Minor League Ball Gameday, August 22

Max Stassi learns about the major leagues - Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Astros prospect Max Stassi takes one (to the face) for the team, plus a summary of Cubs prospect Javier Baez's unusual season

Good afternoon prospect watchers. I am taking a quick trip this weekend to a secret undisclosed location. It is baseball related but other than that, you'll have to wait and see where I end up. On to business.

***The 2012 MLB Draft first round "where are they now" article is up, which was my main goal today. Tomorrow's Prospect of the Day will be Max Stassi of the Houston Astros, who took a pitch in the face last night but seems to have escaped the incident without serious physical injury. The next players in the PotD queue are Andrew Lambo of the Pirates and Christian Bethancourt of the Braves. The Prospect Retrospective queue features LaTroy Hawkins and Jay Bruce.

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

***Cubs prospect Javier Baez knocked two more homers last night for Double-A Tennessee. This brings his season line to .286/.348/.581 with 33 doubles, 33 homers, 19 steals, 38 walks, and 132 strikeouts in 475 at-bats between High-A Daytona and Double-A.

His production has actually improved at the higher level, his wRC+ going from 144 in the Florida State League to an insane 200 in the Southern League. And he's doing all of this with a strikeout rate that would otherwise be a red flag. Check out his spray charts, which show considerable pull power but some pop to the opposite way as well. Oh, yeah, he's also shown enough range to stay at shortstop for awhile, though he's got to cut down on errors (41 is excessive).

I don't have any specific conclusion from all that, other than just to summarize a remarkably good but unusual season. I had him as a Grade A- and Number 10 on my pre-season Top 50 Hitting Prospects list. His stock has to be up, but how much? Straight Grade A, despite the strikeouts?

***Today's Minor League Baseball schedule.

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