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August 25, 2016

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, August 24th

by Christopher Crawford

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Prospect of the Day:

Michael Kopech, RHP, Boston Red Sox (High-A Salem): 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K
This is becoming commonplace. Kopech’s stuff is just too advanced for hitters in the Carolina League to stand a chance; as seen in all of the strikeouts and the .144 batting average against. The command still needs work, but he’s just 20, and he’s made some progress there in 2016. The upside here competes with that of any right-handed pitcher in the lower levels.

Others of Note:

Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 3-for-4, 2B, K, CS. Fun fact: I still type Texas Rangers every single time I write up Brinson, which is followed immediately by head shaking and frustrating deletion.

Harrison Musgrave, LHP, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque): 6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. Musgrave hasn’t been nearly as dominant as he was in Hartford, but he’s still throwing strikes, and still showing that plus change that gives him a chance to fill a spot in the back of a rotation someday.

Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis): 1-for-3, R, HR, BB, 2 K. When Meadows is ready—and that’s not that far away—the Pirates are going to have a fascinating decision to make.

Chance Adams, RHP, New York Yankees (Double-A Trenton): 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K. There were a lot of area guys who were fans of Adams’s stuff coming into last year’s draft, but I doubt any of them saw this coming. He’s showing legit top-of-the-rotation stuff right now. Not bad for a fifth-round pick.

Michael Mader, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Acquired in the Hunter Cervenka trade, Mader has shown two plus pitches at times in his fastball and curveball, and the change might be good enough for him to start. He’s likely a bullpen arm, but another tick up from the change could give him a chance to start long term.

Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 0-for-2, R, 2 BB. That’s 11 walks for Smith since August 15th. Why are they so afraid of you, Dominic? Someday they’ll pitch to you fairly, but not right now. Not right now.

Corey Ray, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 3-for-4, R, 2B, BB, K. Wow, getting a chance to write about Ray and Smith back-to-back? This is as full as my heart has been for a long time.

Jordan Stephens, RHP, Chicago White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem): 5 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K. The White Sox have had a few guys break out in 2016, but if there was some sort of weapon pressed to my head and I had to pick one guy to pitch in a rotation long term in this system, it’d probably be Stephens.

Forrest Wall, 2B, Rockies (High-A Modesto): 2-for-3, R, SB. How’s this for inconsistency? Wall’s OPS by month: .776, .471, .824, .566, .777. It’s not uncommon for 20-year-olds to struggle, but man is it frustrating to see someone with his potential not put it together.

Arvicent Perez, C, Detroit Tigers (Low-A West Michigan): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2B. Perez is an excellent defender behind the plate, and he’s shown some feel for the barrel as well. If he can show more patience at the plate, he has a chance to be a bottom-of-the-order-hitting regular.

Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. That’s now 23 straight scoreless innings for Keller. Funnily enough, if you take a look at everything but ERA, Keller has probably been the most dominant pitcher in Low-A during 2016.

Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago Cubs (Low-A South Bend): 2-for-5, 2 R, HR, K. That’s just the 13th homer for Jimenez this season. Anyone who has seen Jimenez take batting practice knows the stats aren’t indicative of how strong this kid is.

Justin Dunn, RHP, Mets (Short-Season Brooklyn): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. If you think about it, Justin Dunn is a pretty contradictory name, isn’t it?

Colton Welker, 3B, Rockies (Short-Season Grand Junction): 3-for-5, R, K. The Rockies fourth-round pick this June, Welker has five tools that are at least average, and some believe he has a chance to be a plus defender at the hot corner with a strong, accurate throwing arm.

Daulton Jefferies, RHP, Oakland Athletics (Short-Season AZL Athletics): 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Jefferies was well on his way to being a first-round pick—maybe even a top-10 selection—before missing time with shoulder problems. When healthy, he shows plus command of three pitches, and the fastball and curve will flash above average.

Christopher Crawford is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Christopher's other articles. You can contact Christopher by clicking here

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