Today’s roundup features a late contender in the Great Minor League Home Run Chase, two erratic arms finding consistency for the night, a Southern League stud whose initials aren’t K.B., Jose Berrios finding excellence on an off night and a perfect night from a Lancastro.
International League (AAA)
Enny Romero, lhp, Durham (Rays): When Romero is on, it’s very pretty and you can see why people in the Rays organization like him. When he’s not, it’s ugly, and you can’t really see a major leaguer at all. Romero was on last night, and took the hard-luck loss against Indianapolis despite allowing two runs (one earned) over six innings. He struck out five and walked nobody. At his best, Romero brings a mid-90s fastball, plus slider and a changeup that flashes average at least. His delivery is long and has a lot of moving parts, which will lead to inconsistency down the road.
Pacific Coast League (AAA)
Adam Duvall, 3b, Fresno (Giants): Yes, he’s 25. No, he’s not a top prospect. But man, he’s got 20 homers on June 11. He’s the Katy Perry and Juicy J (the dark horse) of this epic, amazing, spellbinding home run race we’ve got in the minor leagues. Joey Gallo has 23, Peter O’Brien and Kris Bryant each have 22, and Duvall has 20. On this date last year, the leaders—Gallo and George Springer—had 18 apiece. This year we have four guys with 20 or more. What a wonderful world.
Eastern League (AA)
Aaron Altherr, cf, Reading (Phillies): Altherr must read this article daily. (Hi, Aaron!) There can be no other reason for his outburst on Wednesday. I wrote bad things about him in the morning, things saying he hasn’t hit much this year, and then he went out and crushed at night. In all, he went 3-for-5 with a triple, a homer and two runs. He’s got the body and strength, for sure, but so far it just hasn’t shown up in games. The swing is a bit loopy and has holes, but it has improved considerably since his days in low Class A.
Southern League (AA)
Jake Lamb, 3b, Mobile (Diamondbacks): There are a great many people out there who want Kris Bryant out of the Southern League. I know this because they tell me so quite often. Nobody, however, wants Bryant gone more than Lamb. When Bryant leaves, Lamb can finally get his shine. There are only a few categories in which Bryant doesn’t lead the SL, and doubles is one of them. Lamb’s got the edge there, and he added another on Wednesday, giving him 24 for the season. He also drove in four runs. That puts him at 51 and pulls him within four of Bryant. Also, Lamb plays excellent defense.
Mitch Haniger, rf, Huntsville (Brewers): Haniger hit two home runs on Tuesday. Also, Haniger hit two home runs on Wednesday. Way to be original, Mitch, jeez. Because he did the same thing, I’m going to write the same thing. Here’s what I said after Tuesday’s output. It still applies today: “He’s a powerful hitter whom the Brewers think will hit for average because of his approach at the plate. He had a horrid April, then got better in May while lacking power, and has put it all together so far in June.”
Texas League (AA)
Alec Asher, rhp, Frisco (Rangers): Buried in Joey Gallo‘s home run on Tuesday, Alex Gonzalez pitched a damn fine game. Gallo did not homer on Wednesday, so Asher will get his due here. The righthander let up only one run on two hits on Wednesday and over his last four starts has been excellent. During that span he’s lasted 25 innings, allowed three runs (two earned) on 14 hits. He’s walked just four and fanned 16. He had a rough April, but has been brilliant ever since.
Carolina League (Hi A)
Jose Peraza, 2b, Lynchburg (Braves): If Tommy La Stella doesn’t cut the mustard, or whatever is the hot dog topping of choice in Atlanta, this is the guy Braves fans will be calling for to replace him down the line. And even if La Stella hits, they still might want Peraza. He’s a prototype leadoff guy with a slasher approach and speed to spare. He also plays excellent defense. He collected three hits in five trips on Wednesday, scored a run and stole his 31st base of the season. For the season he’s at .333/.355/.445 and leads the league in hits and is second in batting average and triples.
California League (Hi A)
Danry Vasquez, rf, Lancaster (Astros): The Astros sure can find guys to acquire, can’t they? Domingo Santana, Jarred Cosart, Jon Singleton (and that’s just from the Phillies!) and this guy from the Tigers in the Jose Veras deal last summer. He doesn’t have the flashiest of profiles and doesn’t have the loudest tools in the world, but he’s a solid, bat-first outfielder with a line-drive stroke. On Wednesday, he went 5-for-5 with two doubles, four runs and two RBIs, easily the biggest day of his young career.
Florida State League (Hi A)
Jose Berrios, rhp, Fort Myers (Twins): Normally, a start of six innings with four hits, two runs, two walks and seven strikeouts is considered a pretty good night. Not by Berrios’ standards, at not least lately. In his first two starts of June, the righthander from Puerto Rico had fanned 22 and walked none, so Wednesday almost represented a step back. Still, his fastball/changeup combination is going to get him into the Eastern League in very short order, it seems.
South Atlantic League (Lo A)
Teddy Stankiewicz, rhp, Greenville (Red Sox): When you throw hard and throw strikes, this is what you get. An athletic righthander who was Boston’s second-rounder last season, Stankiewicz can get his fastball up to 96 mph and utilizes a slider as his best secondary weapons. Scouts aren’t uniformly in love with his delivery, but he can throw strikes with it, so it will stick for now. On Wednesday against Charleston, Stankiewicz lasted seven shutout innings with just two hits and no walks and struck out six.
Midwest League (Lo A)
Alex Reyes, rhp, Peoria (Cardinals): Alex Reyes, you wonderfully frustrating unicorn, you. You have all the talent in the world—a plus fastball, a decent changeup and brilliant, bedeviling whirlybird of a hook. You also have control that wanders as freely and quickly as a puppy set loose in a wide-open field. But when it all comes together, man, it’s as pretty as newly fallen snow on Christmas morning. On Wednesday he went seven strong (that’s a complete game for a doubleheader) with two hits, one run, two walks and seven punchouts. If he limits the walks (he has 37 in 55 innings) he’d be a top 25 prospect in the game. For now, though, he’s a righthanded Ismael Guillon.