Minor League Ball Gameday, June 12

Gerrit Cole - Justin K. Aller

Good morning prospect watchers. Let's get down to business.

***Yesterday's Minor League Ball gameday discussion.

***As you know, Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Gerrit Cole made his major league debut against the San Francisco Giants yesterday and it went well: 6.1 innings, seven hits, two runs, no walks, two strikeouts. He even got his first major league hit and drove in a run. He worked mainly with his fastball, a fastball that hit 99 and averaged 96.

***Texas Rangers prospect Joey Gallo hit three homers last night for Low-A Hickory, giving him 18 on the year; he's hit 40 homers in his first 121 professional games between this year and last. He's also hitting .239 and has struck out 100 times in 230 at-bats for Hickory. I'm sure he's tired of hearing about the strikeouts and at age 19 he has plenty of development time ahead of him, but the issue can't be hand-waived away, as White Sox prospect Courtney Hawkins has learned in High-A.

***Boston Red Sox prospect Mookie Betts went 1-for-3 yesterday for Low-A Greenville. He's hit .371 in his last 10 contests ans has an overall season line of .287/.420/.510 with 46 walks and just 27 strikeouts in 202 at-bats. He's also stolen 13 bases in 14 attempts. A fifth round pick in 2011 out of high school in Tennessee, he's not considered a big power hitter despite his SLG this year, being more of a gap power, strong plate discipline guy with his 5-9, 160 pound body. He's still learning how to play second base after entering pro ball as a shortstop,

***Another fifth-rounder from the 2011 draft to watch is Seattle Mariners prospect Tyler Marlette, currently hitting .320/.381/.500 for Low-A Clinton in the Midwest League. Drafted out of high school in Oviedo, Florida, Marlette isn't huge for a catcher at 5-11, 195, but the ball jumps off his bat and he's made some progress improving his plate discipline, which was the biggest concern about his bat when he was drafted. He has the arm strength and mobility to be a good catcher but is still ironing out his footwork and throwing, though he's made sufficient progress to remain behind the plate for now. This year's 122 at-bat sample is pretty small, but his slash production is very good for the pitching-oriented Midwest League and is in line with scouting expectations.

***The Washington Nationals have put enough duct tape and Elmer's glue on Matt Purke's shoulder to get him back on the mound for Low-A Hagerstown: he threw 4.2 innings yesterday, walking two, giving up six hits and five runs, but also fanning eight. He has a 22/4 K/BB in 13.1 innings since being activated in late May. I don't have a current report on his stuff (share one if you have it) but the strikeouts are good to see at least.

***Today's slate of minor league baseball games.

***Carson Cistulli looks at his Fringe Five prospects for the week over at Fangraphs.

***Grant Brisbee has sympathy for the devilishly poor social media skills of Ian Stewart.

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