Hitter of the Day:
Zack Collins, C, Chicago White Sox (High-A, Winston-Salem): 2-3, R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K
Drafted in the first round in 2016 from the University of Miami (FL). Collins has hit a roadblock in High-A, working deep counts, but striking out a lot, making a detriment of his patience at times. He still has an OBP of over .380, and is slugging over .440. Reports on his catching seem mixed as he can struggle with receiving and lacks overall athleticism behind the plate.
Pitcher of the Day:
Luis Castillo, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Double-A, Pensacola): 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 13 K
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in December 2011. Castillo blew up last season, and was so good that he was traded twice! Owner of an 80-grade FB, Castillo has improved the quality of his secondaries to the point where hitters who are cheating on the heat will now look foolish once he drops something else.
Other Notable Performances:
Jahmai Jones, OF, Los Angeles Angels (Low-A, Burlington): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI, K
Drafted in the 2nd round in 2015 from Wesleyan HS in Norcross, GA. It was jokingly assumed that whoever the Angels drafted 10th overall (Jo Adell in this case) would become the top prospect. Did I say Angels? I meant Marlins.
Jose Miguel Fernandez, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers (Double-A, Tulsa): 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI
Signed out of Cuba in February 2017. The Dodgers have been super aggressive in signing players from Cuba to much success (see Yadier Alvarez), or to much failure (see Erisbel Arruebarrena, Hector Olivera). Fernandez offers quality contact skills and enough glove-work to profile at either 2B or 3B.
Marten Gasparini, OF, Kansas City Royals (Low-A, Lexington): 2-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, CS
Signed out of Italy in July 2013. Signed for a record amount for a European player ($1.3M), Gasparini has sputtered thus far. While he has a 70-run tool and has gotten positive reviews for his OF work, he hasn’t been able to make contact at the plate and has struggled with his pitch recognition.
Brett Cumberland, C, Atlanta Braves (Low-A, Rome): 3-4, 3 R, 2B, 4 RBI, BB
Drafted in the Competitive Balance (B) Round in 2016 from Cal-Berkeley. Because my joke from three weeks ago is still funny, I will just repeat it. “His glove? Hey he’s a good hitter let’s focus on that!”
Jorge Alfaro, C, Philadelphia Phillies (Triple-A, Lehigh Valley): 3-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
One would think that with the Super 2 deadline seemingly coming up, Alfaro would be the next to get a callup. At this point, it is time to see how his aggressive approach works in the big leagues.
Ben Rortvedt, C, Minnesota Twins (Low-A, Cedar Rapids): 2-4, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI
Drafted in the 2nd round in 2016 from Verona Area HS in Verona, Wisconsin. Full-season ball has proved to be a struggle, which might have been an overall aggressive assignment in his first full season. While still lean and wiry, he needs to fill out in order to add strength and power to his game.
Adonis Medina, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Low-A, Lakewood): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in May 2014. Medina might be slight of size, but that hasn’t stopped him from pitching well at every level thus far. His fastball has above-average life, which makes it hard for hitters to square up and lift. His secondary offerings still need some work as they can flash average, but are inconsistent at present.
A.J. Alexy, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A, Great Lakes): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
Drafted in the 11th round in 2016 from Twin Valley HS in Elverson, PA. A projectable HS kid, Alexy wowed Dodgers personnel so much that he broke camp with the Great Lakes club. His curveball is his best offering, garnering plus ratings from evaluators I spoke to. His fastball is a fringe-average offering at present, but is projectable and lean, holding out hope that he can add a few ticks later.
Patrick Weigel, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A, Gwinnett): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K
Drafted in the 7th round in 2015 from the University of Houston (TX). Once he was able to work his way into a rotation in pro ball, Weigel has taken off. The fastball can play to 65 and he is able to generate quality downhill plane with his size. The secondary offerings are inconsistent, and will need to improve before he sees the show.
Joey Wentz, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A, Rome): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
Drafted in the Competitive Balance (A) round in 2016 from Shawnee Mission East HS in Kansas City, KS. Wentz is the love-child of Jeffrey Paternostro. Once Sean Newcomb exhausts his prospect status, Wentz will fill the 6’5” void in his heart effortlessly.
J.D. Hammer, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Low-A, Asheville): 2 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Drafted in the 24th round in 2016 from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. Before this outing, Hammer had an ERA of 1.00 and was making quick work of A ball hitters. Sadly, he does not throw a hammer breaking ball. *sad face emoji*
Fight Another Day:
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox (High-A, Salem): 0-4, 3 K
Sometimes, when you are reading about yourself and your great performance from the other day on Baseball Prospectus; hitting a baseball is hard.
Melvin Adon, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Low-A, Augusta): 4 1/3 IP, 10 H, 11 R, 7 ER, BB, 4 K
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in February 2015. Adon, like former Giant signee Luis Castillo, has an 80-grade fastball. Unlike Castillo, Adon lacks command or an average secondary offering.