Minor League Ball Gameday, June 18

David Holmberg - USA TODAY Sports

Good afternoon prospect watchers. Here we are again. Down to business.

***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread has highlights and community discussion of Monday's events in organized baseball.

***Strong start yesterday for Arizona Diamondbacks prospect David Holmberg: nine innings for Double-A Mobile, with one hit, one walk, one run, and eight strikeouts. On the season he is 4-3, 2.31 ERA with a 58/24 K/BB in 90 innings with 76 hits allowed. Holmberg made 15 starts last year for Mobile with similarly solid results (3.60 ERA, 67/23 K/BB in 95 innings). I don't think he has much left to learn in the Southern League, and a promotion to Triple-A Reno could occur at any time. The Pacific Coast League will test him and he'll have to show that his command-oriented approach will work in that environment.

***Philadelphia Phillies prospect Mitch Gueller made his 2013 debut yesterday, throwing five innings for the Williamsport Crosscutters in the New York-Penn League. He gave up three hits, one walk, two unearned runs, fanning three. Gueller is a 6-3, 210 pound right-hander drafted in the supplemental first round last June out of high school in Rochester, Washington. He has a low-90s fastball with a chance for more velocity as he matures. His changeup was considered advanced for a high schooler, but his breaking ball needs work, or at least it did when he was drafted. We'll track it this summer. If all proceeds as the Phillies hope, Gueller can be a number three starter.

***Toronto Blue Jays infield prospect Andy Burns was on my pre-season sleeper list (which we will review soon) and is certainly making the most of his opportunity this year, going 3-for-5 last night, hitting .410 in his last 10 games, and hitting .321/.380/.523 overall for High-A Dunedin with 21 steals. He was an 11th round pick in 2011 from the University of Arizona.

***There was some grumbling a few weeks ago that Oakland Athletics shortstop prospect Addison Russell wasn't living up to expectations in the California League. It is true that he struggled most of April and May, but at age 19 he is very young for High-A, and it looks like the light has come on recently: he's hitting .373/.407/.667 since June 1st. His overall .249/.332/.467 line in 229 at-bats is respectable given the circumstances. My guess is that he'll perform well the rest of the year and by September his slow start will be forgotten.

***Today's schedule of minor league games.

***Examining the performance of my sleeper list is the next large project on my agenda. After that, I'm going to revise my Top 150 Prospects list.

***Andrew Shen at Beyond the Boxscore offers this very detailed breakdown of Gerrit Cole's first two starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates

***Don't forget it's Zack Wheeler Day. I predict 5.2 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, victory in a 10-5 Mets win.


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