June 29, 2017
Minor League Update
Games of June 28
Hitter of the Day:
Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox (Double-A, Portland): 3-4, 2R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Just let us know when he will be in Boston k?
Pitcher of the Day:
Jacob Nix, RHP, San Diego Padres (High-A, Lake Elsinore): 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K
With all the big money IFA arms they have been signing (more on one of them below), it is easy to forget about Nix. An outing like this won’t make you forget anymore. Since arriving in High-A he has thrown strikes, gotten outs, and lots of strikeouts. Check out Wilson Karaman report in a recent MMTP
Other Notable Performances:
Andrew Stevenson, OF, Washington Nationals (Triple-A, Syracuse): 4-8, 3 R, 2 3B, 2 K (DH)
Hitters find a way, plus OF defenders find a way, sometimes plus runners find a way, and combine that together, you got a useful 3rd OF who can contribute in a lot of ways.
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Colorado Rockies (Double-A, Hartford): 3-4, R, RBI, K
Brendan, welcome to Hartford, this park is similar to the one you just left in High-A, but I’ll bet you won’t hit .400 at this level though.
Joe Rizzo, 3B, Seattle Mariners (Low-A, Clinton): 3-5, R, HR, 3 RBI
I’ll say it again until I am blue in the face, hitters find a way, it doesn’t matter how small they are, don’t overlook hitters.
Chris Shaw, 1B/OF?, San Francisco Giants (Triple-A, Sacramento): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
With the Giants almost out of playoff contention, and getting awful production from their LF’s; Shaw might get a look before the season is over. His plus to better raw power is translating more to games, and initial reports suggest he could pass in LF.
Randolph Gassaway, OF, Baltimore Orioles (High-A, Frederick): 3-3, 2 R, HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, SB
A physically large OF, Gassaway is a better athlete than one would believe at first glance. He is an average runner down the line with above-average raw power and feel to hit.
Jorge Mateo, SS, New York Yankees (Double-A, Trenton): 0-1, 4 BB, K
What strikes me out most about this performance is that Mateo did not attempt a SB in this game, even though he was on base four times. The opposing catcher, Giants farmhand Jeff Arnold, has only thrown out 8 of 43 runners on the season.
Framber Valdez, LHP, Houston Astros (High-A, Buies Creek): 8 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 11 K
While he signed when he was 21, and lacks ideal size (5’11” 170), there is no doubting the potency of his fastball/curveball combination. His fastball is also a heavy offering, making it even tougher for opponents to square up. His curveball also has the makings of a plus offering as it features sharpness and depth that most hitters can’t hit.
Matt Hall, LHP, Detroit Tigers (High-A, Lakeland): 8 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K
This was a perfect game into the 8th inning, then it fell off, oh well. Hall is a future LOOGY with his below-average fastball, but a plus (or even better) CB that he can drop where he wants, whenever he wants, against whoever he wants.
Juan Hillman, LHP, Cleveland Indians (Low-A, Lake County): 7 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K
With added strength gains have come added velocity to Hillman, where he is now pitching with an above-average fastball from start to finish. His cambio is the most promising off-speed offering as it features late action that mirrors his fastball.
Adrian Morejon, LHP, San Diego Padres (Short-Season, Tri-City): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Here is that big money sign I was telling you about. While small in stature, that might be the only negative you can say about him. A plus FB, a plus CB, a potential plus CH with plus control? Oh my.
Cole Ragans, LHP, Texas Rangers (Short-Season, Spokane): 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 6 K
Pitching opposite of Morejon, Ragans got just over $2M out of HS, chump change compared to the $11M that Morejon got. Ragans showed a plus FB in pro ball, but has taken a step back in regards to strike-throwing. His delivery isn’t the smoothest, and needs to be worked on, but Ragans still has electric stuff even when he isn’t throwing strikes.
Brenan Hanifee, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (Short-Season, Aberdeen): 6 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Taken in the 4th round in 2016 out of Turner Ashby HS (VA), Hanifee was a four-sport athlete who never focused entirely on baseball. A lean 6’5” 180, his average FB could become a plus pitch as he adds weight and focuses more on pitching. A project yes, but one with good clay.
Fight Another Day:
GCL Tigers West Pitching Staff, Detroit Tigers (Rookie, GCL): 8 IP, 19 H, 18 R, 17 ER, 8 BB, 10 K
For the majority of the pitchers that pitched in this game, it was their first appearance in pro ball, nothing like getting a bad outing out of the way.
Corey Ray, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (High-A, Carolina): 0-4, 2 K
While we are still discussing our midseason top 50…he might not be in it.
Steve Givarz is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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