AA Dish: DeJesus, Gamel, LaPorta Among Yesterday’s Standouts

Matt LaPorta, Mat Gamel and Cole Gillespie had big nights at Jake McGee’s expense, Royals righthander Carlos Rosa continued his quiet dominance, Wilkin Ramirez had another big night and Dodgers shortstop Ivan DeJesus can have a happy birthday today after a fine performance last night. Blue Jays lefty Brett Cecil also made his Double-A debut, while Athletics righthander Henry Rodriguez and Marlins righty Ryan Tucker put together some unusual stat lines.


Prospect Of The Day
Ivan DeJesus
is today’s SL Prospect Of The Day, but it’s not just because today happens to be DeJesus’s 21st birthday. The Jacksonville (Dodgers) shortstop is quietly putting together a nice April as the Suns leadoff hitter, and he capped it off yesterday with a 3-for-5 performance, hitting his second home run and his seventh double of the season. DeJesus also added a walk, two runs scored and three RBIs.

On the season, DeJesus is now .319/.434/.457 in 113 plate appearances though 25 games. He’s shown a good eye at the plate as well with more walks (18) than strikeouts (15). The early power is particularly encouraging for DeJesus, who only hit four home runs last year in 502 plate appearances in the hitter-friendly California League, where he hit .287/.381/.371. The strike-zone judgment has always been there—DeJesus had a 57-64 BB-K ratio last year—so even though scouts project him to have below-average power, any ability to drive the ball is a good sign.

Happy 21st, Ivan.

Prospect Nuggets
The runners up for Prospect Of The Day were Huntsville (Brewers) third baseman Mat Gamel, first baseman Matt LaPorta and left fielder Cole Gillespie. They each had monster games, which is even more impressive given that they were facing Rays lefty phenom Jake McGee.

Gamel extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a home run and a triple. LaPorta went with his seventh home run off the season (off McGee) and his seventh double.

McGee gave up eight hits, seven of which went for extra bases—two home runs and five doubles, with three of those doubles coming off the bat of Gillespie, the Brewers No. 6 prospect. Gillespie went 4-for-5, adding a home run in the eighth inning after McGee had departed. McGee left after 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs but with a respectable six strikeouts and one walk

West Tenn (Mariners) center fielder Mike Saunders has had better days than yesterday, when he went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts against Carolina. The Carolina (Marlins) starter, righthander Ryan Tucker, had a bizarre stat line. Tucker walked six batters in 5 2/3 innings, but he also didn’t allow any runs because he let up just one hit and struck out seven to lower his ERA to 1.08 in 33 1/3 innings. Carolina second baseman Chris Coghlan and center fielder Cameron Maybin each went 2-for-5, with Coghlan hitting his seventh double and Maybin stealing his fifth base of 2008 . . . Chattanooga righthander Sam LeCure’s control problems persisted against the Mississippi Braves. LeCure allowed seven runs in four innings with five walks and one strikeout, putting his ERA at 5.18 with 17 strikeouts and 20 walks in 26 1/3 innings this year . . . Tennessee (Cubs) righthander Jeff Samardzija has shown generally good control since signing in 2006, but he’s struggled a bit with control this season, and that problem carried over into yesterday’s game. Samardzija walked six and struck out two in five innings, allowing four earned runs. Through six starts, Samardzija’s ERA is a respectable 3.77 ERA, but he has more walks (18) than strikeouts (16).

What To Watch For Today
Dodgers righthander James McDonald pitches tonight against Cubs lefty Donald Veal in Jacksonville . . .  Carolina (Marlins) lefty Aaron Thompson throws at home today against West Tenn (Mariners) lefty Justin Thomas (No. 26 in the Mariners Top 30) . . . Birmingham (White Sox) righthander Kyle McCulloch pitches at home against Mobile (Diamondbacks) . . .


Prospect Of The Day
Erie (Tigers) left fielder Wilkin Ramirez is off to a hot start, which continued last night in a 3-for-5 performance with a triple, a double, a stolen base and an outfield assist at home plate.

Prospect Nuggets
New Hampshire (Blue Jays) lefty Brett Cecil’s first Double-A performance went less than optimally. Cecil, a 2007 supplemental first-rounder, gave up four runs in three innings and walked three, though he did strike out four batters. Cecil had begun the year with high Class A Dunedin, where he started four games but was held on a tight leash, pitching 10 1/3 innings (11-2 K-BB, 1.74 ERA). New Hampshire DH Travis Snider went 1-for-3 with a walk . . . Facing New Hampshire, Reading (Phillies) righthander Carlos Carrasco allowed three runs in six innings, striking out five with three walks. Phillies center fielder Greg Golson went 2-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout . . . Jon Niese led the EL in ERA coming into the game, but he didn’t pitch well last night. The Binghamton (Mets) lefthander walked six and allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings, finishing with five strikeouts. Binghamton third baseman Danny Murphy went 3-for-3 with a walk, while center fielder Fernando Martinez went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts . . . Akron (Indians) third baseman Wes Hodges went 2-for-3 with a home run and a double . . In his first start since being sent back to Double-A following a solid debut with the Red Sox, righthander Justin Masterson allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings for Portland. He struck out five and walked three.

What To Watch For Today
Reading Phillies righthander Drew Carpenter takes the hill at New Hampshire (Blue Jays).


Prospect Of The Day
Northwest Arkansas (Royals) righthander Carlos Rosa had one of the best months of any pitcher in the Texas League. The 23-year-old native of the Dominican Republic continued the positive trend last night, tossing six scoreless innings without allowing a walk, recording seven strikeouts on the night against Springfield (Cardinals). Through six games in April, Rosa now has a 1.32 ERA with 32 strikeouts and five walks.

Prospect Nuggets
Tulsa (Rockies) shortstop Chris Nelson went 0-for-4 and committed his 12th error (throwing) of the season . . . Midland (Athletics) righthander Henry Rodriguez walked five batters in five innings, but he struck out four, allowed two hits and didn’t let a run cross the plate . . . Opposing Rodriguez was Corpus Christi (Astros) righty Brad James, the organization’s No. 6 prospect. His April struggles continued, as James allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings with four walks, although he did have six strikeouts . . . Frisco (Rangers) catcher Max Ramirez had another multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a walk . . . San Antonio first baseman Kyle Blanks went 2-for-5. San Antonio’s pitcher, righthander Will Inman, allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings, but did have a respectable 5-1 K-BB ratio.

What To Watch For Today
Corpus Christi righthander Brian Bogusevic will pitch today in Midland against righthander Vin Mazarro, a 2005 third-rounder . . . Northwest Arkansas (Royals) righthander Julio Pimentel throws at Springfield . . . Tulsa righthander Brandon Hynick pitches at Arkansas (Angels).