Good morning prospect watchers. Let's get down to business.
***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread.
***Projects in Progress include articles of Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Ross Stripling, recently-promoted Chicago White Sox catcher Josh Phegley, and a Prospect Retrospective for Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond. After that my main focus will be the Top 150 Prospects List update. Given the work involved this may end up being a Top 50 or 75 list.
***Oakland Athletics prospect Grant Green went 4-for-6 with two doubles yesterday for Triple-A Sacramento, moving his season line to .319/.375/.503 with 11 homers, 25 doubles, 27 walks, 66 strikeouts in 348 at-bats. Reports indicate that he's settled in at second base without much trouble, not a gold glove of course but sufficient glovework to hold the position if he hits sufficiently. With a year and a half in Triple-A, he doesn't have much left to prove at that level.
***Another critical Oakland prospect, Michael Ynoa, got rocked in his debut for High-A Stockton last night, giving up four hits, seven runs, and three walks in four innings against Modesto. He had a 2.14 ERA in 15 starts for Low-A Beloit before his promotion, with a 48/15 K/BB in 55 innings. Reports from the Midwest League indicated that his velocity is just fine and he appears fully recovered from the injuries that slowed his career, but that his command is still a work in progress, exactly as you'd expect.
***The Chicago Cubs promoted infielder Javier Baez to Double-A Tennessee. He was hitting .274/.338/.535 with 17 homers, 21 walks, and 78 strikeouts in 299 at-bats for Daytona. There is lots of discussion on Cubs boards and forums about the decision to move Baez up. Is he being rushed? For all the power he showed in the Florida State League, his tendency to swing-and-miss and lose track of the strike zone is quite strong.
I think that's the point really. Baez IS very aggressive and swings at just about anything, but he has enough natural talent and pure bat speed to get away with this and remain productive against A-ball pitching. The Cubs have concluded that he needs to be challenged by pitchers who can change speeds more effectively. The adaptation process should be illuminating.
***Twins outfield prospect Max Kepler went 4-for-5 yesterday and is now hitting .333/.412/.617 in 15 games since replacing Byron Buxton as the "must see" player on the in the loaded Cedar Rapids Kernels lineup.
***Houston Astros first-rounder Mark Appel made his professional debut yesterday with two innings for Tri-City in the New York-Penn League, giving up three hits and two runs, fanning one. Getting him tuned up is much more important than performance numbers at this point.
***Today's minor league schedule of contests.
***Jason Hunt looks at Toronto Blue Jays prospect Roberto Osuna.
***Ray Guilfoyle looks at Five Fantasy Impact Prospects still in the minor leagues: Christian Yelich of the Marlins, Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox, Erasmo Ramirez of the Mariners, George Springer of the Astros, and Nick Castellanos of the Tigers.
***Someone needs to sign this pitcher: