August 23, 2017
Minor League Update
Games of August 22
Hitter of the Day:
Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (Triple-A, Buffalo): 4-5, 3 R, 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI
The Astros were full of quality OF prospects, making him expendable when he was shipped to Toronto for Francisco Liriano.
Pitcher of the Day:
Antonio Santillan, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (Low-A, Dayton): 5 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
If you are looking for a pitcher with as much upside as anyone, then let me introduce you to Mr. Santillan. Armed with a premium arsenal of a 70 fastball, a slider that sometimes gets grades that high and a durable body. If you are looking for a safer option that throws strikes and is a better athlete…then let’s steer elsewhere.
Other Notable Performances:
D.J. Stewart, OF, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A, Bowie): 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
While the profile is tough to put a peg on, Stewart has been doing what made him a 1st rounder in 2015; which is hit. It really is a tough profile though, he has a below-average arm, is a poor athlete, a below-average runner, and might struggle to be average in left field.
DJ Neal, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (Rookie, Gulf Coast): 5-6, 2 R, 3B, RBI
This DJ on the other hand is much, much different. A former WR at South Carolina, Neal has great athleticism, plus speed, and looks to be a future 4th OF.
Jake Burger, 3B, Chicago White Sox (Low-A, Kannapolis): 3-4, RBI
Known for his massive raw power, this first round draft pick has more athleticism than one would expect. His above-average arm and soft hands give him more of a chance to stay at 3B than you would think.
Taylor Trammell, OF, Cincinnati Reds (Low-A, Dayton): 2-5, 2 R, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 2 K
Trammell has a ton of upside, and Nathan Graham just wrote him up (with video) in Tuesday’s NFTF.
Jake Rogers, C, Houston Astros (High-A, Buies Creek): 2-4, R, 3B, RBI, BB
Catchers with catch-and-throw skills and raw power can stick around for a long time. Even if they don’t hit for a high average, they still provide enough value for any club.
Stephen Alemais, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A, Bradenton): 2-4, R, 2B, K, 2 SB
Possibly the best SS glove in the Pirates system, he lacks the offensive upside of Tucker, Newman, Hayes, and Cruz. But defenders find a way to stick around.
Daulton Varsho, C, Arizona Diamondbacks (Short-Season, Hillsboro): 3-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 3B, RBI
Apparently if you play a game in the eclipse and look at it just right…you won’t become blind. You will end up like Varsho and hit every baseball you see.
Jake Bauers, 1B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A, Durham): 2-3, 2 R, BB, SB
With Casey Gillaspie out of the way, Bauers has been getting more consistent reps at 1B, where he is most comfortable defensively. While not much of a power hitter, Bauers produces consistently hard line drives which is promising.
Drew Carlton, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Short-Season, Conneticut): IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, SV
Taken in the 32nd round of this past draft, Carlton was the closer for Florida State this past season and got an above-slot bonus for signing. While he doesn’t have loud, wipeout stuff, he is a good pitcher who locates everything.
Scott Blewett, RHP, Kansas City Royals (High-A, Wilmington): 8 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, HRA
Long-heralded as a raw northern arm, Blewett has started to defrost. His fastball can be a plus offering with average sink, and, when it is working, an above-average curve.
Ryan Helsley, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Double-A, Springfield): 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 7 K, HRA
Double-A doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for him thus far. His fastball can be a 7 offering if he were to shift full time to the bullpen, which doesn’t seem to be an option right now. He has been able to spin the ball more consistently, giving him a chance to start. Dang Devil Magic.
Michael Shawaryn, RHP, Boston Red Sox (High-A, Salem): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
The obvious comp to a thicker bodied, lower arm slot righty is Jake Peavy. But Jake Peavy was pretty good for a while, and he has rings so it maybe isn’t so bad?
Freddy Tarnok, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Rookie, Gulf Coast): 2 IP, 3 H, R, 0 ER, BB, K
Tarnok was one of the most interesting arms for me this past draft season. While everything is super easy, and super raw, the lack of a consistent breaking ball and overall command gave me doubts about his ability as a starter.
Fight Another Day:
Marten Gasparini, OF, Kansas City Royals (Low-A, Lexington): 0-4, 3 K
Sometimes, when you are watching your native homeland Italy get eliminated in the Little League World Series, you feel like you are on a little league field.
Jacob Nix, RHP, San Diego Padres (Double-A, San Antonio): 2/3 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, BB
Or sometimes, when watching the Major Leaguers honor the Little Leaguers in Williamsport, PA, you feel like a Little League pitcher going up against Major Leaguers.
Steve Givarz is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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