Minor League Prospect Notes: Robbie Grossman, Tyler Jones
**Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Robbie Grossman went 1-for-3 with two walks yesterday for Double-A Altoona. He's been on a hot streak lately, hitting .382/.543/.500 in his last 10 games and .323/.445/.521 since June 1st. Overall, he's hitting .251/.363/.399 with 48 walks and 66 strikeouts in 291 at-bats.
The hot streak is good to see, but the games he played in April and May count too, and there were some "told you sos" going around after he entered May in a deep slump. Many scouts were lukewarm about him even after he hit well in the Arizona Fall League, citing lack of tools. Many observers wrote off his impressive '11 season as an artifact of repeating the Florida State League. If he maintains his current torrid pace, and puts in a strong Double-A season at age 22, he'll put a lot of those doubts to rest.
**If you're looking for an interesting sleeper prospect, take a look at right-hander Tyler Jones in the Minnesota Twins system. Jones was an 11th round pick out of Louisiana State in 2011, and he's off to an excellent start this year. Since being activated from extended spring training in late May, he's made five starts and two relief appearances for Beloit in the Low-A Midwest League, posting a 2.51 ERA with a 43/9 K/BB in 32 innings, allowing just 23 hits for a .197 average against.
A well-built 6-4, 215 pounder from Milwaukee, Jones has been clocked in the mid-90s but had problems in college with his command, as well as an erratic curveball and subpar changeup. All aspects of his game have significantly improved this year, and a promotion to High-A could come at any time. He was seen as a reliever when drafted, but if he continues to refine his command and his changeup, he's got a good shot to remain a starter.