Hitter of the Day:
Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 3-5, BB, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, K
Fresh off the bus from Mississippi, 19-year-old Acuna went oppo tank in his first Triple-A at-bat en route to reaching base four times in his Triple-A debut. Numbers are in no ways all, of course, but Acuna, who by the way is 19, has now posted a composite .317/.366/.516 line across three levels this year. Incredibly, he is just 19 years old.
Pitcher of the Day:
Chris Flexen, RHP, New York Mets (Double-A Binghampton): 8 IP, ER, H, BB, 9 K, HRA
Flexen, recently described by Jeffery as possessing “huge thighs” and a “bit of a belly” (be still my heart), took a no-hitter into the eighth before a hater of fun things ruined everything with a solo homer. After dominating a handful of FSL starts out of the gate, Flexen has continued on the same path since a promotion to Double A five weeks ago. In his first six starts at the level he’s whiffed 43 to just four walks, while allowing only eight runs on 24 hits across an out shy of 42 frames. Not bad, Mr. Pop-Up-Prospect. Not bad at all.
Other Prospects of Note:
Jordan Patterson, OF/1B, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque): 3-4, BB, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Parks (#RIP) liked Patterson, I liked Patterson, Brendan (#RIP) liked Patterson…the Rockies have traditionally loved dudes like Patterson…he flirted with a four-digit OPS in his ten-game debut last year, he’s slugging .500 again this year. It’s like, what’s a brother gotta do to get another crack at big-league pitching?
Jordan Stephens, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 7.2 IP, ER, 5 H, 4 K, HRA
It’s easy to lose track of Stephens in Chicago’s system (even easier today’n it was the day before yesterday, I reckon). But after losing the first two months to an ominous forearm strain he’s come back no worse for the wear, coaxing a bunch of grounders and posting strong ratios and yielding no more than two runs in any of his first seven starts. Durability questions are well-founded, but he’s got a nice four-pitch mix and an idea of how to make each of those pitches go where he wants it to.
Jorge Mateo, SS, New York Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 1-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, SB, K
I sold low on Mateo in not one but two fantasy leagues earlier this year, and I am not enjoying this Ruthian outburst in the 14 games since his promotion.
Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7 IP, 4 H, 6 K
Just the other day I wrote about how impressive his maturity and bounce-back execution was at the Future’s Game, and now he goes and follows it up with this gem. I’m starting to think this kid’s got a shot.
Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Baltimore Orioles (High-A Frederick): 5-5, 2 R, 2B
Between Greg’s Eyewitness and Victor’s Ten Pack and our Mid-Season Top 50 we are officially driving the “Ryan Mountcastle can and will hit, damnit” bus, and it is a very full bus.
Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets (High-A St. Lucie): 3-6, 2 R, HR, RBI, K
Alonso has picked it up a bit after a pretty dreadful start to the season, though in spite of massive raw power Javier was…not impressed…after a couple looks last month.
Touki Toussaint, RHP, Atlanta Braves (High-A Florida): 7 IP, ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 10 K
After a start to the season that required us to slap a warning label on his player page, Touki has produced better top-line results of late. And the stuff’s still lights out. He just…keeps…walking…so many people. He’s avoided throwing a walk in just one of his 17 starts this season, and that was way back in the middle of April. Meanwhile, he’s walked at least three in 10 of those turns.
Austin Allen, C, San Diego Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore): 4-5, 3 R, 2B, K
Yes, yes, this was indeed at Lancaster. But! There’s a “but”! Allen’s got a bunch of pop, and he’s made some adjustments as he’s settled into the league. He’s been punishing pitches lately with a more aggressive approach around the zone. I don’t think he’s a catcher, but there’s enough skill in the receiving department to squint and see a Vogtian, bat-first profile in there somewhere if the stick maxes out.
Tyler Hearn, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 4.2 IP, 4 H, 10 K
It took Hearn nearly 80 pitches to not complete the fifth, but that can happen sometimes when you’re whiffing more than half of the hitters who step in against you. He’s got serious heat from the left side and flashes of a gnarly slider to go with it.
Jose Gomez, SS, Colorado Rockies (Low-A Asheville): 2-3, BB, 3 R, 2 SB
Up to .323 in full-season, a year after he debuted stateside at .367. You’ve plucked Brendan Rodgers from mine home park, Baseball Gods, now bring me Gomez and let me watch his line drives explore the Lancaster grounds, I say!
Sandro Fabian, RF, San Francisco Giants (Low-A Augusta): 4-4, R
A mid-six-figure J2 baby in 2014, Fabian tore up the AZL last year but has spent some time walking in the valley in full-season ball this year. He’s started to figure some things out recently, and an advanced feel for the barrel still underlines a strong across-the-board profile. He’s struck out very nearly 10 times for every walk he’s drawn this season, however, so there’s, uh, room for the approach to mature a bit.
Stuart Fairchild, CF, Cincinnati Reds (Rookie Billings): 3-3, BB, 3B
The Reds’ second-rounder will show some of all of the tools, including a potential plus glove in center and some sneaky average pop. He’s an aggressive hitter, and his struggles with wood bats on the Cape last summer knocked his draft stock down a peg or two. But he’s off to a nice start in the Pioneer League thus far, flashing advanced secondary skills and quality contacts skills.
Hans Crouse, RHP, Texas Rangers (Rookie AZL Rangers): 2 IP, 3 H, 2 K
The Rangers’ second-rounder was apparently working 96-98 in his third (scoreless) professional appearance, which is a pretty significant bump from where I had him in a start back in February (92-4 early, backing up to 89-92 late). It’s also par for the course of significant velocity fluctuation, both between and within starts, as the mechanical consistency has a good long way to go. His is a highly projectable frame with a lot of room to add good weight without compromising solid athleticism, though without a pretty massive overhaul of the delivery it’s tough to see a starting profile.