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August 13, 2014

Minor League Update

Games of Tuesday, August 12

by Jeff Moore

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Hitter of the Night: Scott Schebler, OF, Dodgers (Chattanooga, AA): 3-3, 3 R, 3 HR, BB.
There are questions about Schebler’s hit tool, bat speed, and approach, but he’s answered them thus far against minor league pitching, backing up a strong California League performance in 2013 with a good season in Double-A this year. As a left-field-only defensive player, the pressure is on his bat, but he does punish mistakes better than many hitters can.

Pitcher of the Night: Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K.
Reyes has had a start like this brewing in him all season, he just needed to throw enough strikes to make it happen. The talented youngster has had issues getting the ball over the plate this season, but he hasn’t had issues getting hit around. He’s kept the ball in the yard and missed more than enough bats. He simply needs to throw more strikes. His inconsistent command is holding him back at this point, but it’s not egregious enough for a 19-year-old to cause major concern with an arm like Reyes’s.

Best of the Rest

Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Iowa, AAA): 3-5, R, HR. This was the 39th home run of the year for Bryant, who is officially out of ways to impress me at this point. Yes, he’s going put up some big strikeout numbers, but they’re not slowing him down the way it does for most prospects. We can confidently predict tremendous power and strong plate discipline numbers, which means that, regardless of where his average ends up and what glove he wears, he should be a high-impact hitter in the middle of the Cubs order from the day he’s promoted.

Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (Albuquerque, AAA): 2-3, 2 R, HR, BB. Pederson, much like Bryant, is a prospect we can confidently pencil in for strong on-base skills and strong power numbers. That alone makes him a strong big leaguer, whether he ends up in center or in a corner, with the Dodgers or someone else.

Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians (Columbus, AAA): 2-5, R, HR. With the return of LeBron and the relevance of the Browns thanks to Johnny Manziel, it’s a good time to be a Cleveland sports fan. It will only get better once Lindor arrives, as he’s a prospect whose fluidity fielding ground balls is on par with LeBron’s force to the basket and Manziel’s improvisational abilities. The Indians want to give him some time in Triple-A before jumping him to the majors, but the door is open for his arrival.

Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (Bradenton, A+): 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, R (0 ER), 3 BB, 10 K. I wanted to see more strikes out of Glasnow before a promotion, but it’s clear that this is just who he is, at least for the time being. He’s going to put more runners on base than we’d like, but no one hits their way on against him or drives the ball with any authority, so he can get away with it. Until he gets to a level where hitters can punish him for that (which may still be a while), it’s probably not going to change. In the meantime, he’s still been remarkably successful for a pitcher who walks a batter every other inning. His next step is learning to work deeper into games.

Fight Another Day

Rafael De Paula, RHP, Padres (Lake Elsinore, A+): 2 2/3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 3 K. De Paula throws a fair amount of strikes (though he could stand to improve slightly), but he doesn’t throw enough good ones, frequently missing within the strike zone with his fastball and falling behind in counts thanks to poor command of his secondary pitches. That’s a lot easier to get away with in the Florida State League than it is in the California League, and De Paula learned that the hard way on Tuesday night.

Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Frisco, AA): 0-5, 2 K. Ninety-one strikeouts in 53 Double-A games is really a lot, and they’re limiting Gallo offensively, but not by all that much. He’s still hitting for a ton of power and drawing plenty of walks, which means there’s still value in his game even when he’s striking out. Those kinds of swing-and-miss issues make him more of the three-true-outcome hitter we thought he might become last year, but he also forced the aggressive promotion that put him in this situation by making adjustments this off-season and working his way out of that pigeon-hole. Don’t be shocked if he makes more adjustments this winter.

Notable Pitching Performances

  • Taylor Williams, RHP, Brewers (Brevard County, A+): 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K.
  • Corey Littrell, LHP, Cardinals (Palm Beach, A+): 7 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 BB, 2 K.
  • Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP, Cubs (Kane County, A-): 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K.
  • Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks (Mobile, AA): 4 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 5 K.
  • Andrew Heaney, LHP, Marlins (New Orleans, AAA): 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 7 K.
  • Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets (Las Vegas, AAA): 6 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 8 K.

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

Related Content:  Prospects,  Minor Leagues

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