August 2, 2017
Minor League Update
Games of August 1
Hitter of the Day:
Monte Harrison, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (High-A, Carolina): 3-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
Don’t worry if you have forgotten about Harrison these past couple years, he has been injured a lot. Don’t fret though, Craig Goldstein, myself, and many others have left seats on the bandwagon for you. One of the best athletes in the system, Harrison’s tools could rival that of Lewis Brinson’s, the only difference being that Brinson is two years older and in the majors.
Pitcher of the Day:
Tyler Mahle, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Triple-A, Louisville): 8 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
You would think that Cincinnati, with the majors worst SP ERA, would give Mahle a shot at some point right? While Cincinnati has a bevy of options to choose from (including the relegated Cody Reed, Jackson Stephens, Amir Garrett, Rookie Davis, etc.) none can match the strike-throwing that Mahle has.
Other Notable Performances:
Foster Griffin, LHP, Kansas City Royals (Double-A, NW Arkansas): 6 2/3 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 5 K
A big and tall lefty, Griffin has struggled with his velocity and working deep into starts this year. But while he worked deep in this outing, the fastball is still a fringe-average offering, which better hitters will wait out, ignoring his above-average secondaries.
Dillon Peters, LHP, Miami Marlins (Double-A, Jacksonville): 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
After missing nearly three months with a broken left thumb, Peters is fully healthy and dominating Double-A once again. With the recent injury to Edison Volquez, and the lack of other internal rotation options, expect Peters to get a look soon.
Matt Manning, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Short-Season, Connecticut): 5 IP, 3 H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Our own Jeffrey Paternostro was flummoxed on what to do with Manning, so much so he needed to quote “The Mountain Goats” in this recent article.
Tanner Houck, RHP, Boston Red Sox (Short-Season, Lowell): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Houck was one of the highest graded players I saw from this past season. While the concerns about the delivery and overall durability do give some pause, I still see a middle of the rotation starter.
Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A, Gwinnett): 3-5, R, 2B, K
Perhaps after the Jose Siri hit streak ends I will replace it with the “What is Acuna doing at 19?? Status”.
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox (Double-A, Portland): 3-4, R, HR, 2 RBI
Chavis was a hotly rumored name this past trade deadline, but still saw himself in Portland at 5:01PM EST. The reason everyone wanted him was because of his prodigious raw power, arm strength, and improved feel to hit.
Blake Rutherford, OF, Chicago White Sox (Low-A, Kannapolis): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, 2 BB
Welcome to Chicago Blake, important question, how do you like your Italian Beef? Personally I like it dipped, spicy hot peppers and extra giardineria.
Alex Call, OF, Chicago White Sox (Low-A, Kannapolis): 3-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K
After missing most of the year with an intercostal strain, Call is healthy and back demolishing low level pitching. Featuring a plus arm, plus speed and good raw power, Call also has good bat speed which produces loud hard contact.
Jake Robson, OF, Detroit Tigers (Low-A, West Michigan): 3-4, 2 R, 3 BB
Robson missed a lot of time while at college with various injuries, but when healthy, the former 8th rounder has a lot going for him. A 70 runner, Robson can go get it in the grass, profiling as an above-average defender in the OF. While he won’t hit for much, if any, power, he still has a smooth left-handed swing and is able to use his speed effectively.
Willi Castro, SS, Cleveland Indians (High-A, Lynchburg): 2-4, 3 R, BB, 2 SB
Castro is a quality athlete with a line-drive oriented swing that has thus far worked at every level. While he doesn’t have a lot of over the fence power, he is a plus runner who can extend base hits with his legs.
Charcer Burks, OF, Chicago Cubs (Double-A, Tennessee): 1-3, R, 2B, 2 BB, 2 SB
A plus runner, Burks uses his speed to also be a quality outfielder, earning plus grades from some scouts. While not likely to do a ton of damage with the bat, he does bring good on-base skills to profile as an extra outfielder.
Marcus Wilson, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (Low-A, Kane County): 1-4, 3B, RBI, 2 K
Sushi-raw coming out of high school, the Dbacks still selected Wilson in the Competitive Balance (B) round in 2014. After spending almost three years at the complex, Wilson is looking more and more like a ballplayer. His best attributes are his plus speed, and above-average raw power.
Gavin Lux, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A, Great Lakes): 2-4, R, 3B, K
The defense is still of high quality, so anything extra that the Dodgers can get out of his bat would be gravy.
Jake Holmes, SS, Philadelphia Phillies (Rookie, GCL Phillies): 3-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB
Signed for $500,000 in the 11th round, Holmes has thus far held his own in the GCL. An above-average runner with a plus arm, Holmes has the athleticism teams like to see from up the middle players. His swing can be flat and he lacks current strength, things that will be improved upon with time.
Fight Another Day:
Darwinzon Hernandez, LHP, Boston Red Sox (Low-A, Greenville): 5 1/3 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, HRA
The only Darwinzon to play pro baseball, Dar gets by on guts and guile rather than stuff. He spots his average fastball well, with potentially plus control, but can be hittable when he isn’t located.
Brent Rooker, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins (High-A, Fort Myers): 1-4, 3 K
The 2017 SEC player of the year, Rooker was selected in the Competitive Balance (A) round in this past draft. Challenged by an aggressive promotion to High-A after beginning his pro career in rookie-ball, Rooker’s best attribute is his plus to better raw power, but has a long swing that can be vulnerable to better offspeed.
Steve Givarz is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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