The Dodgers announced on Tuesday they were promoting corner outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez to Triple-A Albuquerque, a move which brings the 24-year-old full circle.
Cavazos-Galvez, who turns 25 on Thursday, was born in Albuquerque and played two years of college baseball for New Mexico, which plays its home games in Isotopes Park. Cavazos-Galvez’s connections to the Isotopes run even deeper than that though. His father Balvino Galvez came up through the Dodgers system in the 1980s and played parts of two seasons (1986 and ’92) for Albuquerque’s Triple-A franchise, known as the Dukes at the time.
Tampa Bay's best prospects are struggling.
Just among their Top 10, Matt Moore is scuffling with the big league club, Chris Archer, Alex Torres and Enny Romero are having trouble locating the strike zone, Hak-Ju Lee isn't hitting well, Tim Beckham is suspended 50 games for drugs and outfielders Drew Vettleson and Mikie Mahtook aren't off to great starts either.
One bright spot has been high Class A Charlotte shortstop Derek Dietrich. The 21-year-old had his best game of the season today, hitting a home run and two triples in a 3-for-5 game that bumped his season line up to .273/.365/.484 in 34 games.
Dietrich, the Rays' No. 13 prospect entering the season, has above-average power and ranks fifth in the Florida State League in slugging, and if he can keep the swing and miss in check, he could be an everyday infielder, though he's a likely candidate to end up moving to second or third at some point.
Wil Myers' career-best season for home runs was his first year in pro ball, when he hit 14 between low Class A Burlington and high Class A Wilmington in 2009. It looks like he's going to need maybe six or seven weeks of the 2012 season to break that mark.
Myers went deep twice today for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, giving him 13 home runs on the year to tie him for second in the minors. Myers, 21, has always shown a keen eye at the plate but a knee injury stalled him last year and hampered him when he did play. Myers did strike out twice to give him 41 whiffs in 34 games, but it's hard to take issue when he's hitting .346/.419/.746.
For the second straight game, Myers even spent the first two innings at third base before moving to center field for the rest of the game. Most likely is that Myers won't end up at either position and will find his way back to right field, where he has the offensive ability to become an all-star.
Dylan Bundy arguably had the worst start of his professional career tonight. The results: five innings, one run (it was unearned), two hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
That's how spectacular the Orioles righthander has been this year for low Class A Delmarva. Bundy's two hits allowed were a season-high, as were the five innings he threw. Bundy, 19, still has a flawless 0.00 ERA (with two unearned runs allowed) in 25 innings with two hits, two walks, a hit batsman and 36 strikeouts of the 82 batters he's faced.
With Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Matt Moore all in the big leagues, it's a more open debate about who is the best prospect in the minors right now. Bundy certainly has a strong case.
Billy Rowell's time with the Orioles may have effectively reached its end following Major League Baseball's announcement today that the 23-year-old has earned a 50-game suspension for twice testing positive for a so-called drug of abuse. According to an MLB press release, Rowell's suspension begins on June 18, the start date for the short-season New York-Penn League season.
The length of the suspension all but rules out Rowell's participation with Aberdeen this summer, and he qualifies for minor league free agency in November. A return engagement in Baltimore seems unlikely at this time.
The first high school position player drafted in 2006, Rowell failed to live up to his potential as a power-hitting third baseman, so the new Orioles front office this spring converted him to the mound—specifically righthanded reliever. Held back in extended spring training, he has not yet pitched in a professional game.
Rowell batted .250/.316/.371 in 1,363 plate appearances for high Class A Frederick during three summers in the Carolina League from 2008 through ’10. He topped out with Double-A Bowie for 41 games last season, putting up a .547 OPS in 136 PA.
Presented here are the top 10 runs created tallies for position players from weekend series, May 11-13. Players must appear in the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.
|TOP 10 RUNS CREATED BY PROSPECTS IN THE MINORS • MAY 11-13
|Cory Spangenberg*||SD||L. Elsinore||California||HiA||17||8||0||0||0||0||1||5||4.5|
|Matt den Dekker*||NYM||Binghamton||Eastern||AA||13||5||1||0||2||0||3||1||4.4|
|Keenyn Walker#||CWS||Kannapolis||S Atlantic||LoA||11||5||2||0||1||2||3||2||4.2|
|David Lough*||KC||Omaha||Pac Coast||AAA||8||5||1||1||0||1||0||1||4.1|
|*Bats lefthanded. #Switch-hitter.
Chart considers only players who appear in 2012 BA Prospect Handbook
• Astros center fielder George Springer homered in four consecutive plate appearances, spanning two games of a Friday doubleheader, and now owns a .350/.389/.700 batting line in 20 home games with high Class A Lancaster. He's the seventh minor league player to homer three times in one game this season. Wouldn't you know that three of those outbursts occurred in the California League? (The other two: High Desert third baseman Steve Proscia on April 19 and Stockton first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones on April 18.)
• Lost a bit among the organization's plethora of power arms, Diamondbacks third baseman Matt Davidson is gaining serious prospect momentum this season in the Double-A Southern League, which he tops with eight home runs and 19 extra-base hits as part of a .318/.434/.583 batting line through 132 at-bats. The 21-year-old homered twice in a game versus Chattanooga on Sunday (once against Dodgers prospect Chris Withrow) and also went deep on Friday. [...] Continue Reading »
Presented here are the top 10 pitcher game scores from weekend series, May 11-13, by pitchers who appear in the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.
|TOP 10 GAME SCORES BY PROSPECTS IN THE MINORS • MAY 11-13
|Paul Clemens||HOU||Oklahoma City||Pacific Coast||AAA||7||3||0||0||6||0||77|
|Henry Owens*||BOS||Greenville||South Atlantic||LoA||6||2||0||0||8||3||73|
|Jose Fernandez||MIA||Greensboro||South Atlantic||LoA||7||5||1||1||7||0||70|
|Jesse Biddle*||PHI||Clearwater||Florida State||HiA||6.2||4||1||0||8||4||69|
|*Lefthander. Chart considers only pitchers who appear in 2012 BA Prospect Handbook
• Astros righthander Paul Clemens rebounded from a recent rough patch, commemorated with an appearance on the Prospect Not-So-Hot Sheet, to get back on track in Triple-A . . . and back on target for a callup to Houston later this season. He allowed just three singles in his Saturday start and retired the final 15 batters he faced. Nothing to worry about here: Clemens has gone 3-1, 1.57 with a 17-4 K-BB ratio in four home starts in Oklahoma City this year.
• One of the youngest pitchers in the Carolina League, 20-year-old Royals righty Yordano Ventura leads the league with 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings. He's been especially effective in his last two outings, striking out 12 in 13 innings while allowing three runs on 11 baserunners. [...] Continue Reading »
With few exceptions—say Mark Prior or Tim Lincecum or Stephen Strasburg—even the most talented college pitchers need time to transition to the grind of the professional game. The ball is different, the bats are different, the interval between starts shorter and the schedule more demanding.
The top college arms from the 2011 draft have not been exceptions to this point. Pirates righthander Gerrit Cole, taken first overall from a UCLA, boasts a nifty strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.5) for high Class A Bradenton, but he's also pitched to a 3.18 ERA while allowing four homers in seven Florida State League starts. Mariners lefty Danny Hultzen, the No. 2 pick from Virginia, has allowed just 17 hits (one home run) in 37 2/3 innings for Double-A Jackson, but he's also walked 5.5 batters per nine innings. It's a similar story for Diamondbacks righty Trevor Bauer, taken third overall from UCLA, who has mitigated a strong strikeout rate (11.2 per nine) for Double-A Mobile with an elevated walk rate (4.8).
Whatever transpired early in the season, Cole, Hultzen and Bauer brought their best stuff to the mound this weekend. [...] Continue Reading »
High Class A Salem center fielder Jackie Bradley failed to reach base on April 11, his fifth professional game, but the Red Sox prospect has gotten aboard via hit or walk in his other 30 games this season and leads the minors with a .507 on-base percentage. Not bad for a player who lasted until the 40th pick in last year's draft because he injured his left wrist while at South Carolina and slumped through his junior season.
Rain postponed Salem's Carolina League contest on Sunday, but the lefty-hitting Bradley went 5-for-5 on Saturday to raise his season average to .389, which ranks second in the minors only to Tigers third-base prospect Nick Castellanos, who's batting .403 for high Class A Lakeland. The 22-year-old Bradley has collected 11 stolen bases in 14 attempts as well as 14 extra-base hits (including three home runs) to prop up a .575 slugging percentage.
For more on Bradley's quick start, please see correspondent Alex Speier's recent Red Sox organization report (BA subscription required).
Following standout careers at the University of Connecticut, George Springer and Matt Barnes have met little resistance in the professional ranks thus far. Both 2011 first-round picks—Springer went 11th overall to the Astros; Barnes 19th to the Red Sox—emphasized that point with noteworthy performances this weekend at the high Class A level.
Springer, who plays center field for Lancaster of the California League, smashed three home runs in a game on Friday, May 11, joining six other minor leaguers to accomplish the feat this season. Though the outburst occurred in homer-friendly Lancaster, Springer stressed efficiency by going deep in each of his three plate appearances during doubleheader Game Two's seven-inning contest.
The 22-year-old Springer also homered in his final PA of the first game of Friday's doubleheader, giving him four clouts in a row and fattening up the day's batting line to 5-for-7 with four homers, seven RBIs, five runs scored and a stolen base. Through 147 at-bats for the JetHawks this season he had batted .313/.362/.571 with eight homers, six doubles, four triples, eight steals and a Cal League-leading 32 RBIs. He ranks third in the league in homers and fourth in slugging. [...] Continue Reading »
Paul Hoilman is no stranger to re-writing the record book. On Wednesday night, he broke another one by hitting safely in his 22nd straight game—a franchise record for the low Class A Peoria Chiefs.
Hoilman, a 23-year-old first baseman, went 2-for-4 with a triple in a 2-1 home loss to Beloit and extended his hit streak in his first at-bat by legging out an infield single to Beloit third baseman Miguel Sano—the strong-armed Twins’ top prospect. Hardly a speedster, the righthanded-hitting Hoilman hit a chopper behind the third-base bag and barely beat Sano’s throw to first.
“I knew he had a good arm so I was running as hard as I could,” Hoilman told the Peoria Journal Star.
Hoilman passed the Chiefs' previous mark of 21 shared by outfielder Kerry Robinson and infielder Jack Wilson.
Hoilman made his professional debut for Boise last season after being selected in the 19th round of the draft and set a franchise single-season record with 17 home runs despite playing just 71 games. During a four-year career at Eastern Tennessee State, Hoilman broke two Atlantic Sun Conference career records—home runs (73) and doubles (83).
In 2010, Hoilman won the inaugural TD Ameritrade College Baseball Home Run Derby in the final college baseball event at Rosenblatt Stadium. He hit .421 and tied for fifth in Division I with 25 home runs. The Rays selected him in the 49th round of the 2010 draft, but he elected to return to ETSU and finish his degree in math with a concentration in pre-med. As a senior, Hoilman’s ranked second Division I in both home runs (22) and strikeouts (72) as his average dipped to .313 amid college baseball’s new bat standards.
• The Rangers have a pair of prospects with hitting streaks. Shortstop phenom Jurickson Profar, the Rangers top prospect entering this season, has hit safely in 19 straight games for Double-A Frisco. The 19-year-old has seen his average increase from .205/.280/.409 when the streak began on April 19 to .261/.318/.462 after going 1-for-4 with two RBIs yesterday against Midland. Second baseman Yangervis Solarte has a 20-game hit streak with Triple-A Round Rock. Solarte is a 24-year-old switch-hitter with a knack for barreling up the ball and was a minor league free agent pick-up by the Rangers this past offseason.
• Royals outfielder Wil Myers has a 15-game hitting streak with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Myers has hit safely in 28 of 29 games this season. He had a 13-game hit streak snapped with an 0-4 outing against Arkansas on April 22 before starting his current run the next game. The Royals No. 3 prospect entering the season, the 21-year-old Myers is hitting .339/.394/.722 with 11 home runs in 115 at-bats.
• Padres prospect Alexi Amarista has a 17-game streak going with Triple-A Tucson. The 5-foot-8 utility player carries the streak over from Triple-A Salt Lake, as he was a part of the trade on May 4 that brought righthander Ernesto Frieri to the Angels.
Here we present official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period May 1-7.
Players listed with an asterisk (*) signed a minor league contract with the organization after being removed from the 40-man roster and clearing waivers.
Released: SS Tommy Manzella
Traded: LHP Tom Layne to Padres for future considerations
Placed on 7-day DL: C Mark Reed
Reinstated from DL: 3B Rusty Ryal, RHP Bryan Henry, RHP Chris Jakubauskas
Signed: 2B Alden Carrithers (released by White Sox), RHP Dave Kubiak (released by Rays)
Released: LHP Ben Swaggerty, OF L.V. Ware
Placed on 7-day DL: LHP Chris Jones, RHP Buddy Carlyle
Reinstated from DL: C Shawn McGill, OF Kyle Rose, RHP Brett Cammons, RHP Greg Ross
Signed: C Dan Pellegrino (NDFA—UC Riverside), C Chase Weems (released by Rockies), OF Roberto Ortiz (released by Diamondbacks)
Released: C Jordan Wolf, LHP Nathan Moreau, LHP Luis Ramirez, RHP Luis Bernardo, RHP Kevin Landry, RHP Luis Lebron
Recalled: C Luis Exposito, RHP Jason Berken
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Stu Pomeranz
Optioned to Triple-A: C Ronny Paulino, RHP Tommy Hunter
Placed on 7-day DL: 1B Tyler Townsend, LHP Jake Pettit, OF Scott Beerer, OF Jeremy Nowak, OF John Ruettiger, RHP Jon Link
Reinstated from DL: C Wynston Sawyer, 2B Chris Tremblay, OF Steve Bumbry, RHP Jesse Beal, RHP Kevin Landry, RHP Luis Lebron
A 24-year-old Luis Lebron appeared poised for big things following his ’09 campaign in which he struck out 91 in 60 1/3 innings, reached Double-A and made Baltimore's 40-man roster in the offseason. Unfortunately, he had Tommy John surgery early in the ’10 season and hasn't been the same since. Lebron made just 12 rehab appearances last season and, prior to his release, had not yet pitched this season. [...] Continue Reading »
Mets righthander Jenrry Mejia reached the major leagues as a 20-year-old in 2010, but it's been a long journey for him to work his way back there.
Mejia made five starts last year for Triple-A Buffalo, but he had Tommy John surgery that year in May and hasn't pitched in a game since then, until today. In his first start back, the 22-year-old Mejia allowed two runs in five innings, struck out one and walked two for high Class A St. Lucie.
In a perfect world, the Mets would probably like to have Mejia develop as a starter, but given his medical history and some mechanical issues he's still trying to sort his way through, his best fit may be in the bullpen. He has a high ceiling in either role, with a mid-90s fastball that has tremendous cutting action and chews up bats, even if he doesn't have the out pitch secondary offerings to miss them at a high clip right now at the major league level. Either way, a player with Mejia's upside shouldn't be forgotten, and it's possible he could be back in the big leagues in the near future.
Adys Portillo is no pop-up guy. The Padres gave the Venezuelan righthander $2 million when he was 16 back in 2008, a year that's produced a disturbing number of expensive flops.
Now 20, Portillo has filled out (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) and his fastball has gone from touching 93 mph to sitting in the mid-90s and flashing triple-digits, but until this year he hasn't shown much in the way of, well, getting hitters out.
That's changing this year. Coming off one of the best starts of his career in his previous start in which he threw seven scoreless innings, Portillo returned today to throw seven more scoreless innings for low Class A Fort Wayne, allowing only one hit and two walks to go with six strikeouts.
Pitchability and the breaking ball were scouts' concerns with Portillo since his amateur days, and he still has plenty of room to improve his control with 17 walks in 38 1/3 innings, but he also has 38 strikeouts and a 1.41 ERA. Even if he can't hone his ability to locate to the degree necessary to remain a starter, Portillo has a power arsenal that would play well in the bullpen.
When we talk to scouts about Dellin Betances, there's a reason we get such a range of opinions.
Coming into tonight's start, the Yankees 24-year-old righthander had been getting battered in Triple-A, walking six batters in three of his first six starts en route to a 6.35 ERA. Betances is neither smooth nor particularly athletic at 6-foot-8, 260 pounds, and when he overthrows, his mechanics get tangled and his location suffers.
Then he has days like today that remind scouts why there's still promise. Betances threw 97 pitches in an eight-inning, one-run performance, holding Columbus (Indians) to two hits and two walks while striking out seven.
There's still a ways to go for Betances to show he can string together more starts resembling this one, but when he's repeating his delivery and putting the ball in the strike zone, Betances reminds scouts of his upside, even if it comes with maddening inconsistency.
There aren't many lefty bats in the minors with a smoother stroke than Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich.
Yelich, 20, has continued to show why he's one of the most promising hitters in the minors this year for high Class A Jupiter, including today when he hit two home runs in a 2-for-3 game with one walk. Yelich is now hitting .310/.406/.586 in 101 plate appearances in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League.
After spending much of last year in left field, Yelich is handling center field on a full-time basis for Jupiter. He's a playable defender there for now, and he's flashing his speed on the bases as well with eight steals in nine tries. He may slide back to a corner once he fills out his 6-foot-4, 190-pound body, but that strength should only make him a more valuable offensive weapon.
Yelich is still probably at least a couple of years away from being able to contribute in Miami, but he's the best bet in the farm system to become an above-average everyday player.
It wasn't on the same national stage as Chris Davis, but Triple-A New Orleans third baseman Chase Lambin got a chance to show that he also knows a little something about pitching, too.
Lambin picked up the win with a scoreless inning of work as New Orleans beat Tucson 11-8 in 16 innings. The Zephyrs had little choice but to look for a volunteer to pitch after Robert Ray, the team's seventh pitcher of the night finished off his third inning of work. Lambin went out and showed he could find the strike zone–seven of his 11 pitchers were strikes as he got through the top of the 16th allowing only one hit.
Davis, a corner infielder as a pro who last pitched in junior college, had picked up the win for the Orioles on Sunday when both the O's and the Red Sox ran out of pitchers in an 18-inning game. Davis picked up the win while Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald was charged with the loss.
Lambin's Zephyrs teammates then ensured he wouldn't have to go back out for the 17th as Luke Montz hit a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 16th. The games took 5:19 to play.
Miguel Pena, Hunter Cervenka and Tyler Lockwood combined for a piece of history on Tuesday. The three Greenville pitchers worked the first nine-inning no-hitter in Drive history in a 1-0 win against the Rome Braves.
Pena did most of the work as he worked six perfect innings before handing the ball to the bullpen. From there, Cervneka pitched two hitless innings, although he did give up a walk to Rome first baseman Jakob Dalfonso that ruined the perfect game. Lockwood pitched a perfect ninth to finish off the no-hitter.
It was the best start of what has been an excellent beginning for Pena. A sixth-round pick of the Red Sox last year out of San Jacinto (Texas) JC, Pena's fastball usually sits at 90 mph, touching 92. He gets many of his outs off of his plus cureball and he can also throw his slider and changeup for strikes. He's not an overpowering pitcher, but as a lefty with four useful pitches and an understanding of how to setup hitters, he's proving too good for the South Atlantic League, as his 29-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio attests.
The Drive's only run came on a home run by left fielder Keury de la Cruz. It was de la Cruz's fifth home run of the season, which is only one short of his career high. A 5-foot-11, 170-pounder when he signed, de la Cruz has bulked up to 200 pounds nowadays and now shows average power to go with an all-fields approach that helps him hit for average.
Deolis Guerra's career didn't just stall after his trade to the Twins, it entered a total hibernation. Now it's back on track.
As a Met, Guerra had reached the high Class A Florida State League late in the 2006 season as a 17-year-old. He spent the entire 2007 season in the FSL as well then was traded to the Twins during the offseason in the Johan Santana trade.
The Twins move their players slower than the Mets do, so Guerra returned to the Florida State League for a third year, and a second full season. And that's where things got tricky. Guerra's once plus 92-94 mph fastball lost some velocity and he continued to struggle to develop a breaking ball. When he went 11-9, 5.47 in his first year in Fort Myers, the Twins didn't have much choice but to send him back to Fort Myers again in 2009, meaning Guerra spent parts of four seasons in the Florida State League. [...] Continue Reading »
When 2010 began, Mike Moustakas was coming off of a disappointing season in high Class A. He quickly erased that memory by destroying the Texas League with 21 home runs in just 66 games. By midseason he was promoted to Triple-A Omaha and by the middle of the next season he was playing in Kansas City.
Wil Myers entered this season coming off of a disappointing 2011 season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He's quickly erasing that memory by destroying the Texas League in his return visit. Myers hit his 11th home run of the season on Tuesday. It was also his fourth home run in the past four games and his fifth in the past six. In the only game of the six that he didn't homer, Myers tripled. Myers also has a 15-game hitting streak. An 0-for-4 day on April 22 is all that's keeping Myers from having a hit in all 29 games this season. [...] Continue Reading »
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