Good afternoon prospect watchers. We dodged the worst weather here in Lawrence last night...just some rain and thunder and a little wind...but several spots in Oklahoma and southern Kansas took significant blows as you've probably heard.
On tap for this week:
***Paul Goldschmidt Prospect Retrospective tomorrow.
***Prospect of the Day tomorrow will be the just-promoted Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers (of course). On Wednesday it will be Tyler Lyons of the St. Louis Cardinals, who is projected to be promoted from Triple-A Memphis and make his first major league start. Thursday will probably be Jarred Cosart of the Houston Astros.
***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread.
***There was some discussion in the comments yesterday about St. Louis Cardinals outfield prospect Mike O'Neill. I quoted a scout about O'Neill yesterday ("That guy breaks our methods. No real tools, no power or speed or arm, but he just keeps getting on base. I think he's an organization guy or a fringe reserve but I'd love to have him on my Triple-A team"). Just to clear up any confusion, the scout was not intending to insult O'Neill. He seemed pretty impressed with his feel for the game, and felt that O'Neill's success so far was testimony to his work ethic and excellent instincts helping him play way above his organic tools.
***Kevin Gausman gets all the press, but keep an eye on Baltimore Orioles prospect Josh Hader. He threw six strong innings for Low-A Delmarva yesterday and now has a 1.96 ERA in 36.2 innings with a 39/18 K/BB. He is a highly-projectable 6-3 lefty drafted in the 19th round from high school in Millersville, Maryland, last year. He's gained 5-7 MPH on his fastball since signing and flashes a slider and changeup.
***Toronto Blue Jays prospect Marcus Stroman threw five shutout innings in his 2013 debut for Double-A New Hampshire yesterday, fanning six. Missing 50 games due to a PED suspension has cost him some publicity time, but the stuff that made him a first-round pick last year is fully intact and he didn't have problems throwing strikes yesterday. We could see him in the majors later this year.
***I always pair Cincinnati Reds prospect Robert Stephenson and Tampa Bay Rays prospect Taylor Guerrieri in my mind, since both were hard-throwing right-handed high school pitchers drafted in 2011. Stephenson threw seven innings for Low-A Dayton yesterday, giving up four hits and three runs, fanning nine. He now has a 4.02 ERA in 47 innings, with a 60/13 K/BB with 42 hits: note the excellent K/IP ratio. Guerrieri threw six shutout innings for Low-A Bowling Green yesterday and now has a 1.64 ERA with a 28/7 K/BB in 33 innings. He's not whiffing as many guys at Stephenson but Guerrieri features an excellent 3.40 GO/AO.
***Today's slate of minor league games.
***Ryan Potter at Beyond the Boxscore looks at Burch Smith's fastball and worries that he won't have enough stamina to be a long-term starter.
***Grant Brisbee laments the demotion of Cincinnati Reds lefty Tony Cingrani.