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Minor League Ball Gameday, September 6

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Angels prospect Randal Grichuk and minor league vet Cyle Hankerd lead Double-A Arkansas to victory in Texas League playoffs; Cubs prospect Pierce Johnson dominates for Daytona

Randal Grichuk
Randal Grichuk
Robert Binder, Getty Images

Good afternoon prospect watchers. Let's hit it as playoff action continues throughout the minor leagues.

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

***Los Angeles Angels outfield prospect Randal Grichuk doesn't want to be known as "the guy the Angels drafted one slot ahead of Mike Trout" for the rest of his life. He had a nice power season in the Texas League this year, hitting 22 homers for Arkansas with an overall line of .256/.306/.474, though his plate discipline was problematic (28 walks, 92 strikeouts). He hit a home run for the Travelers in the Texas League playoffs yesterday, combining with 28-year-old minor league vet Cyle Hankerd and his home run for a 4-1 win over Tulsa.

Grichuk should move up to Triple-A in 2014. He has power, has improved a lot defensively, and is still just 22 years old. He's not Trout (nobody is) but still has a shot at having a significant career if he can show some measure of strike zone judgment.

***Another big playoff performer yesterday: Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Pierce Johnson, who fanned six over five innings for High-A Daytona yesterday in their victory over Charlotte. Johnson had a very effective, very efficient 2013 regular season, going 11-6, 2.74 with a 124/43 K/BB in 118 innings for Daytona and Low-A Kane County in the Midwest League. He should begin 2014 in Double-A and there is an outside chance we could see him in Chicago next year. He throws strikes with four pitches and could be a number three starter down the road.

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

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