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Minor League Ball Gameday: Friday, May 23

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Welcome to the Gameday!

Part of the insanely gifted AAA Memphis Cardinals outfield, Oscar Taveras.
Part of the insanely gifted AAA Memphis Cardinals outfield, Oscar Taveras.
Minda Haas

Hey folks, glad you came back to the Gameday. Before we get to the good stuff, I have some great news to share with everyone. With the Rule 5 coming up around the corner, short season leagues will be cranking up soon as well. With the influx of new players to track I have decided to add not one, not two, but THREE NEW SECTIONS of players that will be tracked daily and will be included in the weekly year-to-date update.

The first section will be called the Helium Tank. Break out prospects and those not on the current sleeper list will go here. I’m thinking 25-30 players total, to be determined.

The second section is called the Tempurpedic’s. These are the deep sleepers that will be kicking off their seasons in the upcoming weeks for either a domestic or international short season league. The Sleeper Alerts! list already includes a few of these guys, but to hell with turning it up to 11, we’re cranking this bitch up to 15! Another 25-30 players will be featured here every single day.

The third section will be up to you. I will be creating an article in the coming days where the community as a whole will have the chance to add another 25-30 names to the pot in the Community Prospect Watch (tentative name until I come up with something better) section. I will explain in more detail later how the players will be chosen so try and come up with some good names in the meantime. I will let you know who is in the other two new sections beforehand so we don’t have any overlap.

Expect the new sections to debut in by the beginning of June. Now for what we all came for - the Gameday.

The 10th overall prospect in the game, Javier Baez, has had a rough start to 2014 to say the least. He continued his recent hot streak with a 4-5 game including his fifth and sixth doubles, sixth home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Baez also made his eighth error, making a bad throw. His last 10 games have him looking more like the power-packed short stop of old as he's slashed 317/326/659. This four hit game has brought him back over the Mendoza Line and well over the Uggla line, as he's now hitting 201/270/396. Though its only 33 at bats, it bears mentioning that lefties have chewed Baez up and spit him out, limiting him to a 121/147/212 triple slash, four total hits. and one walk to 14 strike outs.

Baez's organization mate Kris Bryant put together an excellent day as well, reaching base all five times he ventured to the plate via two walks, two singles, and his 12th double of the year. He also swiped his sixth base, knocked in three and scored once. The more Bryant plays in the minor leagues, the more of a waste of time it seems. Outside of his first six professional at bats in the AZL rookie league, Bryant has not only hit for prodigious power, he's also hit better than .333 at every level he's been assigned to so far. In 2014, the former second overall pick has managed a 335/431/623 slash line with 12 doubles and homers, 40 runs and RBI, six steals, 23 walks and 53 punch outs in 167 at bats.

What more superlatives can you put on the trio of Memphis outfielders? Oscar Taveras, Stephen Piscotty, and Randal Grichuk were all in the zone and taking advantage of the thin Colorado Springs air, combining to go 8-15 with three doubles and a clutch two-out RBI for each of the three. The Triumvirate of Timber have made for a potent two-three-four in the Redbirds lineup with Taveras hitting 322/368/520, Piscotty hitting 299/337/443, and Grichuk going bonkers hitting 333/383/617 while not with the parent club. OT has 14 doubles, six bombs, 35 RBI, and has walked 12 times to 23 punch outs. Piscotty has racked up 13 two-baggers, four homers, 26 steaks, five steals, just eight walks and 25 strike outs. Grichuk has sent nine over the fence with 11 doubles, 29 ribbies, 32 runs, and 12 free passes to 29 whiffs.

Atlanta's best potential in-house replacement for Dan Uggla showed off what he does best - hit and get on base. AAA second baseman Tommy La Stella was 3-4 last night with his usual walk, a run scored and one run driven in. He kicked his batting average up above .300 and now has 22 walks to only 13 strike outs this year. His slash line is sitting at 303/389/349 but he's rocking a .348 wOBA and 114 wRC+. La Stella has also knocked in 21 runs despite a lack of game power showing, with five doubles, a triple and no homers.

Duel of the Day participant Andrew Heaney made his AAA debut for New Orleans and posted a line that is more or less the norm when he toes the bump. He allowed one run on seven hits through five frames against Oklahoma City. The southpaw was impressive against a line up featuring Jon Singleton and Domingo Santana, not walking anyone while striking out seven with four ground outs and three fly outs. The game went to extra's so he did not factor into the decision, but he was 4-2 in AA before the bump. His 2.30 ERA this year is also on par with his FIP which sits at 2.26, suggesting his peripherals stand up to the low ERA.

Chris Stratton took the ball for San Jose out in the Cal League against Stockton and was excellent through seven innings with the exception of one pitch. He allowed one run on a solo shot to Chad Pinder, walked two and gave up five hits in total. The right handed Mississippi native induced nine ground outs to one fly out and dropped his ERA to 4.44 and his WHIP down to 1.32. He's racking up 8.5 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and 2.6 K/BB so far with a .246 opponents batting average and 4.72 FIP.

Watch out for Jarlin Garcia, a southpaw for Low A Greensboro in the Sally. One of John's hand picked Sleeper Alerts! and a personal favorite of mine, Garcia threw 7.2 innings last night, allowing three runs on five hits, a walk, and a hit batter. He struck out nine on the night, getting eight ground outs to four fly outs, and he earned his third win of the year. Garcia has been the victim of a high BABIP (.353) and ridiculously low strand rate of 55.4%, a good 15% worse than the norm. The 21 year old Dominican has a nice 9.33 K/9 to pair with an even better 1.8 BB/9 and 5.2 K/BB. Though his ERA is sky high at 5.36, his FIP is more indicative of his performance sitting at 3.60.

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/header above and let me know what you think.

Probable Starters


  • Brandon Workman - BOS vs Aaron Laffey - WAS
  • Matt Andriese - TB vs Travis Banwart - CLE
  • Duane Below - DET vs Brad Lincoln - PHI
  • Mike Pelfrey - MIN vs Brian Gordon - NYY
  • Shawn Hill - TOR vs Tim Crabbe - CIN
  • Vance Worley - PIT vs Felipe Paulino - CWS
  • TJ McFarland - BAL vs Yunesky Maya - ATL


  • Andrew Chafin - AZ vs Zach Lee - LAD *****Co DotD*****
  • Jimmy Nelson - MIL vs Elih Villanueva - MIA
  • Edwin Escobar - SF vs Brooks Raley - LAA
  • David Martinez - HOU vs Tim Cooney - STL
  • Yohan Flande - COL vs Tsuyoshi Wada - CHC
  • TBD - SD vs Erasmo Ramirez - SEA
  • TBD - OAK vs Logan Verrett - NYM
  • Scott Richmond - TEX vs TBD - KC


  • Anthony Vasquez - BAL vs Matt Purke - WAS
  • Jeremy Bleich - NYY vs Ty Blach - SF
  • Mike Aguilera - BOD vs Casey Lawrence - TOR
  • Zack Dodson - PIT vs Wilsen Palacios - DET
  • Hoby Milner - PHI vs Duke von Schamann - CLE
  • Taylor Rogers - MIN vs TBD - NYM


  • JR Graham - ATL vs Chris Reed - LAD *****Co DotD*****
  • Myles Jaye - CWS vs Jon Moscot - CIN
  • Taylor Jungmann - MIL vs Dylan Floro - TB
  • Victor Sanchez - SEA vs TBD - MIA
  • Justin Fitzgerald - AZ vs Dae-Eun Rhee - CHC


  • Marco Gonzales - STL vs Shawn Haviland - OAK
  • Josh Geer - SD vs Jason Adam - KC
  • Tyler Anderson - COL vs TBD - TEX
  • Brady Rodgers - HOU vs Orangel Arenas - LAA

A+ - CAL

  • Tyler Pike - SEA vs Ben Lively - CIN *****Co DotD*****
  • Michael Clevinger - LAA vs Lance McCullers - HOU
  • Zach Eflin - SD vs Tom Windle - LAD
  • TBD - AZ vs Kendry Flores - SF
  • TBD - OAK vs Devin Burke - COL

A+ - CAR

  • TBD - BAL vs Miguel Almonte - KC
  • Luis Parra - TEX vs TBD - CLE
  • Braulio Ortiz - CWS vs TBD - ATL
  • TBD - WAS vs TBD - BOS

A+ - FSL

  • Austin Pruitt - TB vs Kevin Eichhorn - DET
  • TBD - MIN vs Taylor Cole - TOR
  • Tyler Wagner - MIL vs Silfredo Garcia - STL
  • TBD - PHI vs Matthew Koch - NYM
  • Josh Hodges - MIA vs Eric Wooten - NYY
  • Ben Wells - CHC vs Chad Kuhl - PIT


  • Jonathon Crawford - DET vs Sal Romano - CIN
  • Ryan Eades - MIN vs Michael Feliz - HOU
  • Jose Martinez - AZ vs Zachary Bird - LAD
  • Carlos Misell - SEA vs Tyler Skulina - CHC
  • Presto Gainey - MIL vs Bobby Wahl - OAK
  • Jordan Milbrath - CLE vs TBD - TB
  • Michael Holback - STL vs Garrett Nuss - LAA
  • Matt Dermody - TOR vs Erik Cabrera - SD


  • Alex Balog - COL vs Austin Voth - WAS
  • Matthew Lujan - SF vs Joe Gunkel - BOS
  • Rob Gsellman - NYM vs Luis Santos - KC
  • Matt Millroy - MIA vs AJ Holland - ATL
  • Thad Lowry - CWS vs Luc Rennie - BAL
  • Alejandro Arteaga - PHI vs Justin Topa - PIT
  • Brady Lail - NYY vs Cole Wiper - TEX

Duels of the Day



May 22

Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HR Allowed Notes
- Nick Tropeano RHP HOU AAA 6.2 3 0 0 2 8 2 6 2.53 1.01 0 63 S, 31 B, ND (2-3)
1 (20) Andrew Heaney LHP MIA AAA 5 7 1 1 0 7 4 3 1.80 1.40 0 56 S, 28 B, ND (0-0)
Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HR Allowed Notes
9 (-) Chris Beck RHP CWS AA 5 4 2 2 1 4 5 5 4.28 1.35 1 - Juan Duran 56 S, 31 B, ND (2-6)
1 (8) Robert Stephenson RHP CIN AA 6 2 1 1 4 6 5 4 3.48 1.23 0 E (2 - F), 52 S, 39 B, ND (2-4)

May 23

LHP Andrew Chafin (AZ - AAA) vs RHP Zach Lee (LAD - AAA)*

RHP JR Graham (ATL - AA) vs LHP Chris Reed (LAD - AA)

LHP Tyler Pike (SEA - A+) vs RHP Ben Lively (CIN - A+)

*This is Chafin's AAA debut.


  • 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
  • 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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