Hitter of the Day:
Monte Harrison, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (Low-A, Wisconsin): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
If it wasn’t for injuries, Harrison would be in a much higher level. But now that he is healthy, Harrison is showing off what made him so special. Plus runner, plus (to better) raw power, an arguably 80 arm, and a plus defender. He just needs more time at the plate and to stay healthy for it all to come together.
Pitcher of the Day:
Sandy Baez, RHP, Detroit Tigers (High-A, Lakeland): 7 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 11 K
While not young for the level, Baez has nonetheless struggled at High-A thus far. While he has a fastball that is a 70 offering, and can touch higher, the secondary offerings are still fringy as well as his command. It all worked for him tonight though.
Other Notable Performances:
Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros (Double-A, Corpus Christi): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
While Double-A hasn’t been the smoothest for the young Tucker, he looks to be making adjustments. At 20 years old, he still has time to make adjustments, and with the Houston OF looking ever so crowded, there is no need to rush him.
Patrick Mazeika, C, New York Mets (High-A, St. Lucie): 1-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K
Mazeika could be a plus hitter, he has bat speed and a solid LD stroke that works to all fields. But he isn’t a catcher, his fringe-average arm doesn’t play at the position, nor does he have the footspeed for an OF corner. But sometimes, guys hit their way to the big leagues, which is what Mazeika looks like he is going to do.
Kevin Newman, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (Double-A, Altoona): 2-6, 2 R, RBI
The man who I gave my highest hit tool grade to is making me look foolish for giving it to him. There was always a concern about how the lack of power would translate at higher levels. People I have talked to are concerned about how light the power is going to be, which puts all the pressure on his bat to perform.
Freudis Nova, SS, Houston Astros (Rookie, DSL Astros Orange): 2-3, 3 R, BB
Yes he is eons away, yes he was born in the year 2000, but I am primarily mentioning him because he signed for $1.2M, and he is a very toolsy player. Oh, I am also mentioning him before Wilson Karaman does. Muhahahahahaha
Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets (Triple-A, Las Vegas): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI
I haven’t mentioned this guy in a while. He has been performing well in Las Vegas. But unless a Lucas Duda sized roadblock moves out of the way, don’t expect to see him anytime soon
Austin Franklin, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Short-Season, Hudson Valley): 5 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 9 K
A 3rd rounder in 2016 from a small town in North FL, Franklin checks a lot of boxes of what you like to see out of high school right-handers. Feel for spin, athleticism, sound delivery, physicality. While a longer burn, he could make some noise in short-season this year.
Foster Griffin, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Double-A, NW Arkansas): 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, R, ER, BB, 6 K
The fastball velo is fringe-average, and the secondaries are no more than average, but he throws a lot of strikes and has sink on his fastball. That, in it of itself can be a tough profile to break in the major leagues.
Yohander Mendez, LHP, Texas Rangers (Double-A, Frisco): 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K
Was he really ready for the bigs last season? Maybe not, but it is good to see Mendez continue to get quality development to hone his fastball/changeup combination.
Dillon Tate, RHP, New York Yankees (High-A, Tampa): 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K
After missing time with a right-shoulder injury, Tate made his season debut a quality performance. Perhaps he was lauded too much in 2015, but this is still a quality arm who shows the advanced FB/SL combo that he did back then.
Matt Manning, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Short-Season, Connecticut): 4 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 9 K
Welcome to real baseball again Matt. Extended spring training can be a grind, glad to see you take your aggression out on someone else in a game that matters now.
Fight Another Day:
Will Benson, OF, Cleveland Indians (Short-Season, Mahoning Valley): 0-4, 3 K
It is certainly hard to miss Benson on a baseball field. At 6’5” 225 lbs., he looks the part, and is a quality athlete to boot. Featuring plus power, run, and arm grades, his defense is still a work in progress in the OF as he doesn’t have the cleanest, most accurate routes. There are concerns about his hit tool because he is so big and has longer levers than other guys.
Frank Duncan, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Triple-A, Reno): 3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Reno is definitely not an easy place to pitch, heck most of that league isn’t easy to pitch in. Moving on from that, Duncan lacks a third offering and looks more and more like just another generic reliever. Which is still a good find as a senior sign in the 13th round.
Thank you for reading
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