Today’s Roundup features a Yankees prospect continuing to mash, a Pirates prospect getting back in the swing of things after a long layoff, a pair of prospects keeping up quietly good years and a clip from a Tony-award winning musical.
Double-A Portland second baseman Mookie Betts went 1-for-4 on Wednesday with a double and a walk. Two times on base means the Mookie Meter is at two, but his on-base streak now encompasses all 34 games this season.
International League (AAA)
Allen Webster, rhp, Pawtucket (Red Sox): A converted shortstop who came over in the Dodgers-Red Sox blockbuster two seasons ago, Webster’s final ingredient to add to the pot is control. He’s got some of the best stuff in the system—including a mid- to high-90s heater and a changeup and slider that can induce whiffs—and he used it on Wednesday to fan nine hitters over 5 2/3 frames of two-run ball. He’s got 18 walks in 30 1/3 innings this year, so he’ll have to wait a bit longer for his big break.
Pacific Coast League (AAA)
Eastern League (AA)
Peter O’Brien, c, Trenton (Yankees): The man just isn’t content with second place. A day after big, bad Joey Gallo socked his 14th homer of the season, O’Brien answered with his 14th and his fourth in five games with Double-A after bashing his way out of Tampa in just a month’s time. At this point, O’Brien and Gallo are doing their best reenactment of “Annie, Get Your Gun.”
If show tunes aren’t your thing, here’s video of O’Brien from the Arizona Fall League:
Southern League (AA)
Jake Lamb, 3b, Mobile (Diamondbacks): A broken hamate bone cost Lamb part of last season, but he made up for lost time with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. Already a standout with the glove, he’s doing plenty of damage with the bat this season, too. He went 1-for-4 on Wednesday with a three-run homer in the ninth that gave his team a lead. He’s slashing .270/.344/.482 this season with six longballs and has plenty of raw power potential.
Texas League (AA)
Austin Hedges, c, San Antonio (Padres): Outshined on Wednesday by teammate Rymer Liriano (our Hitter of the Day in the daily Prospect Report), Hedges is known in prospect circles mostly for this otherworldly defense and rifle arm behind home plate. Scouts believe Hedges will hit and hit with sock, and he did so on Wednesday with a 2-for-5 effort that included a two-run home run. He’s at .279/.333/.410 for the season with two home runs and 15 RBIs. Check BA contributor John Conniff’s story on Hedges.
Florida State League (Hi A)
Jake Cave, cf, Tampa (Yankees): Cave quietly shined last season in the South Atlantic League, and he’s doing so again at high Class A. The sixth-rounder from 2011 who had one pro at-bat entering 2013 collected three hits in four trips on Wednesday, including his second home run of the season. He also walked and two stole two bases. He’s eighth in the Florida State League in batting average and is hitting .314/.359/.436 so far this season. He’s an above-average defender in center field as well.
Carolina League (Hi A)
Nick Williams, cf, Myrtle Beach (Rangers): It’s a rare day when a Pelican not named Joey Gallo is featured in this space, but Wednesday was Williams’ turn for recognition. The center fielder, widely considered the best pure hitter of the Rangers’ pack of prospects at low Class A Hickory last season, collected three hits in three trips on Wednesday, including a double, and he drove in three runs. After a miserable April, Williams appears to have turned it around a bit, slashing .333/.393/.510 in 13 games in May.
California League (Hi A)
D.J. Peterson, 3b, High Desert (Mariners): Like Cave, Peterson has quietly put together a very nice season. He missed the latter portion of last season after a pitch off his face broke his jaw. The injury required two surgeries to repair. He collected his fifth home run on Wednesday night and is hitting .295/.331/.477. He is, however, striking out nearly three times as often as he walks, which will have to be corrected if he is to develop into the player Seattle envisioned when it used the 12th overall pick on him last season.
South Atlantic League (Lo A)
Harold Ramirez, of, West Virginia (Pirates): After missing a month with a hamstring injury, Ramirez is back and clicking. The No. 1 prospect from last year in the New York-Penn League, he’s got four above-average or better tools (his arm doesn’t stand out) and projects to hit and hit for power going forth. Yesterday he collected three hits in four trips, including a double, and stole his fourth base of the season. He’s riding a five-game hitting streak. Once Austin Meadows heals, he, Ramirez and catcher Reese McGuire will form one of the top prospect trios in the minors, and you can only catch them on the SAL circuit (for now).
Midwest League (Lo A)
Phil Ervin, of, Dayton (Reds): It’s been slow going for Ervin, the Reds’ No. 3 prospect entering the season. A player the Reds project to hit for power and average—and who has a track record of doing both—Ervin has done very little hitting at all this year. He swatted his second longball of the season on Wednesday in a game that was suspended in the fourth, but is slashing just .187/.261/.259 through the first six weeks.