Minor League Roundup: Rafael Paints A Masterpiece

Today’s roundup features a tie in an all-star game, an unheralded Orioles slugger, a dominating pitcher at Las Vegas, a Mets prospect shooting up the ranks, a 19-year-old in Double-A, a rebound from Dylan Bundy, a triumphant homer for a Pirates prospect and a Sharknado in the Midwest.

There’s No Tying In Baseball (Unless There Is)

What’s worse than a tie? A scoreless tie, of course. Unfortunately, that’s what happened last night at the short-season Northwest League all-star game in Eugene, Ore. Hurlers from both sides combined for 21 strikeouts and kept the game scoreless for 10 innings. League rules mandate that if an all-star game is tied after 10 innings, then that’s the way it ends. Amazingly, an offensive player, Spokane third baseman Jose Trevino (Rangers), won the top star award for being the only player with multiple hits.

For more, read Steve Mims (with whom I shared the Eugene Emeralds beat in 2006) in the Register-Guard and check out a cool slideshow of photos from the night’s festivities.

International League • AAA

Christian Walker (Photo by Mike Janes).Christian Walker, 1b, Norfolk (Orioles): Very quietly, Walker has put up a fine season. The South Carolina product swatted 20 homers in 95 games in the Eastern League and has started hot in the IL as well. He went 3-for-4 against Buffalo on Tuesday, including his third longball as a member of the Tides. He leads all Orioles minor leaguers in home runs, and the next closest player, Michael Burgess, is eight behind. Moreover, he’s got 10 more homers this season than he did in his 125 career games entering the year.

Pacific Coast League • AAA

Rafael Montero, rhp, Las Vegas (Mets): The evening’s best start in all the minor leagues was a tour de force, for sure. Montero, who scuffled a bit in his time with the big club, threw eight innings of one-hit ball, fanning season-high 11 and walked just two. Armed with a plus fastball and changeup, as well as two breaking balls, Montero controls the zone. That he’s put up a 3.28 ERA in Las Vegas speaks to both his stuff and his mettle.

Eastern League • AA

Dilson HerreraDilson Herrera, 2b, Binghamton (Mets): If there’s one guy shooting up Mets prospect lists, it’s Herrera. Acquired in the trade that sent Marlon Byrd to the Pirates, he has done nothing but hit since coming aboard. He tore up the Florida State League and has done the same in the EL. Against Richmond last night, he went 2-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, three runs and two RBIs. Scouts note that he not only makes a ton of contact, but he makes hard contact as well. His 144 hits are third in the minors behind Jordy Lara and Jose Peraza.

Southern League • AA

Scheduled off-day

Texas League • AA

Nomar Mazara, rf, Frisco (Rangers): After Mazara tore up low Class Hickory for the last month or so, the Rangers aggressively jumped him over high Class Myrtle Beach. How aggressive? Mazara is just 19 years old. To put that in perspective, I watched a very good prospect last night at Rookie-level Burlington. Mazara is the same age and three levels higher. In his TL debut, the sweet-swinging lefthanded batter went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Florida State League • Hi A

Aaron JudgeAaron Judge, rf, Tampa (Yankees): Between Luis Severino and Judge, the Yankees have had an excellent year on the farm when it comes to players in their first full year. After ripping up the South Atlantic League, Judge has handled pitching in the FSL just fine. He connected on his sixth homer for Tampa last night, and is tied with teammate Eric Jagielo (who also went deep last night) for fourth most in the system. In 43 games at Tampa, Judge is hitting .295/.430/.477.

Carolina League • Hi A

Dylan Bundy, rhp, Frederick (Orioles): That’s much better, Mr. Bundy. In his last start, he looked like a shell of the pitcher prospect-lovers had come to know. His velocity was down, he rarely threw his curveball and his command was non-existent. During that start, he walked five over 4 1/3 innings of two-run ball with one strikeout before reaching his 75-pitch limit. This time, however, against Carolina (which now has faced Bundy and Manny Machado on rehab assignments), he went the same 4 1/3 innings, but this time allowed five hits, walked nobody, allowed no runs and struck out seven. It’s good to have you back.

California League • Hi A

Daniel Robertson, ss, Stockton (Athletics): Even if Matt Olson and Renato Nunez took a day off, there’d still be plenty of talented players to watch on this Stockton club. With Addison Russell out of the picture, Robertson might be Oakland’s shortstop of the future. He’s not a flashy ballplayer with that one particularly overriding tool, but he went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBIs last night, and his overall package makes him an attractive prospect. An average hitter with average power and a plus arm at short, Robertson has hit .297/.395/.462 with 26 doubles, 15 homers and 49 RBIs with the Ports this season.

South Atlantic League • Lo A

Austin MeadowsAustin Meadows, cf, West Virginia (Pirates): After missing much of the season with a hamstring injury, Meadows is back at low Class A West Virginia, where he likely would have started the season were he healthy. He hit well in his first few weeks with the Power, but he hadn’t shown much lower-case power. That changed last night, when Meadows hit his first homer of the season. Notably, it came off of Lucas Giolito, the Nats’ top prospect and owner of some of the best stuff in the minors. Overall, Meadows went 3-for-5 with a run scored and three RBIs.

Midwest League • Lo A

Trea Turner, ss, Fort Wayne (Padres): Turner is to the Midwest League as the Sharknado was to New York. He’s riding a 13-game hitting streak at Fort Wayne, and he was at it again last night. He went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs and has had 13 multi-hit games in his 21 with the TinCaps. He’s gone hitless only once since getting the promotion from short-season Eugene. Once. Look for him on the Hot Sheet on Friday.