June 16, 2017
Minor League Update
Games of June 15
Hitter of the Day:
Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 7-8, BB, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI, K, SB
Well, that’s one way to navigate a doubleheader. Bichette has been laying waste to Midwest League pitching this season, with yesterday’s outburst lifting him to .400 for the season. The approach stands out, and the bat speed ain’t bad either. With High-A looming, Bichette has a chance to evolve into one of the premier offensive prospects in the minors by years end if he can continue his assault at the next level.
Pitcher of the Day:
Shawn Morimando, LHP, Cleveland Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 9 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 K
Not the most glamorous peripherals, but when you tie off a complete game shutout against one of the best offenses in your Triple-A league, the day is yours. Morimando’s your average pitchability lefty, though an improved slider will flash out-pitch qualities from time to time. He debuted last year, and as a durable southpaw he’s highly likely to drink more big-league joe in the future.
Other Prospects of Note:
Ryan McMahon, 1B/2B/3B, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque): 4-4, BB, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, SB
Let’s call this effort worthy of “Hitter-b of the Day” standing. McMahon has bounced around the infield in order to increase his versatility and opportunity to crack the big club’s roster, and he’s rebounded pretty well in full from last year’s ugly effort in the box. He’s likely to find himself in Denver at some point this year.
Chris Lee, LHP, Baltimore Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk): 6 IP, ER, 4 H, 5 K
Lee lost the majority of last season to a shoulder strain, and hasn’t exactly lit it up in the International League since returning to the hill this season. At his best he’ll outfox hitters while scraping 95 from a funky left-handed delivery, but he’s been both too hittable and too generous with his free passes this season.
Teoscar Hernandez, RF, Houston Astros (Triple-A Fresno): 3-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Teoscar continues to just be right there, perpetually lying in wait. He’s been perfectly alright at Triple A this year, after looking okay enough in his big-league debut last summer. That’s probably about right for Hernandez, who has nice raw tools but some lingering disconnect between them and the translated on-field talent.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 2-4, R, HR, RBI
Boston’s best prospect is finally giving the statline-scouters something to talk about after tantalizing the real deal with his high-end offensive projection for years now.
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Minnesota Twins (Double-A Chattanoooga): 7 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, BB, 10 K, HRA
A sore shoulder delayed his season, but he’s come back and pitched very well over a half-dozen starts, most notably holding down his walk rate while continuing to miss bats with a tumbling changeup.
Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7 IP, 3 H, BB, 5 K
These teenaged Braves pitchers, man. What with their youthful ebullience and supreme cheddar, walkin’ all over my lawn like what and taking over the high minors as if it ain’t no thang at all. Pshhhh…
Sandy Alcantara, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 6 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Alcantara is a very young man who throws very hard in Double A, and the first couple months of the season were an appropriate struggle. He scuffled with the strike zone a bit yesterday but managed to navigate six clean frames, marking his third consecutive start allowing one or no runs.
Matt Hall, LHP, Detroit Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 4 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K
In this day and age hurlers who sit high-80s have little in the way of margin for error, and Hall’s no different. He can really spin it, though, with a tight curveball that looks the part of a future plus pitch. It’s cliché to say, but command development will determine whether or not he ever sees the inside of a big-league clubhouse.
Micker Adolfo, RF, Chicago White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 4-8, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 4 K
That line sums up the situation quite nicely, actually.
Jose Gomez, SS, Colorado Rockies (Low-A Asheville) 3-4, BB, R, 2B, SB, CS
That’s three multi-hit games in his last four. Bring him to me in Lancaster after you mercifully promote Brendan Rodgers please, thank you.
Alec Hansen, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Low-A Kannapolis): 6 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 10 K, HRA
A solo shot by the second batter of the game was pretty much it for Hagerstown last night. Hansen now boasts 50 strikeouts to seven walks over his last five starts (30 IP), which is just the kind of wildly inappropriate line that often portends imminent promotion.
J.B. Woodman, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (Low-A Lansing): 3-6, 3 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K
What a fascinating prospect this dude’s going to be over the next couple years. He’s a bag of tools with wild swing-and-miss tendencies, and if he ever figures out how to make reasonably consistent contact there’ll be a nice career ahead of him.
Jhoan Duran, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Short-Season Hillsboro): 5 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 4 H, BB, 4 K
In a system lacking for high-ceiling talent, Duran qualifies as someone to keep an eye on. A highly projectable 6-foot-5 teenager, he can already threaten triple digits with movement, and there’s raw material for two workable secondaries here. He’s roughly 11.74 million light years away, but there’s a dream to be dreamt here.
Norge Ruiz, RHP, Oakland Athletics (DSL Athletics): 5 IP, ER, H, 4 K
Ruiz yielded the first run of a professional career now spanning three starts, but still had no trouble working his way through teenaged lineups. The A’s gave him and his kitchen-sink arsenal $2 million in the hopes of developing him as a starter, though we won’t know much more about those prospects until we see him stateside.
Matt Larkins, RHP, N/A (Ind. Long Island Ducks): 8.1 IP, ER, H, 2 BB, 7 K
Pitching in the Atlantic League, the 28-year-old took a perfect game into the seventh before ultimately losing his no-hit bid in the ninth. Larkins was one and five with an ERA north of five in the Atlantic League, so his flirtation with no-hit glory should serve as a reminder that baseball is awesome at all levels.
Wilson Karaman is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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