Notable performances from prospects around the minors on Tuesday
Brian Flynn, lhp, Marlins (82 game score). On the one-year anniversary of his trade from the Tigers to the Marlins, the 6-foot-7 lefty turned in his finest start for Triple-A New Orleans and continued to make his case as a terrific stealth acquisition by Miami. You may remember Flynn as the third prospect—along with Jacob Turner and Rob Brantly—bootstrapped to the Anibal Sanchez-Omar Infante deal. He struck out nine Iowa batters over 7 2/3 innings yesterday, allowing three hits, one walk and zero runs, a performance that moved him into the top five in the Pacific Coast League in ERA (3.36) and strikeouts (98).
Marlins correspondent Juan C. Rodriguez reported that Flynn made mechanical adjustments during the Arizona Fall League, learning to incorporate his lower half and lengthen his stride. "I was driving further down the mound,” Flynn told Rodriguez in January, “just working on finishing my follow through and keeping everything moving toward the plate.”
Tyler Glasnow, rhp, Pirates (74 GSc). The Rangers’ trade of C.J. Edwards to the Cubs for Matt Garza on Monday paves the way for Glasnow to claim the South Atlantic League strikeout title. The 19-year-old completed six innings of one-hit baseball yesterday for low Class A West Virginia, walking two, allowing no runs and striking out six to give him 122 punchouts on the season. That total ties him with Edwards, who joined the Cubs’ high Class A Daytona affiliate in the Florida State League.
Ethan Martin, rhp, Phillies (71 GSc). The lone high school righty to sign out of the 2008 draft’s first round, Martin’s methodical trek through the minors continues this season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 24-year-old threw six shutout innings yesterday, allowing two hits, walking three, striking out six and continuing a recent hot spell. In his past three starts for the IronPigs, Martin has gone 2-1, 2.00 with just 10 hits allowed in 18 innings and a 20-to-7 K-to-BB ratio.
Despite missing bats consistently with wicked stuff (8.1 SO/9 this season), Martin misses the strike zone too frequently (5.3 BB/9), and typically starting pitchers with walk rates in excess of four per nine innings need to be lefthanded to thrive. Think Jonathan Sanchez, Matt Moore, Gio Gonzalez or C.J. Wilson. See the complete ranking of highest walk rates among qualified major league starters since 2010, the first year of the offensive downturn.
James Ramsey, cf, Cardinals. One of two St. Louis first-round selections in 2012, Ramsey joined Double-A Springfield in May but had his finest game yesterday, collecting eight total bases in a 3-for-4 performance that included a homer (13), two doubles (nine), a walk and four runs scored. The 23-year-old profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter and regular in center fielder, and he’s hit .259/.371/.477 in 65 games, showing surprising power but a bit too much swing-and-miss (nearly a quarter of PAs at Double-A).
Cody Asche, 3b, Phillies. If trade negotiations for Michael Young materialize, then Asche—and not breakthrough slugger Maikel Franco—might be poised to replace him at the hot corner in Philadelphia. The 23-year-old Asche quietly has enjoyed a fine season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, batting .292/.350/.463 through 380 at-bats after going 3-for-5 with two homers and three RBIs yesterday. He’s been particularly effective since finding his footing in the International League, and since June 1 he’s logged an .896 OPS with seven homers and 10 doubles in 46 games.