Prospect Of The Day
With six weeks of the minor league season remaining, teams are beginning to promote some of their brightest Double-A prospects to Triple-A to gauge their readiness for big league playing time in the near future. Tampa Bay was no exception in moving righthander Wade Davis (Rays) to Durham despite his so-so performance with Montgomery. He went 9-6, 3.85 for the Biscuits, with 81 strikeouts and 42 walks in 107 2/3 innings. In his first Triple-A start, the 22-year-old Davis made a strong first impression in shutting out Syracuse for seven innings, striking out six and allowing just three singles. He walked three and hit a batter.
The only prospect to appear in both the Futures Game and the Triple-A all-star game last week, Indianapolis center fielder Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) has returned to the IL with his bat at the ready. The 21-year-old went 2-for-5 yesterday, with a home run (nine), a double (21) and a walk, giving him hits in all three weekend games against Columbus. McCutchen went a combined 4-for-12 in the series, but with two doubles, a homer, three runs scored, two walks and no strikeouts. He could be weeks away from big league playing time, if one or both of Jason Bay and Xavier Nady are traded. . . . Toledo CF Brent Clevlen (Tigers), playing DH yesterday, continued his strong rebound season by going 3-for-4 with a home run (17), a stolen base (six), two RBIs and two runs scored. The 24-year-old Clevlen ranks third in the IL in RBIs (67) and fifth in slugging (.555)—and that’s despite spending 11 games in Detroit. . . . No list of breakout Triple-A prospects would be complete without Charlotte’s Chris Getz (White Sox), who is increasing his utility in playing second base, shortstop and left field for the Knights. The 24-year-old lefthanded batter played short yesterday and went a perfect 3-for-3 with two walks. He’s now batting .309/.369/.454 on the year. . . . At 22, Rochester 3B Trevor Plouffe (Twins) is one of the IL’s youngest players, and in batting .227/.254/.412 through 119 at-bats, that’s exactly how he’s played. He went 3-for-5 yesterday with two doubles (eight), two runs scored and a run batted in.
What To Watch For Today
Righthander Michael Bowden (Red Sox) makes his Triple-A debut today at Columbus. The 21-year-old went 9-4, 2.33 for Double-A Portland, with 101 strikeouts, 24 walks and five home runs in 104 1/3 innings. Like Davis, he’s one of the best pitching prospects in the high minors.
PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Prospect Of The Day
Who else but Iowa righthander Jeff Samardzija (Cubs), who seemingly has become a new pitcher in the PCL? In limiting Nashville to one run on two hits and a walk in six innings yesterday—while fanning nine for the second straight game—the 23-year-old righthander improved to 4-1, 3.13 through six Triple-A starts. Most encouraging of all, his strikeout rate (9.64 per nine innings) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (40-to-16 in 37 1/3 innings) is, for the first time in his career, in line with his stuff, which includes a mid-90s fastball and a deadly slider. Samardzija has been especially good in his past three starts: 19 innings, 13 hits, five runs, three home runs, five walks and 25 strikeouts.
Adrian Cardenas who? After going 2-for-4 with a walk yesterday, Sacramento 2B Eric Patterson (Athletics) now has a hit in each of the eight games he’s played for the River Cats. And because he’s now batting .417/.475/.861 in 36 at-bats since the Rich Harden trade, we know that the hits have not all been singles. Patterson connected for a double (21) and a triple (four) yesterday, and also stole two bases (14). . . . Memphis CF and Team USA member Colby Rasmus (Cardinals) was 0-for-5 yesterday with two strikeouts, though he did go a combined 3-for-9 on Friday and Saturday, his first two games back from the DL. . . . New Orleans RHP Ruddy Lugo (Mets), 28, joined the organization as a January waiver claim, and his conversion from reliever to starter has produced spotty results (7-8, 4.93). But even though he shut out Albuquerque for seven innings yesterday, he’s not here for his pitching. Lugo went 2-for-3 at the plate, with a double and his first professional home run, which ties him this season with his brother Julio. . . . Colorado Springs LHP Franklin Morales (Rockies) gave up 11 runs his last time out, so his start yesterday had to be considered a success by comparison. He allowed two runs on three hits in five innings. Morales, 22, threw about half his pitches for strikes (53 of 103) and walked five batters while striking out four.
What To Watch For Today
Ahead-of-schedule Oklahoma RHP Tommy Hunter (Rangers), who turned 22 this month and is in his first full professional season, has walked just two batters in three Triple-A starts. He’s 1-1, 2.01 with 12 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings, and he opposes Memphis RHP Mitchell Boggs (Cardinals) at home this afternoon.
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