Hitter of the Day:
Bobby Bradley, 1B, Cleveland Indians (Double-A Akron): 3-5, 3 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI
As appears to be his wont, Bradley got off to a slow start this season before rounding into form in May and destroying the moon and the stars this month. After posting an absurd 48-percent Three True Outcome rate last year, he’s pushing 40 percent again this season. With nothing else going for him in the tools department, his bat will take him wherever he ends up – which at this rate might just be the middle of Cleveland’s order in about three years.
Pitcher of the Day:
Shawn Morimando, LHP, Cleveland Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 9 IP, 5 H, 12 K
Something in the way I move my internet pen across the page…For the second time in three starts Morimando twirled a complete-game shutout, and as the luck of the draw would have it, I’ve been on duty here for both of ‘em. He’s not going to wow you with stuff, and yesterday’s dozen whiffs were out of character, even against a squad as whiff-happy as Charlotte. But he’s already tasted a cup of big-league coffee, and seems well on his way to another sip or three.
Other Prospects of Note:
Brett Phillips, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 4-7, BB, 3 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 2K
Sure, his big-league debut wasn’t exactly the stuff of legend, but Phillips has continued to pound on the door since his return trip to Colorado Springs. Swing-and-miss has been an ongoing issue in the high minors, and with seven strikeouts in 10 big-league at-bats highlighting the issue it’s pretty clear what the path forward needs to be for him.
Lewis Brinson, CF, Milwaukee Brewers (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 3-9, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, SB, K
Sure, his big-league debut wasn’t exactly the stuff of legend, but Brinson…you get the idea. He can be a star, though. Don’t ever forget that.
Zack Littell, RHP, New York Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 6 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 10 K
Littell commands the hell out of a 45-velocity fastball, and the package plays up with advanced sequencing and an ability to throw all three secondaries for strikes. Despite unspectacular raw stuff he utterly dominated the Florida State League and has shown no signs of slowing down in either of his two starts now at Double A.
Monte Harrison, CF, Milwaukee Brewers (High-A Carolina): 3-6, BB, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, K
All of the Brewers. It’s taken a hot minute, in no small part due to injuries, but the former second-rounder has finally shown signs of starting to translate elite athleticism and raw tools into baseball skill. He’s still got a long way to go, but he’s off to a nice start since his promotion to the Carolina League last week, and as a general rule one shouldn’t go out of one’s way to bet against dudes who can do this kind of thing.
Cody Reed, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K
After a disastrous and injury-riddled attempt at High A last year, Reed is back and largely holding his own in the rough-and-tumble Cal, despite some requisite issues with the long ball.
Pablo Lopez, RHP, Seattle Mariners (High-A Modesto): 7 IP, 3 H, 5 K
Lopez, however, has gotten knocked around in the Cal League, due in part to relying on command of a pedestrian fastball and lacking for a true punchout pitch. His command is very good, though it can be a little too good, as he struggles at times to draw batters out of the zone or beat them consistently in it. Still, there’s some projection here for the frame, and room to develop something like an average three-pitch mix that can play up a smidge on account of said command.
Keegan Akin, LHP, Baltimore Orioles (High-A Frederick): 8 IP, H, 3 BB, 6 K
Akin’s another one who apparently has my number, as he keeps throwing gems for Frederick on nights I’m writing this update. He’s just a solid all-around pitching prospect – nothing flashy, but nothing really missing, either.
Brady Aiken, LHP, Cleveland Indians (Low-A Lake County): 4 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 6 BB, 4 K
Aiken has struggled mightily to find rhythm and consistency this season, and he’s now walked more batters (53) than he’s struck out (49) across 15 starts in the Midwest League.
Ronnie Dawson, OF, Houston Astros (Low-A Quad Cities): 3-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, K
Picture a running back. I’ll wait a couple ticks, go ahead. Yeah, you’re thinking of Ronnie Dawson. Houston’s second-rounder last summer was once upon a time one of the best prep backs in the state of Ohio. Played a mean linebacker, too. On the diamond he brings ferocious bat speed, strength, and a run tool that can play above his raw footspeed on the bases. It’s wildly unclear whether he’ll develop the hit tool or not, but it’ll be fun to watch him try.
Yennsy Diaz, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 5 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K
Diaz has one of the better raw fastballs in Toronto’s system, and so far the pitch has been able to lay similar claim in the Midwest League. He’s one of the younger arms in the league, but he’s whiffed 26 while allowing just 10 hits so far across four starts and 16-plus innings since arriving from Extended Spring Training.
Demi Orimoloye, RF, Milwaukee Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, SB, 2 K
More from the Olympic delegation Milwaukee’s raising on its farm, you say? Cool. The Nigerian-born, Canadian-raised Orimoloye is a physical monster, capable of great feats of human strength and athleticism. He’s also steak-tartare-wearing-a-banana-hammock-in-a-blizzard raw. This is the kind of box score he’s capable of.
Jeison Guzman, SS, Kansas City Royals (Short-Season Burlington) 4-6, 2 R, 2B, RBI
A seven-figure bonus baby in 2015, Guzman handled his brief stateside debut with maturity last year. The tools aren’t especially loud, particularly in the batter’s box, but he has the kind of instincts and advanced feel for the game that points to a quality sum-of-his-parts player down the line, with a utility infield profile occupying the fattest part of the bell curve of potential outcomes.
Adam Haseley, CF, Philadelphia Phillies (Rookie GCL Phillies): 3-4, R, 2B, K
Welcome to the grind, kid. The eighth overall pick struck out in his first professional at-bat, then ripped three straight base hits.
Sean Reynolds, OF/1B, Miami Marlins (Rookie GCL Marlins): 2-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, K
Miami’s fourth-rounder last summer out of high school, Reynolds and his 6-foot-7, 205-pound frame had a miserable time of it after signing, whiffing 37-percent of the time en route to a .163/.266/.229 line. So far, so much better in his 2017 debut, albeit at first base after signing and playing last year as an outfielder.
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