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Orange hats are cool
Orange hats are cool
Scott Halleran

Good morning prospect watchers. Few preliminaries today, so it is down to business.

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

***Chicago Cubs prospect Eric Jokisch threw a nine-inning no-hitter for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies yesterday, fanning eight with four walks. He now has a 3.57 ERA in 129 innings with a 114/49 K/BB ratio and 120 hits allowed. Jokisch was an 11th round pick in 2010 from Northwestern University and has made steady progress through the Cubs system as a classic strike-throwing lefty, generally non-overpowering but effective when his command is on. He projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter or a bullpen asset.

***Impressive major league debut last night from Minnesota Twins rookie Andrew Albers, with eight shutout innings. I'll get him on the Prospect of the Day list.

***Mark Appel in the Astros system recorded his first professional victory for Low-A Quad Cities yesterday. In 24.2 professional innings between Low-A and the New York-Penn League, he has a 2.55 ERA, 22/6 K/BB, 21 hits allowed, and a 2.53 GO/AO. He's not striking out the universe, but he's throwing strikes and picking up a lot of grounders so far. At this point, getting his feet wet in pro ball is the main goal.

So if you were the Astros, what would you do with him the rest of the year? Do you shut him down? Do you have him pitch through August? Do you leave him in Low-A, or do you move him up to High-A or Double-A to share some attendance boost and publicity with your affiliates?

Quad Cities is in first place in the Midwest League, but so are Lancaster in the High-A California League and Double-A Corpus Christi in the Texas League. Wherever you send him, the affiliate would benefit and Appel will have a shot at post-season professional experience. If it matters to your decision, he's up to 132 innings on the season after throwing 104 in 2011 and 123 last year.

***LoneStarBall, SB Nation's Texas Rangers hub, has an interesting question/answer session with prospect Ryan Rua, currently hitting .253 with 29 homers and 13 steals in the prospect-laden lineup at Low-A Hickory in the South Atlantic League.

***Blake Murphy at Beyond the Boxscore, runs down the rookie hitters of 2013 with a particular focus on the guys who were not hugely hyped pre-season.

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