Hitter of the Day:
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox (High-A Salem): 5-9, 2 BB, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K, E
It’s tough to overstate just how hot Chavis has been to start the season, as yesterday’s outburst in a double-header included his fifth multi-hit game in his last ten and raised his season’s line to .360/.440/.712 through 37 games. The former first-rounder started hot last year, too, before a thumb injury derailed his season. He’ll look to continue this round of early dominance after an inevitable promotion to Double A comes, likely on the sooner side of later at this rate.
Pitcher of the Day:
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte): 7 IP, 3 BB, 3 K
It’s been a tough start to the season for the one-time best pitching prospect in baseball, but his fastball command’s been coming around, as has a new slider, and he utilized both to induce a steady stream of poor contact last night to cap off a seven-inning no-hitter.
Other Prospects of Note:
Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics (Triple-A Nashville): 2-3, BB, R, HR, RBI, E
After a frustrating and delayed start to the year, Chapman has been positively crushing the ball after settling back into everyday play. He’s got six round-trippers in his last ten games to lift his slugging percentage north of .600. Trevor Plouffe’s been one of the worst hot corner defenders around this year while whiffing at 28-percent clip, so Chapman may just force an issue or two before long.
Ryan McMahon, INF, Colorado Rockies (Double-A Hartford): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI
As Derek Florko recently noted, McMahon’s swing spent some time wandering through inefficient waters last year, but he’s been much more consistent driving the baseball this year. And he’s done it while working in reps at both second base and first in addition to his standard home at the hot corner. A Brandon Drury-esque future may await.
Jose Rondon, SS, San Diego Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 4-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI
Nights like last night aren’t the norm for Rondon, who drank his first cup of coffee last year exclusively on the strength of his solid-average play at short. And it is the glove that is likely to be responsible for any future big-league caffeination.
Dakota Hudson, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 6 IP, ER, 7 H, 5 BB, K
Talk about a resilient effort. Hudson allowed 12 baserunners, but yielded just one lone run. Last year’s second-rounder can jostle himself out of mechanical rhythm from time to time, and yesterday’s start appeared to be time.
Juremi Profar, 3B, Texas Rangers (Double-A Frisco): 4-4, R, HR, 4 RBI
Don’t look now, but Jurickson’s little bro has been raking lately. He lacks the pure physical tools of his more-heralded sibling, but he’s got a similarly breadth of skill, and his simple stroke finds its way to a decent amount of quality contact.
Luis Martinez, RHP, Chicago White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 0.0 IP, 7 ER, 4 H, 3 BB
Yeesh, welcome to High A, Meat. Martinez has the potential for three average-or-better pitches, but his lanky 6-foot-6 frame can betray him, and yesterday he wore it about as hard as you can in his Carolina League debut. To better days…
Oscar De La Cruz, RHP, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach) 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 10 K, HRA
You can project both his fastball and curve to plus if you’re an optimist, and on nights when he has both working you can project a back-end starter, too.
Peter Lambert, RHP, Colorado Rockies (High-A Lancaster): 8 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 8 H, BB, 3 K, HRA
How one manages to post this kind of line on a nippy night when the winds are howling at Lancaster is beyond me, but Lambert managed to post his fourth straight quality start in spite of the inhospitable environs. I stand by my Andrew Moore comp for Lambert as a boring-but-effective pitchability right-hander who can have himself a long career if everything breaks reasonably well for him.
Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Minnesota Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 4 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K
Lest ye forgot during his prolonged Tommy John recovery, the Aussie has already twice cracked the BP101, having done so in both 2014 and ’15. And so far so good in his two starts since returning to the mound. Pre-surgery, he showed the makings of three swing-and-miss pitches among his four-pitch arsenal, and there’s still a top-half-of-the-rotation ceiling here if the recovery proves a successful one.
Jorge Mateo, SS/CF, New York Yankees (High-A Tampa): 4-7, BB, R, 2 2B, 2 3B, SB, K
After a benign start Mateo has picked it up in May as you’d hope he would in his third look at FSL pitching. His monster top line this month does come with a rather spectacularly offensive ratio of 27 strikeouts to one walk in less than a hundred plate appearances. It’s probably nearing time for the Yankees to see what he can do against Double-A pitching, but the shine’s come pretty far off as things stand today.
Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome): 6 IP, H, BB, 11 K
Were it not for the pizazz and allure of the no-hit demarcation, Anderson’d have earned easy top billing for yesterday’s nastiness. He remains certainly more raw than some other teenaged Brave wunderkinds, but starts like yesterday’s give you a glimpse at the potential in the right arm of last year’s third overall pick.
T.J. Friedl, CF, Cincinnati Reds (Low-A Dayton): 4-12, 3 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 2 K
Great Lakes and Dayton played 13 innings of scoreless baseball on Wednesday, before a rain delay forced suspension and resolution yesterday. Friedl knocked an ice-breaking dinger in the 16th of that game, before crushing two more in the nightcap. He boasts one of the weirder professional origin stories in the game, and has done little other than rake in his time since. A quality approach and plus speed bode well for the offensive profile of a table-setting regular in center field.
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