The Tigers traded six of their preseason Top 30 Prospects, including No. 4 Francisco Martinez and No. 7 Chance Ruffin, in a pair of summer deals for Doug Fister, David Pauley and Delmon Young.
With his recent the performance, Double-A lefty Drew Smyly has made a convincing case that Detroit's prospect cupboard is not yet bare. The 22-year-old struck out 10 Binghamton batters over seven innings yesterday, allowing two runs on three hits. He walked only one.
In five starts for Erie, Smyly has gone 3-2, 0.93 with a 36-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 29 innings. He has yet to allow a home run to an Eastern League batter. A 2010 second-round pick from Arkansas, Smyly dominated the high Class A Florida State League through the end of July, and his season ERA of 2.14 ranks fifth in the minors.
In other Tigers pitching prospect news . . . Triple-A Toledo lefty Andy Oliver has been hit hard in eight second-half starts (5.21 ERA, 1.63 WHIP), though he pitched effectively yesterday, striking out nine Louisville batters over seven innings. He allowed one run on five walks plus three hits and improved to 8-10, 4.73 on the year.
New York, New York. Top pitching prospects for the Mets and Yankees had big games in the high minors yesterday. Double-A righthander Matt Harvey, the Mets' top pick in 2010, opposed Smyly in a prospect showdown in Binghamton. Harvey struck out five and walked two, but more importantly he shut out the SeaWolves over seven innings, allowing four hits, to win his fourth straight start. After a rough introduction to Double-A, he's been downright mean in his past five starts, logging 29 innings and allowing 22 hits, seven walks and seven runs (2.17 ERA) while striking out 31 . . . Yankees lefty Manny Banuelos let in three runs on six hits over five innings, but Scranton/Wilkes-Barre battered Rochester pitchers for nine runs, so the 20-year-old Banuelos collected his first Triple-A win. Through fives starts, he's logged a 3.86 ERA and 24-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 25 2/3 innings.
New Faces In New Places. Speaking of Francisco Martinez, the new Mariners third baseman went 2-for-4 with a double (his fourth) and a run scored for Double-A Jackson. In 21 games for the Generals he's gone 23-for-81 (.284) with six extra-base hits . . . The player to be named the Phillies sent to the Astros for Hunter Pence, 19-year-old toolshed Domingo Santana connected for his ninth homer of the season yesterday as part of a 1-for-4 performance for low Class A Lexington. He's gone 7-for-24 (.292) with two homers in six games for the Legends. Santana's cumulative South Atlantic League batting line through 374 at-bats: .270/.347/.441 . . . Part of that same Pence deal, first baseman Jonathan Singleton collected a double and went 1-for-4 for high Class A Lancaster yesterday. In 21 games for the JetHawks he's batting .313/.345/.566 with four homers and seven doubles.
Stingy Triple-A Pitchers. Braves righthander Julio Teheran won't turn 21 until January, at which time he could have an International League ERA title to his name. (How many 20-year-olds have done that?) Teheran allowed two runs in five innings to Charlotte yesterday, so his ERA rose, marginally, from 2.14 to 2.19, though he still holds a sizeable lead on Columbus' Jeanmar Gomez (2.55) for the top spot. He holds a similarly-cozy advantage in wins (14), while also factoring in the WHIP (1.14) and opponent average (.226) races . . . The Brewers' Wily Peralta won't qualify for the Pacific Coast League ERA crown, but the Nashville righthander has allowed just four runs in his first 20 Triple-A innings (1.80 ERA) after throwing seven, one-run frames yesterday. Peralta has been impossibly tough in his past two turns (at home versus Tucson and at Omaha), totaling 14 innings with 16 strikeouts, three walks, five hits and only one run allowed.
Home Run Binge. Low Class A Asheville left fielder Corey Dickerson homered and went 1-for-3 yesterday to push his South Atlantic League-leading tally to 27 bombs. The Rockies farmhand also leads the way in slugging (.618) and extra-base hits (58). An eighth-rounder from Meridian (Miss.) CC last year, Dickerson has homered in three straight games and four out of his last five. The usual Asheville caveat applies as the 22-year-old has hit for much more power at home (.795 slugging, 21 homers) than on the road (.397 slugging, six homers) . . . Trailing Dickerson in the SAL race by three homers, Kannapolis center fielder Trayce Thompson went 1-for-5 with a dinger yesterday, giving him 24 on the year. The 20-year-old White Sox second-rounder (2009) is batting .239/.330/.470 through 464 at-bats with an SAL-leading 154 whiffs . . . Fellow 2009 second-rounder Tommy Joseph, the Giants' top catching prospect, went 2-for-5 with a homer (20), a double (30) and four RBIs for high Class A San Jose. Joseph's hot streak coincides with his shift to full-time catcher (he had spotted at first base previously). In 49 games since June 25 he's batting .313/.348/.621 with 14 homers and 18 doubles in 195 at-bats.
Homer Heroics In The Pacific Coast League. Sacramento first baseman Chris Carter connected for two homers (14) and went 2-for-5 in a game at Tucson yesterday. In three games against the Padres he's gone 5-for-13 (.385) with two doubles and two homers . . . Similar story in Colorado Springs, where Salt Lake center fielder Jeremy Moore went 2-for-5 and connected for his 14th homer and 23rd double. In three games versus the Sky Sox he's batted 5-for-15 . . . The Dodgers' Jerry Sands finished one homer off the pace for a share of the minor league lead in 2010 and made his big league debut this season, but much of the buzz around him has dissipated as he's been comparatively quiet this season with Albuquerque. Sands launched his 25th homer, hit two doubles (19) and went 3-for-4 yesterday, but considering his home park, he's batting a modest .270/.335/.583 through 81 games on the year. Furthermore, his OPS in the second half (.785) and away form Isotopes Park (.651) are trending in the wrong direction.
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