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Minor League Ball Gameday, May 23

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Jesus Montero
Jesus Montero
Brad White

Good afternoon prospect watchers. It is Kevin Gausman Day! I predict 5.1 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, no-decision in a 6-5 Orioles loss. You can read more about his arsenal at Beyond the Boxscore. And here is some video of his pitches.

***Prospect of the Day tomorrow will be Sean Nolin of the Toronto Blue Jays. Jarred Cosart of the Astros will be written up Monday unless something more timely intervenes. Other items in the works include a Joc Pederson/Cesar Puello comparison piece and something about Pirates catching prospect Tony Sanchez.

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

***There was a discussion of smartphones in yesterday's thread. I'm still stumbling along with the non-smart phone I got in 2009. I won't be in a position to buy a new phone for awhile (people really spend $600 on phones? I feel out of place in this world), but someone is going to have to educate me about what to look for and what makes a good smartphone. Feel free to continue discussing it because I don't have a feel for this stuff and need to learn more.

***San Diego Padres prospect Max Fried gave up four runs in six innings for Low-A Fort Wayne yesterday, but overall it has been a good season for him: 2.95 ERA, 39/17 K/BB in 36 innings, 2.50 GO/AO. I'd like to see the walks come down, but the strikeout/grounder combination is positive, he's just 19, and scouting reports are enthusiastic. He looks like a fine choice at seventh-overall last spring.

***Chicago Cubs prospect Albert Almora made his 2013 debut yesterday with a 3-for-4 night for Low-A Kane County.

***The Mariners pulled the plug on Jesus Montero and sent him down to Triple-A Tacoma. Although he already proved he can bash Triple-A pitching in the Yankees system, I can understand why the Mariners did this. I would caution against calling him a bust however. He is still just 23, and as Rob Neyer points out, some really good hitters have needed a refresher course in the minors. Rob discusses Carlos Delgado, but there are other examples. Aramis Ramirez was pretty awful (72 OPS+) as 24-year-old. Alex Gordon, currently hitting .352, took four years to live up to his potential. Baseball is hard.

***Dave Cameron at Fangraphs backs up Rob's contention with this look at some other historical parallels, although not all of them are in Montero's favor and some of the guys who did make it had other skills besides hitting. Cameron also mentions that getting out from behind the plate may help Montero unlock his hitting ability. He concludes that Montero's most likely outcome is to be an average-quality DH, a solid hitter who doesn't contribute much defensively.

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