Prospect of the Weekend:
Ryan McMahon, 3B/1B/2B, Rockies (Triple-A, Albuquerque): 9-15, 3 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 K.
After plenty of in-person looks at McMahon last summer in Hartford, I only caught him twice before his promotion, and he certainly appeared to have made strides with consistent hard contact despite an aggressive approach. That trend has continued in a brief stint at Triple-A, and when you add in some newfound defensive versatility, he could be an interesting option for a contending Rockies club down the stretch.
Friday, June 16th
Osvaldo Abreu, SS/2B, Nationals (Double-A, Harrisburg): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, K.
Abreu’s bat continues to come up short of the mark to project him as an everyday player, but with his slick glove and strong arm, he has the potential to play multiple infield positions at a high level. When combined with above-average speed and some base stealing ability, Abreu’s glove could land him in the big leagues, regardless of his offensive output.
Troy Montgomery, OF, Angels (High-A, Inland Empire): 3-5, 2 R, 3B, RBI, K.
Montgomery received a six-figure bonus as an eighth-round pick out of Ohio State last year and he hit well across two levels in his debut campaign. Back in Low-A Burlington to start the year, Montgomery improved his on-base and slugging percentages considerably, earning a promotion to High-A where he hit some bumps in the road. A gifted runner that can show 70-grade times down the line, Montgomery can play all three outfield slots while working counts, making decent contact, and displaying gap power.
Scott Blewett, RHP, Royals (High-A, Wilmington): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 3 BB, 10 K.
Popped in the second round in 2014, Blewett continues to work his way through the Royals system as a physical right-hander with occasionally impressive stuff. At his best, Blewett can show a 93-95 mph fastball with excellent angle and life, but both his curveball and changeup remain inconsistent and are the primary reason he has not found more frequent minor league success.
JoJo Romero, RHP, Phillies (Low-A, Lakewood): 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 10 K.
I mentioned Romero a couple of weeks ago, citing my intrigue after seeing him in the NYPL last summer. Well, he’s at it again, and I remain intrigued.
Saturday, June 17th
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies (High-A, Lancaster): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI.
To be honest, it would have felt weird to recap an entire weekend without mentioning Rodgers.
Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds (Low-A, Dayton): 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K.
As a 19-year-old in the Midwest League, Trammell has impressed with his hitting ability, knack for working counts, intriguing power potential, and raw speed. He’s a gifted athlete with a wealth of tools, and I’m still hoping to catch him in person when I tour a handful of Midwest League parks later this summer.
Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians (Double-A, Akron): 3-5, R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI.
The path from high school first baseman drafted in the third round to big league success is an awfully difficult one. Bradley has the impressive raw power to make the profile work, but his propensity to swing and miss against all varieties of pitches leaves may scouts questioning his ability to find success at the game’s highest level.
Scott Kingery, 2B, Phillies (Double-A, Reading): 3-5, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K, SB.
Kingery has certainly slowed since his blazing performance in April and May, but he continues to find success and convert more and more scouts of his big-league potential.
Luis Liberato, OF, Mariners (High-A, Modesto): 4-5, 3 R, 2B, K.
Despite lackluster numbers in Low-A, the Mariners promoted Liberato to High-A over the weekend, and he didn’t skip a beat in his debut performance on Saturday. A natural left-handed hitter, Liberato can make easy contact with above-average speed that gives him a chance to play center field and hit toward the top of the lineup.
Telmito Augustin, OF, Nationals (Low-A, Hagerstown): 3-4, R, 2 RBI.
Augustin has done precisely what the Nationals wanted when they sent him back to the South Atlantic League after struggling in High-A; meaning all he’s done is rake in 16 games since his demotion. He’ll get another shot in Potomac before the year is out, and with his baseball ability and feel for the game, I wouldn’t be surprised if that turn goes much better.
Aaron Civale, RHP, Indians (High-A, Lynchburg): 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 2 HRA.
I saw plenty of Civale—as both a starter and reliever—at Northeastern and I wish I could tell you I saw this level of success coming. With a low-90s fastball and filthy slider, Civale can carve up inexperienced hitters before even thinking about employing his developing changeup or curveball. Civale has back-end starter potential and could move quickly through the Indians system.
Casey Meisner, RHP, Athletics (High-A, Stockton): 8 IP, H, R, 0 ER, BB, 7 K.
Meisner still shows electric stuff, including a mid-90s fastball and potential above-average changeup, but he continues to struggle with command and his curveball lags behind his other two pitches. He’s going to get a shot beyond High-A at some point, possibly even this season, but he will need improved command to have a chance against more advanced hitters.
Gavin LaValley, 1B, Reds (High-A, Daytona): 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, K.
LaValley has had an impressive first half this year, slugging 15 home runs in 58 games after ripping only eleven bombs in 92 games at the same level last year. Well, he pounded out two more on Saturday in the Florida State League All-Star Game, and could be looking at a second half promotion to Double-A.
Sunday, June 18th
Victor Robles, OF, Nationals (High-A, Potomac): 2-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB.
I really don’t have much else to say about Robles at this point…
Travis Blankenhorn, 3B/2B, Twins (Low-A, Cedar Rapids): 4-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI.
Blankenhorn has torn the cover off the ball since the calendar turned to June with five triples and four home runs, and hitting over .300 in just 17 games, flashing the offensive potential that has enticed scouts to push for him as a high-round pick in 2015.
Austin Hays, OF, Orioles (High-A, Frederick): 5-5, 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI.
The Orioles have wasted no time pushing Hays through their system, jumping him straight to High-A in his first full season as a professional, and Hays has done his part to make them look smart. A natural hitter with above-average power and speed, Hays has a chance to be a dynamic two-way player whether he plays center or right field long term.
Isaac Paredes, SS, Cubs (Low-A, South Bend): 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB.
Paredes is an interesting young infielder with good hands in the field and a chance to stick at shortstop despite his lack of a prototypical frame for the position. He generates good bat speed at the plate and a knack for making contact, giving him a chance to hit for average and some gap power. Paredes is going to spend the year in Low-A, and could even return there next year to polish his game, all while still being a teenager.
Jon Harris, RHP, Blue Jays (Double-A, New Hampshire): 0.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R/ER, 0 BB, 0 K.
I was there and this was about as ugly as it looks on paper. Harris gave up four doubles, a triple, and three singles in between the first and second outs of the game.
Aaron Bummer, LHP, White Sox (Double-A, Birmingham): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
Despite the inherent flaws in relief prospects, Bummer should be on your radar. After bouncing back from 2015 Tommy John surgery, he’s on the bump and pumping 93-95 mph heat consistently, reaching as high as 98-99 mph from the left side. Bummer has enough of a breaking ball—a slurvy curveball with solid movement—to keep hitters honest, and the two-pitch combo could be enough for him to pitch in high leverage situations.