Prospect of the Day:
Andrew Moore, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Double-A Jackson): 9 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
Moore took a perfecto into the seventh, and once again the former Oregon State Beaver was efficient as can be. There’s nothing overpowering about his stuff, but he locates four pitches that flash at least average, and a few reports have given the change a plus grade. If you are expecting him to miss a ton of bats at the big-league level, you’re gonna have a bad time, but a guy who throws a ton of strikes from a clean delivery and induces just enough weak contact to pitch every fifth day is certainly a plausible outcome. You could do worse.
Others of Note:
Yandy Diaz, 3B, Cleveland (Triple-A Columbus): 4-for-5, 2 R, HR. Yandy has been dandy this season at both Double and Triple-A, showing three above-average tools and just enough power to make you believe he’s a corner infielder. Even if the power were a 20, he might be worth starting at third, because the glove and arm both have a chance to be very impressive.
Jordan Montgomery, LHP, New York Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Since being promoted to Triple-A, Montgomery has given up just 31 hits in 44 innings, while walking just 12 and striking out 42. Oh, and his ERA is below 1.00 in that stretch. Do not be shocked if he’s starting games for the Yankees next season.
Corey Toups, IF, Kansas City Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-for-4, 4 R, 2 HR. A 15th-round selection out of the mighty Sam Houston State two years ago, Toups doesn’t have a standout tool, but everything but the power has a chance to be average. I know that’s weird to say after I just wrote two HR, but trust me, it’s the weak link. With four other average tools, he could be a nice utility infielder—maybe even a starting second baseman if everything goes swimmingly.
Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B, Washington Nationals (High-A Potomac): 3-for-4, 2B. Gutierrez has struggled a bit since his promotion to the Carolina League, but he was outstanding in Hagerstown. Both the hit and power tool have a chance to be average, and his strong throwing arm along with good enough range should allow him to stay on the hot corner.
Trevor Clifton, RHP, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Dylan Cease is the Cubs best pitching prospect, but Clifton isn’t far behind at no. 2. He doesn’t throw as hard as Cease, but he does have a plus fastball along with an above-average curveball. The change and control both have taken steps forward this year as well, so there’s a good chance Clifton is pitching in the Cubs’ rotation at some point in the next couple of seasons, most likely 2018.
Luis Liberato, OF, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 2-for-5, R, 2 K. It was not the breakout season of Liberato that so many (me) predicted, but it certainly wasn’t a bad year. He still has a plus arm in right and posts above-average run times, and his feel for hitting is still advanced for a 20-year-old without a ton of experience. There’s plenty of work to be done, but in a system lacking offensive upside, Liberato does provide some.
Nick Neidert, RHP, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. And speaking of the Mariners and lacking upside, Nick Neidert, folks. The Mariners took Neidert one round above Moore, and while he doesn’t have anywhere near Moore’s polish, he does have better stuff. The fastball and curve both flash plus, and he’ll show an average slider with excellent control of all three pitches. The command is behind the control, but assuming that catches up, he has a chance to be a no. 3 starter.
Riley Pint, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Short-season Grand Junction): 3.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. I got a chance to talk to a source who saw Pint pitch, and the report lined up with what we’ve seen for Pint since he was drafted. There are moments of brilliance, and there are moments that remind you there is a long, long way to go.
Mitchell Hansen, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (Short-season Ogden): 4-for-4, 3 R, 2B. Hansen wasn’t ready for professional baseball in 2015 after being drafted in the second round, and the Dodgers decided to hold him back until short-season ball started this year. It appears to have been a wise decision. He’s shown above-average power from the left side, and the hit tool should get to 50-grade in time. He’s still a work-in-progress with the glove, but he’s an above-average runner who can make a difference on the bases, so the bat just might play well enough for him to stick in left