|GREAT MINOR LEAGUE HOME RUN RACE
Today’s roundup features a tall Twins righty, a grounder-getting Brewers righty, Jose Peraza and Luis Severino continuing to impress, a Royals third baseman mashing in low Class A, and the dethroning of Mookie Betts as the minors’ on-base king.
International League • AAA
Alex Meyer, rhp, Rochester (Twins): In an organization with quite a few quality pitching prospects, Meyer might have the best pure stuff. He showed it off Tuesday night, whiffing 10 in six innings of four-hit, two-run ball with two walks mixed in. He had a couple of rough starts last month, but over his last three turns, Meyer has been outstanding. In those starts he’s gone 18 innings, allowed 10 hits, four runs, nine walks while striking out 20. Once he finds control, he should be a big weapon at Target Field.
Pacific Coast League • AAA
Taylor Jungmann, rhp, Nashville (Brewers): Sure, five innings of five-hit, two-run ball with three punchouts doesn’t seem Roundup-worthy, but look deeper, dear friends, toward the bottom of the box score, where ejections, game time and balks live. On this night, Jungmann was a Derek Lowe-esque groundball machine. The righty induced 13 groundouts without allowing a single out in the air. It’s the third start this season in which he’s induced double-digit groundouts. His groundout-to-flyout ratio is nearly 2-to-1 this season, and worms live in fear when Jungmann is near.
Eastern League • AA
Steven Moya, of, Erie (Tigers): One of only four players in the minor leagues with 20 or more doubles and home runs, Moya added to both totals Tuesday night for the SeaWolves (the time-tested body-of-water-plus-animal minor league name formula). The 22-year-old, who earned himself a spot in this weekend’s Futures Game in Minneapolis, doesn’t walk at all but has showed tremendous power potential in his first turn at the upper levels. He’s hitting .263/.289/.543 with 24 doubles and 22 longballs, with 12 stolen bases in 16 tries.
Southern League • AA
Jose Peraza, 2b, Mississippi (Braves): If you follow this space regularly, you know about Peraza’s exploits. He’s got a great combination of feel to hit, speed and defense, and, if he develops as expected, will have fans in Hotlanta clamoring for him to man the keystone. He went 4-for-5 Tuesday night with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a stolen base. Over his first 17 games with Double-A, the 20-year-old is hitting .342/.375/.474 with seven stolen bags in 10 chances.
Texas League • AA
Florida State League • HiA
Luis Severino, rhp, Tampa (Yankees): New level, same dominance for Severino, who has positively exploded onto the prospect scene this year. Against Clearwater Tuesday night, the 20-year-old fanned eight over four innings of four-hit, one-run (unearned) ball. In 21 innings at Tampa, Severino has allowed four runs on 11 hits and six walks while striking out 28. In 37 plate appearance at high Class A, lefthanders are hitting .065/.216/.065. There’s not much more to say at this point except he’s very, very good.
Carolina League • HiA
Nick Williams, of, Myrtle Beach (Rangers): When he was with Joey Gallo, Jorge Alfaro and Lewis Brinson last year with low Class A Hickory last year, Williams had the reputation as the prospect with the best hit tool of the group. Even with Gallo’s inherent Gallo-ness, that hasn’t changed. Williams has great hands and bat speed that have helped him handle Carolina League hurlers with ease. He swatted two longballs Tuesday night and in 15 games since the all-star break, the lefty hitter is slashing .361/.418/.721.
California League • HiA
Braden Shipley, rhp, Visalia (Diamondbacks): His three-pitch mix of mid-90s gas, a plus changeup and solid curveball seems to be working well at high Class A. He struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball with the Rawhide, and has whiffed 48 in 40 frames since an early bump from the Midwest League. His walks are up at the new level, but so are the strikeouts, so everything looks to be going just fine for one of Arizona’s prized trio of arms.
South Atlantic League • LoA
Mauricio Ramos, 3b, Lexington (Royals): Regarded early for his good hands and quickness, Ramos, signed as a shortstop out of Colombia, has had himself a mighty fine year. On Tuesday, he went 5-for-6 with his fifth home run of the season, five runs and two RBIs. For the season, he’s hitting .318/.382/.481 with 20 doubles to go with his five longballs and 37 RBIs.
Midwest League • LoA
Andrew Velazquez, ss, South Bend (Diamondbacks): Mookie has been surpassed. With a 3-for-4 night, Velazquez reached base in his 67th consecutive game, pushing him past the 66-game streak Betts cobbled together between this year and last. All three of Velazquez’s hits last night were singles, but for the year, the 19-year-old Bronx native is hitting .307/.384/.464 with 12 doubles, 12 triples and six homers. He’s also stolen 36 bases in 45 chances.