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Hot Prospects for the End of May

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Memorial Day has ended and with it the month of May. Myworld will take a look at those prospects heating up as the month draws to a close.

Jose Marmolejos 1B (Nationals) - Jose got a late start to the season but it did not take his bat long to get heated. A 5 for 6 day in which he hit his second homerun for the year and drove in five began a nine game assault on AA pitching. He got his average up to .420 but the next five games he cooled down to drop it to .385. Jose was signed by the Nationals out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. His power is probably lacking to be an every day first baseman, but last year he hit a career high 13 homeruns.

Ryan Mountcastle SS (Orioles) - The Orioles need to prepare for the day when J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado depart from the Orioles and they need to fill the hole at short. Ryan could be that fit. He had a three homerun day with four runs scored and three RBIs to up his tater total to 11. Ryan was a first round pick of the Orioles in 2015. Last year he hit a career high 10 homeruns for Delmarva but hit only .281. This year he is raking with a .330 average.

Max Moroff 2B (Pirates) - The Pirates waived prospect Alen Hanson and optioned Gift Ngoepe to the minor leagues. One of the players expected to be called up to replace them is Moroff, who has a career high 13 homeruns in AAA. He did have nine major league at bats earlier in the season, garnering only one hit. Max has been seeing most of his time at shortstop, but he has been playing second and third base. Strikeouts can be a problems (48 in 42 games but he does show patience at the plate with a high walk rate.

Socrates Brito CF (Diamondbacks) - The oft injured Brito is working his way back to the major leagues with a .375 average at AAA Omaha. He has gone 8 for 14 in his last three games with two doubles and two triples. The Diamondbacks would like to see Brito patrol centerfield for the Diamondbacks but he has not been able to stay healthy.

Shed Long 2B (Reds) - Shed has been ripping through the Florida State League with a .321 average. That has been fueled by a .350 average in his last 10 games that have included three three hit games. Three of his nine homeruns have been hit in his last four games. A 12th round pick of the Reds in 2013 has an opportunity to be an offensive oriented second baseman despite his 5′8″ frame.

Francisco Mejia C (Indians) - Francisco is heating up in AA, his .436 average in his last 10 games elevating his season average to .331. Francisco also has one of the strongest arms for a catcher in the minor leagues. This year he has thrown out 8 of the 20 baserunners who have attempted to steal against him. Last year he threw out 30 of 69 baserunners.

Nick Williams OF (Phillies) - Nick is sending balls out of the park. He had a three game stretch in which he sent four over the fence to give him 10 for the year. Nick has always shown batting practice power but the swings and misses have stunted his homerun production. The strikeouts are still prevalent (57 in 50 games) but the homerun totals are seven shy of his career high of 17.

Scott Kingery 2B (Phillies) - Reading tends to be a friendly park for homeruns and Williams teammate Kingery is leading the minors in homeruns with 16. The career high for the second round 2015 pick is five. It was expected that most of the power for Scott would be to the gaps but he has been rewriting that book. He also had a recent six game multiple hit hitting streak that has raised his average to .309. Power is not his only tool. Scott has also stolen 12 bases in 48 games, on his way to a 30/30 season.

Orlando Calixte LF (Giants) - Injuries to the Giants outfield has provided an opportunity for Orlando to show his power bat this season is not a fluke. Orlando was originally signed by the Royals but after six years became a minor league free agent. The Giants signed him this year and his eight homeruns is just six shy of his career high 14. Orlando has also shown some speed with 11 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

Colton Welker 3B (Rockies) - Colton has been on this list before, but when you keep on hitting myworld feels an obligation to keep noting that. An eight game hitting streak has seen his average rise to .370, especially after the last four games when he has gone 11 for 16. Expect Colton to see a promotion to High A soon.

Tyler Marlette C (Mariners) - Four games ago Tyler had hit one homerun in 32 games. After those four games his homerun total climbed to five. He also drove in 10 runs in that four game stretch. RBIs have not been a problem for Tyler with 37 in 36 games. Tyler was the fifth round draft pick of the Mariners in 2011. His career high for homeruns has been 17.

Derek Fisher CF (Astros) - Derek is hot for the Astros with homeruns in three consecutive games, bringing his homeruns total to 13. The supplemental first round pick of the Astros has a six game hitting streak (12 for 25) that has raised his average to .335. His one down side to the season is being caught stealing 10 times in 19 attempts. The Astros outfield is not crowded with talent so if Fisher keeps on hitting he could get a call up.

Max Schrock 2B (Athletics) - The last time we saw Max he was spraying line drives for Potomac. Now he is doing that for AA Midland. A nine game hitting streak (17 for 36) has raised his average to .304. During that streak he had a two homerun game to give him five for the season, four shy of his career minor league high. Max does not have a lot of tools except for the line drives that are sprayed from his bat.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - In his 10 appearances, nine of them starts Jon has only given up runs in one of those appearances. His latest shutout start he gave up one hit in six innings, striking out six. That extends his shutout streak to 29 innings. During that time his ERA is 0.50 and the opposition is hitting .139 against him. A third round 2016 pick his best pitch is his curveball. His fastball is not overpowering, reaching 95 at its peak.

Domingo Acevedo RHP (Yankees) - The 6′7″ righthander was promoted to AA and threw two shutouts in his first two starts covering 13.2 innings. He gave up only seven hits in those two starts and struck out 14. His last outing he got smacked around a bit, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings, but he did not walk anyone. In 19 innings of AA ball Domingo has only walked two. His delivery is a lot of arms, but his fastball can cross the plate in triple digits. He also has an excellent change. The development of a breaking pitch will determine whether he spends his time in the bullpen or the starting rotation.

Jake Junis RHP (Royals) - Drafted in the 29th round in 2011 Jake has already gone above expectations with three appearances and one start in the major leagues. His latest minor league start Jake struck out 12 in seven innings, allowing just two hits in the shutout outing. With a major league ERA at 2.70 and an opposition average in AAA at .222 Jake will get another opportunity on a major league mound.

Taylor Clarke RHP (Diamondbacks) - Watch out for the young pitching down on the farm in the Diamondbacks system. Taylor is another pitcher with double digit whiffs, striking out 12 in just 6.1 innings. In ten starts Taylor has kept his ERA at 2.70 with a 17/53 walk to whiff ration in 50 innings. The opposition is hitting him at a .215 clip.

Vladimir Gutierrez RHP (Reds) - The Reds paid a $4.5 million bonus to sign the Cuban. The smallish 6′0″ Cuban has a fastball that sits in the low 90s with a good curveball and developing slider and change. It has been two years since he has pitched in a competitive environment so in his nine starts he has been tagged around some. His ERA dropped below 5.00 after his last outing when he failed to give up a run in 6.1 innings. Like future team mate Raisel Iglesias, Vladimir was a reliever in Cuba but the Reds are trying to convert him as a starter.

A.J. Puk LHP (Athletics) - In his last two outings Puk has given up just one hit in 10.1 innings. After pitching five innings of no hit ball Puk followed that up with five innings of one hit ball. He struck out 15 in the two outings lowering his ERA to 3.43. Finding the plate is a bit of a challenge with 8 walks in his last two games. For the year A.J. has a 20/69 walk to whiff ratio in 44.2 innings with a .179 opposition average.

Thomas Hatch RHP (Cubs) - The third round 2016 draft pick had an impressive outing in his last start, whiffing 13 in just 5.1 innings. He did give up two runs and allowed six hits so he was not unhittable. Despite the 13 K’s Thomas finds himself with an 0-5 record with a 5.19 ERA.

Alec Hanson RHP (White Sox) - The 6′7″ righthander struck out 15 hitters in a seven inning outing in which he gave up one run. That gives him 25 whiffs in his last two starts and 67 total whiffs in 54.2 innings. Alec was drafted in the second round in 2016. His fastball lights up the radar in the high 90s but usually sits at 95 of below. Before Hanson can reach the major leagues he needs to develop more consistency with his secondary pitches.

Nick Neidert RHP (Mariners) - Nick went on to pitch six innings of no hit ball in the California League. The no hitter lasted until the ninth with Modesto eventually losing the game in the tenth. Nick struck out nine on the day and walked one. Nick keeps the ball around the plate with just 10 walks in 56.2 innings.

Tyler Mahle RHP (Reds) - Tyler already has a nine inning no hitter to his resume, as well as a one hitter in just seven innings. In his last start he gave up just three hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out a career high 9. With a fastball that sends radar guns buzzing in the high 90s Tyler has struck out 72 in 69 innings with an opposition average at .177.

Another May Prospect Review

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Christian Walker 1B (Diamondbacks) - At 26 and recently put on waivers by the Orioles Christian is not much of a prospect. But he did hit for the cycle in a 4 for 6 game, driving in five runs. He is an RBI machine with his 42 leading the Pacific Coast League. His 10 homeruns is second in the league, but the league leader Jamie Romak has left for the KBO.

Colton Welker 3B (Rockies) - Colton will not move Nolan Arenado from third base. At 19 years of age the Rockies have a long time to figure out where they want to place him. He is wearing out Low A pitchers. A 13 for 21 five game hitting streak has elevated his average to .355. He has homered in his last two games driving in 7 of the 18 runs he has driven in all year.

Johan Mieses CF (Dodgers) - When Johan hits the ball they usually go over the fence. In a three game stretch he collected five of his 10 hits for the year, four of them clearing the fence. Five of his 10 hits have cleared the fence. The 36 whiffs in 24 games has anchored his average at .125 in AA.

Tyler Wade SS (Yankees) - Shortstop appears to be well stocked in the Yankees minor league system. Tyler may not be the most heralded, but a seven game hitting streak (14 for 33) raised his average to .326 and produced his first two homeruns. Tyler has 12 steals in 15 attempts and has already appeared on this list twice, one more than Gleyber Torres.

Brendan Rodgers SS (Rockies) - Brendan is in the midst of a 13 game hitting streak that puts his average at a Ted Williams like .405. A promotion from the California League looks to be on the horizon.

Ryan Mountcastle SS (Orioles) - The Orioles will be looking for a shortstop in a couple years after J.J. Hardy departs and Machado follows him a year later. The 2015 first round pick had a four hit game to raise his average to .342. Ryan is showing some power with his bat, unloading for seven homeruns and 14 doubles for a .596 slugging average.

Jon Duplantier RHP (Diamondbacks) - In five starts Jon has not given up an earned run in four of them. He pitched another five innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits and striking out eight. The whiffs give him 48 for his 36 innings. The opposition is hitting only .142 against him.

Kyle Lloyd RHP (Padres) - Kyle threw the third no hitter of the year, going all nine innings. He walked one and only struck out three. There was a three game stretch in which he gave up 14 runs in just under 13 innings. His other five starts he has only allowed two earned runs.

Kolby Allard LHP (Braves) - His back problems seem to be gone. In eight starts he has only given up six runs. The strikeout numbers are not great (35 in 44 innings) but hitters are not making solid contact (.190). Last year Kolby only went 87 innings. This year he has already reached 44 innings.

Lucas Sims RHP (Braves) - Up a level in AAA Sims threw 6.2 innings of shutout ball, giving up just two hits, striking out 10. Lucas could be an option for the Braves in mid-season.

Chance Adams RHP (Yankees) - Chance dominated in AA, allowing just four earned runs in six starts. The opposition hit just .183 against him. Promoted to AAA he pitched five more shutout innings, allowing just two hits. The Yankees could use some starters with Tanaka struggling.

Wilmer Font RHP (Dodgers) - Wilmer had a day with 15 whiffs in just seven innings of work. He gave up one run on two hits. For the year Font has been a whiff machine with 63 in 42 innings. Font has bounced around with his high 90s fastball putting him in the closer role for a couple years. Font did not pitch in 2015 after being released by the Rangers but the Dodgers signed him in 2016 and moved him into the rotation.

Hot Prospects in Mid-April

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Kyle Tucker OF (Astros) - Sometimes a season can be defined by one game. For Kyle Tucker that season could have been Saturday night. Coming into the game he was hitting a modest .267. After a 4 for 5 day with two doubles, a homerun and seven RBIs that average had spiked to .343. His RBI total for the year now sits at 11 for nine games. To date 8 of Kyle’s 12 hits have gone for extra bases to put his slugging percentage at .714.

Jose Medina OF (Padres) - Coming into this game Jose was hitting .167 with no homeruns. After a 4 for 5 day with three homeruns Jose was hitting .304 and was no longer embarrassed about seeing his batting average displayed on the scoreboard. The five RBIs he produced in the Lake County 17-5 rout over Lansing were his first five RBIs of the year.

Marcus Wilson OF (Diamondbacks) - Marcus was already having a pretty solid season prior to his 3 for 5 day with two homeruns and six RBIs. The special day upped his average to .405 and doubled his homerun output for the year to 4. Pitchers have been hesitant about pitching to Marcus with 8 walks in 10 games for an OBA of .511. He has an 8/5 walk to whiff ratio.

Anthony Alford OF (Blue Jays) - The fourth outfielder on this list. Anthony has slashed hits in seven of his first eight games. All of those hits have been singles, until last night when he doubled and homered to record his first extra base hits of the year. Alford should have a combination of speed and power. His four stolen bases early in the year have shown off his speed. Now he hopes his most recent production will show off his extra base hit potential.

Chance Sisco C (Orioles) - Chance has struggled in the early part of April but he hopes a 3 for 3 day sparks his season to life. It raised his average to .276. Part of his struggles could be attributed to his inability to make contact. Chance had struck out 11 times in his first seven games, a trait not associated with his skill set.

Luis Ortiz RHP (Brewers) - Luis was slapped around in his first start for five runs in just four innings of work against Montgomery. He was much better in his second start, not allowing a hit in five innings of work. His command was a little off with four walks in the outing. Ironic he did not walk a batter in his first start. Maybe a little wildness is good. It creates an atmosphere of unpredictability.

Jake Jewell RHP (Angels) - So far Jake is having a jewel of a season. He shutout Visalia in the California League for seven innings, allowing just two hits and walking nary a soul. He did strike out eight. After two starts Jake has only allowed one runner to cross the plate for a 0.82 ERA. The Angels could use pitchers like that to fit in their rotation.

Merandy Gonzalez RHP (Mets) - The Mets seem to find a way to discover good pitching. Merandy is another one of these obscure finds. He pitched his second straight game of shutout ball, working 7.2 innings without allowing a run. In his first start he did not allow a run in his six innings of work. That gives him 13.2 innings of shutout ball to start the season with a .149 opposition average and a 1/11 walk to whiff ratio.

Walker Buehler RHP (Dodgers) - The start did not seem so special when he gave up hits to two of the first three hitters he faced. Then he struck out the last eight hitters to raise his season shutout streak to six innings. The Dodgers are being careful with Walker after his Tommy John surgery has limited Walker to five innings of work since he was drafted in the first round in 2015. The two three inning outings have exceeded the five innings he pitched in his first two years with the team.

A No Hitter in the Minor Leagues

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Scott Copeland RHP (Marlins) - At 29 years of age Copeland is not considered a prospect. He still threw seven innings of no hit ball before being removed from the game in the top of the eighth for a pinch hitter. He walked one and struck out eight. Two different relievers came on to preserve the no hitter, though a couple walks spoiled the shutout.

Enyel de los Santos RHP (Padres) - Enyel pitched six innings of perfect ball, striking out seven. The bullpen failed to preserve the no hitter giving up a single in the ninth inning. San Antonio was still able to beat Arkansas 2-0. It was the second start for Santos, who has only given up one run in his 12 innings of work. The opposition is hitting just .053 against him. The Padres were able to steal the mid-90s fastball pitcher off the Mariners for Joaquin Benoit.

Ryan Olson RHP (Reds) - Ryan threw a complete game nine inning shutout, giving up just four hits in the first complete game shutout in the minor leagues this year. It was his second start of the year. In his first start he worked seven innings without allowing a run, giving up just two hits. After two starts the opposition is hitting him at a .122 clip. He has only walked one hitter in those 16 innings for a WHIP of 0.44.

Luis Escobar RHP (Pirates) - Luis Escobar struck out 11, which was one less than his first outing. That gives him 23 strikeouts in the young season, tops in the minor leagues. He allowed just one run in each of his starts to fashion a 1.64 ERA. Luis has only walked one hitter in his 11 innings of work with more than two whiffs per each inning of work.

Shane Bieber RHP (Indians) - Believe in the Bieber. He struck out 11 in six innings of work allowing just the one run. In two starts covering 10.2 innings Shane has yet to walk a batter, striking out 18. The fourth round 2016 pick is not overpowering but relies on his command to retire hitters.

Franklin Perez RHP (Astros) - In the low minors the Astros like to rotate their pitchers starting and relieving. Franklin gave up just one hit in 5.1 innings in his start. In a relief outing he picked up a save with four innings of perfect relief. That is one hit given up in 9.1 inning of work for an opposition average of .034.

Jomar Reyes 3B (Orioles) - Jomar has six multiple hit games in the nine games he has played. That has put his average at .444 to start the season. He is repeating his assignment in the Carolina League after hitting just .228 there last year. Last year Jomar stole three bases and he has stolen one base this year. Not noted for his speed Jomar has yet to be caught stealing in his minor league career going 7 for 7 in stolen bases.

Francisco Mejia C (Indians) - Last year Francisco put together a 50 game hitting streak in his two level performance hitting .342. He continues to hit this year with an 8 game hitting streak to start the season and a .414 average. Seven of his 12 hits have gone for doubles. If Yan Gomes struggles with the bat this year Francisco could find himself in the major leagues.

Chris Shaw 1B (Giants) - Chris is finding AA pitching to his liking, raking for a .382 average in 10 games. He is 8 for 12 in his last three games with homeruns in consecutive games and seven RBIs during that three game stretch. Brandon Belt will be a tough bat to replace and Chris does not have the foot speed to move to the outfield.

Christian Arroyo SS (Giants) - Christian has an eight game hitting streak and a 3 for 3 performance Friday raised his average to .467. Only four of his 14 hits have gone for extra bases.

Myworld’s Top Prospects - 30-21

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

30. Mitch Keller RHP (Pirates) 6.62 - Myworld was a little surprised to see him rated so highly in many of the Top 100s since we did not know that much about him. The Pirates 2014 second round pick had a breakout year last year with a 2.46 ERA in 23 starts. Increased velocity in his fastball, which now hits the mid-90s plus an improved change was the reason for the turn around. His curveball was already a swing and miss pitch. Mitch hopes to repeat his 2016 performance in High A in 2017.

29. Kyle Lewis OF (Mariners) 6.62 - Kyle was the Mariners first round pick in 2016. A gruesome knee injury cut his season short but not before he impressed with a .915 OPS. Kyle has all five tools to be an impact player. His speed, especially after the injury may be a little short to play center but his arm is good enough for right. Kyle makes good contact, is patient enough to take walks and should hit over .300 with 20 plus homeruns. The knee injury will delay the start of his 2017 season. Myworld expects him to begin the season in Low A.

28. Josh Bell 1B/OF (Pirates) 6.7 - Josh Bell began as an outfielder but the Pirates moved him to first base because his speed was not extraordinary and the Pirates outfield situation was already crowded. He was a second round pick in 2011 draft but the Pirates had to pay him a $5 million bonus to convince him to give up his football career. The power has yet to arrive but it showed flashes last season with 14 minor league homeruns and three major league shots. Defensively, his play at first is below average and needs to improve if he hopes to make the major league team in 2017. Expect him to start the season in AAA with Bell playing both the outfield and first base.

27 Brent Honeywell RHP (Rays) 6.87 - One of the better pitchers in the minor leagues with a different pitch in the screwball. He complements that pitch with a fastball in the low 90s with a plus change and a cutter that is above average. That is four pitches hitters have to look out for. He finished his season in AA with a 2.28 ERA in 10 starts, limiting the opposition to a .231 average. His command is good and with his mix of pitches he has a chance to be a number two starter. He should begin the 2017 season in AAA and should make his major league debut this year.

26 Clint Frazier OF (Yankees) 7.22 - A first round draft pick of the Indians, they traded him to the Yankees last year to acquire Aroldis Chapman to push themselves into the playoffs. Clint is a five tool player who will hit for both average and power. His above average speed could allow him to play centerfield but a plus arm makes right field a good fit. The Yankees would like to see Clint cut down on his strikeouts, an issue that may drive his average below .300. He will see next season in AAA and is just an injury to Jacoby Ellsbury away from getting promoted to the Yankees.

25 Jose Deleon RHP (Rays) 7.28 - Deleon was acquired recently from the Dodgers for Logan Forsythe. The Puerto Rican throws in the low to mid 90s, but his change is what gets hitters out. In AAA he struck out more than a hitter an inning, threw strikes and limited the opposition to a .194 average. When promoted to the majors his command disappeared, the opposition hit him at a .288 clip and he gave up five homeruns in 17 innings pitched. The Rays hope this was a learning experience for him. He will probably start the season in AAA but the Rays have the potential to have one of the best young rotations in baseball with Blake Snell, Brent Honeywell and Jose Deleon.

24. Mickey Moniak OF (Phillies) 7.48 - The Phillies 2016 number one pick, making him the top pick in the draft. Above average speed and a rocket arm makes him flexible for center or right field. The power is absent for now but it is expected to show as he fills out. He makes solid contact now, hitting balls into the gaps. Last year in rookie ball he slugged .409. Expect him to start the 2017 season in Low A. Don’t expect the power to become evident until 2018.

23. Manuel Margot OF (Padres) 7.52 - The Padres acquired Manuel from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal. He has the speed to play center and the arm to fit in right. Last year that speed contributed to 32 stolen bases in 43 attempts. Power is lacking but he should get close to double digits and with his speed doubles should be frequent. Last year he made his major league debut hitting just .243. In AAA he was able to get the average up to .304. The Padres expect him to compete with Travis Jankowski for the centerfield job.

22. Francis Martes RHP (Astros) 7.77 - The Astros stole Martes from the Marlins in the Jarred Cosart trade. At that time he was still in rookie ball struggling to throw strikes. His control has gotten better and his fastball has climbed to the mid-90s, hitting triple digits when he really lets loose. Martes also has a plus curveball that sharply breaks down towards the plate. The one down side with Martes is his short height (6′1″) which does not give him any downward plane. After his success at AA last year it is expected the Astros will start him at AAA, with a promotion to the major leagues if an injury or ineffectiveness plagues the starting staff.

21. Lewis Brinson OF (Brewers) 7.77 - Brinson is a nice little centerfielder who the Brewers got from the Rangers in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Brinson shows all five tools, with the ability to hit for power with 30 plus homeruns and the speed to play centerfield. That speed has not translated well to stolen bases. The Brewers would like to see him walk more to increase the OBA, making him better suited for the leadoff role. He reached AAA last year and hit .382 in less than 100 at bats. The 2017 season will see him back at AAA with the chance to see the outfield for the rebuilding Brewers.

Bandits Blast Aces in ABL Championship Opener

Friday, February 10th, 2017

The Melbourne Aces ran away with the regular season title to become the number one seed. In a best two out of three championship series the Brisbane Bandits got the upper hand with a 6-2 win in the opening game. The Australian veteran Trent Oeltjen got things started off on the right foot for Brisbane with a two run homer in the opening frame. The youngster David Rodriguez followed his lead with a solo shot in the third inning. Logan Wade and Kevin Padlo put the game away with back to back solo shots in the eighth inning.

Justin Erasmus struggled for the Bandits, only lasting through one out through the third inning. He gave up six hits on two runs. This forced Brisbane to use five different relievers to finish out the game. Ryan Searle pitched the last two innings with four strikeouts to close out the game. If not for the homerun ball Mark Hamburger may have had a good outing. He lasted eight innings and struck out 10, but four of the ten hits he gave up left the park.

A number of players who will be playing for Australia in the WBC are on the roster of these two teams. Ryan Rowland Smith pitched to one batter and Ryan Searle closed out the game with two shutout innings for Brisbane. Dushan Ruzic pitched the final inning for Melbourne. Oeltjen hit the homerun for the Bandits to get the scoring started and Aaron Whitfield batted in the leadoff spot. Mitch Nilsson batted in the DH spot for Brisbane. James Beresford, Brad Harman and Allan de San Miguel were in the Melbourne lineups.

Rhinos Take game in Taiwan Series

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

The EDA Rhinos won their first game 10-9 in the Taiwan Series to move the Series into a 2-1 advantage to the Brothers. Chih-Sheng Lin blasted a three run homer to give the Rhinos a 6-1 cushion. But the Brothers battled back with the Rhinos calling on ex-major leaguer Fu-Te Ni getting the last out to pick up the save. There were 14,900 fans attending the game.

Lefthanded Pitcher Review

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

At the start of the season myworld ranked the top pitching prospects who threw lefthanded. This is an assessment or progress review of their 2016 season.

1. Julio Urias (Dodgers) - He was still a teenager when he was promoted to the Dodgers. He did not dominate in the major leagues as he did in the minors, but the tools are still there to ensure major league success. He has a fastball/change combination that gets his share of swings and misses. In the majors his hits to innings pitched were not impressive but expect that to improve with more experience. He will start the Dodgers 2017 season in their starting rotation.

2. Blake Snell (Rays) - Last year he started his minor league season with a 50 plus minor league shutout streak. This year he spent most of his time with the Rays. He was one of the Rays top starting pitchers though his strikeout to innings pitched were down and his hits to innings pitched were up after his promotion. He doesn’t throw quite as hard as Urias but also relies on a fastball/change combination to get hitters out. Blake also throws two effective breaking pitches in a curve and slider. Expect him also to be in the Rays rotation in 2017.

3. Steven Matz (Mets) - Injuries have prevented Matz from reaching his potential. Injuries last year prevented him from eating up innings allowing him to remain on the prospect list. Those injuries continued in the major leagues in 2016 as an elbow injury plagued him much of the season. The Mets finally shut him down even though they were in a playoff race towards the end of the season. Matz was the lone lefthander in the rotation at the beginning of the season and also relies on a mid-90s fastball and change to retire hitters. If healthy he should be in the Mets rotation in 2017. Don’t be surprised if he is limited to just over 20 plus starts.

4. Sean Newcomb (Braves) - The Angels traded many of their prospects to the Braves and Sean was one of those included to acquire shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The Braves farm system is loaded with talented arms and Sean is one of them. Command has been his biggest challenge with a walk every two innings pitched. His fastball sits in the low 90s but he can hit the mid-90s with a curve as his second best pitch. Once he improves his control in AAA for the 2017 season he will make his debut some time by mid-season.

5. Cody Reed (Reds) - There are two different Cody Reeds. This is the one who pitches for the Reds. Cody Reed was limited to 13 starts in AAA with a back injury. He got some major league opportunities but they toasted him in his 10 starts with an ERA over 7.00. The Reds could take a mulligan on his major league starts because you don’t give him on a lefthanded arm that can hit the mid-90s with his fastball. Unless he has a terrific spring expect him to start the 2017 season in AAA. He needs to get that confidence back that was tattered by major league pitching.

6. Sean Manaea (Athletics) - Sean did not spend a lot of time in the minor leagues. He made the Athletics rotation after just three AAA starts. Injuries limited him to 24 starts. The Royals drafted Sean in the first round in 2013 and traded him to the Athletics in the Ben Zobrist trade. At 6′5″ Sean can hit the mid to high 90s with his fastball, but sits mostly in the low 90s. A slider is his second best pitch. Expect him to be in the Athletics rotation to start the 2017 season.

7. Brady Aiken (Indians) - Drafted as the first pick by the Astros last year they failed to sign him after lowering his bonus payment for fear of an existing arm injury. Those fears proved to be true when Brady attempted to pitch in an Independent League and failed to finish the game because of an arm injury. He underwent Tommy John surgery. That did not prevent the Indians from drafting him in the first round in 2015, He spent all his time in the short season leagues struggling to find success. His fastball was pedestrian, sitting in the high 80s and his breaking pitch lacked the sharp break, but this was a rehab year. Next year the Indians hope for better results when they stick him in a full season league. He is still at least a couple years away from seeing a major league rotation.

8. Tyler Jay (Twins) - Tyler spent most of his time in the Florida State League and did not pitch like a 2015 first round pick. Drafted out of college the Twins were hoping for a quick ascent from the minors for Jay. The numbers are not showing he deserves a promotion. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and he balances that out with a wipe out slider. At 6′1″ he is not a big guy so durability issues could be a concern. A brief promotion to AA will probably be repeated to start the 2017 season. Myworld can’t get too excited about him at this point.

9. Justus Sheffield (Yankees) - The Indians traded him and Clint Frazier to the Yankees for Andrew Miller. Other players were involved in the trade but these three were the main players. Justus was a 2014 first round pick of the Indians. At 5′10″ he also has a small frame but packs a lot of heat with a mid-90s fastball. Last year he pitched at High A with limited success. The Yankees gave him one start in AA which is where he will probably start the 2017 season.

10. Kolby Allard (Braves) - A bad back delayed the start of his 2016 season. The 2015 number one pick of the Braves spent all his time in Low A where he put up pedestrian numbers (3.73 ERA). His fastball sits in the low 90s with a good curveball and change combination. Expect him to start the 2017 season at High A.

Reds Sign Cuban Vladimir Gutierrez

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

The Reds have signed Cuban 20 year old righthanded pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez to a $4.75 million bonus. The Reds went over their international bonus this year after signing Alfredo Rodriguez to a large bonus putting the Reds over the 100 percent luxury penalty tax. This means they will have to pay major league baseball a $4.75 million luxury tax.

Gutierrez had been declared a free agent more than a year ago. Writers had conjectured he would sign with the Dodgers, but that appears not to be the case. He throws a fastball in the low 90s that occasionally hits the mi-90s. His curve is a pretty good complementary pitch. A lack of a third pitch could leave him in the bullpen.

Braves and Orioles Battle it out to a Tie

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

The Orioles scored early, led by the bat of Christian Walker, who hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning and bashed a two run homer in the third to give the Orioles an early 4-0 lead. The Braves battled back with runs in the sixth through eighth innings to tie the game. Neither team scored in the tenth and they had to go home with a 4-4 tie.

Ryan Flaherty started the game with a lead off single. Jimmy Paredes lofted a ball into the left field corner that Hector Olivera appeared slow to get to, advancing Flaherty to third. Christian Walker drove him in with a fly ball to left field.

Flaherty started the third inning with a homerun on the first pitch thrown by Danny Burawa. Christian Walker walloped the second pitch thrown by Burawa to send a ball far over the left field fence for a two run homer to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead.

The Braves bullpen quieted the Oriole bats to just two baserunners in the next seven innings. This allowed the Braves offense to whittle away at the lead. Nate Frieman opened the sixth inning with a walk. A Rio Ruiz single advanced him to second where Hector Olivera drove him in with a single. Hector wandered too far off first base and was tossed out at first base when the pitcher ran behind Olivera.

In the seventh a two out single by Mallex Smith gave Daniel Castro an opportunity. He fouled off a number of hit and run pitches. With the count 2-2 and Smith going again, Castro ripped the pitch over the head of the left fielder where Smith was able to score from first.

Sloppy fielding by shortstop Ozzie Martinez allowed the Braves to score the last two runs to tie the game. Rio Ruiz collected his second hit of the game with a double that one hopped over the left field wall. A Ryan Lavarnway single drove in Ruiz to pull the Braves to within one. Chase d’arnaud ate up Ozzie Martinez with a one hopper that hit off his glove that was ruled as a single. A walk loaded the bases and a flyball by Reid Brignac to left field scored pinch runner Ozzie Albies with they tying run. Martinez tried to tag out d’Arnaud at third on the cutoff before he caught the ball and it dropped to the infield. Mallex Smith struck out to hold the error harmless.

Game Notes: Asphalt has replaced the grass as the parking lot at the Braves field. Myworld prefers the look of grass over black tar…A number of Koreans were at the game to watch Hyun-Soo Kim make his debut with the Orioles. He was late swinging on a few low 90s fastball and finished the day 0 for 3. His swing got better the more pitches he saw, flying out to centerfield in his last at bat…Mauricio Cabrera was the most explosive pitcher of the game, hitting 101 on the radar gun. He struck out two of the three hitters he faced…Mike Wright was the other impressive pitcher. He was the only pitcher who threw two innings, but he hit 98 on the radar, sitting in the mid 90s. There were not a lot of breaking pitches in his first outing, but he did get Nick Markakis swinging and missing at a pitch in the dirt. He struck out two, got three ground outs to the seven hitters he faced…Hector Olivera was terrible in left field, breaking late on a ball hit over his head. It was only one game, but if there is not improvement myworld can’t see him continuing in left field…Chris Lee is a stick figure who can hit 92-94. Put a little meat on him and his fastball could hit the mid-90s…Adonis Garcia appeared to injure his ankle in the fourth inning and had to be removed from the game…Ozzie Albies led the tenth with a walk but was thrown out trying to steal second by Audry Perez…A.J. Pierzynski showed a weak arm on a steal of second by Paul Janish…