Chavis Leads More Hot Prospects

April 21st, 2017

Michael Chavis 3B (Red Sox) - The 2014 first round draft pick has come back from injury with his bat on fire. A three homerun game after a homerun the day before has given him four homeruns in two games. In four games he is hitting .467 with 8 RBIs. His third homerun in yesterday’s game was a two run walk off homer giving the Salem Red Sox a 7-6 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. At some point the Red Sox need to find a replacement for Pablo Sandoval. Chavez is hitting .467 in the four games.

Christian Arroyo SS (Giants) - Christian has not shown the power for third or the range to play short. His bat is rocking early in the 2017 season. He hit his third homerun, his second in two days to equal the number of homeruns he hit in 119 games in 2016 in 12 games in 2017. A four hit game gives him four multi hit games in five games to raise his average to .479. Christian currently has a 12 game hitting streak since the start of the season.

Cody Bellinger CF - 1B (Dodgers) - Cody is seeing more games in centerfield to get his bat in the lineup. That should have Joc Pederson looking in the rear view mirror. Cody blasted two homeruns yesterday to give him five for the year. 16 whiffs in 13 games is Joc Pederson like but his .360 average is not. He played his second game in centerfield during the two homer game.

Brett Phillips RF (Brewers) - Brett also hit two homeruns including a grand slam to drive in six runs on the same day. The two hits gave him four consecutive games with two hits or more to raise his average to .318. Brett also coaxed two walks in the game to double his total for the year.

Bobby Bradley 1B (Indians) - Bobby Bradley started the season 3 for 28. His power is starting to show his last two games with his second and third homeruns of the year. Last night he drove in five to almost double his RBI total to 11, four more than his hit total. A 4 for 10 spree in his last three games has raised his average to .184. Bradley has big time power with 83 homers his last three years.

Tyler Krieger 2B (Indians) - In the same game that Bobby Bradley hit a three run homer and drove in five runs Tyler was a triple short of the cycle in a four for five day. He was two RBIs short of Bradley in the RBI production. Tyler has slashed hits in seven of his eight games for a .419 average.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - Jon pitched 5.1 innings of no hit relief, walking just one and striking out six in a game Kane County eventually won 1-0. The 2016 third round pick has yet to give up an earned run in 15.1 innings, allowing just five hits. The opposition is hitting him at a .104 clip and he has an impressive 4/20 walk to whiff ratio.

Dylan Cease RHP (Cubs) - Dylan threw six no hit innings in his last start, walking three and striking out seven. With his triple digit fastball many think his best role could be in relief as a closer, but in three starts he has only given up one run, a solo homerun in 15 innings for a 0.60 average. The opposition is hitting .125 against him and he has struck out 22 in 15 innings. Great Lakes got a hit in the seventh inning in a game they lost 3-0.

Luis Robert Declared a Free Agent

April 20th, 2017

Potential Cuban super star Luis Robert has been declared a free agent. As a 19 year old he dominated the Nacional Series in the first half of the 2016 season before departing Cuba (.401, 12, 40 in 53 games). Major league scouts have drooled over his talent potential. In the 18 and under World Cup in 2015 he was voted to the All Tournament team with a .406 average with two homeruns and four stolen bases. Other players who made that tournament team were Josh Naylor, Jose Adolis Garcia (recently signed by the Cardinals), and Blake Rutherford.

There are a number of teams over their international salary cap who would like to sign Roberts. Those are the teams favored to sign him. Those teams who are not over their salary cap are restricted from going over their salary cap because of contracts they signed with international free agents who they will sign July 2.

Donde Esta Cory Snyder

April 20th, 2017

Cory Snyder was supposed to have a better baseball career than his stats at Baseball Reference reflect. He had a powerful arm and a powerful bat. He was healthy for his first three major league seasons where he hit 83 homeruns. Injuries took a toll on his playing time after that and in his next six years he was limited to 63 homeruns as he became limited to a fourth outfielder/role type player.

Cory also played for the first United States Olympic team that won the silver medal in Los Angeles in 1984. He was the fourth player drafted, selected by the Cleveland Indians in the first round in 1984. His 1986 season of hitting 24 homeruns put him fourth in the rookie of the year voting.

Whatever happened to Cory Snyder? It appears he is now managing in Taiwan after a year of managing in Mexico, where he led the Pericos de Puebla to their first Liga Mexican Baseball Championship in 30 years. Only three other American managers have led their team to the Liga Mexican Baseball Championship. Cory hopes to accomplish that same feat managing in Taiwan for the Chinatrust Brothers.

You can read a Q&A about his challenges managing in Taiwan at the cpblenglish link below.

Cory Snyder

Stevenson Back to Back with the High Fives

April 19th, 2017

Andrew Stevenson CF (Nationals) - When you get five hits in a game you tend to get noticed. When you get five hits in back to back games everyone starts talking about you. Andrew went 10 for 12 in back to back games as his team scored 25 runs in their two wins. They won a 16-14 13 inning game against Hartford. Stevenson flashes speed but lacks power. Of his 10 hits three of them were doubles giving him four extra base hits for the season. When you’re hitting .447 that is not much of an issue. Stevenson was the Nationals second round pick in 2015. They did not have a first round pick that year.

Ryan McMahon 3B-1B (Rockies) - In a 16-14 game there is bound to be a little offense and McMahon matched Stevenson with a 5 for 7 day on the losing end of that game. He drove in six runs and was a double short of the cycle. The five hits raised his average to .413 but an 0 for 3 the next day dropped it back down to .388. With third base occupied by Nolan Arenado the best opportunity for Ryan to make the major leagues with the Rockies is to find another position. The Rockies have used Ryan seven games at first and four games at second.

Mike Gerber CF (Tigers) - The Tigers would like to find someone to play centerfield. Gerber may not be that answer with the glove but the Tigers are using him there in AA. He does have a pretty good stick with his four hits on Monday raising his average to .302. An 0 for 4 day the next day dropped it down to .277. Earlier in the season Gerber struggled with 9 whiffs in 13 at bats. His power is borderline for a corner so he could end up a fourth outfielder.

Dominic Smith 1B (Mets) - Myworld was not impressed with what we saw of his glove during spring training, but he is raking it with the bat. A 3 for 5 day in which he hit his second homerun raised his average to .396. If back problems continue to plague Lucas Duda at first base Dominic could find himself with an opportunity to play for the Mets. Many think he lacks the glove and the power to play the position. He does have the potential to hit for average.

Ronald Guzman 1B (Rangers) - The Rangers shelled out $3.45 million to sign the 6′6″ Guzman. A lack of range forced a move from the outfield to first base where his absence of power is a concern. That power started to develop last year with 16 homeruns. This year he is hitting .373 with 16 of his 19 hits singles. He did club his second homerun on Monday night. If he can get his arms extended the ball can travel a long way.

Lewis Brinson CF (Brewers) - Injuries have curtailed the start of the season for Brinson. He has a hit in each of his six games played, with a 4 for 6 day yesterday raising his average to .357. During that game he drove in five runs with a double, two singles and a homerun. Brinson was acquired from the Rangers in the trade for Jonathan Lucroy.

Ryan Boldt CF (Rays) - Boldt was a second round pick of the Rays last year. In rookie season ball he struggled with a .218 average. The Rays were not deterred and this year they promoted Boldt to the High A Florida State League. Last night he went 4 for 5 with his first homerun and a double to drive in six runs. The four hit game almost doubled his hit total for the year raising his average to .306.

Jack Flaherty RHP (Cardinals) - Jack was a first round pick in 2014. A lack of overpowering stuff has kept him under the radar. His fastball sits in the low 90s but at 6′4″ the Cardinals hope to see more as he matures. Jack pitched 7.2 innings of shutout ball on Monday, allowing just two hits and striking out 9. In three starts this year he has allowed only one run and the opposition is hitting just .129 against him. With those kind of results the Cardinals could promote him from AA to the majors before the year is out.

Dakota Chalmers RHP (Athletics) - Dakota had a nice four inning relief outing in which he allowed just one hit and struck out 10 of the 13 hitters he faced. Dakota struck out the first six hitters he faced when he came on to pitch in the fifth inning. Up until then it has been a struggle for Dakota with an ERA of 9.00 coming into the game.

Dane Dunning RHP (White Sox) - Dane could end up being the best pitcher the White Sox acquired in the Adam Eaton trade. The 2016 first round pick had another stellar outing, not allowing a run in his six innings of work. After three starts that lowered his ERA to 0.45 with an opposition average of .153. He has a 1/26 walk to whiff ratio in 20 innings.

Gregory Soto LHP (Tigers) - Gregory is a 6′1″ Dominican who can hit the mid-90s with his fastball, but it sits mostly in the low 90s. That is pretty good for a lefthander, especially one who can throw a pretty good breaking ball. In two starts Gregory has yet to give up a run with his three hits allowed giving him a .086 opposition batting average. If he continues to shine Gregory could rise up the Tigers prospect ladder.

More Prospects Raking from Walker to Palka

April 17th, 2017

Below are some more prospects doing it with the arms and the bats.

Christian Walker 1B (Diamondbacks) - He got knocked from first base to the outfield by Trey Mancini and this year the Orioles released him. Back at his normal first base position his bat has returned in the early season. Christian hit his fourth home run and drove in a season high four runs with a 2 for 5 performance. The 16 RBIs for the year have put him in a tie for first in the Pacific Coast League with Jeimer Candelario, another player featured here for his bat. At 26 years of age Walker’s prospect status is just a glimmer, but there are teams who could use a right handed bat off the bench.

Ian Happ 2B (Cubs) - Ian was already leading the Pacific Coast League in homeruns with five, but he added another one to the total to take a two homer lead. Ian has pasted two hits in five of his last six games to up his average to .311. He has also found a home at second base, with eight of his 11 games there, though he has made two errors.

Cody Bellinger 1B (Dodgers) - The Dodgers have been in talks with the Brewers for Ryan Braun. After kicking the tires for Braun they may want to move Bellinger to the outfield. Cody hit his third homerun yesterday and his 2 for 3 day raised his average to .395. He has also driven in a run in his last four games. Strikeouts have been a concern with 12 in his 10 games and at least one whiff in his last six games. The Dodgers have put Bellinger in the outfield for one of his 10 games. On Saturday night he played centerfield.

Daniel Palka LF (Twins) - Daniel is not going to make you notice him because of his glove in the outfield. It is the bat that defines Palka’s game and yesterday that bat was sizzling with a 4 for 4 day. He was a triple short of the cycle but in his fourth at bat he went deep for his second homerun of the game, his fourth of the season, rather than hitting that paltry triple for the first cycle of the 2017 season. He was in a 1 for 21 slump through Friday, a slump that began after his first two homerun game. The Twins hope another 1 for 21 does not follow.

Ofelky Peralta RHP (Orioles) - The Orioles have been criticized by their lack of international resolve in looking for prospects. Ofelky is one of the rare Dominicans signed by the Orioles. At 6′5″ he has good height for a pitcher. Yesterday he allowed just one hit in five innings of work in a game the Frederick Keys lost when their bullpen gave up a trio of runs each in the last three innings. Ofelky has had some issues with command, walking 9 in 9 innings. On the bright side he has also struck out 14 with a 1.00 ERA. The opposition has a batting average of .138 against him.

Francis Martes RHP (Astros) - Another pitcher who has trouble finding the plate. Francis walked 6 in 4.1 innings of work, but no one crossed the plate in his second shutout appearance of the year in two games. Francis has walked 9 in 9.1 innings but he has struck out 10 and left the game with his 0.00 ERA intact. He left the game after throwing 93 pitches.

Jonathan Dziedzic RHP (Royals) - In a game against the New Orleans Baby Cakes Jonathan no hit them for 6.2 innings. After striking out Destin Hood on his 100th pitch the Storm Chasers removed him from the game. The Baby Cakes got their one and only hit in the ninth inning. Jonathan walked one and struck out six. It was his third start, and second without giving up a run, extending his shutout string to 13.1 innings. His ERA is now a svelte 1.04. If the Royals are looking for a starter Jonathan could be their man.

Major League Franchise Values

April 17th, 2017

Looking for an investment? One that has an almost certainty of increasing in value by 10% or more? If you don’t have a billion dollars on hand then don’t even think about buying a major league franchise. All but six teams have a franchise value that have exceeded $1 billion. All 30 teams have seen an increase in their franchise value, with the Reds seeing only a 1% increase, according to a survey done by Forbes.

The big test could be the sale of the Miami Marlins by the end of the year. Forbes has estimated their franchise value at $940 million. Loria is said to be seeking over $1 billion for the franchise. Looking for a winner? How about those Cleveland Indians with a franchise value of $920 million? That is less than the Marlins and you have playoff revenue as a possibility.

Below are the list of franchise values:

1. Yankees - $3.7 billion
2. Dodgers - $2.75 billion
3. Red Sox - $2.7 billion
4. Cubs - $2.68 billion
5. Giants - $2.65 billion
6. Mets - $2 billion
7. Cardinals - $1.8 billion
8. Angels - $1.75 billion
9. Phillies - $1.65 billion
10. Nationals - $1.6 billion
11. Rangers - $1.55 billion
12. Braves - $1.5 billion
13. Astros - $1.45 billion
14. Mariners - $1.4 billion
15. White Sox - $1.35 billion
16. Blue Jays - $1.3 billion
17. Pirates - $1.2 billion
18. Tigers - $1.2 billion
19. Orioles - $1.18 billion
20. Diamondbacks - $1.15 billion
21. Padres - $1.13 billion
22. Twins - $1.03 billion
23. Rockies - $1 billion
24. Royals - $950 million
25. Marlins - $940 million
26. Brewers - $925 million
27. Indians - $920 million
28. Reds - $915 million
29. Athletics - $880 million
30. Rays $825 million

Top Ten Prospects from Canada

April 16th, 2017

The only player from the top ten list from last year to make the major leagues was Jameson Taillon. He was considered Canadian based on his parent’s birth. The World Baseball Classic team seemed to lack some youth, relying on veterans who had long past their prime as major league players. Myworld is not sure if this is a testament to their lack of confidence in the younger players or they just went too long with veterans that rewarded them four years ago in international events, but found themselves past their prime this year. The Canadian team in the 2017 WBC reminded me too much of the team that took the bronze at the World Cup in Panama in 2011. That was six years ago.

Below is a new crop of Canadian players. There were some bad years from players who appeared on this list last year dropping them off the list for fresher faces with better results or more promise.

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr 3B (Blue Jays) - He is the son of Vladimir. He doesn’t have the arm of his father nor the power but he has a little better patience at the plate. Just because he is not as good as his father at some of those skills does not mean he lacks them. Last year a 33/35 walk to whiff ratio shows he has the ability to make contact. He also slugged 8 homeruns as a 17 year old in rookie ball. A stocky body may force him to move from third base to first or try to fit in left field. Speed is not one of his strong tools but he had enough to steal 15 bases. It may not be enough to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. This year he is playing at Low A and he has already clubbed two homeruns. He still has an impressive 8/5 walk to whiff ratio.

2. Tyler O’Neill OF (Mariners) - Tyler was expected to win the Mariners right field job but Seattle decided to give him more time in the minors. In 2015 he hit 32 homeruns and last year he hit 24. When he makes contact the ball goes a long way. The arm is good enough to play right field and though he only has average speed he has the guile to steal 20 plus bases. The Mariners would like to see him cut down on his strikeouts, which hit 150 last year. More contact could result in a better average with more balls leaving the park. This year he has two homeruns, but his 11 whiffs in 10 games has kept his average down to .211.

3. Cal Quantril RHP (Padres) - The son of Paul was the Padres first round pick last year. The Padres were not deterred by his Tommy John surgery when he was a sophomore in college. His fastball shows some zip, hitting the mid-90s but his change up will get the swings and misses. Last year he struck out 11.2 hitters per nine innings with the command to throw strikes. He only got two starts in Low A with a 17.36 ERA but the Padres have decided to jump him to High A to begin the 2017 season. The California League can be harsh on pitchers and Cal has struggled in his two starts with a 5.40 ERA.

4. Josh Naylor 1B (Padres) - The Marlins drafted the burly first baseman in the first round. After a prank gone bad when he cut Stone Garrett with a knife the Marlins traded him to the Padres for Andrew Cashner. Josh has light tower power that does not come with a lot of whiffs. His bulky body makes first base or DH the only position he can play and his defense at first is not sterling. He needs to hit if he wants to play. The power has yet to show in games, with 12 last year at Low A and High A. The Padres have him playing in the California League where he is struggling to make contact (13 K’s in 10 games) which has resulted in a .178 average with no balls leaving the yard. The .244 slugging average will not last long.

5. Mike Soroka RHP (Braves) - Mike does not have overpowering stuff but that did not prevent the Braves from taking him in the first round with one of their two first round picks. His fastball sits in the low 90s but his secondary stuff (curve and change) are above average. His command is excellent with his pitches forcing hitters to make soft contact or hitting the ball on the ground. In two starts at AA he has only given up one run, a solo homerun in his second start. The opposition is hitting only .122 against him. The Braves have a lot of talented pitchers in their minor leagues, with most having greater velocity than Soroka, but it is those pitchers who can get outs who will make the rotation, not those pitchers who throw the hardest.

6. Nick Pivetta RHP (Phillies) - The Phillies achieved two objectives with Pivetta. They were able to trade Jonathan Papelbon and they got a pretty good pitcher in return. At 6′5″ Nick has the frame to come down on hitters. With his mid-90s fastball he can be intimidating on the mound. Nick has to show improvement on his secondary pitches if he does not want hitters to sit on his fastball. His command could use some improvement as well. Nick has gotten off to a good start at AAA with two victories in his first two starts, including a complete game seven inning shutout. His ERA shines at 0.69 with the opposition hitting him at a .167 clip.

7. Curtis Taylor RHP (Diamondbacks) - Curtis was a fourth round pick of the Diamondbacks last year. Curtis was a reliever in college his first two years, but pitched as a starter his last year. That is the role the Diamondbacks had for him last year. At 6′6″ his fastball hits the mid-90s when pitching in relief. He can also rely more on his fastball/slider mix, with his third pitches rather ordinary. He has yet to pitch this year, which indicates to myworld that he is still in extended spring training.

8. Andy Yerzy C (Diamondbacks) - Andy was drafted in the second round last year by the Diamondbacks, the first of four Canadians the Diamondbacks drafted. Yerzy is supposed to be a bat first catcher but last year he struggled to hit .216 with a .265 slugging average. His arm is not strong but he has the intangibles you want to see in a catcher. Myworld suspects he is with Curtis in extended spring training catching bullpen sessions for him.

9. Gareth Morgan OF (Mariners) - Gareth strikes out a lot and last year could not stay healthy. He was a second round pick in 2014. At 6′4″ he has the ability to hit for power. If he could cut down on his strikeouts and take a few more walks he could improve upon his career .203 average with 244 whiffs in just 146 games. The arm plays in right and there is some speed that he could fit in center, but if he doesn’t hit there will be no place for him. This year Morgan is hitting .179 with 17 whiffs in 28 at bats. The talent is there when he makes contact but that does not occur with great frequency.

10. Demi Orimoloye OF (Brewers) - Born in Nigeria but moving to Canada as a youth Demi was projected to be a first round pick in 2015. Because of some concerns with his ability to make contact he dropped to the fourth round. Demi could be a 30/30 player with excellent speed and the ability to hit the ball a long way once he makes contact. He also can cover a lot of ground in center field. His biggest challenge is that ability to make contact. This is his first year in full season ball and he is struggling with a .194 average and 11 whiffs in nine games. He has carried two balls over the fence and stolen a base. The Brewers will have to show a lot of patience with him.

Top ten Canadian Prospects 2016

Hot Prospects in Mid-April

April 16th, 2017

Kyle Tucker OF (Astros) - Sometimes a season can be defined by one game. For Kyle Tucker that season could have been Saturday night. Coming into the game he was hitting a modest .267. After a 4 for 5 day with two doubles, a homerun and seven RBIs that average had spiked to .343. His RBI total for the year now sits at 11 for nine games. To date 8 of Kyle’s 12 hits have gone for extra bases to put his slugging percentage at .714.

Jose Medina OF (Padres) - Coming into this game Jose was hitting .167 with no homeruns. After a 4 for 5 day with three homeruns Jose was hitting .304 and was no longer embarrassed about seeing his batting average displayed on the scoreboard. The five RBIs he produced in the Lake County 17-5 rout over Lansing were his first five RBIs of the year.

Marcus Wilson OF (Diamondbacks) - Marcus was already having a pretty solid season prior to his 3 for 5 day with two homeruns and six RBIs. The special day upped his average to .405 and doubled his homerun output for the year to 4. Pitchers have been hesitant about pitching to Marcus with 8 walks in 10 games for an OBA of .511. He has an 8/5 walk to whiff ratio.

Anthony Alford OF (Blue Jays) - The fourth outfielder on this list. Anthony has slashed hits in seven of his first eight games. All of those hits have been singles, until last night when he doubled and homered to record his first extra base hits of the year. Alford should have a combination of speed and power. His four stolen bases early in the year have shown off his speed. Now he hopes his most recent production will show off his extra base hit potential.

Chance Sisco C (Orioles) - Chance has struggled in the early part of April but he hopes a 3 for 3 day sparks his season to life. It raised his average to .276. Part of his struggles could be attributed to his inability to make contact. Chance had struck out 11 times in his first seven games, a trait not associated with his skill set.

Luis Ortiz RHP (Brewers) - Luis was slapped around in his first start for five runs in just four innings of work against Montgomery. He was much better in his second start, not allowing a hit in five innings of work. His command was a little off with four walks in the outing. Ironic he did not walk a batter in his first start. Maybe a little wildness is good. It creates an atmosphere of unpredictability.

Jake Jewell RHP (Angels) - So far Jake is having a jewel of a season. He shutout Visalia in the California League for seven innings, allowing just two hits and walking nary a soul. He did strike out eight. After two starts Jake has only allowed one runner to cross the plate for a 0.82 ERA. The Angels could use pitchers like that to fit in their rotation.

Merandy Gonzalez RHP (Mets) - The Mets seem to find a way to discover good pitching. Merandy is another one of these obscure finds. He pitched his second straight game of shutout ball, working 7.2 innings without allowing a run. In his first start he did not allow a run in his six innings of work. That gives him 13.2 innings of shutout ball to start the season with a .149 opposition average and a 1/11 walk to whiff ratio.

Walker Buehler RHP (Dodgers) - The start did not seem so special when he gave up hits to two of the first three hitters he faced. Then he struck out the last eight hitters to raise his season shutout streak to six innings. The Dodgers are being careful with Walker after his Tommy John surgery has limited Walker to five innings of work since he was drafted in the first round in 2015. The two three inning outings have exceeded the five innings he pitched in his first two years with the team.

A No Hitter in the Minor Leagues

April 15th, 2017

Scott Copeland RHP (Marlins) - At 29 years of age Copeland is not considered a prospect. He still threw seven innings of no hit ball before being removed from the game in the top of the eighth for a pinch hitter. He walked one and struck out eight. Two different relievers came on to preserve the no hitter, though a couple walks spoiled the shutout.

Enyel de los Santos RHP (Padres) - Enyel pitched six innings of perfect ball, striking out seven. The bullpen failed to preserve the no hitter giving up a single in the ninth inning. San Antonio was still able to beat Arkansas 2-0. It was the second start for Santos, who has only given up one run in his 12 innings of work. The opposition is hitting just .053 against him. The Padres were able to steal the mid-90s fastball pitcher off the Mariners for Joaquin Benoit.

Ryan Olson RHP (Reds) - Ryan threw a complete game nine inning shutout, giving up just four hits in the first complete game shutout in the minor leagues this year. It was his second start of the year. In his first start he worked seven innings without allowing a run, giving up just two hits. After two starts the opposition is hitting him at a .122 clip. He has only walked one hitter in those 16 innings for a WHIP of 0.44.

Luis Escobar RHP (Pirates) - Luis Escobar struck out 11, which was one less than his first outing. That gives him 23 strikeouts in the young season, tops in the minor leagues. He allowed just one run in each of his starts to fashion a 1.64 ERA. Luis has only walked one hitter in his 11 innings of work with more than two whiffs per each inning of work.

Shane Bieber RHP (Indians) - Believe in the Bieber. He struck out 11 in six innings of work allowing just the one run. In two starts covering 10.2 innings Shane has yet to walk a batter, striking out 18. The fourth round 2016 pick is not overpowering but relies on his command to retire hitters.

Franklin Perez RHP (Astros) - In the low minors the Astros like to rotate their pitchers starting and relieving. Franklin gave up just one hit in 5.1 innings in his start. In a relief outing he picked up a save with four innings of perfect relief. That is one hit given up in 9.1 inning of work for an opposition average of .034.

Jomar Reyes 3B (Orioles) - Jomar has six multiple hit games in the nine games he has played. That has put his average at .444 to start the season. He is repeating his assignment in the Carolina League after hitting just .228 there last year. Last year Jomar stole three bases and he has stolen one base this year. Not noted for his speed Jomar has yet to be caught stealing in his minor league career going 7 for 7 in stolen bases.

Francisco Mejia C (Indians) - Last year Francisco put together a 50 game hitting streak in his two level performance hitting .342. He continues to hit this year with an 8 game hitting streak to start the season and a .414 average. Seven of his 12 hits have gone for doubles. If Yan Gomes struggles with the bat this year Francisco could find himself in the major leagues.

Chris Shaw 1B (Giants) - Chris is finding AA pitching to his liking, raking for a .382 average in 10 games. He is 8 for 12 in his last three games with homeruns in consecutive games and seven RBIs during that three game stretch. Brandon Belt will be a tough bat to replace and Chris does not have the foot speed to move to the outfield.

Christian Arroyo SS (Giants) - Christian has an eight game hitting streak and a 3 for 3 performance Friday raised his average to .467. Only four of his 14 hits have gone for extra bases.

Cesar with the Dagger Shot to Down Nationals

April 15th, 2017

Chris Heisey had just lined a shot into the left field bleachers to send the game into a 2-2 tie after seven innings. Joe Blanton came on to relieve Tanner Roark and again the Nationals bullpen failed the team. Blanton hit Freddy Galvis on a 1-2 count and Cesar Hernandez launched a high shot into the right field bleachers to give the Phillies a 4-2 lead and the eventual win over the Nationals.

The Nationals hit Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson hard but the balls died in the outfield grass for 11 flyouts, a couple of those outs finding the warning track dirt. They only managed four hits off Hellickson, two of them by Tanner Roark. In the third inning with Lobaton on first and the infield playing in for a bunt Roark pushed a ball into right field for a hit. Anthony Rendon bounced a single into left field to score Lobaton with the first run of the game.

The Phillies came right back in the top of the fourth. Back to back bunt singles by Cesar Hernandez and Howie Kendrick put the first two runners on base. Odubel Herrera hit a slow roller past the diving Rendon, the ball rolling into the corner for a double to score Hernandez to tie the game. A Maikel Franco ground out to second scored the Phillies second run. With a runner on third and just one out Michael Saunders popped to short and Tommy Joseph grounded to third to keep the score at 2-1.

Roark went seven innings and allowed just four hits, two of them bunt singles and three hits in the fourth inning. Hellickson gave up four hits as well, but lots of solid strokes that resulted in fly outs.

Game Notes: Wilmer Difo made a number of nice plays at short. He is showing he can play the position defensively. Unfortunately his bat has been a little soft, another 0 for day dropping his average to .200…If Maikel Franco had some speed he could have had two infield hits. Difo robbed him of a hit with a back hand stop in the second inning and Daniel Murphy robbed him of a hit up the middle…It was a rag tag lineup for the Nationals filled with backups. The last four hitters in the lineup were hitting .000. Difo was replacing Turner because of injury, Heisey and Michael Turner were in the outfield replacing Werth and Eaton and Lobaton was replacing Wieters behind the plate. The revised lineup was quiet with the bats as far as hits, though many balls were hit hard…Michael Taylor hit two long balls to the warning track in center field but they were both tracked down and caught by Odubel Herrera…The Nationals bullpen has given up 10 homeruns in the last 11 games with Blanton giving up three homeruns…Daniel Murphy ended his 10 game hitting streak with an 0 for 4 day.