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April 17, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Wednesday, April 16

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, HR, K.
Apparently the mantle of “best hitter in Oklahoma City” isn’t too much for Singleton to handle now that George Springer is in the big leagues. He won’t be too far behind Springer, though the Astros will probably wait until June to promote him.

Pitcher of the Night: Marcus Stroman, RHP, Blue Jays (Buffalo, AAA): 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K.
Remember when Stroman struggled badly this spring and everyone worried about whether a short pitcher would be able to generate enough downward plane to miss bats? Well, he’s still short. When Stroman keeps the ball down, he’s lights out, thanks to a plus change-up. He can get hurt when he misses up, but who doesn’t?

Best of the Rest

Arismendy Alcantara, 2B, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, K. There’s no doubt that Alcantara could hit better than Darwin Barney can right now. It’s not quite that easy, but that is a fact. There’s little incentive, however, to promote him before June, as he’s not going to change the Cubs fortunes for this season.

Jonathan Gray, RHP, Rockies (Tulsa, AA): 5 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. After a couple of rough outings (including not making it out of the first inning his last time out), we got a glimpse of the real Gray and what a pitcher with a pair of plus pitches can do to minor-league hitting.

Miguel Almonte, RHP, Royals (Wilmington, A+): 6 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K. A plus changeup in A-ball is almost unfair, as Almonte is showing us this season, and pairing it with a mid-90s fastball is unfair at almost any level. He won’t get tested in a place as hard to hit in as Wilmington.

Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K. Gonzalez has been steady in Myrtle Beach, and as a collegiate pitcher with two average secondary pitches, he should be able to move quickly.

Jesse Winker, OF, Reds (Bakersfield, A+): 2-5, R, HR, K. Winker may not have the high upside some hope for from their first-round picks, but a refined approach at the plate and some power should help him carve out a big-league role in some capacity. Unfortunately, because he’s limited to left field, all of his value is tied to his bat, so he’ll have to hit to make it.

Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 2-4, R, HR. The excitement surrounding Springer’s call-up should probably be reserved for when Correa gets the call in a few years, as he is the one who has the potential to turn the franchise around.

Ryan McMahon, 3B, Rockies (Asheville, A-): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR. Scouts wondered what would happen when McMahon focused solely on baseball instead of splitting his attention with the football field. They’re finding out now. McMahon now has five home runs on the young season. Stay tuned.

Fight Another Day

Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Reno, AAA): 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. For all of the Diamondbacks fans (and fantasy owners) calling for Bradley’s promotion, remember, it’s not always that simple. Just because your top prospect fits a need and is Triple-A doesn’t mean he’s ready for the task. Bradley is 21, by the way, and there’s no shame in him not being ready.

Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates (Altoona, AA): 0-5, 2 K. In addition to not really being a shortstop (he belongs at second base), Hanson is struggling with Double-A pitching again this year, hitting just .186 after a .299 OBP last season.

Notable Pitching Performances*

  • Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers (Albuquerque, AAA): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Perci Garner, RHP, Phillies (Reading, AA): 4 IP, H, R, 2 BB, 0 K.
  • Sam Selman, LHP, Royals (Northwest Arkansas, AA): 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, K.

*The point of the Minor League Update is to keep you, the reader, up to speed on how prospects are doing throughout the minor league season with scouting reports and explanations along with a daily stat line. Sometimes, however, you just want to know the result, especially with pitchers who were neither spectacular nor terrible on a particular night. This is that section.

Jeff Moore is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jeff's other articles. You can contact Jeff by clicking here

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<< Previous Article
The Call-Up: George Sp... (04/17)
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Pebble Hunting: Every ... (04/17)

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