Today’s Roundup includes a quick afternoon for a promoted Cub, big days from two Tribe prospects, double-digit punchout efforts from Yankees and Orioles hurlers, a huge afternoon from an Astros speedster and a big win for a Marlins lefty.
|MINOR LEAGUE HOME RUN RACE
International League • AAA
Jesus Aguilar, 1b, Columbus (Indians): Yes, he’s a bat-only first baseman, but when he does what he does, it’s pretty cool to watch. Monday night was one of those nights. The 24-year-old, who scuffled in a brief try with Cleveland this year, went 5-for-6 last night in the Clippers’ late win against Indianapolis. Those five hits included two singles, two doubles and a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning that erased the remainder of a one-run deficit and gave Columbus its final margin of victory. He’s hitting .302/.394/.504 with 18 homers this season.
Pacific Coast League • AAA
Jorge Soler, rf, Iowa (Cubs): Not a bad day at work for young Mr. Soler. The Cuban émigré swatted a two-run homer, his eighth during his brief tenure with the I-Cubs, off of Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker, then was pulled from the game. Was he injured? Did he somehow dog it around the bases on . . . his home run trot? No. He was given the rare in-game promotion to Chicago and will join the team Wednesday. Soler will bring his powerful bat and electric skill set to Wrigley, where he will join fellow prospects Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez in forming an early preview of what the Cubs believe will be a young, exciting nucleus for years to come. He finishes his time in Triple-A with a .282/.378/.618 line and the aforementioned eight longballs.
Eastern League • AA
Daniel Camarena, lhp, Trenton (Yankees): There were plenty of great games in the EL Monday night, but this one tops them all. Camarena, a 21-year-old 20th-round selection from 2011, whiffed a season-high 12 batters over eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball in the Thunder’s opener of a three-game series in Akron. The lefty has had an up-and-down season, compiling 107 punchouts against just 40 walks in 136 innings this year, but he’s also allowed 14 homers (the second-most in the organization) and has been raked to a 5.63 ERA in Double-A. He’s a command artist with four pitches, including a fastball that typically sits in the 87-91 mph range, and a big curveball that rates as his best offspeed offering.
Southern League • AA
Justin Nicolino, lhp, Jacksonville (Marlins): Among all the goodness for the Marlins this year—Giancarlo Stanton being even more monstrous than before, the Jose Fernandez-less club staying on the edges of contention into late August, landing Tyler Kolek in the draft and Jarred Cosart at the deadline—Nicolino’s excellent season has been relatively overlooked. The lefty, acquired as part of the monster deal with the Blue Jays a few seasons ago, earned his SL-best 13th win last night by out-dueling Tennessee stud righty C.J. Edwards with seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball with three strikeouts and no walks. His 1.10 WHIP is the best in the SL, and his 20 walks in 163 innings are among the fewest allowed by an SL starter.
Texas League • AA
Delino DeShields, of, Corpus Christi (Astros): If you’re not going to get the cycle, this is probably a pretty good substitute. DeShields, who sustained a gruesome injury this season when he was hit in the face by a pitch, went a stunning 4-for-6 with three runs and five RBIs in the Hooks’ 23-run outburst against San Antonio on Monday. Among his four hits were two doubles, a triple and his 10th and 11th homers of the season, which mark a new career high in the power department. His season hasn’t been what he’d like—he’s hitting just .244/.352/.374, which is OK if you’re a second baseman or a center fielder—but probably won’t fly if he has to play in a corner outfield spot in the long run.
Carolina League • Hi A
Parker Bridwell, rhp, Frederick (Orioles): Teetering on the outskirts of prospect-hood, Bridwell reminded everyone on Monday of why the Orioles spent a ninth-round pick and $625,000 on him way back in 2010. Against Potomac, Bridwell lasted eight innings, allowed only one hit and no walks and fanned 13 before yielding to reliever Brady Wager. To put last night in perspective, Bridwell racked up nearly 10 percent of his total strikeouts this season on Monday night. Overall, he’s 6-10, 4.51 with 136 strikeouts and 67 walks in 136 innings in his first taste of high Class A after spending parts of three seasons at low Class A Delmarva.
Florida State League • Hi A
Gioskar Amaya, 2b, Daytona (Cubs): Firmly entrenched in the second tier of Cubs prospects, Amaya is a scrappy player who works counts and has a reputation for average tools across the board, except for power. Monday night, however, he showed a little bit of thump in his team’s loss to Dunedin. The 21-year-old went 2-for-3 with a triple and a homer (his fourth of the year) to go with two runs and two RBIs and a walk. In an overall down month, Monday night’s effort was a bright spot.
California League • Hi A
South Atlantic League • Lo A
Midwest League • Lo A
Clint Frazier, of, Lake County (Indians): It hasn’t been the debut season Frazier would have dreamed up when he was drafted fifth overall in 2013, but it’s been solid at least, especially in the second half. Since July 1, Frazier has gone .304/.402/.486 with seven doubles and eight homers. He was 2-for-3 on Monday night including his 17th double of the year, three runs and three walks in a Captains win against a prospect-laden Lansing club. It was the third time this season Frazier has walked thrice in a game, and his 55 free passes are second on his team behind Nellie Rodriguez and Grant Fink.