Minor League Ball Gameday, August 20

Kevin Gausman - Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

With extra rest after a minor bout of arm soreness, Kevin Gausman dominates at Triple-A Norfolk. George Springer closes in on a 40/40 season.

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

***Tomorrow's Prospect of the Day will be Ethan Martin of the Philadelphia Phillies.

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

***A really nice start out of Baltimore Orioles prospect Kevin Gausman down at Triple-A Norfolk last night: five shutout innings, three hits, zero walks, seven strikeouts. After a couple of rough outings he has righted the ship in Triple-A and has given up just two runs in his last 15 innings of work, with a 13/4 K/BB ratio.

I got an email a few days ago from someone, either a concerned Orioles fan or a paranoid fantasy owner, asking if Gausman was overrated and just a result of media hype. He still has some rough edges, but people should keep in mind that he's just a year out of college and was pushed aggressively to the majors this spring before he was completely ready. His 4.41 ERA at Norfolk may look bad, but his FIP is much better at 2.74.

Of greater concern: recent reports that Gausman's arm was tired and he was dealing with minor soreness. They skipped a start and he responded with yesterday's excellent outing, so that doesn't seem like a big deal either, as long as they aren't stupid about it.

By way of discussion, if you were running the Orioles, how would you handle Gausman the rest of the season? He threw 90 innings as a freshman for Louisiana State in 2011, 139 innings between college and the minor leagues in 2012, and is up to 112 this season between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors.

***In case you hadn't noticed, Houston Astros prospect George Springer got his 100th RBI of the season last night. He's now hitting .301/.410/.607 between Double-A and Triple-A, with 35 homers and 39 steals, 75 walks and 150 strikeouts. He'll almost certainly break 40 steals, but can he get to 40 homers before the Triple-A season ends? How would you bet?

My guess is that he finishes with 42 steals and 38 homers.

***With Xander Bogaerts in the major leagues now, is left-handed pitcher Henry Owens the new top prospect in the Red Sox system? Marc Normandin asks the question at Over the Monster. What say you?

***Scott Boras has some ideas about fixing the MLB draft.

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