The Roundup includes a bust-out from Maikel Franco and a drought-buster from Joey Gallo.
|MINOR LEAGUE HOME RUN RACE
International League • AAA
Maikel Franco, 3b, Lehigh Valley (Phillies): Our long national nightmare is over, folks. Un-batten those hatches, throw your canned goods in the street and burn your emergency preparedness kits in celebration: Franco drew a walk on Wednesday, his first of the month. Of course, that isn’t to say he’s had a bad August—far from it. A day after turning 22, Franco went 2-for-3 with a double (his 32nd of the year), two RBIs and the walk in the IronPigs’ win against Pawtucket. In August, he’s hitting .320/.327/.612 with seven doubles and seven homers.
Pacific Coast League • AAA
Kevin Plawecki, c, Las Vegas (Mets): Even while handling Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday, Plawecki found time to remind people why he’s the best catching prospect in the organization. Against Round Rock, the 23-year-old went 4-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs, furthering his torrid pace with Triple-A. Since moving to Vegas, he’s hit .306/.366/.457 with six doubles and five home runs. He’s made a ton of contact this season, too, striking out just 45 times in 404 plate appearances, good for a rate of just more than 11 percent.
Eastern League • AA
Jorge Polanco, ss, New Britain (Twins): With two stints in the big leagues under his belt, Polanco unlocked another achievement on Wednesday: His first homer at Double-A. The slick-fielding shortstop, whom the Twins had enough confidence in to use as a placeholder when injuries hit the big club, went 3-for-6 with the longball and three RBIs against Binghamton as part of the Rock Cats’ 14-hit attack. Since moving to the EL, the 21-year-old is hitting at a .289/.336/.352 clip. The on-base and slugging numbers are down from his high Class A marks, but the average has remained steady.
Southern League • AA
Texas League • AA
Joey Gallo, 3b, Frisco (Rangers): It had been seven games and 10 whole days since Gallo had gone deep (so rude), but the Rangers’ preeminent slugger got his groove back on Wednesday, swatting his 20th Texas League bomb and 41st overall this season in an eventual RoughRiders win. Gallo’s home run tied the game in the ninth inning. His 21 homers with Myrtle Beach still leads the Carolina League, and with 20 in the Texas League he’s only one behind Telvin Nash. Home run aside, August has not been kind to Gallo, who has hit just .184/.279/.368 this month as a 20-year-old in Double-A.
Carolina League • Hi A
Michael De Leon, ss, Myrtle Beach (Rangers): That De Leon is even with Myrtle Beach is nothing short of stunning. Why? Because he’s just 17 years old, making the newly 18-year-old Julio Urias look aged by comparison. He’s got a reputation as a slick fielder with an effervescent personality, but on Wednesday he made an impact at the plate, too. In his second game with the Pelicans, De Leon (who’s also gotten a game at Double-A this season) went 2-for-5 with a double, a homer, three runs and three RBIs in his team’s thrashing of Winston-Salem. Oh, and he did it at TicketReturn.com Field, the park even Joey Gallo thought had a tendency to stifle power.
Florida State League • Hi A
Eric Jagielo, 3b, Tampa (Yankees): Aside from an oblique injury that cost him a good chunk of time, it’s been a nice first full season in pro ball for Jagielo, a first-round pick in 2013. The third baseman stung his 16th home run of year on Wednesday as part of a 2-for-6 evening with two runs and two RBIs. With the 16 longballs, he’s in the top five in the FSL. That’s impressive, considering he’s played just 82 games this season. The biggest question for him going forth will be whether he can stick at third base and profile at the position offensively, which, with the power output, looks likely so far.
California League • Hi A
Brian Ragira, 1b, San Jose (Stanford): Talk about home cooking. With San Jose, Ragira is just 30 minutes away from Stanford, his alma mater, and last night he made it seem as if he were hitting against amateur pitching once again, and with a metal bat to boot. The first baseman went 5-for-5 against Lake Elsinore with a double, a homer, two runs and five RBIs. Surprisingly enough, that output was an outlier. He’s struggled at home this season, slashing a meager .217/.278/.399, good for a .677 OPS. Away from San Jose, however, Ragira’s numbers are a far more formidable .297/.358/.483, which works out to an .841 OPS. Yes, Ragira knows the way to San Jose, but he’d probably rather play somewhere else.
South Atlantic League • Lo A
Jose Adames, rhp, Greensboro (Marlins): Greensboro has already had a great year on the strength Domingo German‘s right arm and Jarlin Garcia‘s left arm. Now, it appears, with the playoffs in the offing, they have a third arm to add to the fold. Adames, a 21-year-old righthander who spent the first part of the year with short-season Batavia, whiffed 10 over five two-run innings against Delmarva. He offers a three-pitch mix with a low-90s fastball, a slider and a changeup and he brings all from a low slot. He may be a reliever in the long run, however.
Midwest League • Lo A
Sean Newcomb, lhp, Burlington (Angels): Newcomb has 18 strikeouts so far in pro ball. Ten of those came last night in a four-inning masterpiece against Wisconsin. The Angels first-rounder this year, he stands at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds and brings his fastball into the mid-90s. He complements the offering with the typical mix of curveball, slider and changeup. The outing was Newcomb’s first scoreless appearance since his pro debut—a one-inning cameo—on Aug. 1 in the Arizona League.