Hitter of the Day:
Mike Gerber, RF, Detroit Tigers (Double-A Erie): 4-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Gerber’s been prone to this kind of outburst this season, and it jives with his boom-bust offensive approach. He whiffs a too much for a kid with fringy game power, but he also does a lot of things decently enough that the sum of the parts adds up to a probable big-league asset.
Pitcher of the Day:
Jesus Tinoco, RHP, Colorado Rockies (High-A Lancaster): 7 IP, H, 4 K
One of the raw lumps of clay Colorado got from Toronto in the Tulo deal, Tinoco retired the first 20 batters he faced in Lancaster before Eric Filia broke up his perfect game in the seventh. More notably for the long term, he was working 93-95 with plane all night and bumping 97, while commanding both a slider and change in the high 80s. This a mere nine months after sitting 85-87 with his fastball after arriving in the Cal last August. That right there? That’s my one raised eyebrow.
Others of Note:
Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham): 2-4, R, HR, RBI, K, E
Despite his sixth error of the young season, reports trickling out of Carolina indicate an increasing degree of confidence that Adames can adeptly handle the six spot at the highest level. The production has been a bit uneven in the early going, but the ingredients of a plus hit tool with some interesting pop haven’t gone anywhere.
Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham): 6 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 8 H, 10 K
After earning a quick bump up to Triple A after beginning the season in the Southern League, Honeywell has continued to post sweet numbers through five starts. He’s been a bit more hittable, but 32 whiffs to just five walks across his first 26.2 innings underscores that the stuff is still playing quite well against the most advanced hitters the minor leagues have to offer, and to boot he’s currently doing it with #moxie:
Honeywellian exchange in 2nd: quick pitches Ronny Rodriguez inside, Ks with screwgie, stares him down. Rodriguez didn't appreciate any of it
Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley): 4-5, R, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI
As a general rule of thumb, I try not to pay attention to production much at all when evaluating prospects until they’ve reached at least Double A, and if their Double-A home field happens to be Reading, I wait until Triple A. Well, Hoskins just keeps right on raking regardless of where he is, and it’s probably time to start paying more attention.
Ryan Merritt, LHP, Cleveland Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 6.1 IP, ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 7 K, HRA
Merritt introduced himself to the world last October when he filled in for Cleveland’s destructified rotation with four nails innings in Game 5 of the ALCS to propel his franchise on to the World Series. Excellent control and two solid secondaries continue to prop up the profile of a useful piece of rotation depth, though his Weaverian fastball probably precludes a consistent big-league role.
Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (Triple-A Memphis): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, K
Stephen Pisco-…er, Bader had himself a ballgame last night, continuing an early-season trend of lifting the ball more often. There but by the grace of 40-man designation requirements, he may very well be in the bigs already. As is, he’ll be there soon.
Erick Fedde, RHP, Washington Nationals (Double-A Potomac): 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, 7 K
Outside of one terrible fourth inning against Trenton two turns ago, Fedde has been consistently and methodically chewing his way through Double-A lineups all spring. Joe Ross and Austin Voth probably still outflank him on Washington’s high-minors depth chart, but he’s going to start forcing the issue for consideration sooner than later at this rate.
Jahmai Jones, CF, Anaheim Angels (Low-A Burlington): 3-4, BB, 2B, SB
Jones’ compact, athletic frame looks more the part of the football players that dot the rest of his familial landscape, but his renowned makeup gives him a better opportunity than most to translate that physicality into actualized baseball tools.
Jasrado Chisholm, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (Low-A Kane County): 3-6, BB, R, 2 2B, RBI, 2 SB, K
Chisholm’s not here to talk about his bat, which makes a good day on offense better than most days when his groovy glove is charged with carrying the profile.
Oneil Cruz, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3-9, 4 R, HR, 3 RBI, K
Described by prospect team member Emmett Rosenbaum as “one of the weirdest things I’ve seen” Cruz is a gangly 6-foot-6, 175-pound shortstop. After turning heads at the Dodgers’ DSL affiliate last summer, he’s been adjusting as you might expect for an 18-year-old navigating his stateside and full-season debut. While he’s highly unlikely to stick at short as he fills out, the profile’s still intriguing at third. More from Emmett: “The power is definitely real, he [shows] some pretty impressive strength given how little his body is filled out.”
Justin Maese, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 9 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 7 K
Complete games aren’t exactly the norm for Midwest League pitchers in early May, and yesterday’s outing marked the third in a row in which Maese has completed at least seven frames. He’s an athletic specimen – a former high school quarterback! – who has shown the ability to run it up into the mid-90s with hard run from a lower three-quarter slot. If he’s to fulfill his apparent bullpen destiny, it certainly won’t be for wont of durability.
Jorge Ona, RF, San Diego Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 3-3, 2B, 5 RBI
Working around a strained quad that put him on the shelf for a couple weeks, Ona has shown a good stick in his stateside debut so far. What he’s lacked in patience he’s made for in hard contact, and he remains one of the most intriguing bats in a system that is…it’s just loaded.