Tuesday Prospect Notebook: Matt Davidson Gets Back On Track

Mike Foltynewicz, rhp, Astros. Foltynewicz dazzled in his Double-A debut Monday. The Astros moved the 21-year-old up a level after he’d posted a 1.71 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 21 innings over his last five appearances at high Class A Lancaster, and he kept that momentum going after making the big jump to the Texas League. Foltynewicz walked the second hitter he faced, Rico Noel, against San Antonio but settled in quickly. He promptly picked Noel off first base and then retired the next 10 hitters, seven via strikeouts. He held San Antonio hitless until a leadoff single in the fifth, but that was the only scratch against him and he set down the next three hitters to finish his outing. He ended the night with nine strikeouts and just the two baserunners allowed.

Matt Davidson

Matt Davidson (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

Matt Davidson, 3b, Diamondbacks. Davidson’s been a streaky hitter for the first month of the season at Triple-A Reno. He hit .341 through April 17 before enduring a 3-for-32 stretch, but now he’s got the ship pointed in the right direction again. Davidson’s hit .351 and slugged .622 since April 28, and last night he hit his first homer since April 16 while going 3-for-4 against Tacoma. It was his fourth of the season, but his power should continue to emerge, aided by a hitter-friendly home park. The Diamondbacks could get Davidson into their big league lineup if the team remains competitive, but two issues that have plagued him have continued to crop up: strikeouts and errors. His 39 whiffs are third in the Pacific Coast League, and his seven errors lead PCL third basemen.

Jorge Soler, rf, Cubs. We hadn’t heard much from Soler since his five-game suspension for charging an opposing team’s dugout armed with a bat on April 10. The 21-year-old returned to high Class A Daytona’s lineup on April 18 and has taken time to get back in a rhythm at the plate. After putting up four multi-hit efforts in six games before the suspension, Soler had hit just .182 (10-for-55) in 15 games since coming back heading into last night’s contest at St. Lucie. On Monday, he finally returned to the impact form we expect to see, going 2-for-4 with a homer and a triple, his first two-hit game since April 9.

Yordano Ventura, rhp, Royals. Ventura’s doing everything he can to answer doubts about whether he can remain a starter. The undersized-yet-big armed 21-year-old has rattled off back-to-back dominant starts for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Following his 10-strikeout performance on April 30, Ventura fanned another 10 hitters Monday against Arkansas while allowing just two hits and two walks over six shutout innings. Ventura lowered his ERA to 1.84 through 29 innings and moved into the Texas League strikeout lead with 43. He also leads the league with 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Tim Federowicz, c, Dodgers. Federowicz opened the season as the Dodgers’ big league backup, but the team’s acquisition of Ramon Hernandez pushed him a notch down the depth chart and back to Triple-A Albuquerque. There’s not much for the 25-year-old Federowicz, a stout defensive catcher, to gain back in Albuquerque. He’s a .320/.398/.542 career hitter in Triple-A, and he’s continued to rake at hitter-friendly Isotopes Park. He homered twice on Monday, giving him seven in 13 Triple-A games, as part of a 4-for-5 outing. Credit him for not letting the demotion hurt his production, as he’s hitting .531 (26-for-49) as an Isotope.

Adam Brett Walker, rf, Twins. Walker’s power made him a third-round pick in last year’s draft, and the 21-year-old hasn’t disappointed in taking on the hostile environs of the low Class A Midwest League. The Cedar Rapids right fielder homered for the seventh time in 28 games last night, moving him into a tie for the MWL lead. The rest of his game is less refined, but after a slow start, he’s managed to hit .338/.400/.688 over his last 77 at-bats. He’s hitting .303/.361/.596 on the season overall and leads the MWL in RBIs (32).