Prospect Notebook: Gary Sanchez, Taijuan Walker & Texas League All-Star Game

Notable performances from prospects around the minors on Tuesday. A few notes before we get to the Double-A Texas League all-star game.

Gary Sanchez, c, Yankees. The 20-year-old catcher reminded everybody why he’s the top hitting prospect at his position, homering in each of his past two games for high Class A Tampa and going 5-for-10 with a double and seven RBIs. Sanchez is having one of the better under-the-radar offensive seasons in the minors this season. Despite playing in a pitcher’s park in a pitcher’s league, he’s batting .275/.338/.490 with 12 homers in 251 at-bats. Just five minor league catchers have more homers, while his .215 isolated power ranks just outside the FSL top 10.

Taijuan Walker, rhp, Mariners. Making his Triple-A debut at home with Tacoma, Walker threw six shutout innings against Fresno, allowing just three hits and two walks. He struck out four and needed just 87 pitches. The reigning No. 1 prospect on the Hot Sheet struck out a career-best 12 batters in his Double-A finale, and he now ranks fifth in the minors with an even 100 whiffs following his first start for the Rainiers.

Texas League All-Star Game

Southern Division 6, Northern Division 0
Tuesday, June 25
Springdale, Ark. (Royals)

George Springer, cf, Astros. The 23-year-old wrapped up the game’s MVP award with an eighth-inning home run, but truthfully he did enough in his other three trips to the plate to warrant recognition. He finished the day with a 2-for-3 performance that included two home runs, a walk and a stolen base. He drove in three runs and scored twice. In the sixth inning, Springer took Cardinals lefty Tim Cooney deep to the opposite field to give the Southern Division a 3-0 advantage.

The Astros promoted Springer to Triple-A Oklahoma City following the game. He hit .297/.399/.579 with 19 homers, 23 steals, 42 walks and 96 strikeouts in 73 games for Corpus Christi in the first half. He led the TL in homers, slugging, extra-base hits (39), runs scored (56) and strikeouts, while ranking among the top five in RBIs (55), steals, hits (81), doubles (20) and on-base percentage.

Mike Foltynewicz, rhp, Astros. Springer’s Corpus Christi teammate pitched a scoreless sixth inning, throwing six of eight pitches for strikes.

C.J. Cron, 1b, Angels. Batting cleanup for the Northern Division, the Angels’ 2011 first-rounder went 2-for-4 and collected one of his club’s two extra-base hits, a double. He ranks fourth in the TL with 22 doubles at the break.

Tyler Matzek, lhp, Rockies. Forget the perfect game or the four-homer game—a pitcher working more than one inning in an all-star game may be the most rare occurance in baseball today. Matzek, the Rockies’ 2009 first-rounder, did just that in this game, starting for the Northern Division and going two innings. He struck out five of the 10 batters he faced, but he allowed two hits, a walk and two runs to the other five.

Athletics righty Murphy Smith also worked two innings for the Southern Division, allowing one hit and no runs.

Ruben Gotay, 3b, Cardinals. No prospect news here. It’s just cool to see a 13-year veteran with 811 plate appearances in the big leagues love the game enough to participate in a Double-A all-star game. The 30-year-old Gotay started at third base for the Northern Division and batted second.

See the full Gameday box score for the Texas League all-star game