Hitter of the Day:
Oneil Cruz, SS/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 5-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Well, then. Cruz has undergone plenty of literal and figurative growing pains this year as he’s continued along on his journey to figure out how to consistently corral his 6-foot-6 frame. But games like yesterday’s offer a glimpse into the kind of impact talent that’s in there.
Pitcher of the Day:
Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Double-A Birmingham): 8 IP, 4 H, 8 K
He throws really, really hard and – and – it’s got some movement to it. This is what a box score can look like on days he commands the baseball.
Other Prospects of Note:
Tyler O’Neill, LF, Seattle Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma): 2-5, BB, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, K
Really the whole Raineers offense deserves a shout-out here, actually. Perhaps emboldened by not being traded for David Phelps, Seattle’s Triple-A farmhands busted out, answering a six-run bottom of the first by Albuquerque with a six-run top of the second en route to a 14-11 win. O’Neill led the way, post-post-post-post prospect Gordon Beckham also went put two over the fence, Dan Vogelbach left the field, and Boog Powell reached base five times. After an anemic start to the season O’Neill has really picked it up of late, posting an .863 OPS in June and 1.040 mark across 15 July games (including five homers in five games this week) to re-establish himself as one of the better thumping prospects on the cusp of the big leagues.
Walker Buehler, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Triple-A Oklahoma City): 0.0 IP, 4 ER, 2 H, 3 BB
Remember that time you dreamt you were giving a presentation to your entire high school, and you were super nervous about it, and you were sweating, and your mouth was running dry, and you started fumbling for words, and then you looked down and realized you were standing there in just your underwear? Well, if you will it in your Triple-A debut, Dude, it is no dream.
Derek Fisher, LF, Houston Astros (Triple-A Fresno): 3-3, 3 BB, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB
A.J. Reed, 1B, Houston Astros (Triple-A Fresno): 2-5, BB, 3 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI
This Fresno lineup is doing its best caricature if the big club, leading the league in averaging more than six runs a game. Yesterday these two former-and-future major leaguers led an 18-run barrage, and both should see additional big-league ball in Houston soon, provided their respective services aren’t exchanged for 25-man reinforcements over the next several days.
Renato Nunez, 3B/LF, Oakland Athletics (Triple-A Nashville): 2-5, R, HR, 3 RBI, SB, K
His two-run, go-ahead homer in the ninth was his PCL-leading 25th, while the steal was his first. He hasn’t walked in 11 games, striking out 16 times during that stretch.
Ryan Mountcastle, SS/3B, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A Bowie): 1-5, R
Mountcastle’s night was less notable for the results as it was for those results occurring at Double A for the first time. He also slid over to third base for the first time since his Gulf Coast League days, and it will apparently be his new home for the foreseeable future. It’s an odd move on the surface, given his below-average arm, though he certainly won’t be the first white man to move to his right as he climbs a corporate ladder.
Luis Urias, INF, San Diego Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 4-5, R, 2B, K
After flashing some adjustments in High A and driving the ball a bit more in the second half last season, the pop hasn’t quite materialized yet at the higher level. He is, however, hitting .316 and getting on base at a .412 clip as one of the youngest hitter at Double A this year, so…yeah, let’s maybe not pick nits.
Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 6 IP, R (0 ER), H, 2 BB, 4 K
Keller was cruising in this one, sitting comfortably in the high-90s and touching 101 per Prospect Team member Josh Turner, before taking a Brent Rooker liner off his knee cap leading off the seventh. He slowly walked off on his own power.
Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, RBI
In six games as a member of the White Sox organization Jimenez is hitting .409/.500/.682. Trade: won.
Juan Hillman, LHP, Cleveland Indians (Low-A Lake County): 8 IP, 4 H, 4 K
Hillman has struggled at times with his consistency this season, but it’s been one in which he’s started to make some projected physical gains, and there’s still a bunch more in the tank in that department. Athletic, three-pitch lefties get all the time they need. It’s a good life.
Desmond Lindsay, CF, New York Mets (Low-A Columbia): 4-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI
After coming out of the gate sluggishly and losing a month on the DL, Lindsay has come back with a vengeance, knocking at least one hit in 11 of 12 games since returning.
Imani Abdullah, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3 IP, 3 H, BB, 4 K
Speaking of raw, projectable dudes still growing into their frames, Abdullah stayed in XST for a full tour this season, and the club’s been gentle with him since. Which is too bad, because in the wake of the club stealing Yadier Alvarez, Mitch White, and Dennis Santana from me at Rancho I’ll be in the corner, staring at a brick wall in an empty room until he gets promoted.
Bryan Hudson, LHP, Chicago Cubs (Low-A South Bend): 7 IP, ER, 3 H, BB, 4 K
The Cubs’ third-rounder in 2015 took a perfect game into the sixth in this one, ultimately settling for his longest professional outing. The stuff’s fringy, and consistent command will always be a challenge to coax out of his lanky, 6-foot-8 frame. But he generates an obscene amount of groundball contact when he’s able to drive his ball down in the zone, as was the case yesterday, when he recorded 13 of his 21 outs that way.
Andy Yerzy, C, Arizona Diamondbacks (Rookie Missoula): 3-4, BB, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Arizona’s second-rounder a year ago has struggled a bit with the stick since signing, which less than ideal for a bat-first backstop. He just turned 19, however, and the makeup reports are impeccable, born out in steady progress behind the dish so far.
Tyler Kolek, LHP, Miami Marlins (Rookie GCL Marlins): 0.1 IP, H, 2 BB, 4 ER
The second overall pick of the 2014 draft toed the rubber in a competitive game for the first time since 2015 Tommy John surgery, and things didn’t go so hot. In fairness, three of those runs scored after he left with the bases loaded. Also, the results in a GCL game don’t matter, and the important thing here is that he’s back, healthy, and throwing again. Also notable about this game, Miami’s other first-rounder that year, Blake Anderson, made his professional pitching debut (IP, H, BB) after hitting .173/.274/.245 across three seasons of rookie ball.
Brendan McKay, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays (Short-Season Hudson Valley): 2-5, R, HR, RBI, 2 K
After starting his professional career 0-for-8, McKay’s logged back-to-back multi-hit games, including yesterday’s first career homer. He’s scheduled to make his debut on the mound next weekend, with an expected workload of around 30 innings for the summer.