Good afternoon prospect watchers. Let's get down to business.
***I have returned to full operational status and am working to catch up with my various projects. The Kyle Gibson thing went up this morning to coincide with his major league debut. Next on the agenda in no particular order are Prospect Retros for Jeff Locke and Cole Hamels, prospect reports on Ross Stripling, Zoilo Almonte, and Jaff Decker, Top 150 revision, and July 2nd international signing day. Feel free to make other suggestions as you wish.
***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread.
***It was good to see the Baltimore Orioles adopt the old Earl Weaver strategy and use Kevin Gausman as a long reliever yesterday, especially since it worked, he pitched great, and got the win.This was a treat for me since 1) I like Gausman, and 2) being an old person who grew up in the 70s, the Weaver Young Pitcher Break-In Strategy always made sense to me. It isn't used much in modern baseball; I think the specialization of bullpen roles is the reason and you just don't see that many dedicated long relievers anyway. Well, that's my impression anyway; how many long relievers/spot starters in the classic sense are there any more? Has anyone studied that?
***Miguel Sano seems to have adapted quickly to Double-A, hitting two more homers yesterday for New Britain, which gives him four in his last five games. He's now up to .236/.328/.655 in 17 games including .297/.350/.838 in his last 10.
Amidst all the attention that Sano gets for his bat, I'd like to point out that he has also improved defensively. His error rate has improved substantially; he fielded .884 last year but has that up to .929 this season. His arm strength has never been questioned, and while his range isn't outstanding, I think his glove gets something of a bad rap based on old information. He has some quickness for a player his size and I don't think he is doomed to be a first baseman, at least not right away. With a bat like his, his glove has to be just adequate and I think it can be at least that.
***Houston Astros prospect George Springer hit his first Triple-A home run yesterday. He's 2-for-9 with four strikeouts and two walks in his first three games since being promoted to Oklahoma City.
***Washington Nationals prospect and former Texas Christian star Matt Purke threw six shutout innings for Low-A Hagerstown yesterday, with eight strikeouts, no walks, and just one hit allowed. The Nationals have been quite cautious with him given his injury history, but the results thus far for the Suns are quite good: 2.48 ERA in 29 innings, 25 hits, 41/7 K/BB ratio.
***White Sox enigma and 2009 first-rounder Jared Mitchell went 2-for-3 with two doubles yesterday for Double-A Birmingham. I don't know exactly how you would go about measuring this, particularly for a minor leaguer, but Mitchell strikes me as an extraordinarily streaky player. He's on a hot run right now, hitting .344/.488/.594 in his last 10 games.
But the toolsy outfielder was cold as ice earlier in the season: he hit .132/.277/.170 in 14 games for Triple-A Charlotte in April, then remained ineffective for most of May and June after his demotion to Birmingham, until his recent outburst. Even with this hot 10-game stretch, his overall line in Double-A is just .207/.353/.324. Mitchell's game revolves around walks, strikeouts, occasional power surges, and defense that varies between both the positive and negative varieties of "wow."
***Today's minor league schedule.