Minor League Roundup: Betts Is Back, As Is Gallo’s Power

Player Home Runs
Kris Bryant 33
Joey Gallo 32
Peter O’Brien 30
Matt Olson 28

Today’s roundup features the return of Mookie Betts to Triple-A, the return of Joey Gallo‘s power and the return of a Yankees’ prospect’s shine.

International League • AAA

Mookie Betts, cf, Pawtucket (Red Sox). Welcome back, Mookie. In his third game since returning to Triple-A, Betts banged out three hits, including a triple, and knocked in three runs. Betts didn’t embarrass himself in the majors, and now back at Pawtucket he’ll continue to work on playing the outfield for his next, inevitable, more permanent major league stint.

Micah Johnson, 2b, Charlotte (White Sox). Possible White Sox second baseman of the future, Johnson had three hits including his second Triple-A homer, as the Knights knocked off Indianapolis 9-3. He’s hitting .315/.369/.432 across two levels, though he’s not stealing as many bases. A callup hinges on whether the White Sox can unload Gordon Beckham, because Johnson won’t be called up in a reserve role, a team official said.

Pacific Coast League • AAA

Noah Syndergaard, rhp, Las Vegas (Mets). In the first game of a doubleheader against Tacoma, the big righthander blanked the Rainiers over 6 2/3 innings, holding them to four hits and three walks while striking out five. After a solid start to the season, Syndergaard has struggled the past two months, posting ERAs of 9.98 in June and 7.47 in July. He’s been hurt by an absurd .379 average on balls in play, including .426 this month.

Eastern League • AA
Dilson Herrera
Dilson Herrera, 2b, Binghamton (Mets). Acquired from the Pirates last August for Marlon Byrd, Herrera has positioned himself as the Mets’ possible second baseman of the future. He owes his quick rise through the system to an ability to make solid contact, and he’s hit far better at Double-A (.942 OPS to .765) since his promotion from high Class A. On Tuesday night, the 20-year-old Colombian singled, tripled and homered in a 4-3 loss to Portland. For the season, he’s hitting .318/.372/.444 across two levels.

Manny Banuelos, lhp, Trenton (Yankees). It’s easy to forget that Banuelos, still just 23, was poised to make the Yankees’ big league roster in 2011 after a sterling showing in spring. But Tommy John surgery cost him 2013 and now the organization is nursing him back to health, guarding his pitch count closely. On Tuesday, Banuelos had by far his most-effective and longest outing of 2014 as he rolled through five scoreless innings on 55 pitches, allowing two hits with no walks and five whiffs. In spring training, the Yankees had hoped Banuelos might be a useful bullpen cog, but right now they’re just hoping to get him through the remainder of the season healthy.

Southern League • AA

Jake Lamb, 3b, Mobile (Diamondbacks). Lamb accounted for most of the BayBears’ scoring in an 8-4 loss to Pensacola. Lamb hit a three-run homer, his 14th, in the third inning. For the season, Lamb is hitting .319/.398/.564, which in most other seasons would have evaluators calling him the best-hitting third base prospect in the minors.

Texas League • AA

Joey GalloJoey Gallo, 3b, Frisco (Rangers). Destroying trucks must be exhausting. The powerful lefty swinger seems fully recovered from his Futures Game exploits after he homered Tuesday night for the first time since July 7. It was his 32nd homer of the season, one behind Kris Bryant for the minor league lead. In the second game of a doubleheader, Gallo went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, but he’s mired in what has been his first real down period of the season. Even with six hits in the past three games, he has 18 strikeouts in 36 at-bats.

Carolina League • Hi A

Sean Manaea, lhp, Wilmington (Royals). The 34th overall pick in 2013 has had an interesting first pro season, whiffing hordes of batters (11.6 per nine innings) thanks to his deceptive fastball with late life, but also walking nearly five per nine. Until Tuesday, he’d yet to have a truly dominant appearance, but that changed against Carolina as he gave up only three hits and a run while striking out six and walking three in a 9-2 win. Manaea seems fully recovered from the torn labrum in his hip that caused him to slide in the draft, but he hasn’t recovered the above-average control he showed at Indiana State. Still, the ability to collect swings and misses must be heartening to the Royals, who spent $3.55 million to lure him to the pros.

California League • Hi A

Tyler DeLoach, lhp, Inland Empire (Angels). DeLoach, the former UNC Wilmington reliever drafted in the 26th round by the Angels in 2012, has pitched in the rotation the past two seasons with sterling results. On Tuesday, the 6-foot-6 lefty blanked Stockton on three hits over six innings, walking none and striking out seven. On the season, DeLoach, is 10-4, 3.21 with 122 strikeouts in 112 innings. One rival evaluator, however, sees a return to the bullpen in his future with an outside chance of reaching the majors from there

Florida State League • Hi A
Tyler Glasnow
Tyler Glasnow, rhp, Bradenton (Pirates). Glasnow is continuing what has been a put-it-all-together season. On Tuesday against Dunedin, the tall, slender righthander struck out 11 over six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and walking two in a 1-0 win. On the season, Glasnow is 7-4, 1.64, but over his past 10 starts is 7-1, 0.98. He’s cut his walk rate by more than one per nine innings in that span and in 24 innings in July has walked just five.

South Atlantic League • Lo A

A scheduled day off for the league.

Midwest League • Lo A

A scheduled day off for the league.

New York-Penn League • short-season

Joey Pankake (Photo by Tom Priddy).Joey Pankake, 3b, Connecticut (Tigers). A seventh-round pick from South Carolina, Pankake has more than held his own in his first 100 at-bats as a pro. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI Tuesday night and overall is hitting .290/.383/.420. He’s playing third base, though scouts aren’t convinced he’ll end up there, and he has solid-average hitting and power skills. He has 10 extra-base hits so far.

Appalachian League • Rookie

Wuilmer Becerra, rf, Kingsport (Mets). Acquired in the deal that sent R.A. Dickey to Toronto, the Venezuelan Becerra intrigued the Jays enough to garner a $1.3 million bonus in 2011. He is known for above-average raw power and at 19 is beginning to show it in games. He went 3-for-4 Tuesday with his fifth homer in 85 at-bats, and he has nine extra-base hits overall. There’s some length to his swing, evidenced by his 21/4 SO/BB ratio. On the down side, he was one of two Mets prospects arrested earlier this month for allegedly drag-racing in Tennessee.

Arizona League • Rookie

Michael Gettys, cf, Padres. One of the most tooled-up high schoolers in the 2014 draft, Gettys lasted until the 51st pick before the Padres nabbed him. So far, he’s more than holding his own. The righthanded hitter is hitting .333/.400/.448 through 96 at-bats with seven extra-base hits among his 32 safeties. Gettys slipped because of questions about his bat, but so far he’s rewarding San Diego’s $1.3 million investment.