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March 14, 2014

Minor League Update

Spring Training Games of March 13

by Jeff Moore

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The Good

  • Zoilo Almonte, OF, Yankees: 2-3, R, 2B. The Yankees may only carry four outfielders to begin the season, but if they carry a fifth, it could be Almonte. He can play all three outfield positions and has carried over his strong winter into spring training, where he’s now hitting .429.
  • Carlos Correa, SS, Astros: 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, K. Sure, we’re not supposed to get over-excited about spring training performances, but Correa is 19 and he homered off of a pair of veteran (albeit not very good) pitchers. The future is bright for Correa, and he’s a special player.
  • Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros: 1-3, R, HR, 2 BB, 2 K. Astros fans got a glimpse into their not-so-distant-future on Thrusday with Correa batting second ahead of Singleton in the lineup. Singleton is much closer to contributing than Correa and should be in the majors at some point this season, assuming he has bounced back from tumultuous 2013 season and can keep his recently publicized addiction issues under control.
  • Jake Marisnick, OF, Marlins: 2-5, R, 2B. This was actually a check-swing double for Marisnick, but sometimes you need a few of those to get things going. Marisnick struggled badly in the majors last year when he should have been in Triple-A, and he’s battling for a roster spot this spring but probably still belongs in the minors to further the developmental process.
  • Chris Owings, SS, Diamondbacks: 1-1, R, 3B. Both Owings and incumbent Didi Gregorius belong in the majors and need to play every day, but obviously that can’t happen. Owings has the higher offensive upside but it would be a harder decision to send Gregorius, who spent the entire 2013 season in the majors, down to Triple-A. The Diamondbacks have about a week to figure this out.
  • Andrew Heaney, LHP, Marlins: 3 IP, H, BB, K. Heaney will be a quick mover in an organization known for allowing that to happen. Having made just six Double-A starts, he should begin the 2014 season there again, but he won’t be there for long.
  • Andrew Susac, C, Giants: 2-2, R, HR, 2 BB. Susac will be a major leaguer because of his glove, and his bat will determine his ceiling. He does have above-average pop, which, combined with a good glove, should make for a nice catcher.

The Bad

  • Tommy La Stella, 2B, Braves: 0-4, 2 K, E. La Stella has to hit to have value, as he is an average defender at best at second base. Of course, Dan Uggla isn’t winning any Gold Gloves, either. He’s getting paid like it, though, which will keep La Stella out of the lineup for now.
  • Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets: 3 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K. It was an up-and-down outing for Syndergaard, who still managed to miss some bats but got roughed up a little in the process. There’s no reason for concern here. He’s going to be very good come June, when he gets the call.
  • Jonathan Gray, RHP, Rockies: 2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, K. Gray cruised through his first inning of work on only nine pitches on Thursday night, flashing some plus changeups and generating weak contact. His velocity never crept above 95, slightly below his normal velocity, and his slider lacked its normal bite, which is why he got hit around in the final two innings of his outing and failed to complete the third. It’s early for Gray and the potential is through the roof. Just a rough outing in a big-league game, nothing more.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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10 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

ttt

Yankees have Soriano, Gardner, Ichiro, Beltran, Ellsbury - isn't that five? I guess Beltran is a DH at this point.

Mar 14, 2014 06:54 AM
rating: -1
 
Nojsztat

Jeff might be counting on a potential trade of Ichiro? Beltran and Soriano will both see time in the OF, according to the apparent plan.

Mar 14, 2014 06:57 AM
rating: 0
 
Nojsztat

I chose Correa in my dynasty draft over Byron Buxton last year with the first overall pick, and one of my competitors asked me as this year's draft began if I regret my decision. I stand behind it, given the questions on Buxton's hit tool before the 2013 season, and SS/3B vs. OF eligibility. This is a long-winded way of asking: who do you think will have the superior MLB career: Correa or Buxton?

Mar 14, 2014 06:56 AM
rating: 0
 
MPC203

Both are elite but one seems to be a five category contributor while the other is four. I try to not worry too much about position eligibility with my minor league dynasty players as so much can change before you can use them, both for the players themselves and the makeup of your squad..

So the added category potential for steals definitely outweighs the position eligibility for me in dynasty/keeper leagues. For MLB careers, I may go Correa and you likely will not look foolish for making that pick in the long run.

Mar 14, 2014 14:23 PM
rating: 0
 
vegetto712

Noah Syndergaard was pretty hitless in the first 2 innings (0 H, 0 BB, 4 K's if I recall). Did he just get roughed on the second go around of the line-up or did he start falling apart?

Mar 14, 2014 07:08 AM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

(Not that anyone cares, or should. But I've watched a good bit of spring training ball in the last two weeks. 20 games plus. And of all the young pitchers I've seen, the most impressive came from LH Tim Cooney, StL. Really sophisticated breaking stuff, nifty pitch shapes, subtle speed changes, and he just dotted the corners with all of it. Dude is a craftsman. And with a low-stress, from-the-shoulder action that looks like it'll be good to go for years. Just wanted to be on record, thank you for your time.)

Mar 14, 2014 12:29 PM
rating: 3
 
MaineSkin

Who has questions regarding Buxton's hit tool?

Mar 14, 2014 23:02 PM
rating: 0
 
JSappington

I imagine he thinks that based on the speedster mentality that they are fast but can't hit their weight .. Ala Hamilton, Campana.. Seems like a lot of good athletes that are burners usually have that stigma to them. When I think of Buxton the first thing I think of is speed, and with Correa the first thing that comes to mind is his hitting. So I'm sure that's all...

Mar 16, 2014 00:56 AM
rating: 0
 
BomboRiviera

I don't think many question Buxton's hit tool now, but people weren't so sure before last year.

Mar 16, 2014 03:24 AM
rating: 0
 
kcheaden

Before the draft many questioned BB's hit tool. It was specifically mentioned in almost every BA analysis of him.

Mar 18, 2014 14:27 PM
rating: 0
 
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