AA Dish: Einertson Powers Up

The Eastern League was out of action, but Mitch Einertson hit a pair of homers, James Simmons had another excellent outing, Andy LaRoche made another rehab appearance and Mat Gamel’s glove continues to diminish his overall value despite his strong offensive contributions.

TEXAS LEAGUE

Prospect Of The Day

Corpus Christi (Astros) center fielder Mitch Einertson is one of the best hitting prospects in a thin Astros farm system, yet he batted eighth last night in the lineup. His lineup slotting worked out yesterday, as Einertson went 2-for-4 with two home runs and drove in four runs. Einertson, a two-time MVP (Appalachian League, 2004 and Carolina League, 2007), originally signed with the Astros as a fifth-rounder in 2004 as a California prep player. Einertson’s big night only brought his average and on-base percentage up to .235 and .286, respectively, but his slugging is up to .482 now that 13 of his 20 hits have gone for extra bases.

Prospect Nuggets

As the Athletics continue to increase his workload, righthander James Simmons has continued his mastery of Double-A batters. Simmons allowed one run through seven innings with seven strikeouts and one walk against San Antonio (Padres). The 25th overall pick in last year’s draft out of UC Riverside lowered his ERA to 1.13 through 24 innings with a 22-2 K-BB ratio. Simmons’s teammate, shortstop Cliff Pennington, scored four runs and went three-for-four with a walk and his fifth stolen base of the season . . . San Antonio lefthander Steve Garrison did not find as much success as Simmons; the No. 6 prospect in the Padres system allowed seven runs in three innings with three walks and one strikeout . . . Tulsa (Rockies) roughed up Springfield (Cardinals) righthander Clayton Mortsensen, who allowed five runs in four innings, finishing with three strikeouts and a walk . . . Frisco (Rangers) catcher Max Ramirez went 3-for-4 with two doubles, bringing his season line up to .347/.438/.667 in 89 plate appearances. He also made a fielding error, his second of the season, and he should see more time behind the plate now that Taylor Teagarden has been promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma . . . Smooth-fielding Arkansas (Angels) shortstop Hainley Statia went 2-for-5 with a double, but that only raised his 2008 line to .213/.242/.245 in 94 at-bats.

What To Watch For Today

The teams with the two best records in the North Division–Springfield and Northwest Arkansas (Royals)–play today, although neither club is above .500. 

SOUTHERN LEAGUE

Prospect Of The Day

Carolina (Marlins) righty Brett Sinkbeil allowed one run through six innings against Chattanooga (Reds). Sinkbeil struck out just two batters, but induced 11 groundouts and three flyouts. Through 28 2/3 innings, Sinkbeil has more walks (12) than strikeouts (11) and a 3.14 ERA.

I saw Sinkbeil pitch earlier this season against Montgomery (Rays). As was the case last year when Sinkbiel was with high Class A Jupiter, the 23-year-old generally pitched in the strike zone but his pitches were extremely hittable. Without the top-quality stuff to get batters out on his own via the strikeout, Sinkbeil will have to keep hitters off balance by mixing his pitch sequences and his location. He will also benefit if he can consistently keep the ball on the ground, which he did yesterday and did last year when healthy.

Prospect Nuggets

One day after going 3-for-3 with a homer, two triples and a walk, Huntsville (Brewers) third baseman Mat Gamel went 2-for-3 with two walks and a stolen base. It was another nice night on offense for Gamel, who raised his line to .367/.436/.602. Unfortunately for Gamel, his defense was also downright Ryan Braunian–Gamel made three fielding errors, giving him eight errors through 25 games . . . Gamel’s teammate, outfielder Matt LaPorta, missed the game after being hit in the hand with a pitch two days ago. . . Jacksonville (Dodgers) third baseman Andy LaRoche went 1-for-3 in a rehab stint . . . Carolina center fielder Cameron Maybin didn’t provide Sinkbeil much help on offense, going 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. In his last 10 games, Maybin is 4-for-35 (.114) with 15 strikeouts. . . Center fielder Mike Saunders continued his impressive 2008, going 2-for-5 with a walk for West Tenn (Mariners) . . . Birmingham righty Brian Omogrosso, who ranked No. 25 among White Sox prospects in the Prospect Handbook, tossed six shutout innings. He K-BB was a less-than-impressive 2-3, but he kept the ball on the ground with 10 groundouts and five flyouts.

What To Watch For Today

Carolina’s Chris Volstad had improved his secondary pitches this year and has added more strikeouts to his recent performances. He goes tonight at home against West Tenn.

EASTERN LEAGUE

There were no Eastern League games yesterday.

What To Watch For Today

Bowie (Orioles) righthander Chris Tillman has struggled so far, but he’s still just 20 years old and already in Double-A. He throws tonight at home against Portland (Red Sox).

Minors | #Daily Dish

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