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Minor League Ball Gameday, May 1

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Brandon Workman
Brandon Workman

Happy May Day, Comrades. Let's get to it.

***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread has the relevant highlights.

***I am planning a trip up to Iowa next week to see Cedar Rapids play. Please, please, please don't let Byron Buxton get promoted. Speaking of Buxton, I picked Kevin Gausman over Buxton in the Twins Shadow Draft last June. Gausman looks great, but I'm starting to regret it.

***San Francisco Giants prospect and Low-A San Jose starter Clayton Blackburn had his weakest game of the year yesterday, giving up four runs on seven hits in six innings against Bakersfield. Of course, when your "weakest game" still results in eight strikeouts, you're doing pretty well.

***New York Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler reportedly made some adjustments to his mechanics and walked just one guy in 6.2 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas yesterday, fanning eight.

***Boston Red Sox prospect Brandon Workman threw six perfect innings yesterday for Double-A Portland before giving up a hit in the seventh. Overall the former University of Texas workhorse has a 2.57 ERA with a 34/6 K/BB in 29.2 innings this season, allowing a mere 15 hits. I don't think he gets as much attention as he deserves as a prospect. That's rather strange actually, since he went to a major baseball school, was a second round pick in 2010, and has been generally very effective as a professional. He's not a soft-tosser, he has four pitches, and he throws strikes.Where's the hype?

***Oakland Athletics prospect Renato Nunez went 2-for-4 with a home run for Low-A Beloit, raising his season line to .310/.380/.592. He was signed for $2,200,000 out of Venezuela in 2010 and is just turned 19 last month. He has issues to work on defensively a third base, but the bat looks very promising so far.

***San Diego Padres pitching prospect Matt Wisler continues rolling along at High-A Lake Elsinore, throwing six shutout innings yesterday. He now has a 1.04 ERA with a 23/4 K/BB in 26 innings.

***Today's slate of minor league games.

***How long should the Twins stick with Aaron Hicks? Lance Rinker looks at Hicks' tough April.

***Rob Neyer looks at the reaction around MLB to the news that NBA center Jason Collins is gay. Several key veteran players have come out in support of Collins including David Wright and Ryan Braun. As Rob says, baseball players tend to move in herds, and the day is coming when this will no longer be an issue.

***Carson Cistulli at Fangraphs looks at five fringe prospects. I'm not sure about his definition of fringe, but there's some good video and observations there that you should look at, including some pitches from Rockies pitching prospect Chad Bettis and Padres pitching prospect Burch Smith.