Prospect of the Day
Former Arizona lefthander Brad Mills entered the season ranked 20th among Blue Jays prospects and should move up those rankings significantly, as he continued his strong season with another productive start for Double-A New Hampshire. Mills struck out nine in seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits and one walk, to improve to 2-1, 0.44 in four starts with the Fisher Cats, who beat Harrisburg 4-0. "He showed us early that he has plenty of stuff to pitch here," New Hampshire manager Gary Cathcart told the Manchester (N.H.) Union-Leader. "He’s got good deception and kind of herky-jerky motion, which makes his curveball and changeup effective. What I like most about him is his mound presence. For a kid just making his first trip up here (to Double-A), he’s aggressive, and he doesn’t get affected by anything around him."
For the season, which he began at low Class A Lansing, Mill is 12-4, 1.89 with 147 strikeouts and 46 walks allowed in 133 innings. The 23-year-old ranks third overall in the minors in ERA and fourth in strikeouts.
Bowie righthander David Hernandez (Orioles) struck out five in five innings and leads the minors with 150 Ks, and he’s also 8-4, 2.59 overall. Hernandez’s slider can be a plus pitch, but Bowie manager Brad Komminsk said last week Hernandez gets just as many swings and misses on his 89-93 mph fastball. His catcher, Matt Wieters, had a ho-hum 2-for-3 game with another double (his 12th in the EL), two runs and two more walks. He’s hitting .372/.470/.649 with Bowie and now has this ridiculous season line: .355/.457/.605 with 24 homers and 83 RBIs. He’s been better at Bowie (.372/.470/.649) than at high Class A Frederick (.345/.448/.576) . . . New Pirates farmhand Jose Tabata had four hits in four trips, including a double, and he stole a base for Altoona in a 5-3 loss to Portland. Tabata is now 8-for-21 (.381) since the trade and since returning from a hamstring injury that cost him about a month’s playing time . . . Portland DH Lars Anderson (Red Sox) had two more hits in that game and is hitting an absurd .329/.429/.592 in 76 at-bats in Double-A. Righthander Daniel Bard (Red Sox), named Best Reliever in the Eastern League Best Tools’ survey, picked up his fourth save and struck out all four batters he retired while walking one . . . Fernando Martinez (Mets) had two hits for Binghamton and is 7-for-28 (.250) with a pair of homers since returning from his latest injury . . . Twins righthander Rob Delaney kept stating his case for the Minnesota bullpen, as the righthander had his third straight two-inning outing (two saves and a win) in New Britain’s 8-3 victory against Erie. Delaney has 34 strikeouts and just five walks in 28 Double-A innings, with a 1.29 ERA, and for the season he’s 3-3, 1.36 with 15 saves between New Britain and high Class A Fort Myers. He’s struck out 68 and walked just nine in 60 innings, allowing 41 hits and just three home runs.
Prospect Of The Day
It was a day for debuts in the Southern League. Jeremy Jeffress brought his fastball to Huntsville, but down the road Heath Rollins (Rays) was very solid in his first Double-A outing. Rollins got the no decision, but he struck out nine and gave up only one run and four hits (no walks) in seven innings.
Tennessee spanked 24 hits off four Birmingham pitchers and led 19-1 at one point on the way to a 19-7 victory. Catcher Mark Reed (younger brother of Mariners outfielder Jeremy Reed) had five hits in six at-bats—with a double and four singles—and drove in five to lead the way. Just 22, Reed has reached Double-A for the first time and is now 12-for-31 (.387) with two doubles and a home run. For the season (most of it spent at high Class A Daytona), he’s hitting .274/.351/.375. Barons righthander Kyle McCulloch got ripped in the start, giving up 14 hits and 13 runs (11 earned) in 4 1/3 innings. He fell to 7-10, 5.03 . . . Brewers righthander Jeremy Jeffress made his Double-A debut, and the 20-year-old righthander gave up a pair of runs in 2 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out two as Huntsville beat Chattanooga 5-3 on its way to sweeping a doubleheader. Jeffress was promoted Aug. 6, the cutoff date for players to be in Double-A to be eligible for the Arizona Fall League; now the Brewers can use their one A-ball AFL spot on another player other than Jeffress (hat tip to Brewers correspondent Tom Haudricourt) . . . Good prospecting in the 3-2 Jacksonville victory over Montgomery, as Scott Elbert struck out five in two scoreless innings to get the victory . . . Rollins only run allowed was on a solo homer by Futures Gamer Ivan DeJesus, his fourth of the season. Montgomery’s runs came on the 20th homer of the year by first baseman Gaby Martinez, a versatile late-bloomer who has hit .322/.371/.557 in 115 at-bats since the all-star break.
Prospect Of The Day
The top TL performer was breakout prospect Derek Holland, who has rocketed to Double-A in his second full pro season. Signed for $200,000 in 2006 as a 25th-round draft pick out of Wallace State (Ala.) CC, Holland struck out 10 for Frisco in eight innings, giving up only one unearned run on four hits and one walk. According to Rangers maven Jamey Newberg, Holland hit 97 mph five times; one scout tells BA Holland sat 91-97 mph for the game and does it easy, while mixing in a solid slider and average changeup. For the year, Holland has performed with eye-catching numbers: 11-1, 2.44, 138 strikeouts, 35 walks and just three home runs allowed in 133 innings. Did we mention he’s lefthanded?
Mitch Einertson (Astros) doubled and tripled in a 4-for-4, four RBIs game as Corpus Christi beat Arkansas 9-8. Brian Bogusevic continues to do his best Rick Ankiel impression as the former pitcher went 2-for-3 with a double and two more walks. In 55 at-bats with the Hooks as an outfielder, Bogusevic is 23-for-55 with nine walks and three home runs . . . Angels prospect Mark Trumbo continued his hot streak with a double and homer for the Travelers and already has six Double-A homers in just 15 games. His 32 for the season ranks tied for sixth in the minors . . . Playing shortstop, Adrian Cardenas (Athletics) banged out four of Midland’s 17 hits in a 13-7 victory against Northwest Arkansas. All four were singles as the RockHounds rode eight strong innings by 22-year-old righthander Ryan Webb (Athletics), who in his best start since April struck out eight and gave up four hits and one run . . . The Padres fast-tracked eighth-round pick Beamer Weems out of Baylor to Double-A San Antonio out of necessity, but Weems looks right at home. He’s hit safely in all three games for the Missions and is 4-for-9 with a pair of RBIs and walks. He played his first game at shortstop after two at third base . . . Holland out-dueled Tulsa lefthander Keith Weiser (Rockies), who got no decision despite a sterling second Double-A start: 7 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 Ks. Weiser was a 2006 third-round pick out of Miami (Ohio).
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