Hitter of the Day:
Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (High-A, Dunedin): 4-4, 4 R, 2B, BB, 2 SB
With a four-hit night Bichette bumped his average up to .387 since moving to High-A, giving him a higher batting average than the impressive .384 he posted in Low-A earlier this year. I mean, it’s not the .427 he hit in rookie ball last year, but it’ll do.
Pitcher of the Day:
Michel Baez, RHP, Padres (Low-A, Fort Wayne): 6.2 IP, 5 H, R/ER, 0 BB, 14 K
Baez has been nothing short of dominating since arriving in Fort Wayne, and last night’s start just added to the dominance. Armed with a lively fastball that could jump higher as he refines his mechanics, Baez can torture hitters with a steep angle and a changeup that flashes as a quality pitch. There’s work to be done with the breaking ball, and the overall package needs polish, but Baez has loads of potential on the mound, even if the early indicators point toward the bullpen long term.
Other Notable Performances:
Franklin Barreto, SS, Athletics (Triple-A, Nashville): 2-4, 2B, 3B, BB
The big league debut was downright ugly, but that’s no reason to give up on a multi-tooled 21-year old at a premium position. Barreto should have a bright future in Oakland and he should get another shot this season.
Anderson Tejeda, SS, Rangers (Low-A, Hickory): 2-5, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K
Tejeda has had a bumpy road as a 19-year old in Low-A, where SAL pitchers haven’t had much trouble handling his aggressive approach. Tejeda has the hitting ability and raw power to be an offensive threat regardless of his defensive home, but he needs to find consistency with his swing mechanics to tap into his potential.
T.J. Friedl, OF, Reds (High-A, Daytona): 3-4, 2B, 3B
Friedl’s story is well known at this point, and it’s a fun one to tell because it is so unusual. While his talent has rarely flashed since a promotion to High-A, Friedl still has potential as a top of the order hitter and quality defender in center field.
Emmanuel Rivera, 3B, Royals (Low-A, Lexington): 3-7, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 K
Known more for his potential glove work at third base and a plus arm since being drafted in the 19th round in 2015, Rivera has started to piece things together at the plate this summer, hitting close to .300 with pop and a solid approach at the plate.
Jameson Fisher, OF, White Sox (High-A, Winston-Salem): 3-4, 2 2B, 3B, RBI
Fisher’s profile is supposed to be carried by his hitting ability and solid power potential, but that hasn’t come to fruition during his full-season debut this season. Fisher was solid in Low-A to start the year, but has had a rough go since moving to High-A. At 23-years old, Fisher is a little older than most prospects making their full-season debut, particularly after being drafted just last year, meaning he needs to adjust quickly and get on track showing his offensive potential most consistently
Andrew Bechtold, 3B, Twins (Rookie, Elizabethton): 2-4, R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, K
The Twins popped Bechtold in the fifth round in June and he’s picked up right where he left off in Junior College by continuing to pound the ball consistently. Bechtold has the natural hitting ability to hit .280-plus at the big league level and his above-average raw power should give him a traditional third base profile.
MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Padres (Rookie, AZL Padres): 4 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 K
This was Gore’s longest outing of his brief professional career, and yet he still stuck to his recipe of lowing one measly hit in each of his three outings. He hasn’t walked a batter since his debut on July 17th, and has now punched out 13 hitters in his first 8-2/3 innings. It’s hard to get too excited about less than a handful of short outings in rookie ball, but Gore is doing everything he can to live up to his top pick billing right out of the gate.
Walker Buehler, RHP, Dodgers (Triple-A, Oklahoma City): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, BB, 6 K
The Dodgers were active at the trade deadline, bolstering their pitching staff, and possibly keeping Buehler in the minor leagues until next year. Buehler is downright electric and should be a force with the Dodgers next year, but they could stand to let him gain experience and prove his durability a bit more this year.
Juan Hillman, LHP, Indians (Low-A, Lake County): 4.2 IP, 14 H, 12 R/ER, 2 BB, K
That’s the very definition of a rough outing. Despite the results in this game, and this season, Hillman remains a projectable lefty with age on his side. Armed with a low-90s fastball, good athleticism, and a potential plus changeup, the ingredients are there for Hillman to develop into a quality starting pitching prospect if he’s given time.