a primetime arm that pushes double-plus. The bat has a chance to be more than a zero, too, and if it starts to show in full-season ball next year it’d be enough to propel him into very interesting prospect territory.
Mitch Hansen, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (Rookie Ogden): 2-4, 2 BB, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K. Questions about Hansen’s playable power dogged him through an underwhelming pro debut, stemming from a flat swing plane, but reports suggest he’s made notable progress in adding torque and leverage this year, and the results have certainly been there. There’s no standout tool here, but there aren’t many holes, either.
Pedro Gonzalez, CF, Colorado Rockies (Rookie Grand Junction): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, K. Since it’s Rookie League Night here at BP, let’s talk about one of the rawest, projectablest question marks in any short-season affiliate the world over. Gonzalez’s bean-pole frame has at least hinted at starting to fill out, but there’s a long way left to go, and the finished product could look like just about anything. He has shown an athletic command of his frame to date, though the raw baseball skills haven’t really flashed more than sporadically. The Rockies have already moved him off the infield dirt, but there’s ostensibly above-average potential here down the line if it all comes together the way scouts project it will.
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