While Chris Resop is the subject of today's Prospect Bulletin, he's not the only pitcher of note on the Triple-A Gwinnett staff. The Braves' bullpen also is home to hard-throwing righthander Craig Kimbrel, a third-round pick two years ago, as well as power lefty Mike Dunn, who joined the organization in December's Javier Vazquez trade. Gwinnett pitching coach Derek Botelho credits both relievers with having outstanding makeup and more than enough stuff to get the job done in the big leagues.
In fact, Kimbrel just returned from Atlanta, where he struggled to find the plate, issuing six walks in just 3 1/3 innings. He's shown much finer control of his mid-90s fastball and power breaking ball in Triple-A, where he struck out four batters in two innings of work on Sunday. In 12 appearances for Gwinnett, he's struck out 25 and walked seven in 17 innings, while limiting opponents to a .127 average.
Dunn, who like Resop is a converted position player, allowed runs in back-to-back outings Sunday and Monday after going unscored upon in his previous 10 outings.
"He has an outstanding fastball and hard slider," Botelho said. "He throws all three pitches (changeup is No. 3) for strikes. The velocity is there—he's aggressive and goes right after hitters." The 25-year-old lefty boasted a 27-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 21 2/3 innings, and like Kimbrel, he had not surrendered a home run.
Stephen Strasburg carried his scoreless-innings streak into the third frame for Syracuse in last night's contest against Toledo, at which point the Nationals righthander finally relented and allowed his first run to a Triple-A opponent. His scoreless streak ended at 21 innings when Toledo's Deik Scram scored on a passed ball. Strasburg gutted through five innings without his best stuff and finished having allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out five and walked none.
Hellickson Shines Again
Rays righthander Jeremy Hellickson took a perfect game into the seventh inning and a no-hitter into the eighth for Triple-A Durham last night against Pawtucket. A walk to Tug Hulett and then an opposite-field single by Aaron Bates put an end to his flirtations with history. But in going eight innings and striking out five, Hellickson assumed leadership in the International League's whiffs department with 60. He's now 7-2, 2.79 on the year, having issued just 12 walks.
He completed four pro seasons before arriving there, but Alex Presley is enjoying the bright lights of Altoona, Pa. The Pirates' eighth-round pick out of Mississippi in 2006, he made it to Double-A this season, where the lefthanded-hitting left fielder has batted .379/.415/.582 in 153 at-bats. He currently leads the Eastern League's batting race. Presley homered twice yesterday, driving in eight runs, as part of a 4-for-5 day that also included a double and a triple. He raised his slugging percentage by 68 points with those four swings of the bat.
All Systems Go
Rockies lefthander Tyler Matzek, the 11th overall pick last year out of high school, struck out five in five innings while making his pro debut for low Class A Asheville yesterday. The Rockies' prospect put five men on base, courtesy of four walks and a hit batter, but he allowed only one hit.
The Wrath Of Kohn
With the big league bullpen in desperate need of reinforcement, the Angels promoted strikeout machine Michael Kohn to Triple-A Salt Lake, where he has gone unscored upon in two relief outings. He has struck out one and allowed one hit. A 13th-round pick two years ago from College of Charleston, Kohn pitched just 13 innings for the Cougars as a senior because of a shoulder injury. Prior to that he had been a heavy-hitting first baseman. The 23-year-old Kohn made quick work of the Double-A Texas League, going 2-2, 2.45 in 15 games for Arkansas. He struck out 25, walked eight and allowed no home runs in 18 1/3 innings.
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