Good afternoon prospect watchers. The draft approacheth. Here is how I have things planned.
***I am finalizing my draft board with my Top 40 Hitters and Top 40 Pitchers. I hope to have this up later today. This will just my personal opinion and ranking and your mileage will vary of course. I will also have a piece about favorite prospects for middle and latter rounds.
***I will have an open discussion thread up tomorrow morning and I should be around all day for chatting and questions.
***Don't forget SB Nation's centralized 2013 MLB Draft Hub.
***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday Discussion has lots of minor league highlights and community banter.
***I have nothing to say about the latest PED news. The whole thing gives me a belly ache.
***Texas Rangers third base prospect Mike Olt has returned to action for Triple-A Round Rock and is 4-for-8 with a homer and a walk (and two strikeouts) in his first two games. Hopefully whatever was bothering his eyes has been resolved, but we'll track it.
***San Diego Padres prospect Matt Wisler gave up one run in six innings for Double-A San Antonio, walking nobody, giving up three hits, and fanning four. He's pitched well in three of his five starts since being promoted from High-A.
***Tigers prospect Nick Castellanos went 2-for-3 with a homer for Triple-A Toledo and is hitting .417 in his last 10 games. His overall line of .279/.354/.464 is solid for a 21-year-old at that level, and he's shown significantly improved plate discipline this year. I was somewhat lukewarm about him entering the season, worried that he might turn into Josh Vitters, but things are looking up.
***Seattle Mariners prospect Brad Miller is hitting .340/.407/.553 since his promotion to Triple-A Tacoma. He's also made four errors in 11 games at shortstop.
***San Francisco Giants prospect Angel Villalona has hit six homers in his last 10 games for High-A San Jose and now has 14 on the season, with an overall line of .248/.281/.519. As usual, his power stands out but his plate discipline is a big problem (10 walks, 55 whiffs) and I'm not sanguine about his chances at higher levels. He's still just 22 and shaking the rust off from missing two seasons after killing a guy in the Dominican Republic.
***Matt Koenig at 80grade.com talked with Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton, asking him about his draft experience and how he has adapted to pro ball.
***Andrew Shen at Beyond the Boxscore looks at Domonic Brown, Brandon Belt, and the vagaries of plate discipline.
***Carson Cistulli looks at his list of fringe prospects.
***Bizarre news in college baseball yesterday with the summary firing of Wichita State University coach Gene Stephenson. The program had slipped over the last five years but he only had one year left on his contract. It seems obvious to me that there is more to the story than we know.