Hitter of the Day:
Jose Marmolejos-Diaz, 1B, Washington Nationals (Double-A, Harrisburg): 5-6, 3 R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI
The Nationals Minor League Player of the year for both the 2015, and 2016 seasons, Jose is a natural hitter with a smooth left-handed stroke. While the power might not play to what you would expect it at 1B, his ability to hit and get on-base will surely find a way to the big leagues.
Pitcher of the Day:
Cionel Perez, LHP, Houston Astros (Low-A, Quad Cities): 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 10 K
Well it seems like he is acclimated. His above-average fastball/slider combination can have hitters looking foolish, but he is also an advanced strike-thrower. While he doesn’t project to add much given his age (21) and size (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) he still projects to have a major league future.
Other Notable Performances:
Eric Skoglund, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Triple-A, Omaha): 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
A big lefty (6-foot-7, 200 pounds), Skoglund is still the same gangly body he was since he was drafted in the third round in 2014. While his fastball is above-average, he has struggled to spin the ball consistently. His changeup is his best off-speed offering and gives him a chance as a swingman.
Taylor Widener, RHP, New York Yankees (High-A, Tampa): 5 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
The college reliever to professional starting pitcher has worked out well for Chance Adams, so why not Widener? A 12th-rounder in 2016 from South Carolina, Widener has flourished thus far in the rotation. His plus fastball is a true swing/miss offering, as well as his slider, though it can be inconsistent.
Felix Jorge, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Double-A, Chattanooga): 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 3 K
When I saw Felix last season, he looked the part of a back-end starter as he threw plenty of strikes with lots of different offerings. While he lacks the swing/miss breaking ball to be more than that, this is still a safe profile.
Mike Morrison, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Low-A, Kannapolis): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, SV
Things have been going smoothly for the former Chanticleer closer. Drafted in the 27th round in 2016, Morrison has done this in Kannapolis: 21 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 33 K. His fastball/curve combination has been taking care of business thus far, but needs to be seen against more stiff competiton.
Jake Gatewood, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers (High-A, Carolina): 3-4, R, 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI
After running up high strikeout rates in Low-A last season, Gatewood has lowered his strikeout rate thanks in part to corrective lenses and started to show off some of the massive raw power that made him a first-rounder. Unfortunately he is now a 1B, which puts even more pressure on the bat to succeed.
Brett Cumberland, C, Atlanta Braves (Low-A, Rome): 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Known more for his bat then his glove, this switch-hitting catcher features a keen eye with playable power and an advanced feel for hitting. His glove? Hey he’s a good hitter let’s focus on that!
Mickey Moniak, OF, Philadelphia Philles (Low-A, Lakewood): 2-3, 2 R, 3B, HR, RBI, 2 BB
Jeffrey Paternostro, while not harsh, wasn’t sure who was the number one overall pick between him and Daniel Brito. For more on Moniak, we will have a report soon.
Randy Arozarena, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (High-A, Palm Beach): 4-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Signed last summer from Cuba, Arozarena looks the part of a future leadoff hitter with his plus speed and ability to make hard solid contact. While it is a question mark as to how much power he will have and how well he transitions to center, it is off to a good start.
Blake Trahan, SS, Cincinnati Reds (Double-A, Pensacola): 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 K, SB
A high-energy player, Trahan exudes confidence and energy when he steps on the field. His plus-plus speed plays well up the middle, as well as on the bases. While his line-drive swing can work to all fields, he can get pull-happy and strike out a lot.
Miguel Andujar, 3B, New York Yankees (Double-A, Trenton): 3-3, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, SB
An exciting, toolsy player, Andujar has a lot of things to like. Plus raw power, a plus arm, plus speed, and plus bat speed. Still young, Andujar has time to figure things out, like how to use put all of his tools together to be a monster one day.
Nicky Lopez, SS, Kansas City Royals (High-A, Wilmington): 2-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, BB, SB, CS
A fifth-rounder in 2016 from Creighton, Lopez has showed off much more power in pro ball than he did in college. While not known for his power, Lopez has the makings of an average regular at shortstop. His plus arm, speed, and smooth hands all project him to stay at short and give him a high floor as a utility player.
Fight Another Day:
Reggie Lawson, RHP, San Diego Padres (Low-A, Fort Wayne): 1 1/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, K
Welcome to full-season ball kid. Taken in the Competitive Balance (B) round last season. Lawson looks the part (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) and has a super quick arm. At his best he can show an above-average to plus fastball, and his curveball which can elicit above-average grades.
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