Good afternoon prospect watchers. Lots going on here today.
***Tomorrow is the annual Minor League Ball Community Mock Draft, beginning at Noon CDT. I will have a pre-draft discussion thread posted first thing tomorrow morning.
***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Discussion thread has the normal minor league highlights.
***Minor League Ball contributor Lee Warren interviews Branch Rickey III today. Charlie Drysdale updates us on the performance of hitters from the 2012 draft. Both articles are well worth your time.
***I'd say that Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha looked good in his major league debut, granted he was going up against a Double-A lineup.
***Miami Marlins prospect Jake Marisnick went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers yesterday for Double-A Jacksonville. There's buzz going around the minor league community about how good he looks right now with his drooly tools, but his actual performance still leaves a lot to be desired: he's hitting .248/.300/.440 with five walks and 35 strikeouts in 109 at-bats. His scouting reports really hasn't changed: he's fast, strong, looks great in uniform, but still has a lot of trouble with the strike zone.
***New York Yankees prospect Tyler Austin has the opposite problem: his tools aren't nearly as good as Marisnick's, but his performance record (until this year) was much better. He got off to a sluggish start for Double-A Trenton this year and is currently hitting .258/.359/.399. He's shown a bit more power lately with three homers in his last seven games and his slash line has been creeping forward. Austin is actually four months younger than Marisnick and his superior feel for the strike zone is an advantage, but he still needs to do a lot more to avoid the "i told you sos" from observers who said his tools weren't good enough to sustain success.
***Cincinnati Reds prospect Robert Stephenson continues rolling along, throwing 6.1 shutout innings for Low-A Dayton yesterday while fanning nine.
***The next Prospect of the Day will probably be Alex Wood of the Atlanta Braves. Alex Colome of the Rays will probably follow. Cesar Hernandez of the Phillies is also on the list.
***Speaking of Colome, DRaysBay has a solid PITCH f/x breakdown of his start yesterday.
***Lance Rinker talks to sabermetrician Colin Wyers of Baseball Prospectus.
***Grant Brisbee looks at the Lyle Overbay Theory of Prospect Expectations. I'm glad someone is talking about this. One of my pet peeves is when people think calling someone a "future inning eater" or a "future Lyle Overbay type" is an insult. Everyone wants their favorite prospect to turn into Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout or Bryce Harper or Clayton Kershaw or CC Sabathia. It doesn't work that way.
***Mike Newman has a prospects chat going at Fangraphs today.
***No MLB International Draft for 2014. More on this later.
***Today's slate of minor league games.
***The Dominican Summer League begins this weekend.