August 3, 2017
Minor League Update
Games of August 2
Hitter of the Day:
Travis Demeritte, 2B, Atlanta Braves (Double-A, Mississippi): 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB
While it seems like Demeritte is blocked for the forseeable future because of Albies and Swanson; you never know what can happen, but they will find a way. Demeritte’s plus power will find a place in the big leagues, whether it is at 2B or even 3B.
Pitcher of the Day:
Garrett Williams, LHP, San Francisco Giants (High-A, San Jose): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K
While there hasn’t been much to root for on the major league squad, the minor leagues do have some intriguing players. Williams is one of them. A plus fastball/curve combination will get you noticed, but his lack of a usable change, as well as a funky delivery might be more suited in the pen.
Other Notable Performances:
Gregory Soto, LHP, Detroit Tigers (Low-A, West Michigan): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K
While older for the Midwest League at 22, the Tigers have always taken it slow with Soto. His plus fastball has been making quick work of the league, and his curve has gotten some average grades as well.
Jason Groome, LHP, Boston Red Sox (Low-A, Greeneville): 6 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 8 K
With his lat strain behind him, Groome has showed the stuff that made him so appealing in the first place. While he hasn’t done as well as some would have hoped in his first full season, development is rarely linear.
Bryse Wilson, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A, Rome): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
A 4th rounder in the 2016 draft, Wilson got $1.2M to not become a Tar Heel and to become a Brave instead. Wilson has a physical body and an intimidating presence on the mound, which can be scary for hitters when everything is working together. Everything can potentially include a plus heater, a plus slider, and a usable change.
Mitchell White, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Double-A, Tulsa): 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
While behind some of the other big bats/arms in the system, White still has legit stuff, and could end up high on our top 100.
Michael Baumann, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (Short-Season, Aberdeen): 5 IP, 3 H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Taken in the 3rd round from Jacksonville University, Baumann has a big fastball and an assortment of off-speed he can throw for strikes. While his slider projects as average, the lack of a true swing and miss offering limits his overall upside.
Kevin Merrell, SS, Oakland Athletics (Short-Season, Vermont): 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, E, CS
Taken in the Competitive Balance (A) round from the University of South Florida, Merrell’s carrying tool is his 80 speed. While that does a lot for him, he could even be a plus hitter given how he wreaks havoc on the bases and showed premium bat speed.
Derek Hill, OF, Detroit Tigers (Low-A, West Michigan): 3-5, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI, K
After missing most of the past year with Tommy John surgery, all Hill needs to do now is stay healthy, and collect AB’s.
Troy Montgomery, OF, Los Angeles Angels (Double-A, Mobile): 3-5, 2 R, K
A plus runner, Montgomery can defend anywhere in the outfield, which is good because his profile is 4th OF. He doesn’t have much over the fence power, and while he makes consistent contact, most of it is light.
Samir Duenez, 1B, Kansas City Royals (Double-A, NW Arkansas): 4-4, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Duenez does have some power, it profiles as average, but unless he turns into a 7 hitter (not likely); the profile is more bench bat/Quad-A then everyday regular.
Garrett Hampson, SS, Colorado Rockies (High-A, Lancaster): 3-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K
How good can Hampson be? Wilson Karaman has the break-down.
Nolan Jones, 3B, Cleveland Indians (Short-Season, Mahoning Valley): 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K
Cleveland knew how raw Jones was after being drafted in the 2nd round in 2016. So some early struggles are to be expected, it is good to see the power playing though.
Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies (Triple-A, Lehigh Valley): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, K
Hoskins has nothing left to prove in the minors, he just needs a major league opportunity to open up for him.
Fight Another Day:
Triston McKenzie, RHP, Cleveland Indians (High-A, Lynchburg): 5 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HRA
Even great pitchers have bad days.
Alex Jackson, C?, Atlanta Braves (Double-A, Mississippi): 0-4, 4 K
But more often than not, hitters who struggle to make consistent contact often continue to struggle making consistent contact.
Steve Givarz is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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