Anthony Ranaudo, rhp Red Sox: Ranaudo never got on track in Double-A last year, struggling with his mechanics and running up a 6.69 ERA through nine starts before being shut down with shoulder inflammation. It’s still early, but Ranaudo looks to be rebounding in his return to Portland. He pitched well in his season debut, allowing a run in five innings, and dominated on Monday, tossing 5 no-hit innings against Binghamton. His fastball sat at 92-96 mph, according to BA correspondent Alex Speier, as Ranaudo struck out six and walked one.
Anthony Rendon, 3b, Nationals: So much of the focus around Rendon has surrounded his injury history and where he’ll play, but he’s also reminded us why there’s so much fuss to begin with. He can really hit. Rendon hit .375/.412/.875 in 32 Grapefruit League at-bats before being sent to Double-A Harrisburg to start the year. He came out of the gates a little slow, with just five in his first 26 at-bats, but he’s had three multi-hit games in his last five. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles on Sunday and followed it up with his second homer of the year on Monday, part of a 2-for-4 night that also included another double.
Kyle Parker, of, Rockies: Parker’s first week in Double-A was rather forgettable, as he went just 4-for-25 (.160) in his first six games, but he’s found his stroke since. Parker’s gone 7-for-14 in his last four games to raise his slash line to .282/.317/.564. Power is the name of the game for the former Clemson quarterback, and he put on a display Monday against Corpus Christi, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a homer, his second of the season.
Brandon Nimmo, of, Mets: Nimmo’s sweet lefthanded swing gives the Mets visions of him hitting for average and power down the road. A first-round pick in 2011, the 20-year-old still has rawness to his game, but he’s been decimating South Atlantic League pitching in his first two weeks with low Class A Savannah. Nimmo went 3-for-5 with five RBIs last night and hit his first homer of the season (in Greensboro), upping his early season line to .429/.510/.571 in 42 at-bats. He already has seven multi-hit efforts in 11 games and leads the SAL in both average and on-base percentage.
Archie Bradley, rhp, Diamondbacks: The high Class A California League is supposed to be all about offense, but the ball won’t go anywhere when guys can’t get a bat on it. Witness Bradley’s numbers, as the 20-year-old righty has whiffed 27 hitters in 17 2/3 innings while allowing only one run. Bradley has two swing-and-miss pitches in his fastball and curve, and he punched out eight in six innings last night, allowing a run on three hits. He did hand out three walks though, and finding consistent control is his biggest obstacle.
Jose Urena, rhp, Marlins: Urena quietly had a strong season last year in low Class A Greensboro—not an easy place to pitch—going 9-6, 3.38, and you can expect to hear a lot more from the power armed 21-year-old in the future. Moving up to high Class A Jupiter to open 2013, Urena was hit up for three runs in 1 2/3 innings in his season debut but has been nearly untouchable since. He’s allowed just four hits in his last 12 innings, and he tossed six one-hit, shutout innings on Monday, striking out four and walking one.