Good morning prospect watchers. As you know, the big story in baseball prospects today is the opening of the International Player Signing period for 2013-2014. You can follow along with important signings in the special discussion thread.
***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday discussion.
***There are a lot of things on tap here in the coming days. I am working on articles about Cole Hamels, Ian Desmond, Taylor Jordan, and Ross Stripling. Lee Warren has a Danny Duffy update coming soon, and Doug Gray has some spray chart analysis for Carlos Correa in the works. Matt Garrioch had his most recent GAPPER report go live this morning.
***San Francisco Giants outfield prospect Gary Brown had a great day yesterday for Triple-A Fresno, going 4-for-5 with a triple and a run scored in a 14-6 battering of Las Vegas. It has been an odd year for Brown. He's hitting just .246 in 337 at-bats. Considered a speed player, he swiped 11 bases but has been caught seven times, an unacceptable success rate. However, he's shown some pop at the plate, with 21 doubles and 11 homers including three round-trippers in his last 10 games.
Scouts have usually seen Brown as a leadoff type due to his speed, but his impatient hitting approach and problems with contact (he's whiffed 85 times in 81 games, drawing just 21 walks for a .308 OBP) makes that problematic. He's an excellent outfielder and will get to the majors with his glove alone, but he won't fit at the top of the order without better use of his speed and more on-base ability. it looks like he could provide some power though. Maybe he will be something like Drew Stubbs with worse basestealing efficiency?
***Seattle Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker had another strong game yesterday, throwing five shutout innings for Triple-A Tacoma, fanning eight. This gives him a 0.00 ERA in 11 innings over two starts since his promotion to the Pacific Coast League, with a 12/4 K/BB ratio and just five hits allowed. The Mariners have shown the willingness to promote prospects such as Mike Zunino and Brad Miller once they get their feet wet at Tacoma. Will Walker force their hand in the second half?
***Tampa Bay Rays prospect Taylor Guerrieri threw six scoreless innings for Low-A Bowling Green yesterday, despite not having his best curveball at his disposal. This gives him 22 straight scoreless innings. Overall the 2011 first round pick is 6-2 in 13 starts with a 2.08 ERA and a 50/11 K/BB in 65 innings, with an impressive 3.09 GO/AO.
***Today's schedule of minor league baseball games.
***Craig Goldstein profiles Texas Rangers prospect Luis Sardinas. Craig points out that Sardinas could provide enough steals to be useful in a fantasy context, but that he is the type of defense-oriented player more valuable in real baseball than the normal fantasy environment.
***Carson Cistulli provides some in-person observations from a recent Midwest League game between Bowling Green and West Michigan. He particularly focuses on Tampa Bay Rays prospects Jeff Ames and Andrew Toles.