May 24, 2017
Minor League Update
Games of May 23rd
Hitter of the Day:
Gavin LaValley, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (High-A, Daytona): 4-5, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, K
Once a prominent football recruit, LaValley instead followed the diamond where he was a fourth-rounder in 2014. Featuring more hit than power, LaValley has good bat speed and an all-fields approach. The over the fence power is playing more than it has before, which is good. He will need that as he is confined to the cold-corner.
Pitcher of the Day:
Myles Jaye, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Double-A, Erie): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K
Known more for his pitchability than his stuff, Jaye can throw all his pitches for strikes in any count. While nothing in his arsenal stands out, he looks the part of an innings-munching back-end starting pitcher that major league clubs always need.
Other Notable Performances:
Ozhaino Albies, SS, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A, Gwinnett): 4-5, R, 2B, SB
Thank you for showing us that you will be fine.
Randy Arozarena, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (High-A, Palm Beach): 4-5, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Another 4-hit game? Good thing I remembered to include you yesterday. A drink to you sir.
Austin Riley, 3B, Atlanta Braves (High-A, Florida): 2-5, 3 R, HR, RBI, 3 BB
I talked about before the season about how excited I was about Austin Riley. While I haven’t seen him yet, it has been so far so good.
Shedric Long, 2B, Cincinnati Reds (High-A, Daytona): 3-5, 2 R, HR, RBI
Spark-plug is the perfect word to describe Shed. He has quality bat speed and average power, more than you would expect considering his size (5-foot-8, 180 lbs.). His defense at the keystone is still a work in progress, but he has the tools and ability to stick there, which would make him an average regular. Not bad for the 12th round.
Anfernee Grier, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (Low-A, Kane County): 3-4, R, 2 2B, RBI, 2 SB
Taken with the D-backs first pick in the 2016 draft, Grier has tantalizing tools for a center fielder. He is a plus runner who makes plays in center look easy, strokes line drives all over the field, and is a plus athlete. Unfortunately he lacks much power, limiting his overall potential and confining him in the “leadoff hitter” box.
Nick Pivetta, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Triple-A, Lehigh Valley): 7 IP, 7 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 9 K
After a few…not so pleasant big league starts Pivetta went back down to iron some things out. Mainly his command, as the lack of it showed in his big league trial. His plus fastball/curveball combination might end up in the bullpen before you know it.
Zack Littell, RHP, New York Yankees (High-A, Tampa): 7 IP, 6 H, R, ER, BB, 8 K
Javier Barragan will have more to report soon, but from talking to him today it sounds like Littell can throw all his pitches for strikes; and could have plus to better control.
Nick Neidert, RHP, Seattle Mariners (High-A, Modesto): 5 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 7 K
Neidert isn’t cut from the traditional high school pitcher cloth. His changeup is better than his breaking ball, he has advanced command, and he pitches with relatively low velocity. Putting all that aside, Neidert is a PITCHER and knows how to work with what he’s got. An impressive performance in the Cal league notwithstanding, he still needs to prove it in Double-A.
Tanner Scott, LHP, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A, Bowie): 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Because it still applies, I will C+P my comment from Tanner Scott before he pitched in the fall league last season. “You could probably count on one hand the amount of lefties that throw harder than Scott. Unfortunately you would need 100 people’s hands to count how many lefties have better control than Scott.”
Anthony Banda, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Triple-A, Reno): 6 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Given the rash of injuries at the big league level, Banda might find himself in Phoenix before you, or even he(!) knows it.
Fight Another Day:
Sean Newcomb, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A, Gwinnett): 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 6 K, HRA
I know Jeffrey Paternostro is still on the Newcomb train, and while I am not off it yet, I am looking to jump off as soon as we stop riding over this cliff.
Jose Pujols, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (High-A, Lakewood): 0-5, 4 K
Long tantalizing with size, tools, and athletic ability, at some point Pujols needs to start making contact, as his 45 percent K rate in High-A won’t buy him much time.
Steve Givarz is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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