Hitter of the day

Trey Michalczewski, 3B, Chicago White Sox (Glendale Desert Dogs) 2-2, 2B. Michalczewski struggled mightily in 2016 as his contact rates collapsed and he was unable to tap into his raw power much in game. He has a strong frame that produces above-average raw but it won’t matter if he can’t hit the ball in the first place.

Pitcher of the day

Frankie Montas, RHP, Oakland Athletics (Mesa Solar Sox) 3 IP, 0 H, 0 RA, 0 BB, 5 SO. Command has always been the issue with Montas as his big, long frame and unathletic delivery made his mechanics difficult to repeat. Montas missed most of 2016 with an injury but he showed better control over a limited sting with the Dodgers Double-A and Triple-A squads when he returned. If Montas holds the command improvements there’s a shot he could earn a longer look in a starting role or thrive in a multi-inning relief role should the Athletics choose to go that route with the large righty.

Best of the Rest

Courtney Hawkins, OF, Chicago White Sox (Glendale Desert Dogs) 1-4, 2B, 2 SO. Hawkins’ second spin through Double-A was markedly worse than the first and well, there’s just not a lot of encouraging signs here.

DJ Stewart, OF, Baltimore Orioles (Peoria Javelinas) 1-2, 2 RS, BB. His swing gets rigid and there’s not much in the way of secondary skills here outside of some average raw power.

Carlos Tocci, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (Tigres de Aragua) 2-4, 2 RS. Another strong night for Tocci who should ride his contact skills and speed to a major-league role.

Justin Williams, OF, Tampa Bay Rays (Peoria Javelinas) 2-4, 3B. Williams is having a very strong AFL so far showcasing his barrel skills.

Ramon Laureano, OF, Houston Astros (Glendale Desert Dogs) 1-3, 2B. I’ve written this before but Laureano is a sneaky little prospect in a thick Astros system. Good contact skills, good defense, good fit as an extra outfielder.

Hunter Cole, OF, San Francisco Giants (Scottsdale Scorpions) 2-3. Like Laureano, Cole is also having a strong AFL. Good athlete, broad skill set.

Fight another day

Franklin Barreto, SS, Oakland Athletics (Mesa Solar Sox) 0-4, 2 SO. He’s had a few of these nights in the AFL. Long season for the talented shortstop so I wouldn’t read too much into the elevated strikeout rate quite yet.

Tyler O’Neill, OF, Seattle Mariners (Peoria Javelinas) 1-5, 3 SO. When you swing the bat like O’Neill does these kinds of nights will happen.

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