Our daily look at prospects who stood out last night around the minors.
Matt Davidson, 3b, Diamondbacks: Davidson tailed off after a strong start last year, hitting just .248/.354/.403 in the second half at Double-A Mobile. The Diamondbacks will look for him to maintain more consistency this time around, as he’s once again come out of the gates hot by going 9-for-21 (.429) in his first five games for Triple-A Reno. Davidson blends power with a mature approach and was at his best Tuesday, homering and drawing three walks as part of a 2-for-3 night.
Andrew Chafin, lhp, Diamondbacks: Speaking of Diamondbacks prospects looking for consistency, you may remember Chafin’s dominant first two months (3-0, 2.91) at high Class A Visalia in 2012, which he followed by completely falling apart. Back in Visalia to open 2013, Chafin has the stuff to dominate Class A hitters as long as he commands the ball, and that’s what he did Tuesday. Chafin tossed seven shutout innings against Bakersfield and struck out 10, allowing just four hits and one walk.
Joey Gallo, 3b, Rangers: Gallo famously took short-season ball by storm in 2012, homering 22 times in his pro debut, but Greensboro’s pitching shut Gallo down in his first series at low Class A Hickory, holding him to a 1-for-13 showing in four games. Gallo’s turned around quickly in his last two games against Greenville. The 19-year-old has tapped into his prodigious raw power with homers in back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday while going a combined 5-for-8 at the dish.
Domingo Santana, of, Astros: Santana made progress with his approach last year, but right now he’s still one of those prospects where you have to take the good (power) with the bad (holes in his swing, strikeouts). Moving up to Double-A, Santana started just 3-for-17 through his first five games although to be fair, Santana’s the second-youngest player in the Texas League (20 years, 8 months). Santana was on the money last night however, going 3-for-4 with three doubles, a walk and a strikeout for Corpus Christi.
Miguel Sano, 3b, Twins: With back-to-back three-hit games Saturday and Sunday, Sano was already having a fine first week with high Class A Fort Myers, where he was the youngest player on a Florida State League opening day roster. The 19-year-old is best known for his power though, and he slammed his first FSL homer Tuesday off Marlins prospect Jose Urena. The flip side is he struck out in his other two at-bats, finishing 1-for-3, a reminder that he’s still learning his approach.
Cito Culver, ss, Yankees: Culver matched his 2012 home run output in one night on Tuesday. The 20-year-old hit just two homers in 122 games for low Class A Charleston in 2012, and he went deep twice last night for his first long balls of 2013. The homers are an exclamation point, but it’s already been an encouraging first week for the 2010 first-round pick as he repeats low Class A. Culver looked overmatched last season, batting .215, but he’s broken out with four multi-hit games in his first six outings of 2013.
Tony Cingrani, lhp, Reds: Compared to his first start (14 strikeouts in six no-hit innings), Cingrani downright struggled on Tuesday. All he did was fan another seven over 6 1/3 shutout frames, allowing three hits and one walk. His 21 whiffs after two starts lead the minors. If the Reds have a rotation opening any time soon, it’s probably safe to say Cingrani should expect a phone call.