Hot Prospects for May 1

May 3rd, 2016

The first day of May and we have a three homer game and a classic pitcher’s duel.

Wendell Rijo 2B (Red Sox) - The Dominican is blocked by Dustin Pedroia at second base and he lacks a stand out tool to convince the Red Sox to give him the job. What puts him on this page is a 4 for 5 day that brings his average to .219. His April ended at .169 and his May has started at .800. Wendell hopes this will be the beginning of a surge.

Jarrett Parker OF (Giants) - At 27 years old his time is now to be on the major league roster. A three homerun day where he drove in six could be the start of that quest. The next day he hit another homerun to give him four for the month of May. An improvement on his .203 average and a reduction in his strikeouts is a must if he wants to see the major league roster. For the month of April he whiffed 31 times in just 19 games to put his average at .171.

Pitchers

Braden Shipley RHP (D-backs) and Jeff Hoffman RHP (Rockies) - A classic pitchers duel between these two first round picks. Neither allowed a run in a game won by Reno in 12 innings 1-0. Shipley worked six innings of four hit ball and Hoffman worked seven innings of three hit ball. For Shipley it was his second consecutive shutout appearance extending his shutout streak to 13.

Cody Reed LHP (Reds) - This is the other Cody Reed on the Reds. He pitched seven innings of one hit ball, striking out five. His strikeout numbers are not as prevalent as the D-back version, but he gets the job done.

Luis Ortiz RHP (Rangers) - There are more than two players named Luis Ortiz in the minor leagues, but none of them have close to the talent as this Luis, who pitched six innings of four hit shutout ball. The first round pick in the 2014 draft starred for the 18 and under United States national team and is carrying that talent into his minor league career.

Top 10 Venezuelan Prospects in American League

May 2nd, 2016

This is the weakest of the two conferences for Venezuelan prospects. Barretto repeats at the top of the list while the number two prospect Eduardo Rodriguez graduated to the major leagues. Bruce Rondon and Carlos Sanchez, the number four and five prospects also saw too much time in the major leagues to repeat this list, though both are back in the minor leagues to get more seasoning. The sixth rated prospect Hernan Perez was traded to Milwaukee in the National League but saw too much time in the major leagues to make the list. You can see the 2015 list at the link below.

1. Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - The number one American League Venezuelan prospect on this list last year is the number one prospect this year. With the political chaos currently enveloping the country it may be more difficult to identify top prospects in the future. Franklin was signed by the Blue Jays but included in the Josh Donaldson trade. Since he was the premier piece the Athletics acquired for Donaldson they hope he reaches his potential. There is power in his bat but 34 errors last year and lack of strength in his arm may make a move to second possible. The Athletics will keep him at short and hope he develops more consistency with the glove. The hit tool should keep him in the .300 neighborhood.

2. Anderson Espinoza RHP (Red Sox) - As a 17 year old he was hitting the mid-90s with his fastball. If he was in the United States that would make him a lock as a first round pick. The Red Sox signed the Venezuelan for $1,8 million. He has a small frame (6′0″) which could impact his durability. A curve and change give him three pitches to remain in the rotation. If he can remain healthy as he pitches up the minor league ladder the Red Sox see no reason to remove him from the rotation. If arm problems question his durability for long stretches expect him to be used as a closer.

3. Renato Nunez 3B (Athletics) - A slugging corner infielder. The Athletics have a lot of them in their minor league system. Where Renato goes, to first or third depends on where the other prospects settle. Renato will leave the yard for 30 plus homeruns a year. This would be excellent if he settles at third, but his defense is a question mark there. The Athletics have three more advanced prospects (Max Muncy, Matt Olson and Rangel Ravelo) who also play there. Last year he only played 93 games, missing the month of April because of a calf injury.

4. Wilkerman Garcia SS (Yankees) - The Yankees signed Wilkerman for $1.35 million. They like the tools he gives them at short with a bat that has the potential to produce some power. Jorge Mateo, a similarly gifted shortstop is a step ahead of him on the prospect ladder and Didi Gregorious shows consistency on defense in the major leagues. Wilkerman did not hit any homeruns last year but as he fills out the power is expected to come. A 24/19 walk to whiff ratio is evidence of hit tools that will rake in the .300 or above. As he rises up the Yankees minor league system his name will become as popular as Mateo on the prospects list. Potential exists for Wilkerman to exhibit all five tools, with greater power than Mateo but not as much speed.

5. Jose Martinez OF (Royals) - His best shot for making the team was this year when the Royals were looking for a right fielder. His arm may be better suited for left so the 26 year old will spend some more time in the minor leagues. If he continues to hit .384 at AAA Omaha with 10 homeruns and a .563 slugging percentage the Royals will find room for him in the lineup. He lacks the speed to play centerfield. If the Royals had not resigned Alex Gordon for left field in 2016 the position would have been his to lose in spring training.

6. Luis Torrens C (Yankees) - The Yankees are always signing offensive oriented catchers who they hope develop defensively. Luis signed out of Venezuela in 2012 for $1.3 million. A torn labrum in his shoulder and surgery prevented him from playing the 2015 season. Prior to the shoulder issues Luis had a strong arm. How that arm bounces back after the surgery will be key to his progress. There is power in his bat so the Yankees will show patience with his progress. His 20th birthday will come May 2 (today with this writing) so he has plenty of time to recover.

7. German Marquez RHP (Rays) - The fastball hops to the plate in the mid-90s, hitting as high as 97. The big concern is his 6′1″ frame, which is borderline slight for a right handed starter. There are also only two other pitches in his repertoire, the curveball his second pitch with a change still in the developmental stage. In 2015 in the Florida State League he appeared a bit hittable, with the opposition hitting him at a .272 clip. The previous year the opposition average stood at a slight .228. He needs to improve on missing the bats, or pitching more to weak contact to fit into the Rays rotation.

8. Miguel Aparicio OF (Rangers) - Miguel was a $500,000 signing last year. His bat may be his best tool, though he will hit more for average than power. The instincts are there to play center, but the speed for him to be an ideal defensive player is short. The arm may not be strong enough for right so left field appears to be his best position if his tools do not develop enough to play center. He will begin the 2016 season as a 17 year old, the age where most United States kids are surviving their junior year in high school. So Miguel has a lot of maturing to do to exceed his current projection as a fourth of fifth outfielder based on present tools.

9. Luis Alexander Basabe 1B (Red Sox) - Luis will not turn 20 until August. The potential exists for him to develop five tools, with good power and speed to play center and be a run producer in the lineup. Injuries and short season ball have prevented him from playing in more than 72 games. The seven homeruns he hit last year were a career high but it was also accompanied by his worst strikeout rate, more than once whiff per game.

10. Engelb Vielman SS (Twins) - Myworld was tempted to add Rafael Ortega since he is getting regular playing time n left field for the Angels. Engelb has more potential to be an impact player in the long haul. Signed for just $90,000, his strength is his defense. His errors are few and his arm is strong. He will go as far as his bat will allow him. The power is absent so don’t expect a lot of balls to leave the park. Last year only 12 of his 119 hits went for extra bases. There is enough speed in his legs to steal 35 bases last year, so a top of the order spot could be a possibility if his bat improves.

2015 top ten Venezuelan prospects in American League

Hot Prospects for April 30

May 2nd, 2016

Mostly pitchers for this day. Some of them are finding themselves on this list again.

Aquino Aristedes OF (Reds) - The Dominican had an off year last year after slugging 16 homeruns in 2014. He hopes to bounce back from a slow start this year with a 3 for 5 day accompanied by a homerun and five RBIs a good way to break out of his lethargy. Aquino has homered the last two days peppering pitchers for an 8 for 13 streak over the last four games, boosting his average to .229.

Sherman Johnson 2B (Angels) - The Angels do not have a lot of recognized prospects and at 25 Sherman may be a bit old for some to get excited about. The Angels did not draft him until the 12th round in 2012 out of Florida State. He raked with a 5 for 5 day on April 30th and in the second game of a double header the next day went 4 for 4 with another homerun to raise his average to .393 at AA Arkansas. He is currently in the middle of a 10 game hitting streak. The lefthanded hitter is averaging .412 against lefthanders with a 14/13 walk to whiff ratio. Sherman will have to continue to prove this run is not a fluke after he hit just .204 last year at Arkansas, though he did walk 89 times.

Jeff Gardner LF (Nationals) - Jeff got a late start to the season. His first start was not until April 27 when he hit a homerun and drove in three runs at Hagerstown. His second start was April 30th when he slugged two homeruns and drove in four of the five Suns runs. That’s three homeruns and seven RBIs in his first two games. The Hagerstown manager may have to find more playing time for him, though his 2015 season with the team has to be a part of the memory when he only hit .226 with five homeruns in 403 at bats.

Pitchers

Jairo Labourt LHP (Tigers) - The 6′4″ Dominican lefty gave up just one hit in his six innings of work for Lakeland, walking three and striking out eight. The six innings pitched were a season high. What is impressive about Jairo is he has only given up 6 hits in his five appearances covering 21 innings. That is just over one hit per appearance. Lefthanded batters have hit to get a hit off him in 22 plate appearances, with 12 of those hitters grabbing some pine after a strikeout.

Rookie Davis RHP (Reds) - Rookie was one of the players acquired from the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Many experts thought the Reds did not get enough for Aroldis. The 6′5″ Rookie with a mid-90s fastball is making these experts rethink that assessment tossing five innings of two hit shutout ball. In his four starts he has only given up two runs for a sparkling 0.78 ERA.

Chad Kuhl RHP (Pirates) and Jaime Schultz RHP (Rays) - Both pitchers allowed just two hits in six innings of work. For Kuhl this was his second shutout in his last three starts. He has only given up one run in those 16 innings to lower his ERA to 1.31. For Schultz, this is the second time he has appeared on this list and his third start in which he has not given up a run. Unfortunately, Jaime sandwiched in a seven run stinker in between the three shutout starts.

Ofelky Peralta RHP (Orioles) - The 19 year old Dominican struck out 10 in his 5 innings of work. He gave up one run and allowed just two hits.

Ryan Yarbrough LHP (Mariners) - Ryan threw a complete game seven inning three hit shutout.

Cody Reed LHP (D-Backs) - The other Cody Reed, drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft had another 11 strikeout gem, giving him back to back 11 strikeout games in his first two starts of the season. Cody has yet to walk a batter putting his walk to whiff ratio at an impressive 0/22 for his 11 innings of work. He has struck out 22 of the 40 hitters he has faced.

Japanese Rookie Pitcher to Watch

May 1st, 2016

Shoto Imanaga was a first round pick for the Yokohama Bay Stars in 2015. He made his debut in his first year in the NPB at 22 years of age. Though he has yet to win a game (0-4) the lefthander has looked impressive with a 4/43 walk to whiff ratio in just 33 innings. His ERA sits at a pretty 2.45 and he has given up only 23 hits.

In a game the Bay Stars lost to the Hanshin Tigers 2-1, Imanaga struck out 14 hitters. He is the first rookie pitcher to strike out 14 or more hitters in a game since Shota Oba struck out 14 in 2008. The last time a Bay Star rookie struck out 14 in a game was in 1953. The all time rookie strike out record for a game is held by Hideo Nomo, who struck out 17 in 1990. (Info courtesy of Yakyu database).

Just another young pitcher of many to watch in Japan.

White Sox Sailing with Sale

May 1st, 2016

The Chicago White Sox have one of the best records in major league baseball at 18-6. Chris Sale has six of those wins. He struggled in his sixth win Sunday, pitching five shutout innings in the White Sox 7-1 win over the Orioles. He finally departed in the sixth after throwing 112 pitches and giving up a single. Jake Petricka allowed the inherited run to score. Sale had allowed 9 runners to reach base, four of them on walks, but did not allow one of those runners to cross the plate.

Good pitchers get better as they work later in the game. Poor pitchers get worse as hitters figure out their stuff when they face them a second or third time. Sale struck out six Orioles in his last three innings of work. Ubaldo had trouble retiring a hitter in the fifth.

A solo homerun by Brett Lawrie in the fourth was the first run scored by the White Sox. They blew the game wide open with five in the fifth. Buck Showalter probably waited too long before yanking Ubaldo. He gave up five hits, walked one and hit two batters. The inning could have been worse, but Nolan Reimold threw a runner out at home to contain the damage.

The Sox scored one more run off the struggling Brian Matusz in the ninth inning. Brian gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases with no out. He finally got out of the inning with a sacrifice fly and two ground outs. His ERA sits at 7.71.

The hitting stars for the game were Brett Lawrie who was 3 for 3 with a homerun, double, single and two walks. Melky Cabrera was 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. The White Sox pounded out 13 hits.

Game Notes: J.J. Hardy made a couple highlight defensive plays. A backhand play on a ball in the hole in the first inning was his first big play. In the fourth Manny Machado dove for a ball, it tipped off his glove where Hardy was able to snare it, then turn and throw Todd Frazier out at first. J.J. left the game after the sixth inning….Things could have been worse for Ubaldo. He loaded the bases in the second with two walks and a hit. A strikeout and double play ground out kept the White Sox scoreless…It appeared the throw Nolan Reimold made to home in the fifth was more to hit the cutoff man than to get the runner home. He did not seem to air it out. The ball was not cutoff and despite its lack of velocity as it traveled home it was enough to get Jose Abreu at the plate…Pedro Alvarez came in to play third base in the sixth. Pedro had a ball glance off his glove for a double and another scoot down the line. He is not near the defensive player Manny Machado is at third. Manny did make a nice play at short, showing that he could handle the position if J.J. was injured for an extended period…Myworld has noticed a loss of speed in the legs of Adam Jones. He seems to have lost a couple steps or is bothered by leg problems making his running a bit labored…A bobble by Brett Lawrie allowed Chris Davis to get to second. He scored the only run for the O’s when Nolan Reimold bounced a single up the middle.

Hot Prospects for April 29

May 1st, 2016

Mike Gerber OF (Tigers) - The baby Tiger with the appropriate name is starting to get a big roar after his 4 for 5 day upped his average to .236. His two doubles and homerun drove in five runs. Four of the runs were driven in with his grand slam homerun, his fourth dinger of the year. The low average is the result of his propensity to strike out with 28 whiffs in just 23 games.

Rhys Hoskins 1B (Phillies) - Rhys drove in five runs with a 3 for 5 day. His fourth homerun was a solo shot in the opening frame that led Reading to a 14-3 rout over Portland. Rhys also extended his hitting streak to 16 games. The righthanded hitter is another platoon option for Ryan Howard if Darin Ruf should go stale.

Gavin Cecchini SS (Mets) - The Mets first round 2012 pick is starting to make some noise with a 4 for 5 day, driving in three runs. The bat has been a little quiet but a three game hitting streak of 7 for 11 has raised his average to .258. Gavin has a nice 11/11 walk to whiff ratio to give him a .364 OBA.

Ryon Healey 3B and Matt Chapman DH (Athletics) - The duo did some damage in Midland’s 19-7 slaughter over San Antonio. Healy went 4 for 5 with three RBIs, falling a homerun short of the cycle. He is now hitting .348. Chapman went 3 for 4 with four RBIs, hitting his seventh homerun and falling a double short of the cycle.

Chris Shaw 1b (Giants) - The Giants 2015 first round pick had a perfect day going 3 for 3 with two doubles and a homerun. The extra base hits drove in four runs and gave Chris a slugging average of .606. He is also hitting .352 making it a conundrum what position he will play after the Giants signed Brandon Belt to his extension.

Yeyson Yrizarri SS (Rangers) - Yeyson had a perfect 4 for 4 day, raising his average to .259. A 2/15 walk to whiff ratio has kept his OBA down at .274, something he will have to raise if he expects to play shortstop for the Rangers.

Pitchers

Kyle Freeland LHP (Rockies) - Kyle had his third straight outing in which he did not allow an earned run, throwing seven innings of four hit ball. That extends his streak of unearned runs to 20 innings. His strikeout numbers have not been impressive with 17 in 31 innings but a 0.87 ERA would be gold in Colorado.

Robert Stephenson RHP (Reds) - Robert appears ready for another callup with the Reds. He struck out 11 in six innings of work but did allow two runs on three hits, one of the hits leaving the park to pick up his second win of the year. His previous outing he threw six innings of shutout ball but only struck out two.

Joe Gatto RHP (Angels) - After three rough starts the Angels 2014 second round pick threw bbs, striking out 11 of the 21 hitters he faced in five innings of one hit shutout ball. Command has been an issue and his four walks this game did not improve that. Joe has walked 16 hitters in 24 innings.

Keaton Steele RHP (Twins) - The Twins eighth round 2014 pick impressed with seven innings of one hit shutout ball. It was his first win of the year.

Anthony Misiewicz LHP (Mariners) - The lefthander three seven innings of no hit ball, finally departing after eight, allowing just two hits and no runs. The Michigan State Spartan threw 99 pitches, walking one and striking out four.

Hot Prospects for April 28

April 30th, 2016

Andrew Benintendi OF (Red Sox) - The last three days, including April 29th Andrew is turning into an RBI machine with 11 runs driven in. He has had back to back four RBI games and carries an 18 game hitting streak that has put his average at .365. The homeruns are not coming yet but he has 10 doubles and six triples to put his slugging percentage at .659. The first round 2015 pick makes contact with an 8/6 walk to whiff ratio in 21 games. The only down side to his game at this point is his 0 for 2 success rate in stolen bases.

Connor Goedert 1B (Astros) - It is not like the Astros need another first baseman, but down in Low A Connor had a big 6 RBI game in the first game of a double header. He went 2 for 3 hitting his first homerun and first double in a late start to the season. He hit his second double in the second game of the double header and currently carries a three game hitting streak (4 for 9) raising his batting average to .219.

Jose Peraza SS (Reds) - Jose is showing he has some power in his stick, blasting two doubles and a homerun in a 3 for 4 day. The power display may be impacting his speed on the bases as he was also caught stealing giving him a success rate of 2 for 6 for the season. The three RBI game equaled the numbers he put together in the first 17 games of the season. Jose has been bouncing around between 2B, SS and CF so expect a promotion if the bat of Billy Hamilton remains stagnant.

Willi Castro SS (Indians) - Willi got his average to .300 with a 4 for 5 day, hitting his first homerun of the year to go along with a double and two singles. The outburst gave him four runs driven in, leading Lake County to a 10-1 slaughter of Burlington. Willi will need to improve his 1/16 walk to whiff ratio as he climbs up the minor league ladder if he wants to sustain his success.

Jorge Bonifacio RF (Royals) - The Royals have been waiting for Jorge to find his power stroke. Last year he seemed to have a break out year with a career high 17 homeruns. In a 3 for 5 day he hit his fourth homerun, driving in three runs and scoring three times. The three RBIs gave him six in two days. Jorge still shows his inconsistency. The next day he struck out four times in six at bats to put his walk to whiff ratio at 1/21. He is still hitting .333 despite the poor walk to whiff ratio.

Brian Anderson 3B (Marlins) - Not that familiar with Mr. Anderson but a 4 for 5 day will put him on the radar. This is his second season in the Florida State League. He shows an ability to take walks with 14 in just 21 games for a .409 OBA. Keep an eye on his progress.

Tyler Danish RHP (White Sox) - Another complete game in minor league baseball, this one by a Danish. He threw 105 pitches in the three hit shutout, walking two and striking out six. Tyler had been struggling until this outing lowered his ERA to 3.56 and evened his record to 2-2.

Lucas Sims RHP (Braves) and Andrew Suarez LHP (Giants) - The two double digit K men each gave up a run but they had a lot of bats swinging and missing. Lucas struck out 11 in his outing, just his second start after a promotion to AAA. It is also his second double digit K performance after striking out 10 in one of his three AA starts. Suarez, the Giants 2015 second round pick struck out 10 after striking out nine in his previous performance. Expect a promotion soon to AA.

A.J. Cole RHP (Nationals) - A.J. has always battled inconsistency. Good starts followed by bad starts. This is his third season of pitching in AAA and after giving up 8 runs in four plus innings in his previous start Cole hammered away at the Pawtucket bats throwing six innings of four hit shutout ball. The Nationals would like to see this success followed by multiple successes over the course of a season.

Hot Prospects for April 27

April 29th, 2016

Pitchers were the name of the game on Wednesday. It was tough finding hitters to brag about this past Wednesday.

Harrison Bader CF (Cardinals) - His tools will not impress but all he has done is found success. After three years in college the Cardinals drafted him and let him find his stride in rookie ball where he hit .379 in 29 at bats. A promotion to Low A was not difficult as he hit .301 with 9 homeruns and 15 stolen bases. The Cardinals chose to skip him past High A to AA where he continues to rake. A 4 for 5 day where he hit his third homerun (the next day he would hit his fourth) and drove in three raised his average to .338. He hit another homerun the next day to give him three homeruns in four games. At this rate he could have an opportunity to see a promotion to AAA before July, not bad for a 2015 third round pick out of college.

Mason Robbins OF (White Sox) - The 25th pick out of the 2014 draft hit for the cycle in a 4 for 4 day. As part of that cycle Mason slugged his first homerun and legged out his first triple of the year. The three runs he drove in were half his total for the year (6). Mason needs to improve on his walk to whiff ratio (1/18) if he wants to hit for a high average (.246) and a decent OBA (.254).

Pitching

Steven Brault LHP (Pirates) - Steven was acquired by the Pirates from the Orioles in the Travis Snider trade. Not overpowering with a fastball in the low 90s, he did not let that stop him from striking out some of his ex-teammates, the Norfolk Tides, whiffing 11 while only walking one in six innings of work. After he was removed from the game Norfolk rallied to tie the game, eventually winning in 12 but Steven showed he may have been a steep price the Orioles paid for Snider.

Kohl Stewart RHP (Twins) - The Twins 2013 first round pick (fourth overall) is off to a good start. He tossed another six innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits to lower his ERA to 1.93. That was a nice come back after he had his worst start of the year the start before, giving up three runs in less than six innings of work.

Phil Bickford RHP (Giants) - Joining Stewart is Bickford, another first round pick in 2013, this time for the Blue Jays. He did not sign with the Blue Jays so the Giants made him a first round pick in 2015. He threw seven innings of four hit shutout ball, striking out nine, but his fate mimed Stewart. The bullpen coughed up four runs in the eighth and Kannapolis beat Augusta 4-3. Phil is throwing strikes in his 2016 domination of Low A, impressing with a 4/33 walk to whiff ratio in 20.2 innings. A 3.48 ERA is tainted by poor outings in his first three starts.

Zach Eflin RHP (Phillies) - Zach won his third game in four starts, the second in which he has not given up a run. The 2012 supplemental first round pick went 6.1 innings allowing just four hits. He has a 3/22 walk to whiff ratio in his 26.1 innings.

Ariel Jurado RHP and Pedro Payano RHP (Rangers) - The Panamanian pitcher Jurado was staked to a 10-0 lead then cruised through six innings of five hit shutout ball. He did not walk a batter and struck out five in his six inning outing. Payano was born in New York but signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 2011. He threw a rare nine inning complete game shutout, allowing just one hit. He walked two and struck out 11, throwing just 99 pitches in the outing. A broken bat bloop single in the eighth ruined his no hitter.

Nola Baffles Nats Bats in Win

April 28th, 2016

It was a drizzly, cold day with the wind blowing and cutting into you like a knife. The unpleasant weather had an impact on the crowd, with very few people streaming into the stadium to watch baseball (there was a Caps playoff game as well). The cold weather also had an impact on the offense as both teams struggled to score runs. The Nationals didn’t. The Phillies waited until the top of the ninth when they rallied for three runs for a 3-0 win.

Tanner Roark was sharp for the Nationals, allowing only two hits in his seven innings of work. Likewise, Aaron Nola mesmerized the Nationals bats with his curveball, limiting them to two hits in his seven innings of work. Neither team could advance a runner to third until the sixth inning when Matt den Dekker walked, stole second and advanced to third on a ground out. Bryce Harper failed to drive him in with a ground out to second for the final out.

Bryce Harper again had the opportunity to win the game in the eighth. A single sandwiched between two walks loaded the bases with two out for Bryce. Elvis Araujo threw three breaking pitches to Bryce, who swung and missed at the latter one to strike out and end what appeared to be the best scoring opportunity for the Nationals. They would not have another opportunity to come to bat with the score tied.

Felipe Rivero came on to pitch the ninth with the score 0-0. Odubel Herrera slapped a 1-2 pitch into centerfield for a single. After fouling off two bunt attempts, Freddy Galvis roped a deep ball into the right centerfield gap where it hit the warning track for a double, Herrera stopping at third. Dusty Baker chose to intentionally walk Maikel Franco to load the bases and bring in Jonathan Papelbon to get out of the inning with no runs scored.

Papelbon got pinch hitter Darin Ruf to strikeout. He worked the count to Cameron Rupp to 2-2. Cameron powered his next pitch to the opposite field, over the head of Bryce Harper. Two runs scored on the double. Papelbon got the next hitter Cesar Hernandez to pop to short. With two outs David Lough bounced one up the middle, off the hand of Papelbon and rolled along the infield for a single to drive in the third run. A hard ground ball to Zimmerman at first base ended the outburst.

The Nationals got a lead off single from Ryan Zimmerman to start the bottom of the ninth. David Murphy got the crowd excited by sending a pitch deep to right field where Peter Bourjos reached above the scoreboard fence to make the catch. Jayson Werth grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

Game Notes: The Phillies played a shift on Bryce Harper, playing everyone on the first base side of the second base bag, except Freddy Galvis who stationed himself at third base looking for a bunt. Bryce shot it through the vacated shortstop hole for a single…Odubel Herrera was called safe on a steal of second in the first inning but upon further review they ruled him out…Pedro Severino was catching for the Nationals, getting his first major league start…Ryan Howard broke up the Tanner Roark no hitter by lining a single into right field in the fourth inning.

Hot Prospects for April 26

April 28th, 2016

Jeimer Candelario 3B (Cubs) - With Kris Bryant at third base you would think the Cubs would not need another third baseman. The Dominican bat has been a little quiet in April but a 2 for 3 day with six RBIs sparked a little noise. A three run homer was the big hit with Tennessee waltzing past Mobile 11-5. Jeimer also walked twice and ripped a double to raise his average to .217. Despite the struggles Jeimer has walked 14 times for a .345 OBA, an indication pitchers still fear him.

Drew Ward 3B, Andrew Stevenson OF (Nationals) - Drew launched two balls over the fence and Andrew scattered three singles and a double to lead Potomac to a 7-4 victory over Myrtle Beach. The two homeruns for Drew drove in five of the seven runs for the P-Nats. For Andrew, the four hits raised the 2015 second round picks average to .352. He also stole his seventh base.

Adam Brett Walker Of (Twins) - Adam missed hitting for the cycle by failing to do what he does best - hit a homerun. The slugger collected two singles, a double and triple to drive in three runs to lead Rochester to an 8-7 14 inning marathon win. Adam also struck out three times in his 4 for 7 day.

Bobby Bradley 1B (Indians) - While his strikeouts have been prevalent, with 31 in 18 games, when Bobby makes contact with the ball it finds the gaps. The slugging first baseman would be hitting .488 if he made consistent contact. A 3 for 4 day with four runs scored is part of a three game 8 for 13 streak in which he has hit homeruns in two consecutive games. He has driven in five runs in his last to games to raise his overall average to 22.

Orlando Arcia SS (Brewers) - By June Orlando should be playing shortstop for the Brewers if he continues on his present pace. A 3 for 6 day with a grand slam homer gave Colorado Springs an 11-9 win over Omaha. The three hits raised his average to .313.

Amed Rosario SS (Mets) - Amed Rosario is having a solid year in the Florida State League going 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs. Amed ripped his fifth triple and third homerun, falling a double short of the cycle. In his last two games (that includes April 27) he has driven in seven runs for 17 RBIs for the season. That is the kind of production the Mets would love to see from their shortstop position in the not so distant future.

Jake Hager SS (Rays) - Jake may have been forgotten in the Rays shortstop race after missing all of last season because of injuries, but he is putting his name out there again. The first round pick of the 2011 draft went 5 for 5, all singles to raise his average to .362. Power is not his game but the Rays will take those numbers.

Pitchers

Franderlyn Romero RHP (Reds) - Romero came within four outs of a no hitter pitching 7.2 innings and striking out 12 of the 25 batters he faced. The Venezuelan has only given up six hits in his last 14.2 innings of work allowing just one run to lower his ERA to 3.16.

Ronald Herrera RHP (Yankees) - Another Venezuelan threw eight innings of no hit ball to pick up his third win in Eastern League action. The no hitter was completed by Jonathan Holder when he pitched a perfect ninth.

Tyler Glasnow RHP (Pirates) - It is only a matter of time before the 6′8″ righthander is part of the Pirates rotation. He was dominant in his last start, allowing just two hits in six innings of work, striking out 11 of the 20 hitters he faced.

Jon Perrin RHP (Brewers) - Jon had the big strikeout production of the day with 14 whiffs in 6.2 innings of work. He did give up two runs for the third consecutive start and delivered his first homerun pitch in his fourth start. The 2015 27th round pick has yet to walk a hitter in his 24 innings of work.

Tyrell Jenkins RHP (Braves), Stephen Gonsalves LHP (Twins), Braden Shipley RHP (D-Backs) - Three more pitchers with six or seven inning shutout performances. Shipley had the seven inning three hitter, striking out eight and lowering his ERA to 4.07. For Gonsalves he has only given up one run in his last three starts covering 19 innings to put his ERA at a shining 1.44. All three of those starts have been two hitters. For Jenkins it is his second five hit shutout after six innings of work in his four starts.