Minor League Ball Gameday, April 22

Kevin Gausman - USA TODAY Sports

Good morning prospect watchers. I am still on sick spouse patrol here. My wife is very sick with the flu and not improving very quickly. Thus far the kids and I have been spared, but with the autistic child (who decided not to sleep this weekend) requiring constant supervision plus tending to my wife's needs, I was unable to follow baseball news or get any writing done this past weekend. I am working to catch up while the kids are at school, but there is a lot to do and my normal schedule is thrown off entirely. Please bear with me.

***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday discussion thread will catch you up on what happened around the minors over the weekend.

***What do you think of Orioles prospect Kevin Gausman and that 21/1 K/BB ratio in 21 innings and his 2.58 GO/AO? I've heard the infield defense behind him at Norfolk is lousy, which could account for the 26 hits allowed. At this point, I'm happy to see the combination of high strikeout rate, no walks, and lots of grounders. Kevin Brown?

***Someone on Twitter asked me about New York Yankees prospect Rafael De Paula, who is off to a good start at Low-A Charleston: 33/9 K/BB in 17 innings, 12 hits, 3.63 ERA. De Paula is certainly an interesting case, signed by the Yankees last year out of the Dominican at the advanced age of 21. He's 22 now. Arm strength/stuff has never been the question for him: he hits the mid-90s and shows promise with his breaking ball, but his path into the pro ranks was slowed due to persistent problems with his birthday and identity. I think he should be viewed like someone who was drafted out of college last spring. We need to see him at higher levels, but so far, so good, and he may very well be the best pitching prospect in the Yankees farm system right now. If he continues to pitch well this year, he will get into Top 100 consideration.

***Victor Roache, drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round last year out of Georgia Southern, hit a home run in his first game for Low-A Wisconsin yesterday. He is fully recovered from the broken wrist that cut his college season short last year after just six games and prevented him from making his pro debut until this past weekend. He has outstanding power, but we'll have to see how he handles advanced breaking pitches. Some scouts question how he'll adapt and what his batting average will look like at higher levels, but there's no question about the power in his bat.

***Twins pitching prospect Jose Berrios makes his 2013 debut tonight for Cedar Rapids against Burlington. I had planned on attending this game, but my family issues put the scotch on that.

***You can find today's slate of minor league games here.

***If you are interested in engineering or space exploration, this article is a must-read. It describes how NASA scientists and designers have reverse-engineered the old F-1 rocket engine from the Saturn V moon boosters, using it as the basis for the new F-1B engine that will power the new generation of rockets. Fascinating stuff.

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