Hitter of the Day:
Sam Travis, 1B, Boston Red Sox (Triple-A, Pawtucket): 5-6, R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, K
An unfortunate ACL injury last May ended his season when Travis looked to be knocking on the door for some big-league time. Back healthy, Travis had a slow April but has turned it on in May. While the power might not play as a plus offering, it should still result in 10-15 home runs with lots of doubles in Fenway.
Pitcher of the Day:
Cody Reed, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Low-A, Kane County): 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 9 K
This Cody Reed (not to be confused with the likewise large and left-handed one in Cincinnati) is doing what he did last year in Low-A: dominate. Unfortunately he ran into the Visalia desert last season, as well as dead-arm last July. His changeup is his best offering, but his lack of fastball velocity might hurt him at his next level.
Other Notable Performances:
Cooper Hummel, C, Milwaukee Brewers (High-A, Carolina): 3-3, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, BB
With the High-A team as an “insurance” catcher, Hummel was activated for today’s game and fell a single short of the cycle. A drink to you, good sir.
Austin Hays, OF, Baltimore Orioles (High-A, Frederick): 4-6, R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, K
Hays will show five tools, with a plus arm and plus speed being the best of them. His short swing, bat speed, and overall strength should also allow him to tap into his average in-game power.
Blake Perkins, OF, Washington Nationals (Low-A, Hagerstown): 4-5, 4 R, 2 2B, 3B
Known more for his defensive skills, Perkins has been quite raw with the bat offensively, and given his narrow frame it’s a question how much power he will have. His plus speed plays well on the bases, as well as in the field.
David Thompson, 3B, New York Mets (Double-A, Binghamton): 3-4, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI
Thompson has plus-to-better raw power, but has serious concerns about what else he can provide. He is a bottom-of-the-scale runner, with a below-average arm and a below-average glove at third base. So while the power is nice, you’re looking at a first base-only player who has struggled to hit.
Jahmai Jones, OF, Los Angeles Angels (Low-A, Burlington): 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 3B
Jones has struggled mightily in his initial foray into full-season ball, struggling to make contact while striking out over 30 percent of the time. The athletic tools are still there, including plus speed, plus defense, and plus raw power, but this is going to be a long-baking cake, not a microwave one.
Brandon Woodruff, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (Triple-A, Colorado Springs): 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
Last year’s minor-league strikeout leader has been doing just as well in his foray with Triple-A. His fastball is a plus all-around pitch as it has plus velo, movement, and command. His slider is his out pitch, which is an above-average-to-better offering. Given the state of the big-league pitching staff, expect Woodruff in the majors this year.
Forrest Whitley, RHP, Houston Astros (Low-A, Quad Cities): 5 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 6 K
The Astros have monitored Whitley’s pitch count and innings count this season, hence his low amount at this point. But be patient. It will be worth the wait.
Eric Lauer, LHP, San Diego Padres (High-A, Lake Elsinore): 7 IP, 4 H, R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
From Wilson Karaman: “First-pitch strikes to 20 of 24, putting the FB where he wants it, working north-south, quality CH. Really been doin' work."
Garrett Williams, LHP, San Francisco Giants (Low-A, Augusta): 5 IP, 5 H, R, 0 ER, BB, 4 K
A hard-thrower who had troubles throwing strikes for the University of Oklahoma? Where have I heard this before? The first act (Garrett Richards) worked out well, we are watching the second act (Alec Hansen) unfold, and are waiting for the upcoming sequel with Williams. His fastball/curveball are plus pitches, but he struggled with his control in college and might fit best in a bullpen.
Ryan Borucki, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (High-A, Dunedin): 5 1/3 IP, 6 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Borucki has a long medical history including Tommy John surgery in 2012, and elbow and shoulder problems in 2015. Healthy, Borucki has been competing well in High-A, showing off his plus changeup and his above-average fastball.
Zack Littell, RHP, New York Yankees (High-A, Tampa): 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Working with plus control and an above-average curve, both of these things help to make up for Littel's pedestrian fastball velocity. While only 88-91 mph, he can spot it well and stands out for his ability to sequence and pitch.
Touki Toussaint, RHP, Atlanta Braves (High-A, Florida): 6 IP, 4 H, R, ER, BB, 8 K
The most surprising thing thus far about Touki season? Not the 6.92 ERA, not the 1.31 WHIP, or 11 K/9. No, it’s the 2.9 BB/9. WATCH OUT, TOUKI IS THROWING STRIKES!
Fight Another Day:
Patrick Weigel, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A, Gwinnett): IP, 7 H, 8 ER, K, 2 HRA
Suffice it to say, but Weigel has not transitioned well to Triple-A.