Hitter of the Day:
Eloy Jimenez, RF, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach): 2-4, R, HR, RBI
He’s baaaaaaaack. After losing out on the season’s first six weeks on account of a bum shoulder, the Cubs’ top prospect hasn’t missed a beat in going five for his first 11 with yesterday’s inaugural dinger. And it was a dinger, alright. This ball was, um, hit.
Pitcher of the Day:
Mitchell White, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga): 7 IP, ER, 3 H, 8 K
White’s been on a hard pitch count so far, so he hadn’t so much as seen the sixth inning, let alone the seventh. He did last night on account of supreme efficiency, as he recorded 21 outs on just 67 pitches. Visalia has a poor lineup, but White was on point from the jump, surrendering just one hit through six. When that cutter’s cutting he’s as tough as you’ll see at High A, and he’s now given up just seven earned runs in six non-at-Lancaster starts.
Others of Note:
Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, SB
Rosario’s early-season dominance can’t even be discounted by his launching pad of a home field, as he’s hitting .400 on the road so far. The rumblings are getting louder – it needs to be above the cacophony of burning dumpster and tears that the modern Mets make – and at this rate it should surprise nobody if he finds his way to Queens after a certain deadline passes in somewhere around a month’s time.
Tyler Wade, SS, New York Yankees (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre): 2-4, 2 BB, 3 R, HR, RBI, SB
Wade’s just a solid ballplayer, with good hand-eye and contact skills at the dish, excellent speed that plays on the bases, and defensive versatility (he’s logged action at five positions thus far on the short season). He’s got a hit in seven straight now, and is pretty well cooked as a minor leaguer at this point. He’s not yet on the 40-man roster, but that shouldn’t stop him from seeing time in the Bronx directly.
Chesny Young, IF, Chicago Cubs (Triple-A Iowa): 4-5, R, RBI, SB
Dude just keeps raking and forcing me to write about him in this space. He’s up to .300 now after a rough start, with three straight multi-hit games.
Ronald Acuna, CF, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 2-4, R, 2B, RBI, SB, CS
It’s a fun place to be when you can crack two hits in four at-bats and see your average go down. Nobody look at him right now, especially the pitchers out there. He’s absolutely terrifying.
Ariel Jurado, RHP, Texas Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 4 K
Jurado still struggles some to snap off a consistent breaking ball, and the lack of a true swing-and-miss secondary has caught up with him a bit at Double A thus far. He’s acquitted himself quite well for a 21-year-old in spite of this, however, as his fastball command and filthy cambio have been enough to keep hitters a step behind.
Ramon Laureano, OF, Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): 0-3, 3 K
I noted the other day how Laureano’s struggles this season have been surprising, and he continues to stumble around below the Mendoza Line. Most surprisingly, he hasn’t shown nearly the discerning eye he did last year, and that’s kind of a big deal reason for excitement about his profile. He is, of course, quite skilled, just 22, and in Double A, so there’s that whole “don’t panic!” thing.
Justin Donatella, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 7.1 IP, 2 R (ER), 2 H, 8 K, HRA
Donatella came out on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel with White, but the donut he put up in the “walks” column makes him a winner the game of life. He struggles to repeat his delivery and control the ball consistently, issuing 21 free passes in less than 30 frames entering this one.
Scott Blewett, RHP, Kansas City Royals (High-A Wilmington): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K
Potomac had been a singular thorn in Blewett’s side, kicking him around for 14 earned in three prior looks before he punched back yesterday. At 6-foot-6 he’s got a lot of body to corral, and between command questions and a lagging third pitch, he may ultimately profile out of a bullpen.
Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Baltimore Orioles (High-A Frederick): 4-5, 3 R, 3B, SB
Mountcastle is an aggressive hitter, but he’s also too good at hitting for the approach to matter much against High-A arms. Despite being one of the Carolina League’s youngest regulars, he’s currently sitting on the seventh-best OPS. It’s extremely unlikely his below-average arm plays on the left side at higher levels, but he can hit enough that the future defensive home may not matter all that much.
Hudson Potts, SS, San Diego Padres (Low-A Fort Wayne): 4-5, R, 3B, 2 RBI
The Padres were aggressive in dishing out full-season assignments to Potts and fellow 18-year-old Fernando Tatis, Jr. (three hits, triple, stolen base), and both had understandably struggled with the stick in the early going. Potts shows true across-the-board tools, with a solid hitting foundation, the frame to support solid-average game power, and a defensive profile that might push plus at third (if he ends up there). It’s liable to be a slow burn, but he’s going to be an interesting player to watch progress.
Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Low-A West Michigan): 6 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 8 K
Outside of one seven-run catastrophe, Funkhouser’s been pretty well dominant in his full-season debut. He was sitting mid-90s yesterday and bumping 97, which is up from the low-90s at last season’s end. He does not appear long for the Midwest League.