Archie Bradley, rhp, Diamondbacks: Bradley pitched the first five innings of Mobile’s combined no-hitter of Huntsville in a 2-0 win, but it wasn’t close to being Bradley’s best outing of the year.
Bradley struck out seven in his five hitless innings, but he also walked five. It was the fourth time this season Bradley has walked five or more and the second time in his last four starts.
When he’s on, Bradley has little problem throwing strikes. In his previous outing against Birmingham, Bradley struck out 10 and walked no one as he threw 71 percent of his 97 pitches for strikes. On Wednesday, Bradley strike percentage dipped to 52 percent. In a seven-walk outing against Birmingham late last month, his strike percentage sat at 49 percent.
He’s making a strong case to win the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year award (he’s 11-5, 1.84 overall), but his recent bouts of control problems are a sign that Bradley does have some work to do before he’s ready to dominate the big leagues.
Kyle Zimmer, rhp, Royals: Zimmer’s night ended early on Wednesday. After two perfect innings pitching for the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Zimmer was pulled because of a stiff right arm.
“There’s just been a little stiffness,” Northwest Arkansas manager Brian Poldberg told the Joplin Globe. “We’ve been giving him a few extra days, and we’re not going to take any chances. He felt fine on his offspeed stuff and his fastball. The velocity was still there, which was good. We just got him out of there.”
After making his start on July 25, Zimmer was skipped in the rotation on July 30. He returned to the mound on Aug. 6, but then was given eight days before his most recent start last night.
Zimmer had a rough start to the season, but after some tweaks to his delivery, he has turned his season around and is 2-1, 1.93 in 19 innings with 27 strikeouts and five walks since being promoted to Double-A. Zimmer’s 140 strikeouts this season are tied for sixth best in the minors.
Xander Bogaerts, ss, Red Sox and Deven Marrero, ss, Red Sox: Yes, Jose Iglesias is capable of making some jaw-dropping plays at shortstop, but the Red Sox’s minor league shortstops offered a reminder of why Boston felt comfortable trading the glove wizard to the Tigers.
Bogaerts hit his 15th home run of the season and his ninth since being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket as part of a two-hit night. His home run was especially impressive as it went straight into the teeth of a 15-mph wind blowing in. The 20-year-old Bogaerts is now hitting .297/.377/.476 since his promotion to Pawtucket.
A level below at Double-A Portland, Marrero, just promoted from high Class A Salem, has made a nice introduction to his new teammates. After going 2-for-4 in his Double-A debut on Tuesday, Marrero went 3-for-4 on Wednesday raising his averages to .625/.545/.625.
Bogaerts is the Red Sox’s next impact prospect, and he’s played well enough defensively to project him as the club’s shortstop of at least the near future. That may block Marrero, who is better defensively than Bogaerts but without the same kind of impact bat, but it’s a good problem for the Red Sox to have. It further illustrates why trading away Iglesias was dealing from a surplus talent pool.
Joey Gallo, 3b, Rangers: He missed nearly a month with a groin injury, but that wasn’t enough to take Gallo out of the minor league home run race. Gallo homered for the second time in three days on Wednesday, giving him 30 home runs overall this season, two behind minor league leader George Springer.
Gallo is averaging one home run per every 11.6 at-bats, which is the best home run rate among anyone in the top 20 in the minors in home runs.