Top Prospects for May 3

May 5th, 2016

A number of players earned an appearance on the hot prospect list for this day.

Aristides Aquino OF (Reds) - It’s not for his one game but his last six games that he appears on this list where he has hit five homeruns, equaling the mark he had for 61 games at Low A last year. This offensive barrage is also being done in the Florida State League. In this six game homer streak he is 12 for 22 with 11 of the 13 RBIs he has driven in for the year. It has also raised his average to .250.

Dariel Alvarez RF (Orioles) - He is one of many players who lacks a position to play on the major league team. The corner outfields are crowded in Baltimore, but with more 4 for 5 outbursts that drive in six runs he could squeeze his way into the equation. The 6 RBI game came with only one extra base hit (a double) and equaled the amount he drove in for the month of April. Dariel still needs to show more power to make the major league club. A .330 slugging percentage with just seven doubles as your only extra base hit collection for your 29 hits is not going to make it as a corner outfielder.

Yoan Moncada 2B (Red Sox) - Another Cuban with a little more talent at his disposal hit a grand slam homerun in the first game of a double header and finished the day 3 for 6 with five runs scored and five runs driven in. The homerun was his first of the year, but he followed that double header with a 3 for 4 day and two doubles to bring his slugging average up to .506. In his last three games he is now 6 for 10 to up his average to .348 and he is 15 for 18 in stolen base success.

Steven Moya RF (Tigers) - Another right fielder without a position to play but with a bat that can make an impact. In two games the 6″7″ right fielder went 7 for 8 with three doubles, two homeruns and seven runs driven in. The two homer game of May 3 brings his season total up to 7. Strikeouts have always been a problem for Steven but this year he has cut them down to 21 in 24 games. The month of May has seen his walk to whiff ratio improve to 3/1 when compared to Aprils 2/20, meaning pitchers are either fearing him or his strike zone discipline is improving.

Dilson Herrera 2B (Mets) - He does not appear on many prospect lists because he no longer has rookie eligibility. That will not prevent him from appearing on this list. His homerun in the WBC qualifier put Colombia in the WBC. On this day he went 4 for 6 with two homeruns and a triple to drive in five runs. The two homeruns were his first of the year and the five RBIs were one short than he hit in April. At 22 years of age he is still young enough for the Mets to have patience with him. Defense is where he needs to show improvement.

Dominic Smith 1B (Mets) - A level lower is Dominic, the Mets first round pick in 2013. He slugged this third homerun in a 3 for 6 day driving in four runs. A lack of power has been the big brick wall to the question marks surrounding Dominic as he has yet to reach double digits in homeruns. His 230 pounds on a 6′0′ frame is also cause for worry.

Chris Shaw 1B (Giants) - The Giants 2015 first round pick has seemed to take off since Brandon Belt signed an extension with the Giants. The 22 year old has hit homeruns in back to back games in a 4 for 8 two day run with six runs driven in. He also has driven in a run for all four games of May and has driven in 12 runs in his last six games.

Miguel Andujar 3B (Yankees) - The Dominican is heating up. A 4 for 5 game with two doubles and a homerun has upped his average to .286 and increased his slugging percentage to .505. For the month of May he has a three game stretch where he is 7 for 12. This is his second year in the Florida State League after he hit just .243 with 8 homeruns there last year. His five homeruns this year in 100 less games has almost equaled that production. He could be promoted to AA soon.

Richard Urena SS (Blue Jays) - The 20 year old Dominican is not thought of when you think of the top shortstops percolating up through the minor league systems, but he was a perfect 4 for 4 on this day and is 6 for 9 for the month to raise his average to .298. Last year he slugged 16 homeruns, but that power has been absent this year with only two homeruns to date.

Pitchers

Jameson Taillon RHP (Pirates) and Matt Andriese RHP (Rays) - Another classic pitcher’s duel where neither pitcher was around after Indianapolis beat Duram 1-0 in 12 innings. Jameson threw seven innings of shutout ball allowing just two hits. His ERA now sits at a pretty 1.19 after five starts. Andriese was the monster in this game striking out 14 in his seven innings of work and allowing just three hits. This was the best outing of the year for Matt who finished April with a rather uninspiring 4.28 ERA.

Archie Bradley RHP (Diamondbacks) - The D-backs should reserve a spot for him soon in their rotation. The swing and miss is back in his repertoire with 11 whiffs in seven innings in his last start. He did give up two runs and needs to improve on his command, with 12 walks in 18 innings for the month of April. For his first start of May he walked two.

Ryan Castellani RHP (Rockies) - The 2014 second round pick tossed a nice one hit gem in his eight innings of work. He walked one and struck out 10 facing only two over the minimum in his outing.

Jose De Leon RHP (Dodgers) - The Puerto Rican made his debut a good one tossing five innings of two hit shutout ball. He walked one and struck out nine in his AAA outing. The Dodgers could use some help in their rotation and it may only take a couple outings like this one to bring him up to the major leagues.

Ariel Miranda LHP (Orioles) - The 27 year old Cuban could be ready to make an appearance in the troubled Orioles rotation after giving up just four hits in six innings of shutout ball for Norfolk. Ariel needs to develop more consistency as his year has been troubled with one good outing followed by a bad outing, leaving his ERA at 3.33. Lefthanded hitters are also hitting .368 against him with a .526 slugging when compared to righthanders who are only hitting him at a .205 clip with a .286 slugging.

Brandon Woodruff RHP (Brewers) - This is his second year in the Florida State League. He threw seven innings of four hit shutout ball in his last outing, walking none and striking out seven. His ERA dropped to a pleasant 1.41, which could soon lead to a promotion to AA.

Victor Payano LHP (Rangers) - Same team but a different Payano. This one struck out 13 of the 24 hitters he faced in 6.2 innings of work. He didn’t walk a batter and allowed just four hits. This was certainly an eye opening performance for this Payano.

Arruebarrena Again Suspended by Dodgers for Season

May 4th, 2016

Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena was again suspended by the Dodgers for the rest of the season because of “repeated failures to comply with the terms of his contract.” Details have not been issued stating what those failures are. Last year the Dodgers attempted to suspend Arruebarrena for the full season, but a grievance filed by the player’s union reduced that suspension to 30 days.

Arruebarrena has been a bust since signing his $25 million contract. Always known as a good field/no hit type of player, he is still owed $4 million this year and $9 million the next two years. It is unclear whether his suspension will mean he does not get paid for the 2016 season. It is also unclear whether the union will again try to contest the suspension.

Erisbel is hitting just .182 with 21 strikeouts in just 17 games. The previous year he had hit .299 in just 53 games.

Another Cuban, Hector Olivera is waiting for a decision from the Commissioner’s office concerning his penalty for being involved in a domestic dispute. The courts have already dismissed the case, but major league baseball is continuing their investigation.

Hot Prospects for May 2

May 4th, 2016

Not a large list, but a list.

Marco Hernandez SS (Red Sox) - The Red Sox do not have a position for him. He has come up a couple times as a utility player, hitting .500 with a .667 OBA in three major league at bats. In AAA he is hitting .368 playing second, third short and left field. He had a 4 for 5 day Tuesday driving in one run, all of his hits singles. Don’t expect a lot of power in his bat or multiple stolen bases. Marco is being groomed to be a utility player, unless he is traded outside the Red Sox organization.

Daniel Robertson SS (Rays) - The Rays acquired Robertson from the Athletics in the Ben Zobrist trade. At the time he was a highly thought of shortstop, selected by the Athletics as a supplemental first round pick in 2012. Now he is not even considered the top shortstop on the Rays depth chart. On Tuesday he was a homer short of the cycle in a 4 for 5 day to raise his average to .253. Prior to that he had come into the game in a 0 for 9 slump. The two extra base hits almost equaled the number he hit in April (3), his slugging average for that month a woeful .299.

Kendall Coleman OF (Yankees) - The Yankees are struggling but there is strength in their minor leagues. Kendall went all of April without hitting a homerun. In his second game of May he slugged two homeruns to drive in five. In the month of April his only extra base hit was a triple.

Pitchers

Joe Musgrove RHP (Astros) - In his five appearances Joe has only given up one earned run and another unearned run. That leaves him with a microscopic 0.39 ERA. He threw a season high six innings of five hit shut out ball on Tuesday. His walk to whiff ratio also improved to 3/26.

Daniel Mengden RHP (Athletics) - Mengden used to be an Astro but he was traded in the Scott Kazmir deal, but then Musgrove used to be a Blue Jay. Mengden has also given up two runs in his five starts, both of them earned and in the same game. That means his other four starts he did not allow a run. His start Tuesday was a six inning five hit shutout, his first of May and his first in AAA. With Chris Bassitt out for the year expect Mengden to be in the Athletics rotation before mid-season if he keeps on tossing the zeros.

Carson Sands LHP (Cubs) - The Cubs fourth round 2014 pick threw six innings of three hit shut out ball in Low A Tuesday. Before Cub fans get too excited his walk to whiff ratio is an unimpressive 10/11 in 20 innings. He is left handed so that is a plus, but lefties are hitting .275 against him. If he makes it expect him to fill the back end of a rotation.

Eldred Leads Offensive Resurgence for Carp

May 3rd, 2016

Brad Eldred has homered in three consecutive games, though the Yomiuri Giants defeated the Hiroshima Carp in the last game 3-2 to take over first place from the Carp by half a game. The Carp destroyed the Chunichi Dragons 10-7, 12-2 and 9-4 with Eldred hit a homerun in the last two games of that series.

The Carp offense is on top of the NPB in homeruns (34), runs scored (167) and batting average (.282). Eldred leads the Central League in batting average, hitting .378. He is tied for the league lead in homeruns with Tetsuto Yamada (11) and his 22 RBIs fall behind teammates Yoshihiro Maru (25) and Takahiro Arai (23) and the Tigers Mauro Gomez (30) and Dragons Dayan Viciedo (24). Yamada has also driven in 22 runs.

Other players leading the Carp offense include Ryosuke Kikuchi (.341) who is also 7 for 7 in stolen base success rate, Kosuke Kanaka (.303), Maru (.328) and Takahiro Arai (.318). Arai only has one homerun but that has not prevented him from driving in 23 runs and scoring a Central League leading 27 times.

Eldred was able to steal 299 major league plate appearances, slugging 15 homeruns over a four year period from 2005 to 2012. His batting average during that time was only .188 with a 17/109 walk to whiff ratio. In the minor leagues he was a big time slugger hitting 38 homeruns in 2004, winning the Pirates minor league player of the year honors and 35 homeruns in 2008. In total he hit 251 minor league homeruns, slugging .546.

The Carp were attracted to these slugging numbers, signed him mid-season in 2012. In his first season with the Carp in 2013 he hit 13 homeruns but only hit .247 while playing just 66 games. The next year Brad found some thunder in his bat, slugging 37 homeruns and driving in 104 runs. Injuries in 2015 limited him to just 79 games and 19 homeruns, the poor year almost resulting in his release. Brad has bounced back and at 35 years of age is looking at a career year this year. It is probably too late for him to continue his major league career, but the Carp will keep him for a couple more years if he continues to sail balls over the fences.

Hot Prospects for May 1

May 3rd, 2016

The first day of May and we have a three homer game and a classic pitcher’s duel.

Wendell Rijo 2B (Red Sox) - The Dominican is blocked by Dustin Pedroia at second base and he lacks a stand out tool to convince the Red Sox to give him the job. What puts him on this page is a 4 for 5 day that brings his average to .219. His April ended at .169 and his May has started at .800. Wendell hopes this will be the beginning of a surge.

Jarrett Parker OF (Giants) - At 27 years old his time is now to be on the major league roster. A three homerun day where he drove in six could be the start of that quest. The next day he hit another homerun to give him four for the month of May. An improvement on his .203 average and a reduction in his strikeouts is a must if he wants to see the major league roster. For the month of April he whiffed 31 times in just 19 games to put his average at .171.

Pitchers

Braden Shipley RHP (D-backs) and Jeff Hoffman RHP (Rockies) - A classic pitchers duel between these two first round picks. Neither allowed a run in a game won by Reno in 12 innings 1-0. Shipley worked six innings of four hit ball and Hoffman worked seven innings of three hit ball. For Shipley it was his second consecutive shutout appearance extending his shutout streak to 13.

Cody Reed LHP (Reds) - This is the other Cody Reed on the Reds. He pitched seven innings of one hit ball, striking out five. His strikeout numbers are not as prevalent as the D-back version, but he gets the job done.

Luis Ortiz RHP (Rangers) - There are more than two players named Luis Ortiz in the minor leagues, but none of them have close to the talent as this Luis, who pitched six innings of four hit shutout ball. The first round pick in the 2014 draft starred for the 18 and under United States national team and is carrying that talent into his minor league career.

Top 10 Venezuelan Prospects in American League

May 2nd, 2016

This is the weakest of the two conferences for Venezuelan prospects. Barretto repeats at the top of the list while the number two prospect Eduardo Rodriguez graduated to the major leagues. Bruce Rondon and Carlos Sanchez, the number four and five prospects also saw too much time in the major leagues to repeat this list, though both are back in the minor leagues to get more seasoning. The sixth rated prospect Hernan Perez was traded to Milwaukee in the National League but saw too much time in the major leagues to make the list. You can see the 2015 list at the link below.

1. Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - The number one American League Venezuelan prospect on this list last year is the number one prospect this year. With the political chaos currently enveloping the country it may be more difficult to identify top prospects in the future. Franklin was signed by the Blue Jays but included in the Josh Donaldson trade. Since he was the premier piece the Athletics acquired for Donaldson they hope he reaches his potential. There is power in his bat but 34 errors last year and lack of strength in his arm may make a move to second possible. The Athletics will keep him at short and hope he develops more consistency with the glove. The hit tool should keep him in the .300 neighborhood.

2. Anderson Espinoza RHP (Red Sox) - As a 17 year old he was hitting the mid-90s with his fastball. If he was in the United States that would make him a lock as a first round pick. The Red Sox signed the Venezuelan for $1,8 million. He has a small frame (6′0″) which could impact his durability. A curve and change give him three pitches to remain in the rotation. If he can remain healthy as he pitches up the minor league ladder the Red Sox see no reason to remove him from the rotation. If arm problems question his durability for long stretches expect him to be used as a closer.

3. Renato Nunez 3B (Athletics) - A slugging corner infielder. The Athletics have a lot of them in their minor league system. Where Renato goes, to first or third depends on where the other prospects settle. Renato will leave the yard for 30 plus homeruns a year. This would be excellent if he settles at third, but his defense is a question mark there. The Athletics have three more advanced prospects (Max Muncy, Matt Olson and Rangel Ravelo) who also play there. Last year he only played 93 games, missing the month of April because of a calf injury.

4. Wilkerman Garcia SS (Yankees) - The Yankees signed Wilkerman for $1.35 million. They like the tools he gives them at short with a bat that has the potential to produce some power. Jorge Mateo, a similarly gifted shortstop is a step ahead of him on the prospect ladder and Didi Gregorious shows consistency on defense in the major leagues. Wilkerman did not hit any homeruns last year but as he fills out the power is expected to come. A 24/19 walk to whiff ratio is evidence of hit tools that will rake in the .300 or above. As he rises up the Yankees minor league system his name will become as popular as Mateo on the prospects list. Potential exists for Wilkerman to exhibit all five tools, with greater power than Mateo but not as much speed.

5. Jose Martinez OF (Royals) - His best shot for making the team was this year when the Royals were looking for a right fielder. His arm may be better suited for left so the 26 year old will spend some more time in the minor leagues. If he continues to hit .384 at AAA Omaha with 10 homeruns and a .563 slugging percentage the Royals will find room for him in the lineup. He lacks the speed to play centerfield. If the Royals had not resigned Alex Gordon for left field in 2016 the position would have been his to lose in spring training.

6. Luis Torrens C (Yankees) - The Yankees are always signing offensive oriented catchers who they hope develop defensively. Luis signed out of Venezuela in 2012 for $1.3 million. A torn labrum in his shoulder and surgery prevented him from playing the 2015 season. Prior to the shoulder issues Luis had a strong arm. How that arm bounces back after the surgery will be key to his progress. There is power in his bat so the Yankees will show patience with his progress. His 20th birthday will come May 2 (today with this writing) so he has plenty of time to recover.

7. German Marquez RHP (Rays) - The fastball hops to the plate in the mid-90s, hitting as high as 97. The big concern is his 6′1″ frame, which is borderline slight for a right handed starter. There are also only two other pitches in his repertoire, the curveball his second pitch with a change still in the developmental stage. In 2015 in the Florida State League he appeared a bit hittable, with the opposition hitting him at a .272 clip. The previous year the opposition average stood at a slight .228. He needs to improve on missing the bats, or pitching more to weak contact to fit into the Rays rotation.

8. Miguel Aparicio OF (Rangers) - Miguel was a $500,000 signing last year. His bat may be his best tool, though he will hit more for average than power. The instincts are there to play center, but the speed for him to be an ideal defensive player is short. The arm may not be strong enough for right so left field appears to be his best position if his tools do not develop enough to play center. He will begin the 2016 season as a 17 year old, the age where most United States kids are surviving their junior year in high school. So Miguel has a lot of maturing to do to exceed his current projection as a fourth of fifth outfielder based on present tools.

9. Luis Alexander Basabe 1B (Red Sox) - Luis will not turn 20 until August. The potential exists for him to develop five tools, with good power and speed to play center and be a run producer in the lineup. Injuries and short season ball have prevented him from playing in more than 72 games. The seven homeruns he hit last year were a career high but it was also accompanied by his worst strikeout rate, more than once whiff per game.

10. Engelb Vielman SS (Twins) - Myworld was tempted to add Rafael Ortega since he is getting regular playing time n left field for the Angels. Engelb has more potential to be an impact player in the long haul. Signed for just $90,000, his strength is his defense. His errors are few and his arm is strong. He will go as far as his bat will allow him. The power is absent so don’t expect a lot of balls to leave the park. Last year only 12 of his 119 hits went for extra bases. There is enough speed in his legs to steal 35 bases last year, so a top of the order spot could be a possibility if his bat improves.

2015 top ten Venezuelan prospects in American League

Hot Prospects for April 30

May 2nd, 2016

Mostly pitchers for this day. Some of them are finding themselves on this list again.

Aquino Aristedes OF (Reds) - The Dominican had an off year last year after slugging 16 homeruns in 2014. He hopes to bounce back from a slow start this year with a 3 for 5 day accompanied by a homerun and five RBIs a good way to break out of his lethargy. Aquino has homered the last two days peppering pitchers for an 8 for 13 streak over the last four games, boosting his average to .229.

Sherman Johnson 2B (Angels) - The Angels do not have a lot of recognized prospects and at 25 Sherman may be a bit old for some to get excited about. The Angels did not draft him until the 12th round in 2012 out of Florida State. He raked with a 5 for 5 day on April 30th and in the second game of a double header the next day went 4 for 4 with another homerun to raise his average to .393 at AA Arkansas. He is currently in the middle of a 10 game hitting streak. The lefthanded hitter is averaging .412 against lefthanders with a 14/13 walk to whiff ratio. Sherman will have to continue to prove this run is not a fluke after he hit just .204 last year at Arkansas, though he did walk 89 times.

Jeff Gardner LF (Nationals) - Jeff got a late start to the season. His first start was not until April 27 when he hit a homerun and drove in three runs at Hagerstown. His second start was April 30th when he slugged two homeruns and drove in four of the five Suns runs. That’s three homeruns and seven RBIs in his first two games. The Hagerstown manager may have to find more playing time for him, though his 2015 season with the team has to be a part of the memory when he only hit .226 with five homeruns in 403 at bats.

Pitchers

Jairo Labourt LHP (Tigers) - The 6′4″ Dominican lefty gave up just one hit in his six innings of work for Lakeland, walking three and striking out eight. The six innings pitched were a season high. What is impressive about Jairo is he has only given up 6 hits in his five appearances covering 21 innings. That is just over one hit per appearance. Lefthanded batters have hit to get a hit off him in 22 plate appearances, with 12 of those hitters grabbing some pine after a strikeout.

Rookie Davis RHP (Reds) - Rookie was one of the players acquired from the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Many experts thought the Reds did not get enough for Aroldis. The 6′5″ Rookie with a mid-90s fastball is making these experts rethink that assessment tossing five innings of two hit shutout ball. In his four starts he has only given up two runs for a sparkling 0.78 ERA.

Chad Kuhl RHP (Pirates) and Jaime Schultz RHP (Rays) - Both pitchers allowed just two hits in six innings of work. For Kuhl this was his second shutout in his last three starts. He has only given up one run in those 16 innings to lower his ERA to 1.31. For Schultz, this is the second time he has appeared on this list and his third start in which he has not given up a run. Unfortunately, Jaime sandwiched in a seven run stinker in between the three shutout starts.

Ofelky Peralta RHP (Orioles) - The 19 year old Dominican struck out 10 in his 5 innings of work. He gave up one run and allowed just two hits.

Ryan Yarbrough LHP (Mariners) - Ryan threw a complete game seven inning three hit shutout.

Cody Reed LHP (D-Backs) - The other Cody Reed, drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft had another 11 strikeout gem, giving him back to back 11 strikeout games in his first two starts of the season. Cody has yet to walk a batter putting his walk to whiff ratio at an impressive 0/22 for his 11 innings of work. He has struck out 22 of the 40 hitters he has faced.

Japanese Rookie Pitcher to Watch

May 1st, 2016

Shoto Imanaga was a first round pick for the Yokohama Bay Stars in 2015. He made his debut in his first year in the NPB at 22 years of age. Though he has yet to win a game (0-4) the lefthander has looked impressive with a 4/43 walk to whiff ratio in just 33 innings. His ERA sits at a pretty 2.45 and he has given up only 23 hits.

In a game the Bay Stars lost to the Hanshin Tigers 2-1, Imanaga struck out 14 hitters. He is the first rookie pitcher to strike out 14 or more hitters in a game since Shota Oba struck out 14 in 2008. The last time a Bay Star rookie struck out 14 in a game was in 1953. The all time rookie strike out record for a game is held by Hideo Nomo, who struck out 17 in 1990. (Info courtesy of Yakyu database).

Just another young pitcher of many to watch in Japan.

White Sox Sailing with Sale

May 1st, 2016

The Chicago White Sox have one of the best records in major league baseball at 18-6. Chris Sale has six of those wins. He struggled in his sixth win Sunday, pitching five shutout innings in the White Sox 7-1 win over the Orioles. He finally departed in the sixth after throwing 112 pitches and giving up a single. Jake Petricka allowed the inherited run to score. Sale had allowed 9 runners to reach base, four of them on walks, but did not allow one of those runners to cross the plate.

Good pitchers get better as they work later in the game. Poor pitchers get worse as hitters figure out their stuff when they face them a second or third time. Sale struck out six Orioles in his last three innings of work. Ubaldo had trouble retiring a hitter in the fifth.

A solo homerun by Brett Lawrie in the fourth was the first run scored by the White Sox. They blew the game wide open with five in the fifth. Buck Showalter probably waited too long before yanking Ubaldo. He gave up five hits, walked one and hit two batters. The inning could have been worse, but Nolan Reimold threw a runner out at home to contain the damage.

The Sox scored one more run off the struggling Brian Matusz in the ninth inning. Brian gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases with no out. He finally got out of the inning with a sacrifice fly and two ground outs. His ERA sits at 7.71.

The hitting stars for the game were Brett Lawrie who was 3 for 3 with a homerun, double, single and two walks. Melky Cabrera was 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. The White Sox pounded out 13 hits.

Game Notes: J.J. Hardy made a couple highlight defensive plays. A backhand play on a ball in the hole in the first inning was his first big play. In the fourth Manny Machado dove for a ball, it tipped off his glove where Hardy was able to snare it, then turn and throw Todd Frazier out at first. J.J. left the game after the sixth inning….Things could have been worse for Ubaldo. He loaded the bases in the second with two walks and a hit. A strikeout and double play ground out kept the White Sox scoreless…It appeared the throw Nolan Reimold made to home in the fifth was more to hit the cutoff man than to get the runner home. He did not seem to air it out. The ball was not cutoff and despite its lack of velocity as it traveled home it was enough to get Jose Abreu at the plate…Pedro Alvarez came in to play third base in the sixth. Pedro had a ball glance off his glove for a double and another scoot down the line. He is not near the defensive player Manny Machado is at third. Manny did make a nice play at short, showing that he could handle the position if J.J. was injured for an extended period…Myworld has noticed a loss of speed in the legs of Adam Jones. He seems to have lost a couple steps or is bothered by leg problems making his running a bit labored…A bobble by Brett Lawrie allowed Chris Davis to get to second. He scored the only run for the O’s when Nolan Reimold bounced a single up the middle.

Hot Prospects for April 29

May 1st, 2016

Mike Gerber OF (Tigers) - The baby Tiger with the appropriate name is starting to get a big roar after his 4 for 5 day upped his average to .236. His two doubles and homerun drove in five runs. Four of the runs were driven in with his grand slam homerun, his fourth dinger of the year. The low average is the result of his propensity to strike out with 28 whiffs in just 23 games.

Rhys Hoskins 1B (Phillies) - Rhys drove in five runs with a 3 for 5 day. His fourth homerun was a solo shot in the opening frame that led Reading to a 14-3 rout over Portland. Rhys also extended his hitting streak to 16 games. The righthanded hitter is another platoon option for Ryan Howard if Darin Ruf should go stale.

Gavin Cecchini SS (Mets) - The Mets first round 2012 pick is starting to make some noise with a 4 for 5 day, driving in three runs. The bat has been a little quiet but a three game hitting streak of 7 for 11 has raised his average to .258. Gavin has a nice 11/11 walk to whiff ratio to give him a .364 OBA.

Ryon Healey 3B and Matt Chapman DH (Athletics) - The duo did some damage in Midland’s 19-7 slaughter over San Antonio. Healy went 4 for 5 with three RBIs, falling a homerun short of the cycle. He is now hitting .348. Chapman went 3 for 4 with four RBIs, hitting his seventh homerun and falling a double short of the cycle.

Chris Shaw 1b (Giants) - The Giants 2015 first round pick had a perfect day going 3 for 3 with two doubles and a homerun. The extra base hits drove in four runs and gave Chris a slugging average of .606. He is also hitting .352 making it a conundrum what position he will play after the Giants signed Brandon Belt to his extension.

Yeyson Yrizarri SS (Rangers) - Yeyson had a perfect 4 for 4 day, raising his average to .259. A 2/15 walk to whiff ratio has kept his OBA down at .274, something he will have to raise if he expects to play shortstop for the Rangers.

Pitchers

Kyle Freeland LHP (Rockies) - Kyle had his third straight outing in which he did not allow an earned run, throwing seven innings of four hit ball. That extends his streak of unearned runs to 20 innings. His strikeout numbers have not been impressive with 17 in 31 innings but a 0.87 ERA would be gold in Colorado.

Robert Stephenson RHP (Reds) - Robert appears ready for another callup with the Reds. He struck out 11 in six innings of work but did allow two runs on three hits, one of the hits leaving the park to pick up his second win of the year. His previous outing he threw six innings of shutout ball but only struck out two.

Joe Gatto RHP (Angels) - After three rough starts the Angels 2014 second round pick threw bbs, striking out 11 of the 21 hitters he faced in five innings of one hit shutout ball. Command has been an issue and his four walks this game did not improve that. Joe has walked 16 hitters in 24 innings.

Keaton Steele RHP (Twins) - The Twins eighth round 2014 pick impressed with seven innings of one hit shutout ball. It was his first win of the year.

Anthony Misiewicz LHP (Mariners) - The lefthander three seven innings of no hit ball, finally departing after eight, allowing just two hits and no runs. The Michigan State Spartan threw 99 pitches, walking one and striking out four.