Minor League Ball Gameday, July 25

Andrew Susac - USA TODAY Sports

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

***Today is my sister Lisa Patterson's 40th birthday. Happy Birthday little sister! Now you are old like me.

***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread.

***Unless something more timely comes up, Drake Britton and Michael Choice will be the next Prospects of the Day. I wrote up Josh Satin for today because a couple of people asked about him recently. The next two Top 20 Reviews will be the Cardinals and the Red Sox, as I'm trying to get teams with potential trade deadline interest written up as soon as possible. That project takes precedence right now over everything else.

***Guys, thanks for dialing back the sniping and vitriol this week while maintaining an informed conversation. We have the best minor league discussion community on the internet.

***There were rumors yesterday that the Royals were interested in pursuing a trade for outfielder Alex Rios to cover the right field hole. I don't put much effort or energy into covering or commenting on every trade rumor, at least not ones that don't involve prospects, but this one just flummoxed me.

Rios is a decent player but he's 32 years old, isn't cheap, and he's not the kind of guy that is going to push the Royals over the top this year or next. That rumor can't possibly be true. Can it? What possible good would Rios do for the Royals? He's not an OBP guy, and more than anything the Royals need OBP.

***San Francisco Giants catching prospect Andrew Susac didn't play yesterday so there's no highlight involved, but I wanted to point out that he's having a pretty solid year down at Double-A Richmond, .259/.370/.469 overall with 40 walks and 63 strikeouts in 239 at-bats. Drafted in the second round out of Oregon State in 2011, he has thrown out 40% of runners this year. His offensive profile has some interesting splits: he struggles some against right-handers (.219/.332/.400) but slaughters lefties (.342/.447/.608). He has a lot of trouble in his home park (.209/.328/.282) but dominates on the road (.302/.405/.628).

I predict that Susac has a breakthrough season in the PCL in 2014.

***Another strong outing yesterday for Cincinnati Reds prospect Robert Stephenson at High-A Bakersfield, 6.1 innings, six hits, one run, one walk, six strikeouts, plus a fastball clocked at 100 MPH (at least on the stadium gun).

***In my mind, I always associate Stephenson with Tampa Bay Rays prospect Taylor Guerrieri, since they were both hard-throwing high school right-handers drafted in 2011. That association no longer holds, with TG out with Tommy John surgery. Or at least Reds fans should hope it doesn't hold.

***Batter's Box has an in-depth interview with Toronto Blue Jays minor league pitching coordinator Dane Johnson, who comments on prospects Matt Smoral, Chase DeJong, and Daniel Norris among others.

***Andrew Ball weighs in on Texas Rangers catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, a definite high risk/high reward type.

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