Minor League Roundup: Bouncebacks, Comebacks And Debuts

Today’s roundup includes bouncebacks from a Mets catcher and Giants pitcher, a rousing debut weekend for a top-four overall pick and a comeback from another top-four overall pick.

International League (AAA)

MLB: FEB 23 Spring Training - Rays Workouts

Mikie Mahtook, cf, Durham (Rays): Mahtook followed a five-RBI Saturday with two more Sunday and had three hits, raising his season slash line to .325/.399/.517. Now 24, the former Louisiana State star is having a breakout season at Triple-A, and though he lacks a defining tool, he has good instincts and plays all the outfield positions well enough to be a useful fourth outfielder, if nothing else.

Pacific Coast League (AAA)

Travis d’Arnaud, c, Las Vegas (Mets): Sent down by the Mets after hitting just .189/.271/.273, d’Arnaud reaches a critical point in his career. He’s 25, has had issues with injuries as well as underperformance and has to hear the footsteps of Kevin Plawecki at Double-A. But in seven games at Vegas, d’Arnaud is up to his old (Triple-A) tricks. He’s got five homers in 29 at-bats and is hitting .485.

Eastern League (AA)

Adalberto Mejia

Adalberto Mejia, lhp, Richmond (Giants): The Giants aggressively promoted the 20-year-old Mejia to Double-A at the start of the season. Through his first 11 starts he logged a 6.36 ERA, but he rebounded Sunday with easily his best outing of the season--seven scoreless innings, four hits, one walk, seven strikeouts. The Giants call Mejia a zone-pounder and say his velocity is starting to pick back up to its usual 92-93 mph range.

Southern League (AA)

Austin Barnes, c, Jacksonville (Marlins): The former middle infielder at Arizona State converted to catcher in pro ball, hitting well enough at high Class A Jupiter this spring to force a promotion to Double-A, where he finished 2013. Barnes hadn’t done much in his Jacksonville return until Sunday, when he broke out for three hits and five RBIs. At 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Barnes concerns scouts that he might not be robust enough to catch every day, but his versatility and bat would make him a useful reserve.

Texas League (AA)

Jon Gray, Tulsa (Rockies): In back-to-back outings against Springfield, the fire-balling righthander has gotten back on the beam. Gray allowed just five hits over 10 innings in those games after consecutive bumpy outings. He’s dominating righthanders, as you’d expect, and is using his changeup more, per the organization’s request, to neutralize lefthanders.

Carolina League (Hi A)

Tony Renda

Tony Renda, 2b, Potomac (Nationals): The former Cal standout lacks a carrying tool beyond hitting, and he’s done well so far, hitting .297/.387/.376, including a 2-for-5 day Sunday with two RBIs. Renda has gone 7-for-8 on stolen-base attempts thanks largely to his efficient baserunning.

California League (Hi A)

The league was dark as select players traveled to Wilmington, Del., for Tuesday’s Carolina-California League all-star game.

Florida State League (Hi A)

The league’s all-star game went down on Saturday, June 14, and play will resume today.

South Atlantic League (Lo A)

Ian Clarkin, lhp, Charleston (Yankees): Jockeying for position as the system’s most-promising starter, Clarkin delivered five scoreless innings Sunday, allowing just two hits while striking out five. The 2013 first-rounder has exhibited excellent control (42/8 SO/BB ratio) in his full-season debut and at 19 years old has a plus curve to pair with a 90-92 mph fastball.

Midwest League (Lo A)

Erick Salcedo, ss, Burlington (Angels): In his first year of full-season ball, Salcedo hasn’t hit much, but has continued to show an advanced knowledge of the strike zone with 18 walks and 27 strikeouts. He closed the Bees’ first half on a strong note, going 4-for-5 to raise his slash line to .238/.305/.262. Average defensively, Salcedo profiles as a utility infielder.

New York-Penn League (short-season)

Dylan Bundy

Dylan Bundy, rhp, Aberdeen (Orioles): Less than a year after Tommy John surgery, the fourth overall pick in 2011 was back on the mound Sunday and looked liked he had never left. He allowed one run on five hits while striking out six over five innings. More importantly, Bundy told MLB.com his arm felt great and said his fastball velocity reached 91-93 mph. The Orioles will limit Bundy to 75 pitches or five innings, probably for the remainder of the season.

Northwest League (short-season)

Kyle Schwarber, c, Boise (Cubs): The former Indiana catcher looks perfectly comfortable in a Boise Hawks uniform. In his first professional weekend, Schwarber went 7-for-11 with two homers and eight RBIs and had struck out only once. With the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, the Cubs drafted who they considered the most advanced bat available. So far, so good.