Prospect of the Day:
Sam Pastrone, RHP, Los Angeles Angels (Short-Season Orem): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
The Angels took Pastrone in the 17th round of the 2015 draft, and while there’s a long way to go, it does appear he was quite the coup that late. Despite a smallish frame, he’ll touch the high 90s with his fastball, and his curveball has considerable progress. The change also has its moments, and when he stays on top of the delivery, there’s some fade to it; it’ll be a solid big-league offering. There aren’t any red flags in the delivery, but he’s still learning the “finer” points of pitching, so the command comes and goes. If it can come more often than it goes, Pastrone has a chance to pitch in the big leagues someday in the not-so-distant future.
Others of Note:
Carlos Asuaje, 2B/3B, San Diego Padres (Triple-A El Paso): 2-for-2, 2 R, HR, BB. Wanna hear something interesting? Of course you do. I had a source with the Padres say that they believe Asuaje is the second-best player they received in the Craig Kimbrel trade. That may not seem like much, but Javier Guerra was in that trade, so it is saying quite a bit, even with Guerra’s struggles in 2016.
Manuel Margot, OF, Padres (Triple-A El Paso): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 3B. This is still the best prospect the Padres acquired in the Craig Kimbrel trade.
Chris Ellis, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K. Hey, that’s two guys giving up no hits in playoff games. That’s a lot of fun. Pastrone wins prospect of the day for two reasons: 1) he didn’t walk anyone and 2) this means nothing. Sorry.
Ryan O’Hearn, 1B, Kansas City Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas): 3-for-4, K. A week or so ago, we talked about how O’Hearn’s power is going to have to carry him to the bigs, as the hit tool is lacking. Then he does something like this and changes EVERYTHING. Okay, it doesn’t change much, but it’s nice to see success.
Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cleveland (Double-A Akron): 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. Kaminsky was a first-round pick back in 2013, and although his stock has dropped pretty much every year since, he’s still interesting. The curveball is maddeningly inconsistent, but it flashes plus, and there are three other pitches that will show 50-grade potential, including an 88-92 mph fastball. He’s never going to miss a ton of bats, but the command is just good enough to allow him to pitch every fifth day. Probably.
Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland (HIgh-A Lynchburg): 2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, K. So, here’s the question: When do we see Mejia in Cleveland? Is it next year? That would be an aggressive jump. So, 2018? I just wonder, if he’s still doing this offensively, how you can keep him back.
Donnie Dewees, OF, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 3-for-5, R. It’s probably easier to focus on what Dewees can’t do than what he can. He can’t throw; the arm is 30 at best. He probably can’t hit for power because of his slight build and swing plane. What he can do, however, is hit, run, and field. He hits, runs, and fields well enough that those “weaknesses” don’t really matter. Dewees is a high-floor, medium-high-ceiling player who should move quickly through the Chicago system.
Luiz Gohara, LHP, Seattle Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 3.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K. I try to keep things positive in the MLU, but Gohara was the best pitching prospect throwing today, so we have to harp on the negative for a little bit. He’s improved by leaps and bounds in 2016, but he’s still only a teenager, and this is an unfriendly reminder that there’s work to be done before he’s ready to pitch in Seattle.
Luis Liberato, OF, Mariners (Low-A Clinton): 3-for-5, R. Ever since I lamented picking Liberato to break out in 2016, he’s been killing the ball. It’s not too late, Luis. Keep on keeping on.
Ian Kahaloa, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Short-season Billings): 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Kahaloa is far from a finished product, but scouts have been very impressed with how advanced his stuff is, and with a 92-94 mph fastball and a slider with hard tilt, he’s flashing two plus pitches. If the change can be even average, he’s a potential mid-rotation starter, especially when you consider how advanced the control is.