August 22, 2017
Minor League Update
Games of August 21
Hitter of the Day:
Daulton Varsho, C, Arizona Diamondbacks (Short-Season, Hillsboro): 3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, K
While you were all watching the eclipse early, Varsho was hitting bombs into the eclipsed sky. Taken in the Competitive Balance (B) Round, Varsho is an odd duck. While he catches, he has well-below average arm strength, but is regarded as a well above average defender, and is a plus runner to boot. At the plate he has a short lefty stroke and is built strongly, giving him plus raw power.
Pitcher of the Day:
Corbin Burnes, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (Double-A, Biloxi): 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K
I’m sure somewhere in Hawaii, Craij saw this performance and enjoyed another (whatever Craij drinks IDK) beer? Whatever, and wherever, the challenge Burnes has faced, he has succeeded. He throws a lot of strikes, making hitters uncomfortable, and uses his plus slider in any count against any batter, no matter the situation.
Other Notable Performances:
Zac Lowther, LHP, Baltimore Orioles (Short-Season, Aberdeen): 6 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 7 K
Taken in the Competitive Balance (B) Round, Lowther was a machine at Xavier, setting the school record for strikeouts in a single season. While you would think Lowther is a flamethrower, he isn’t, as his fastball is barely an average offering on its own. But he commands it especially well, and it features plus life, making it hard to square up.
Stephen Woods, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Low-A, Augusta): 6 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Drafted in the 8th round in 2016, Woods is more thrower with stuff than a pitcher. His fastball is an easy plus to better offering, his curve can be a plus pitch, and he has a slider that elicits average grades as well. But he lacks command and can lose his delivery at times, making him frustrating to watch.
Dustin May, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Low-A, Great Lakes): 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 6 K, 2 HRA
May has been dubbed Ginger-gaard here on the prospect team by many, and we have many views on him. Here is an eyewitness and a MMTP report on him.
Danny Jansen, C, Toronto Blue Jays (Triple-A, Buffalo): 4-4, 2 R, 3B, 2 HR, 2 RBI
While the big league club has had its own problems with the catching position, Jansen looks like he is ready to take a spot. His defensive acumen gets good grades, and he makes enough contact and power to profile on the lighter end as a major league regular.
Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins (Low-A, Cedar Rapids): 1-4, HR, 3 RBI
Safe to say, he has been doing well in his first foray into pro ball.
Calvin Mitchell, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (Rookie, Gulf Coast): 4-4, R, 2 2B, RBI, BB
While Mitchell struggled his senior season, he still showed enough promise to be taken in the 2nd round of this past draft. While he might not bring a lot of defensive value, he has a very promising bat, showing above-average bat speed and an ability to use the the whole field.
Aramis Ademan, SS, Chicago Cubs (Low-A, South Bend): 3-6, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, SB
With an opportunity to play everyday at Low-A, Ademan becomes one of the youngest regulars in the Midwest League. A plus runner, Ademan uses his speed and range to cover ground at SS, projecting to stay there through the long run.
Bobby Bradley, 1B, Cleveland Indians (Double-A, Akron): 2-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, K
Yes the power is big, almost as big as that eclipse was. But will it play enough to look away from all the swing and miss?
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox (Double-A, Portland): 4-4, 2 2B, RBI
With Rafael Devers tearing it up in the big leagues, one wonders where Chavis will play in the big leagues. This is a good problem to have and will be figured out when the problem opens up.
Taylor Trammell, OF, Cincinnati Reds (Low-A, Dayton): 2-3, R, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, K, 3 SB
Trammell has acclimated well to pro ball, showing off all the tools that made him such a high pick. A 70 runner, Trammell now has almost 40 stolen bases to go with his 11 home runs, 23 doubles, and 9 triples.
Jose Marmolejos, 1B, Washington Nationals (Double-A, Harrisburg) 1-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K
While not much of a power threat, Jose hits, and hits and hits. Eventually, you find a place for these hitters.
Fight Another Day:
Anthony Banda, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Triple-A, Reno): 2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB
Welcome back to Reno, your seat was kept warm while you were in the big leagues.
KJ Harrison, C, Milwaukee Brewers (Rookie, Helena): 0-5, 4 K
Taken in the 3rd round in this past draft, KJ didn’t catch much this spring at Oregon State, but recognizing the value that his kind of bat would provide behind the dish, the Brewers are giving it a shot. He has plus bat speed, and plus raw power, but has a refined approach, showing an all-fields approach in his first foray.
Steve Givarz is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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