Prospect of the Day:
Touki Toussaint, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome): 8 IP, ER, 4 H, 6 K, HRA.
On Monday, David Lee discussed Touki’s raw stuff in pornographic terms after catching a brief one-inning playoff tune-up, and the young right-hander carried over the nasty with a dominant post-season start against a very good lineup. Since the beginning of June he’s thrown 97 1/3 with a 2.59 ERA, 110 strikeouts, and just 71 hits allowed.
Others of Note:
Jake Cave, OF, New York Yankees (Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre): 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI. Cave does a lot of things well on the field, though below-average power is the thing standing between him and second-division starting potential. So nights at the dish like this are especially bueno for a guy like him.
Sean Newcomb, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 5 K, HRA. Newcomb has really struggled with his command lately, walking six in his last outing and issuing another three free passes yesterday amid bouts of wildness in and out of the zone. He feels like one of those dudes where it’s either going to click one day and he’ll up and turn into Jon Lester, or he’ll plod through a dozen-year career as one of the worst streaming options in your fantasy league.
Billy McKinney, OF, New York Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 2-3, BB, 2 2B, RBI. McKinney really struggled this year to produce consistently at Double-A, but he’s now logged four consecutive multi-hit games in the playoffs, which is perfect. Just perfect.
Jairo Beras, RF, Texas Ranger (High-A High Desert): 3-4, R, RBI. The old adage that “it’s a line drive in the box score tomorrow” comes into play here, as one of Beras’ hits was an infield nubber and another was a sawed-off flair to shallow right-center. But for the optimists among us, we can hang hats on the above-average 4.25 he ran to beat out that nubber, and he was able to flair that ball as far as shallow right-center only on account of the absurd hand and wrist strength that helps fuel his borderline-double-plus power. He really buries his weight on his back leg at load and hits uphill with loads of leverage, and it leaves an awful lot of doubt lingering about whether his hit tool will ever develop to a playable level.
Trevor Clifton, RHP, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 6 IP, 3 H, 5 K. I feel like I’ve written about Clifton in this space approximately 14,000 times this year, but dad gummit, he keeps forcing the issue. He’s made impressive strides this year in honing his command, and has now dropped ten consecutive quality starts with a strikeout an inning and just 42 hits allowed in over 60 innings during the run. Not a bad way to close out a season.
Jose Hernandez, RHP, Houston Astros (High-A Lancaster): 7 IP, R (0 ER), 6 H, K. I wrote up Hernandez in a last week’s Ten Pack, and have seen him two more times since, including one pretty terrible start last Thursday and then again last night. His command and sequencing was exquisite in this performance, as he stayed ahead of a very good High Desert lineup for three full turns and executed his pitches with precision pretty much all night long. The poor outing highlighted just how thin his margin for error will be as a short command righty. But his loose arm action and ability to repeat a low-maintenance delivery drive a really stellar feel for pitching that’s a lot of fun to watch when he’s got it going on.
Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 5 IP, 3 H, BB, 4 K. Yes, he’s been innings-limited, but it’s still notable that he’s given up two runs or fewer in 13 of his 14 starts (and three in the one he didn’t). The fastball, the easy delivery, the feel for spin… it’s all there.
Brendon Davis, SS/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3-5, R, RBI, K, SB. The Dodgers scooped up Davis in the fifth round last year with a signing bonus three times greater than the pick’s slot value after a broken wrist derailed his senior year in high school. He remains a fairly blank canvass a year and change later, mostly because his wiry, uber-projectable frame has only added about 20 percent of the strength it can and should over the next few years. He’s borderline as a shortstop already, and coupled with the impending size gains makes for a probable future third baseman. He’ll be a name to watch closely in the Dodgers’ system next year.
Ronald Acuna, CF, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome): 0-3, BB, R, K, 2 SB. Acuna has only managed to log 42 games around a broken wrist, but he’s come back and picked right up where he left off. The speed’ll be a thing to watch as he continues developing physically, but if it holds… well, come bask in his (potential) glory.