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Minor League Ball Gameday: Thursday, May 22

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Welcome to the Gameday!

17 year old phenom Julio Urias.
17 year old phenom Julio Urias.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Hello prospect watcher, it's good to have you back.

Some crazy things went down in Tennessee as AA Mobile first baseman Jon Griffin tore the Smokies pitching staff a new one. He became the second player in Southern League history to have four home runs in one game. The only other man to do it was George Kalafatis almost 45 years ago in July of 1969. Even more impressive, his power binge started in the 5th inning. The clean-up hitter ended the day going 5-6 with seven RBI, four runs, and 17 total bases.

Astros short stop Carlos Correa had himself a day, but it didn't hold a candle to Griffin. The 13th ranked player in the game was 2-5 with his third home run of the year and eighth stolen base. He drove in two and came around to score once. Correa now sports a 306/353/452 line which is solid and good for an .805 OPS, 116 wRC+ and .358 wOBA, but not quite what most expected he would do going to the offensively charged Cal League. Its sometimes easy to forget that he's still only 19 years old.

With the news of Stephen Drew re-signing with the BoSox, Xander Bogaerts looks to have a position change on the horizon. No matter where he is defensively on the diamond, he's shown he can still hit. XB picked up his ninth and 10th doubles to go with a single in four trips to the dish. He came around to score once and drove one run in. His over the fence power hasn't really made an appearance on the biggest stage (2 HR, .401 SLG%), but he's hitting .283 and has worked 20 walks to 39 strike outs, part of a .381 OBP and .782 OPS. He's accumulated 1.1 fWAR already in 43 games while being 20% better offensively than the league average short stop (120 wRC+).

Randal Grichuk is playing like a man that is pissed off being back in AAA. He went 2-4 yesterday with his ninth AAA home run, 11th double and a walk while scoring twice and driving in two. The lowest ranked Memphis outfielder (OT - 4, Piscotty - 70, Grichuk - 110) has been playing out of his mind over the last 10 games. He's slashing 347/418/776 with six home runs and three doubles in just 49 at bats. His season line isn't quite as Gallo-ish, as he's got a .924 OPS with a 299/351/573 triple slash and 153 wRC+.

The 18 year old man-child out in the Fort Wayne outfield did his part in a 10-3 loss. Franmil Reyes was 2-4 out of the clean up spot, hitting a double and triple as well, his 12th two-bagger and fifth home run. He drove in two and scored once, and the dude has been raking in his last 10 games also. He's slashing 353/476/559 with four doubles, one bomb, and a very impressive seven walks to five punch outs. For the year, Reyes has a 295/364/474 line with an .838 OPS, and 137 wRC+. As an 18 year old. In full season ball.

One of the big break out guy's of the year and Sleeper Alert! Dalton Pompey keeps on hitting and stealing bags at a very efficient clip. He didn't swipe any yesterday, but he did get his long ball on, picking up a solo homer for number five and his eighth double. In the pitcher friendly Florida State League, Pompey has still managed to put up a 329/404/509 line to go with a 168 wRC+, .422 wOBA and .914 OPS. In comparison to the rest of the FSL, Mt. Vesuvius here is top five in the league in slugging, OPS, wOBA, and wRC+, sixth in batting average and on base, and happens to be tied for the lead with 18 stolen bases while only being caught once.

On the pitching side of things, Julio Urias was the stud of the night, baffling Inland Empire for five innings. The Angels A+ affiliate only managed one hit off the southpaw, and that was one of only two baserunners. He struck out five while not walking anyone, but he did hit one batter. The 17 year old phenom worked six outs on the ground to three fly outs, and lowered his season ERA to 4.11 with a 1.24 WHIP through 30.2 innings. Urias is striking out 10.1 batter per nine while walking 4.5 due to his recent bout of wildness. The opposition is only hitting .209 off Urias with a reasonably normal .293 BABIP and 68.2% strand rate. It all adds up to the FIP being a half run lower than his ERA at 3.61.

Edwin Diaz of the Mariners showed he could still dominate a game without striking everyone out. The righty threw seven shut out innings for Low A Clinton, walking and striking out one with five hits allowed. Ten of his outs came in the air while five were ground outs, and he walked away with his second win of the year and lowered his ERA to 3.19 on the year. His control has been a bit shaky with a 4.5 BB/9 but he's struck out a solid 8.8 batter per nine innings. Opponents are hitting .241 off him so far this year but he's shown a sharp reverse-platoon split so far, dominating lefties with a 0.92 ERA and 19 strike outs to six walks in 19.2 innings.

Duel of the Day participant Braden Shipley made me look smart for pointing out his match up with Kevin Ziomek. Shipley went six innings and only made one real mistake as lead off man Wynton Bernard took him deep for a solo shot, the only run he gave up on the day. He struck out six while walking two and giving up five hits. He induced seven ground outs to only one fly out, and left with win number three for the year. His ERA now stands at 3.86 with a 1.24 WHIP and 3.05 FIP. The lower FIP is likely due to his strong walk rate (2.3 per nine), lack of home runs allowed (just one), and a BABIP that's higher than normal (.328) and a strand rate lower than normal (62.5%). Once the BABIP and strand rate stabilize and he can maintain his control and strike outs (8.2/9), his ERA should drop. More than likely though he's going to get that promotion to Visalia like draft-mate Aaron Blair.

The second biggest break out pitcher (behind Lively) has been Rockies righty Daniel Winkler. After leading the minors in strike outs last year, he's showing his deception and control can make up for the lack of premium velocity and still get advanced bats out. Winkler took on Frisco and turned in what seems to be his normal start, seven frames of one-run baseball. He allowed one walk and four hits, struck out five and kept the ball on the ground, recording nine ground outs to one fly out. Unfortunately his efforts did not factor in the decision, so he sits at 5-2 on the year still with a 1.46 ERA, and 0.74 WHIP. He's showing excellent control walking only 2.1 batters per nine and is also striking out a hair more than a batter an inning. Some regression is to be expected at some point though, as a .177 BABIP and .147 opponents batting average is nowhere close to sustainable as more seeing eye singles and bloops find the the outfield grass.

I hope you guys are enjoying the new layout. If you have any suggestions you can always leave a comment. Be sure to check out the probable starters and Duels of the Day below along with the running injury list. Enjoy!

The Top 150 Prospects and Sleeper Alerts!

In an effort to streamline the look of the Gameday, I'm trying something new. Instead of bogging down the article with tables, I will link to a Google Drive spreadsheet for all the stats from the previous day. On the bottom there are tabs for the Top 150 Hitters (Top 150 H), Pitchers (Top 150 P), and Sleeper Alerts! Check it out by clicking the link above and let me know what you think.

Probable Starters


  • Alex Meyer - MIN vs Matt Tracy - NYY
  • Matt Barnes - BOS vs Ryan Tatusko - WAS
  • Kyle Drabek - TOR vs Josh Smith - CIN
  • Mike Wright - BAL vs Gus Schlosser - ATL
  • Enny Romero - TB vs Kyle Davies - CLE
  • Jeff Locke - PIT vs TBD - CWS
  • Derek Hankins - DET vs TBD - PHI


  • Nick Tropeano - HOU vs Andrew Heaney - MIA *****Co DotD*****
  • Angel Castro - STL vs Tyler Matzek - COL
  • Lucas Harrell - AZ vs Jordan Pries - SEA
  • Juan Oramas - SD vs TBD - OAK
  • Jeff Bennett - LAD vs TBD - LAA
  • Brett Tomko - KC vs TBD - MIL
  • Dallas Beeler - CHC vs Daniel McCutchen - TEX
  • Dana Eveland - NYM vs Jose De Paula - SF


  • Kyle Crick - SF vs Virgil Vasquez - MIN
  • AJ Cole - WAS vs Eric Ruth - NYY
  • Matt Boyd - TOR vs Severino Gonzalez - PHI
  • Rainy Lara - NYM vs Miguel Pena - BOS
  • Will Roberts - CLE vs AJ Morris - PIT
  • Kyle Ryan - DET vs TBD - BAL


  • Chris Beck - CWS vs Robert Stephenson - CIN *****Co DotD*****
  • AJ Schugel - AZ vs Corey Black - CHC
  • Aaron Northcraft - ATL vs Tyson Brummett - LAD
  • Drew Gagnon - MIL vs Victor Mateo - TB
  • Matt Anderson - SEA vs Chipper Smith - MIA


  • Jon Gray - COL vs Jerad Eichhoff - TEX
  • Kyle Smith - HOU vs Drew Rucinski - LAA
  • Josh Geer - SD vs Andy Ferguson - KC
  • Jonathan Cornelius - STL vs Drew Granier - OAK

A+ - CAL

  • Jochi Ogando - SEA vs Joe Ross - SD
  • TBD - OAK vs Chris Stratton - SF
  • Jharel Cotton - LAD vs Greg Billo - LAA
  • TBD - AZ vs TBD - COL
  • TBD - HOU vs Mike Dennhardt - CIN

A+ - CAR

  • Lucas Sims - ATL vs Ronald Pena - WAS
  • Francelis Montas - CWS vs TBD - BOS
  • Victor Payano - TEX vs TBD - BAL
  • TBD - CLE vs Daniel Stumpf - KC

A+ - FSL

  • Tayler Scott - CHC vs Tyler Glasnow - PIT
  • Hobbs Johnson - MIL vs Kyle Helisek - STL
  • Alex Wimmers - MIN vs Kendall Graveman - TOR
  • Trevor Williams - MIA vs Conner Kendrick - NYY
  • Colin Kleven - PHI vs Luis Cessa - NTM
  • Leonel Santiago - TB vs Josh Turley - DET


  • Aaron Slegers - MIN vs Chris Lee - HOU
  • Eddie Campbell - SEA vs Paul Blackburn - CHC
  • Victor Diaz - MIL vs Dylan Covey - OAK
  • Blake Perry - AZ vs Jonathan Martinez - LAD
  • Alberto Tirado - TOR vs TBD - SD
  • Chad Green - DET vs Daniel Wright - CIN
  • Dace Kime - CLE vs Jaime Schultz - TB
  • TBD - STL vs TBD - LAA


  • Caleb Smith - NYY vs Frank Lopez - TEX *****Co DotD*****
  • Mark Leiter - PHI vs Cody Dickson - PIT
  • Miller Diaz - NYM vs TBD - KC
  • James Dykstra - CWS vs Sebastian Vader - BAL
  • Carlos Diaz - SF vs Myles Smith - BOS
  • Jarlin Garcia - MIA vs Matt Marksberry - ATL
  • Antonio Senzatela - COL vs Hector Silvestre - WAS

Duels of the Day



May 21

Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HR Allowed Notes
1 (18) Noah Syndergaard RHP NYM AAA 5 5 3 3 2 6 4 4 4.02 1.46 2 - Gary Brown, Joe Panik 55 S, 27 B, ND (5-2)
- Chris Heston RHP SF AAA 6 4 4 4 3 5 6 4 3.59 1.09 2 - O. Quintanilla, K. Nieuwenhuis 54 S, 35 B, ND (4-2)
Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HRA Notes
- Jeff Ames RHP TB A+ 5 8 8 8 1 2 5 8 6.75 1.70 2 - James Robbins, Curt Powell L (1-5)
- Jake Thompson RHP DET A+ 5 3 1 1 4 4 4 3 1.80 1.08 0 HBP, W (4-1)
Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HRA Notes
2 (55) Braden Shipley RHP AZ A 6 5 1 1 2 6 7 1 3.86 1.24 1 - Wynton Bernard 60 S, 37 B, W (3-2)
- Kevin Ziomek LHP DET A 6 4 3 3 7 8 4 4 2.00 1.20 1 - Steve McQuail 2 PO, WP, 66 S, 44 B, L (3-4)

May 22

RHP Nick Tropeano (HOU - AAA) vs LHP Andrew Heaney (MIA - AAA)*

RHP Chris Beck (CWS - AA) vs RHP Robert Stephenson (CIN - AA)**

LHP Caleb Smith (NYY - A) vs LHP Frank Lopez (TEX - A)

*This is Heaney's AAA debut.

**This is Beck/Stephenson round 2.  They faced off 5/11 and each threw six scoreless with neither getting a decision.


  • Astros RF George Springer (day-to-day; right hip flexor strain) - 5/21
  • Dodgers 2B Alex Guerrero (7 day DL; Mike Tyson'd) - 5/20
  • White Sox 1B Jose Abreu (15 day DL; left ankle tendinitis) - 5/17
  • Cubs RF Jorge Soler (day-to-day; hamstring tightness) - 5/15
  • Astros RHP Vince Velasquez (7 day DL; groin injury) - 5/11
  • Twins CF Byron Buxton (day-to-day; left wrist sprain) - 5/9
  • Diamondbacks RHP Archie Bradley (7 day DL; minor right elbow flexor strain) - 4/29
  • Cubs RHP CJ Edwards (7 day DL; right shoulder tightness) - 4/24
  • Orioles LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (7 day DL; left knee sprain) - 4/21
  • Pirates RHP Luis Heredia (7 day DL; right shoulder discomfort) - 4/12
  • Tigers 2B Devon Travis (7 day DL; right oblique strain) - 4/10
  • Mariners LHP James Paxton (15 day DL; left lat strain) - 4/8
  • Athletics SS Addison Russell (7 day DL; torn right hamstring) - 4/6
  • Pirates CF Austin Meadows (7 day DL; right hamstring strain) - 4/3
  • Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy (60 day DL; TJS recovery) - 4/3
  • Rays RHP Taylor Guerrieri (7 day DL; TJS recovery) - 4/3
  • Padres LHP Max Fried (7 day DL; left forearm soreness) - 4/3
  • Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker (15 day DL; right shoulder impingement) - 3/21
  • Rays 2B Tim Beckham (season; torn right ACL) - 3/30
  • Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/23
  • Tigers RHP Bruce Rondon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/21
  • Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/14
  • Twins 3B Miguel Sano (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/12

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