Minor League Roundup: Gallo, Bryant Lower The Boom

In today’s roundup, Joey Gallo goes Joey Gallo, Kris Bryant goes Joey Gallo and Mookie Betts keeps right on being himself.

Mookie Meter

Betts collected only one hit on Wednesday, a leadoff home run in Double-A Portland’s win against Reading. Thus, today’s Mookie Meter registers at one.

mookie-meter-level-1

 

Mountain Climbing In The Midwest

It seems there have been quite a few tremendously long games this year, but Wednesday night’s trumped them all. Facing a 17-1 deficit against low Class A Burlington (Angels) after five innings, Clinton (Mariners) charted on. They struck for six in the sixth, five in the eighth, and five more in the ninth, capped by a game-tying grand slam from Marcus Littlewood that sent the game into extras. After trading zeros for two frames, Clinton got three in the 12th before handing the ball to, of course, second baseman Lonnie Kauppila, who recorded a 1-2-3 inning for the save.

Here’s the Clinton Herald’s recap of the craziest game of the season, with video.

cody-martin-2013-mugInternational League (AAA)

Cody Martin, rhp, Gwinnett (Braves): Overshadowed on his own team by second baseman Tommy La Stella and catcher Christian Bethancourt, Martin might be the least-hyped player in the Braves system. Nevertheless, the righthander has sparkled. He’s struck out 43 in 37 innings, worked to a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and held the opposition to a .207 average. On Wednesday he allowed six hits over 7 1/3 walk-free, shutout innings and fanned five.

Pacific Coast League

Chris Rusin, lhp, Iowa (Cubs): How could it be anyone but Rusin? No, he’s not prospect-eligible, but on Wednesday he spun a no-hitter against New Orleans. He walked two and struck out three over the course of the day and threw 72 of his 118 pitches for strikes. He’s already gotten one game in the majors this year, and this outing can only help him get back to Wrigley Field. Every no-hitter needs a little help from the defense, and I-Cubs center fielder Matt Szczur was there to help on Wednesday. His diving catch ended the game and preserved history. Take a look below.

 

Eastern League (AA)

Henry Ramos, of, Portland (Red Sox): The 22-year-old Ramos has fallen off the prospect scale in recent years, but he’s trying to regain his spot with an excellent start to his year at Double-A. Ramos, who is hitting .327/.361/.460 so far this season, swatted two home runs on Wednesday against Reading as part of 3-for-3 effort with a walk. He’s a toolsy, high energy player who, despite two subpar years at high Class A Salem, has youth on his side.

Southern League (AA)
Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant, 3b, Tennessee (Cubs): Have a day, young man. Bryant, who possesses some of the best power in the minors, showed off on Wednesday. He clubbed a double, two homers, drove in six runs and walked in his team’s beatdown of Birmingham. For the season Bryant is hitting .313/.428/.600 so far this season. Get excited, Cubs fans, hope and home runs are on the way.

Tyler GoeddelFlorida State League (Hi A)

Tyler Goeddel, 3b, Charlotte (Rays): The resurgence continues for Goeddel, the 41st selection in the 2011 draft. After two subpar years at low Class A Bowling Green, he has picked up the pace in his first taste of the Florida State League. The 21-year-old Goeddel went 3-for-4 on Wednesday with a double, his fourth longball of the year, two runs and two RBIs. He’s got the skills to be an above-average hitter but needs to clean up his defense if he doesn’t want to move to the outfield, where his bat might not play.

Carolina League (Hi A)

Joey Gallo, 3b, Myrtle Beach (Rangers): Gallo was up to his old tricks, homering twice in a win against Winston-Salem. The first homer was a breathtaking, mammoth shot that crash-landed about a quarter of the way up the video board, 427 feet from home plate. Without an impediment, the ball had a good chance of winding up in the parking lot. The second homer was more impressive. Gallo didn’t get all of it, maybe three-quarters of it, and still had the juice in his bat to propel it over the wall the opposite way.

If that weren’t enough, Gallo’s glove saved the day. With the winning run on third, Gallo climbed the ladder and used every inch of his 6-foot-5 frame to spear Courtney Hawkins’ laser that seemed destined for the left field corner. He’s made swing changes since last year and his overall approach is much better, and the results have been breathtaking.

California League (Hi A)

Daniel Robertson

Daniel Robertson, ss, Stockton (Athletics): It took a pretty nice day to unseat Ben Lively, and Robertson was up to the challenge. The Ports shortstop was a triple shy of the cycle on Wednesday, and he also stole a base in his team’s win against Visalia. The blast was Robertson’s third of the season, the double his 10th. He’s hitting .275/.367/.420 with only two more strikeouts (18) than walks. Addison Russell‘s presence should push Robertson to third base, where his bat will profile if he adds more power.

South Atlantic League (Lo A)

Abiatal Avelino, ss, Charleston (Yankees): The young man just keeps hitting. Avelino, 19, and with just 51 stateside games under his belt entering this year, went 4-for-4 on Wednesday with a pair of doubles and an RBI.  He’s a plus defender and has enough speed to rank among the top five in the SAL in stolen bases. He’s a plus defender with a strong arm and good baseball instincts. Oh, and he’s put forth a .311/.360/.415 line with Charleston thus far.

Midwest League (Lo A)

Kohl Stewart, rhp, Cedar Rapids (Twins): Very quietly, the Twins’ best arm behind Alex Meyer has been very good. He’s allowed no more than three earned runs in any start this season, and has permitted just 19 hits in 30 2/3 frames. On Wednesday, Stewart, who comes equipped with a mid-90s heater, a power slider and a developing changeup, fanned six against two walks and five hits over five shutout frames.