Minor League Ball Gameday, July 26

Andre Rienzo - Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports

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

***Matt Garrioch is working on his very early list of top prospects for the 2014 MLB Draft. That should be posted first thing tomorrow.

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

***The big news in the minor leagues yesterday: Chicago White Sox prospect Andre Rienzo threw a seven-inning no-hitter for Triple-A Charlotte, fanning 11. The 25-year-old right-hander from Brazil now has a 4.06 ERA in 20 starts for the Knights, with a 113/46 K/BB ratio in 113 innings. He has been extremely effective over his last 10 starts, with a 1.64 ERA and a 69/24 K/BB in 66 innings with just 45 hits allowed in that span. I'd expect to see him in Chicago at some point soon.

***Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 first-round draft pick Austin Meadows went 2-for-5 with a homer yesterday in the Gulf Coast League, giving him a professional line thus far of .263/.344/.544 in 14 games. The sample is tiny, of course, but the power is good to see. His strikeout rate is rather high with 16 Ks thus far, but again, at this level and in this few games, it isn't something to worry about yet.

***Cleveland Indians shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor is destroying the Eastern League, making an easy transition to Double-A. Since his promotion to Akron, he is hitting .441/.578/.647 with ten walks and one strikeout in 34 at-bats. Oh, yeah, he's also stolen five bases. He could be in the majors a year from now.

***Twelve more strikeouts in six shutout innings from Kyle Zimmer at Double-A Northwest Arkansas last night. Whatever his problem was earlier in the season is apparently resolved; he's been unstoppable for over a month now.

***Another strong start from Giants prospect Clayton Blackburn, one run in eight innings with six strikeouts for High-A San Jose. People are ignoring him because his ERA is a hair over 4.00 because of a rough patch in May, but his component ratios remain superb (113/26 K/BB in 103 innings, 86 hits, .223 average against, very impressive in the Cal League) and he's still just 20. He's not a classic projection guy but I still believe in his pitchability.

***Lone Star Ball, SB Nation's Texas Rangers hub, looks at the strikeout virus infecting the roster at Hickory, and asked some scouts in attendance at a recent game to comment. Three quotes stand out in particular:

"You’d like to see improvement as the season goes on, but it doesn’t sound like they’re doing that."
"Strike outs in low-A are really, really, really bad. I hate seeing them."
"Teaching approach requires commitment from the club and especially the kid."

***Also check out this detailed scouting report about Mets prospect Cesar Puello from Amazin' Avenue.

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