Minor League Ball Gameday, August 29

Lucas Giolito - Mitchell Layton, Getty Images

Thinking about Lucas Giolito's standing as a prospect and recovery from Tommy John, plus your daily prospect discussion.

Good morning prospect watchers. The big news today is the promotion of Seattle Mariners pitching prospect Taijuan Walker to the big league roster. He'll start tomorrow for the Mariners and will be Prospect of the Day in the morning. Poor Andrew Lambo keeps getting pushed back down the work queue.

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

***Washington Nationals pitching prospect Lucas Giolito had another strong outing last night for Auburn in the New York-Penn League. He threw five innings for the Doubledays, allowing four hits and one walk, no runs, fanning five. He's now thrown 10 shutout innings over two starts since being promoted from the Gulf Coast League, with nine strikeouts and one walk.

Everything I'm hearing about Giolito is good: he looks fully recovered from Tommy John, has his stuff back, and has shown good command once he got past the initial rehab hump.

Baseball Instinct has some good video of Giolito from early August in the Gulf Coast League that is worth checking out. WARNING: there is annoying music, so you might want to mute it.

Assuming that nothing bad happens and that fall reports remain positive, Giolito will enter 2014 with a high spot on my pitcher ranking chart. When I did my mid-season Top 75 update in July, I put him at #52, writing that his stuff appears back from Tommy John rehab. We'll see about his command, but a good August will keep his momentum upward. This may seem high but my gut says to put him here. We'll see how that looks in two months.

Well he has that momentum, so the question now is, how high? Partly that depends on what happens with other guys of course. I'd have to think at least Top 30 (which would mean Top 15 on a purely pitcher list). What do you guys think?

***Oakland Athletics shortstop prospect Addison Russell did his best Rickey Henderson impersonation for High-A Stockton last night, drawing four walks, stealing three bases, and scoring two runs. Overall he's hitting .277/.377/.513 with 29 doubles, 10 triples, 17 homers, 21 steals, and 59 walks.

***Today's schedule of minor league baseball games.

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