Minor League Ball Gameday, April 9

Carlos Sanchez - USA TODAY Sports

Good morning prospect watchers. Today is April 9th and I still haven't done my taxes. I don't think I can put that off much longer, however it is much more interesting to pay attention to minor league baseball, prospects, and rookies. Unfortunately I doubt the IRS agrees.

COOL STUFF THAT HAPPENED ON APRIL 8

***
Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday Discussion.

***Charlotte destroyed Norfolk 21-4 yesterday in Triple-A International League action, with White Sox shortstop prospect Carlos Sanchez going 3-for-6 with three RBI and three runs scored.

***New York Yankees prospect Dante Bichette Jr. homered for Low-A Charleston yesterday while driving in five, following up another home run he hit Sunday. Overall he's just 3-for-21, but the power trend will be interesting to follow since lack of power production was his biggest problem in 2012.

***Cincinnati Reds prospect Billy Hamilton went 4-for-5 with three steals for Triple-A Louisville yesterday, giving him a .500/.500/.750 line in his first four games, with six steals in six attempts. He continues to swipe bases at will and so far he has handled Triple-A pitching just fine.

***No problems for Tampa Bay Rays prospect Jake Odorizzi in his first Triple-A start for Durham, with 6.2 shutout innings last night against Gwinnett, with four hits and two walks, fanning eight.

***Another Rays prospect, Taylor Guerrieri, looked sharp in his first start for Low-A Bowling Green in the Midwest League. Pitch counts limited him to three innings of work, but he allowed just one hit, didn't walk anyone, and fanned four.

***Yasiel Puig hasn't had any problems drawing walks in Double-A, with three free passes in his first four games for Double-A Chattanooga. Fellow Cuban Jorge Soler is ripping the ball in High-A as well with two homers in his first four contests. Miniscule samples, of course, but so far I'd have to think that the Dodgers and Cubs are very pleased with their Cuban investments.

COOL STUFF TO TRACK ON APRIL 9

***Boston Red Sox prospect Cody Kukuk will take the mound for Low-A Greenville today in their contest against Hickory. Kukuk went to high school here in Lawrence and I think he is a major sleeper as a power arm from the left side, perhaps reminiscent of a young Jon Lester. Keep a close eye on him.

***Another Red Sox prospect of note, injury-plagued Anthony Ranaudo, takes the hill for Double-A Portland against Reading in Eastern League action.

***Sleeper Minnesota Twins pitching prospect D.J. Baxendale matches up against Marlins pitching prospect Jose Urena in tonight's contest between Fort Myers and Jupiter in the High-A Florida State League.

LINKS OF INTEREST

***Charlie Drysdale of Purple Row, SB Nation's Colorado Rockies blog, is our newest author here at Minor League Ball. His debut article discusses how major league organizations are working to improve and expand their operations in the Dominican Republic, making them less like sweatshops and more like genuine academies.

***Lee Trocinski at Beyond the Boxscore looks at Hyun-Jin Ryu's first two starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

***Chris St. John looks at Former Prospects looking to take the next step.

***The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Sandy Koufax Kershaw are talking contract extension with figures over $200,000,000 being on the agenda.

***Steven Goldman looks at Carlos Marmol and his frustrating tenure as the Chicago Cubs closer. The Closer Who Should Not Be was a great Metallica song.




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