July 18, 2017
Minor League Update
Games of July 16
Hitter of the Day:
Jason Martin, OF, Houston Astros (Double-A, Corpus Christi): 4-4, R, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI
A fringe-average player all around, Martin has struggled this season, comparatively to what he did last year. He has been passed over in the organization by other OF’s, but can still fill out a role as an outfielder who can play CF and steal some bags.
Pitcher of the Day:
Nick Fanti, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Low-A, Lakewood): 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 12 K
Fanti has gotten a lot of writing here at BP, more so than you would expect from a 31st rounder. I talked about him in GCL in 2016. Jeffrey Paternostro profiled him as a potential Role 3/LOOGY. Lastly, Jarrett Seidler talked about him when describing the differences between Roles 2 and 3 players.
Other Notable Performances:
Nellie Rodriguez, 1B, Cleveland Indians (Triple-A, Columbus): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
The problem with Nellie Rodriguez, besides him striking out a lot and struggling to make contact; is that he is blocked at the big-league level. For the guy before him, Jesus Aguilar, this resulted in a bunch of bus rides and eventually settling with the Brewers. If Nellie has that kind of career, it will be higher than what we have on him.
Ronald Guzman, 1B, Texas Rangers (Triple-A, Round Rock): 3-4, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB
The second biggest signing of the Texas Rangers 2011 IFA class, Guzman looks to have put it all together this season. Still young (he won’t be 23 until November), Guzman can do a lot of things for you, including plus power and an above-average hit tool profile.
Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (Triple-A, Memphis): 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 K
Unlike Martin, Bader can do a bit of everything, but has above-average to plus tools. He is a plus runner with the potential for a lot of power and capable center field defense.
C.J. Chatham, SS, Boston Red Sox (Rookie, Gulf Coast): 2-2, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI
Taken in the 2nd round of last year’s draft, Chatham has missed most of this year with a hamate injury. When healthy, he showcases a plus arm and can surprisingly play a quality SS given his size (6’4”, 185lbs.).
Seuly Matias, OF, Kansas City Royals (Rookie, Burlington): 2-5, R, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 K
Signed to a $2.25M bonus in 2015, Matias, like other young Latin OF’s before him showcase a wide range of tools. His top tool is a double-plus arm, his second best tool is plus raw power. His most vulnerable tool? His hitting ability as he has struggles with pitch recognition and an overall long swing.
Jeisson Rosario, OF, San Diego Padres (Rookie, Arizona League): 2-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Another player in the San Diego Padres 2016 IFA class that signed for a lot of money? Rosario signed for $1.85M, and like Seuly, shows off a lot of tools. Rosario’s best tool might actually be his hitting ability as he has great bat speed and barrel control for someone so young (will be 18 in November).
Henri Lartigue, C, Philadelphia Phillies (Low-A, Lakewood): 2-3, R, HR, RBI
If it wasn’t for Henri, Fanti might still be pitching into extra innings preserving his no-hitter. From Jeffrey Paternostro, “Some feel for hitting, good receiver, solid arm. Catchers are weird.”
Alexander Vargas, RHP, New York Yankees (Low-A, Charleston): 6 IP, H, R, ER, 0 BB, 5 K
I mentioned Vargas earlier this year when covering Yankees Extended Spring Training. While the injury he had in 2016 was concerning, it is good to see him doing well.
Jake Junis, RHP, Kansas City Royals (Triple-A, Omaha): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 6 K
A scout’s response when asked about Junis:
When pressed for further details, “Curve can be plus at times, 88-94, really generic overall."
Lucas Sims, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A, Gwinnett): 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 11 K
What do you think Sims prefers between “Buttons, Big Mouths, Gobblers, Hush Puppies, Lamb-chops, and Sweet Teas”? He would probably hope to stay in Atlanta all season instead of choosing a name.
Mack Lemieux, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Low-A, Kane County): 6 IP, 3 H, R, ER, BB, 7 K
A JUCO draftee in 2016, Mack (who was not born in Canada), offers intriguing upside with present stuff. His fastball can be an above-average offering at times, and paired with his average curve, can at least be a situational arm.
Luis Escobar, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Low-A, West Virginia): 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K
The journey for Escobar has been long, but have thus far rewarded by the Pirates patience. Originally signed as an infielder from Colombia, Escobar now ways well over 200 pounds and throws a plus heater. While he has missed time with various injuries, Escobar could be a top 10 prospect for the organization next season.
Huascar Ynoa, RHP, Minnesota Twins (Rookie, Elizabethon): 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
The brother of Michael Ynoa, Huascar didn’t sign for as much as him, but still offers intrigue. He has a projectable body with a usable three-pitch mix and strike-throwing ability.
Fight Another Day:
Jakson Reetz, C, Washington Nationals (High-A, Potomac): 0-4, 3 K
Arguably an 80-name, it’s a shame that Reetz had a bad day. But this was his 3rd game at high-A, so let’s give him some more time.
Garrett Cleavinger, LHP, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A, Bowie): 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, HRA
Cleavinger has nasty stuff from the left side, including a double-plus fastball and a plus curve, Cleavinger struggles to throw strikes consistently. While this might not mean that much as a reliever, this can be the difference between all-star games in the majors, and all-star games in the minors.
Steve Givarz is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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