2015 Top 10 Prospects Index
We are ranking the Top 10 Prospects in each organization in preparation for the 2015 season. Here is a listing of the Top 10s we have already unveiled as well […]
Baseball America's Daily Dish
Complete Daily Dish Archive
Compiled by Kevin Goldstein, Chris Kline and Matt Meyers
Rangers righthander Thomas Diamond probably feels like he's been left behind. The first-rounder last year out of New Orleans was part of a high Class A Bakersfield rotation that featured fellow righthander Edison Volquez and lefthanders C.J. Wilson, John Danks, and A.J. Murray. In the last two months, the other four have been promoted.
But Diamond hasn't complained--he's just gone about his business.
And last night, business was booming.
Diamond faced the minimum, tossing a one-hitter over High Desert. The lone hit came in the third inning--a one-out single by Jared Price. But Price was quickly picked off first by Blaze catcher Justin Hatcher, and Diamond did not allow a baserunner the remainder of the game.
Diamond typically works with a 93-94 mph fastball and has an advanced feel for a changeup. He struck out 14 last night and did not allow a walk. He finished the game with two of his 14 whiffs.
In a game that lasted an hour and 46 minutes, Diamond pounded the zone with 100 pitches--73 for strikes. Two weeks ago, the 22-year-old righthander shut out Lancaster, giving up just three hits while also fanning 14. Until Sunday, that seven-inning outing was the longest of his pro career.
On the season, Diamond is 8-0, 1.99 with 101 strikeouts in 81 innings.
• It took almost three months, but Triple-A Indianapolis righthander Ian Snell finally visited the loss column Friday night. Buffalo hit four homers off Snell--two by third baseman Jake Gautreau--and went on to win, 7-6. Snell allowed four earned runs on nine hits and struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings and is now 9-1, 3.72 overall. Buffalo closer Fernando Cabrera also proved to be human, giving up a solo homer to Indy catcher Ronny Paulino. It was the first earned run Cabrera allowed since May 1. On the season, Cabrera is 5-0, 0.97 with a 52-7 strikeout-walk ratio in 37 innings. Gautreau, the Padres’ 2001 first-round pick out of Tulane, improved to .295/.337/.552 for the Bisons with a 14 home runs and 38 RBIs. The Indians acquired him in a spring trade for third baseman Corey Smith, their 2000 first-rounder.
• Gautreau and Dewon Brazelton were teammates with Team USA in 2000, a team that also featured Mark Prior, Mark Teixeira, Bobby Crosby and Kirk Saarloos, among others. Brazelton’s troubled career took a sharp downward turn this year when he was sent to the minors by the Devil Rays and failed to report to Triple-A Durham. The Devil Rays’ 2005 Opening Day starter spent three weeks AWOL but has returned to the organization and will pitch for Double-A Montgomery tonight. The Biscuits are coming off a 20-2 win against Jacksonville when Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young each hit grand slams in the third inning, with Dukes’ shot coming off Chad Billingsley. Young hit another homer later and leads the Southern League with 15 homers.
• White Sox lefthander Gio Gonzalez was promoted to high Class A Winston-Salem and made his first start Friday night, a 5-4 loss to Wilmington. The first-round pick last year out of Monsignor Pace High in Miami allowed two runs on five hits and struck out four in 3 2/3 innings. Prior to the promotion, Gonzalez went 5-3, 1.87 with 84 strikeouts in 58 innings for low Class A Hickory.
• It took lefthander Scott Olsen to end Double-A Carolina's nine-game skid, as the Mudcats ended the first half with a win. Olsen allowed two runs on three hits and struck out nine in seven innings as Carolina defeated West Tenn, 6-3. It was too little, too late for the Mudcats, however. The nine-game losing streak came at the worst possible time as the club finished the first half 2 ½ games behind the Diamond Jaxx for the first half title in the North Division of the Southern League. Mudcats outfielder Jeremy Hermida, incidentally, stole a club-record four bases in the game, bringing his season total to 16.
• Not only is Gaby Hernandez talented, but he has a flair for the dramatic. With low Class A Hagerstown needing a victory to clinch a tie for the SAL Northern division first half title, the Mets righthander threw a complete game no-hitter to defeat West Virginia 1-0. The 19-year-old walked two while fanning six and is now 5-1, 2.32 with 81-27 strikeout-walk ratio in 78 innings. The Suns will play Lexington at home on June 25 to decide the first half title. Charleston won the first half title in the Southern division.
• In a four-inning rehab start for PCL Iowa, Kerry Wood looked solid as he fanned six but walked three and allowed two runs. After the game, Wood said he should back in Chicago after one more rehab start. He has been through the rehab process enough times that we should probably take his word for it.
• With Ezequiel Astacio having a rough year, and Brandon Duckworth being Brandon Duckworth, Taylor Buchholz might prove to be to the best part of the Astros’ return for Billy Wagner. Buchholz allowed one run over six innings last night for Triple-A Round Rock to improve his record to 6-0, 3.88.
• With Matt Whitney slow to return to full strength, Argenis Reyes has seen a lot of playing time at third base for Lake County and is making some noise. The 22-year-old is in the midst of a 16-game hitting streak and is hitting .412 in June. Primarily a second baseman before this season, Reyes is now hitting .330/.363/.429.
• While he went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in Thomas Diamond’s gem, Royals outfielder Chris Lubanski has been swinging a hot bat of late for high Class A High Desert, batting .393-6-15 in 15 June games, raising his season averages to .253/.305/.514 in 257 at-bats with a career-high 16 home runs.
• High Class A Rancho Cucamonga received an offensive boost, as second baseman Howie Kendrick returned to action after missing nearly a month with a strained oblique muscle. Kendrick, who went 3-for-8 in his first two games back, is batting .373/.405/.627 in 185 at-bats.
• Giants prospect Eddy Martinez-Esteve, who established himself as one of the top hitters in the California League during the season’s first half, put on the glove for the first time this season on Saturday, starting in left field for high Class A San Jose. Martinez-Esteve was limited to DH duties while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. Martinez-Esteve is batting .354-9-57 in 243 at-bats with a league-leading .462 on-base percentage.
• The two Justins were teammates with Team USA in 2003; they were the two top pitchers in the state of Virginia last year; and they were two of the top pitchers in the Florida State League this year after being selected in the first round of the 2004 draft. Now they’ve both been promoted to Double-A, though to different leagues. The Dodgers promoted righthander Justin Orenduff to Double-A Jacksonville after a 5-3, 2.24 performance for Vero Beach in which he limited opposing batting to just 35 hits in 60 innings (.167 opposing average) with 81 strikeouts. Meanwhile, The Tigers promoted Justin Verlander to Double-A Erie after the second overall pick last June went 9-2, 1.67 for Lakeland, reeling off 12 consecutive starts of six-plus innings while allowing two or fewer earned runs. In addition to Verlander, the Tigers also moved second baseman Juan Francia to Erie. The 23-year-old Venezuela was batting .325/.399/.380 in 255 at-bats with 26 stolen bases.