Tuesday Prospect Notebook: Alex Colome Tames Triple-A

Alex Colome

Alex Colome (Photo by Carl Kline)

Alex Colome, rhp, Rays: Colome has a special power arm and knockout stuff, and he’s gotten more deadly as he learns to mix his pitches better, putting up louder numbers now in Triple-A despite the step up in competition. Dating back to last year, Colome has a 2.95 ERA in 11 Triple-A starts, while his strikeout rate of 9.7 per nine innings is the highest he’s had at any full-season level. The 24-year-old surged into the International League strikeout lead with 11 punchouts over seven innings yesterday for Durham against Lehigh Valley. He also limited the IronPigs to just two runs (one earned) on three hits. He walked four.

Archie Bradley, rhp, Diamondbacks: Bradley gave everyone a scare when he was taken out of his last start for Double-A Mobile after he appeared to injure himself making an awkward slide into second base. He assured people he was fine and didn’t miss a start, getting back on the mound for the BayBears last night against Jacksonville. Facing the Suns’ talented lineup led by Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick, Bradley shined, tossing six shutout innings and fanning nine. He allowed three walks and two hits. In three Double-A outings, Bradley is 2-0, 0.64, having allowed one run in 14 innings. He lowered his cumulative ERA for the season to 1.05, which ranks sixth in the minors, and he now leads the minors in strikeouts with 63 in 42 2/3 innings.

Josh Phegley, c, White Sox: Phegley’s career was nearly done in back in 2010 when health issues eventually forced him to have his spleen removed. Now almost three years removed from those woes, he’s finally getting back to the power-hitting form that made him the 38th pick in the 2009 draft. Just a .253/.302/.383 career hitter coming into the season, the 25-year-old’s hitting .324/.395/.637 with Triple-A Charlotte and has been one of the International League’s hottest hitters so far in May, posting the second best OPS for the month at 1.253. Phegley went 3-for-4 with a double and his eighth homer of the season last night against Pawtucket, and he’s already surpassed last year’s homer total of six.

Gary Sanchez, c, Yankees: It’s been a bit feast or famine for Sanchez lately. In his last 10 games for high Class A Tampa, he’s had five multi-hit games and taken five oh-fers. That little oddity aside, Sanchez has been putting his impressive raw power to work, homering in each of his last two games to move into a tie for third in the Florida State League with seven. Last night’s homer was part of a 3-for-5 effort that improved his slash line to .280/.356/.500 after 132 at-bats for Tampa. And although Sanchez went 0-for-2 throwing out basestealers on Monday, he remains second in the FSL, having caught nine of 22 (40.9 percent) for the year.

Mike Zunino, c, Mariners: Speaking of ups and downs, Zunino’s average briefly sank below the Mendoza line on May 6 (.195), but he’s responded with hits in four of his last five games for Triple-A Tacoma, his best stretch since his torrid first week of the season. Zunino homered on Monday for the first time since April 20 and went 2-for-4 on the night, adding a double as well. Perhaps not coincidently, Zunino’s little surge has come on a Rainiers road trip. He’s hitting .348/.400/.758 with all six of his homers coming in 16 road games. In Tacoma, where the Rainiers play in one of Triple-A’s more pitcher-friendly parks, he’s hitting .047/.160/.116 in 12 games.