We won't get a true answer to that question for years to come, and nothing that happens in the first month of the season really changes the current evaluation. But it is worth noting how the two players have traded hot streaks back and forth.
Making the jump to Double-A Eastern League, the Orioles' Machado got off to a hot start, hitting a pair of home runs and a pair of doubles in the first week of season. On April 15 he was hitting .289/.373/.511. Over in the Texas League, the Rangers' Profar got off to an awful start. He didn't get his batting average above .100 until April 14.
But since then, Machado's been struggling while Profar's stats keep getting better and better. Machado is 8-for-41 (.195) with two extra base hits in the 13 games since April 15. Over in the Texas League, Profar has been on an extra-base binge. On Tuesday he hit his fourth triple of the season (which is also his fourth triple in the past seven games) to raise his averages to .253/.320/.495.
Profar may not be hitting for a high average yet, but there's little else to argue about his game. At 19, he's also the youngest player on an Opening Day roster in Double-A. He's committed only four errors this season and his .495 slugging percentage is best among all Double-A shortstops with 50 or more at-bats.
CAGUAS, P.R. — Dozens of scouts were on hand for the first day of the annual Puerto Rican high school tournament, the Torneo De Exelencia (Excellence Tournament). The Puerto Rican players ran 60-yard dashes, showed off their fielding skills and took batting practice. Shortstop Carlos Correa was the standout, running a 6.69-second 60-yard dash and hitting five home runs with a wood bat during his second round of BP. We'll have more on those players on the Draft Blog throughout the next week as the tournament continues.
After the Puerto Ricans were done, scouts stuck around to see 22-year-old Dominican righthander Juan Carlos Paniagua take the mound. Paniagua agreed to a $1.1 million contract with the Yankees in March 2011, but that deal fell apart last year when MLB declared him ineligible to sign for one year due to issues with his documentation. He will be eligible to sign on July 19, which will make him subject to the new international signing bonus pool restrictions.
Throwing around 30 pitches on May 1, Paniagua sat in the 93-95 mph range with his lively fastball. He showed a 78-81 mph changeup and mixed in a couple 77-78 mph curveballs. But, after his fastball, his most impressive pitch might be his slider. When Paniagua signed with the Yankees, scouts said his slider was a slurvy pitch and lagged behind his fastball and changeup, but today he showed a nasty 81-84 mph slider with sharp, late tilt.
[...] Continue Reading »
The Red Sox didn't waste much time sending 2011 first-round pick Matt Barnes to high Class A Salem after he dominated low Class A Greenville. By that token, 2011 supplemental first-round pick Jackie Bradley is starting to make a pretty strong case for a promotion from Salem to Double-A Portland.
Bradley hit his first home run of the season and doubled as part of a 2-for-4 night on Tuesday. Power had been about the only thing average about Bradley's game in the early going. He has eight steals in nine attempts, he's hitting .361 and he's walked more times (17) than he's struck out (15). He also a plus defender in center field.
Bradley missed much of his junior season at South Carolina with a wrist injury. That may be the only reason that he lasted until the supplemental first round, but now the Red Sox are reaping the benefits.
Bradley's bat was hit biggest question coming out of South Carolina, and he still has less than 125 pro at-bats, so the Red Sox may decide to keep him in high Class A for a little while longer, but it's hard not to be impressed with the 22-year-old's fast start.
If you time high Class A Lynchburg third baseman Edward Salcedo (Braves) in the 60-yard dash, he'd be hard-pressed to prove he's an average runner. But when you put him on the basepaths, the man knows how to pick his spots.
Salcedo stole three bags in three attempts as the Hillcats wraped up a doubleheader against Carolina on Tuesday night. Monday's scheduled game had to be suspended when fog rolled in, so it was resumed before the regularly schedule game on Tuesday night. Salcedo's three-steal night gives him six in eight attempts this season. He's on pace for 33 steals this year, which would be a career high, but it's not uncharacteristic for Salcedo. He stole 23 bags in 33 attempts last year.
Salcedo isn't just stealing bases successfully this year. He's also hitting for power (.471 slugging percentage heading into Tuesday night) thanks to seven doubles. With Evan Gattis now promoted to Double-A, Salcedo is one of the remaining big bats in the Lynchburg lineup. He still doesn't walk enough to post a solid on-base percentage, but if he keeps hitting for the power he's shown in the early going, he could follow Gattis to Mississippi at some point this season.
Rays minor league shortstop Tim Beckham, the first pick in the 2008 draft, restored a bit of luster to his diminished prospect star last season when the 21-year-old reached Triple-A and swatted a career-high 12 homers—16 if you count the Arizona Fall League.
Beckham ceded a lot of that goodwill today following Major League Baseball's announcement that he must serve a 50-game suspension, effective immediately, for twice failing a test for a so-called drug of abuse.
Beckham began the season with Triple-A Durham but had gotten off to a slow start, going 11-for-54 (.204) with two doubles and a triple in 13 games.
The Rays issued a press release in the aftermath of the announcement. In it Beckham is quoted as saying, “I regret that my poor judgment resulted in me letting my teammates and the Tampa Bay Rays organization down . . .
"I recognize that I am blessed to be able to play baseball for a living. I owe it to my teammates, my family, and to myself to respect the game and the responsibilities that go with playing it as a professional. I am sorry.” [...] Continue Reading »
Twins righthander Adrian Salcedo took a batted ball off his face in the first inning of his Monday start for high Class A Fort Myers, but fortunately, the damage doesn’t appear too serious.
The Twins confirmed that Salcedo was taken to the emergency room and given a CT scan which revealed a nasal fracture, but he didn’t show any signs of a concussion. The 21-year-old has remained with the team, and he’ll be reevaluated when Fort Myers returns from its current road trip on Friday. It's likely he'll miss his next scheduled start, though the team won't know a definitive answer until Friday.
Salcedo, who signed with the Twins out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, went 6-6, 2.93 with low Class A Beloit last season. The Twins’ No. 16 prospect entering this year, he’s 0-1, 5.82 with Fort Myers after Monday’s abbreviated outing.
The Padres ponied up a $3 million bonus to sign catcher Austin Hedges as their second-round pick at last year’s signing deadline, in part because the young backstop’s defensive acumen belied his age. There was some debate about his offensive upside, but Hedges’ bat has been the story so far in his first full season with low Class A Fort Wayne.
The 19-year-old Hedges went 2-for-4 with a homer and a stolen base for Fort Wayne against Peoria on Monday. Hedges missed 10 days with a sore right shoulder in April, but he has hits in all five games since his return on April 26 and has raised his line to .319/.396/.553 after 47 at-bats, with two homers and five doubles.
Peoria speedster Zeke DeVoss stole two bases against Hedges on Monday, but he’s still thrown out a solid 30-percent of base stealers (9-of-30) despite the shoulder issues, owing to his spotless mechanics behind the plate.
Danny Rosenbaum just knows how to get outs. The Nationals lefthander won’t light up radar guns and blow hitters away, but he hasn’t just succeeded at every stop on his way up the minors, he’s dominated.
Rosenbaum’s Monday start for Double-A Harrisburg was just the latest example. The 24-year-old tossed seven shutout innings against New Britain, the second straight outing he’s gone seven scoreless. While he registered just five strikeouts, he didn’t give out any walks and needed only 90 pitches to get through seven frames. He allowed six hits.
Rosenbaum’s ceiling may only be that of a back-of-the-rotation starter, but his numbers are tough to argue with. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 25 2/3 innings, dating back to his April 13 start, and his 0.76 ERA leads the Eastern League. While his strikeout rate is modest at 23 in 35 2/3 innings, he’s issued just two walks all season. He has a 6-1, 1.56 record in 11 Double-A starts going back to six outings he made for Harrisburg at the tail end of last season, and his career ERA since being a 22nd-round pick in 2009 is a not-too-shabby 2.20 in 388 innings.
The streak had to end sometime. After starting his pro career with 13 no-hit innings over four starts, Dylan Bundy finally gave up a base hit in his fifth start on Monday with low Class A Delmarva.
The rest of the South Atlantic League will have to ask Asheville’s Delta Cleary about how to figure out Bundy. The Tourists center fielder led off the game with a single to left—the opposite field, of course, for the switch-hitting Cleary—to end the no-hit run. Cleary then drew a walk, the second Bundy’s given out all season, when he came to bat again in the fourth. Both times after reaching base, Cleary was subsequently erased by double plays, so Bundy still ended up facing the minimum over his prescribed four innings of work as he was able to retire every Asheville hitter not named Delta Cleary.
So, while Bundy’s no-hit streak came to an end, he still has yet to allow a runner to reach second base, let alone score a run, in 17 innings of work. He added four strikeouts on Monday, bringing his total to 25, against two walks, on the year.
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