Minor League Roundup: Rodon Takes Charlotte

Today’s roundup features a first-rounder’s Triple-A debut, a breakout Blue Jays outfielder, the continued amazingness of Addison Russell, a resurgent Padres speedster, a dominant Royals lefty, a Cubs prospect continuing his strong pro debut, a Cuban Giant, a powerful Yankees third baseman and a pop-up Dodger.

MINOR LEAGUE HOME RUN RACE
Player Home Runs
Joey Gallo 40
Kris Bryant 40
Matt Olson 35
Peter O’Brien 34

There’s No Tying In Baseball Unless There Is, Part II

Two short-season all-star games, two ties. That’s a whole lot of sister-kissin’ from coast to coast. After the Northwest League’s midsummer spectacular ended in a scoreless tie, the New York-Penn League did the same on Tuesday. Their version, held at Brooklyn’s MCU Park, finished 1-1 after 10 innings. Tri-City’s (Astros) Nick Tanielu earned the MVP award with three hits and the North squad’s only RBI. Williamsport’s (Phillies) Derek Campbell drove in the South’s run.

Make A Miracle

The Baseball Miracles Foundation, which brings baseball equipment and pro-level coaching to places it wouldn’t otherwise exist, needs your help. Their team, headed by White Sox scout John Tumminia, is planning to head to South Africa this October to help spread the game. Toward this end, they’re looking for donations, financial or otherwise, to help get them there. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has already reached into his wallet, and so can you. To give, you can send to the White Sox at 333 W. 35th Street, Chicago, IL, 60616, care of Tumminia. You can also get in contact via this link.

International League • AAA

Carlos RodonCarlos Rodon, lhp, Charlotte (White Sox): After just four starts with high Class A Winston-Salem, Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick this June, impressed enough to skip over Double-A and move directly to Charlotte. In what looks like a clear precursor to a September callup (provided he performs, obviously), the lefthander could get two more starts with the Knights before rosters expand. His outing on Tuesday was middling, and featured three walks and strikeouts in three innings of one-run, one-hit ball. His first pitch was a ball, but his next 12 were strikes, and in all he threw 35 of his 55 pitches in the strike zone.

Pacific Coast League • AAA

Nick Ahmed, ss, Reno (Diamondbacks): After spending 19 games in the majors, Ahmed is back in Triple-A, presumably working to up his offensive game. The Diamondbacks believe he can hit, but he put forth just a .228/.254/.316 line in his trial run with the big club. He’s got plenty of athleticism, which he shows with range to both sides and a solid-average arm. He was 2-for-5 with an RBI in Reno’s loss to New Orleans. He’s hitting .315/.375/.419 in Triple-A, which is the kind of hitter Arizona believed it was getting when it acquired him as part of the Justin Upton deal.

Eastern League • AA

dalton-pompey-2014-mugDalton Pompey, of, New Hampshire (Blue Jays): Luis Severino, in his first start back with Trenton after missing time with a sore oblique, allowed just two runs on one hit in his three-inning reintroduction. Both of those runs came on the one hit, a homer from Pompey, who has nearly repeated his outstanding line with high Class A Dunedin since moving to Double-A 31 games ago. The longball was his third with the Fisher Cats and ninth overall this season. He’s at .312/.391/.472 between the levels this season while playing outstanding defense in center field. Between Pompey and Daniel Norris, the Blue Jays have uncovered two gems on the farm.

Southern League • AA

Addison Russell, ss, Tennessee (Cubs): Every time Russell does something amazing on a baseball field, Billy Beane must feel a disturbance in the force. That sensation must have been overwhelming last night, when the newest Cubs prospect went 2-for-5 with a double, two runs and a grand slam in the Smokies’ loss to Montgomery. The big night raises his line with the Cubs’ affiliate to .301/.348/.556 with nine doubles and 10 home runs. Safe to say, Jed Hoyer and friends are pleased with their investment.

Texas League • AA

Cory Spangenberg, of/2b, San Antonio (Padres): Since returning from a concussion, Spangenberg has caught fire. He’s riding a 12-game hitting streak, and Tuesday night was 1-for-4 with his first longball this month in the Missions’ loss to Frisco. In 56 games with Double-A, Spangenberg is hitting .332/.369/.468 with 14 doubles and two homers. At his best, Spangenberg is a lightning-fast runner with a flat swing and gap-to-gap sock. He’s working to become a better second baseman and has a spot as an outfielder in reserve if need be.

Carolina League • Hi A

Sean ManaeaSean Manaea, lhp, Wilmington (Royals): With nine punchouts on Tuesday, Manaea moved past Frederick’s Parker Bridwell into the Carolina League lead. He’s got 130 on the season and came one short of his season high of 10, set back in May against Carolina. He features a three-pitch mix of a lively low-90s fastball, a plus slider in the high-70s and a changeup in the mid-80s. He’s 4-1 since the start of July, and his 1.50 ERA is 10th-best in all of Class A.

Florida State League • Hi A

Kyle Schwarber, c/of, Daytona (Cubs): In a doubleheader with Clearwater, Schwarber collected two singles, a double and his fourth home run with high Class A. The No. 4 overall pick in the draft is having arguably the best debut outside of Carlos Rodon. He’s played at three levels this season (short-season Boise, low Class A Kane County and Daytona) and has four home runs at each level for a total of 12 overall. Now in a class befitting his skill, he’s at .278/.394/.452 in the Florida State League and has walked 36 times in 61 pro games.

California League • Hi A

Daniel Carbonell, of, San Jose (Giants): The Giants paid $1.4 million to secure Carbonell’s services this season, and he showed tantalizing potential on Tuesday night. The 23-year-old went 4-for-5 with two home runs, three runs and three RBIs. In high Class A, Carbonell is hitting .356/.420/.622 with three home runs over his first 10 games. For more on Carbonell, check out our Ben Badler’s pre-signing scouting report.

South Atlantic League • Lo A

Miguel AndujarMiguel Andujar, 3b, Charleston (Yankees): One of the more toolsy players in the Yankees organization, Andujar was given an aggressive push to low Class A Charleston at just 19 years old and with no experience with short-season Staten Island. He treaded water in the first half of the season but has clicked in the second, putting forth a .323/.376/.470 line after the all-star break with 14 doubles and five RBIs. He’s got a powerful bat and a laser arm from third base that projects as at least plus if not double-plus. He was 3-for-5 on Tuesday night with a double and his 10th homer of the season on Tuesday night.

Midwest League • Lo A

Jose De Leon, rhp, Great Lakes (Dodgers): It’s fair to say De Leon has avoided the Hot Sheet curse (Note: Hot Sheet curse may not exist, consult your local government officials). After writing him up last week, De Leon went out on Tuesday and whiffed 14 with no walks in six innings against Fort Wayne. He’s got 21 punchouts in 12 innings in the Midwest League, and 98 in 66 1/3 overall this season between Rookie-level Ogden and Great Lakes. A 24th-round pick out of Southern, De Leon has gotten in better shape, upped his fastball to 92-96 mph, straightened out his delivery and seen great returns.