Wednesday Prospect Notebook

Notable performances from prospects around the minors on Tuesday.

Jurickson Profar

Jurickson Profar (Photo by Andrew Woolley)

Jurickson Profar, ss, Rangers. The 20-year-old phenom returned from a brief injury sojourn (sore ribs) to connect for his first Triple-A home run, go 3-for-5 and finish a double short of the cycle for Round Rock. Profar connected for his home run against Oklahoma City lefty Brett Oberholtzer, and the switch-hitter has tuned up southpaws thus far, batting 7-for-17 (.412) with a triple, a homer and five walks.

Miguel Sano, 3b, Twins. Minnesota’s high Class A Fort Myers affiliate has reeled off 12 straight wins to begin 2013, and Sano has been a driving force behind the hot start with four homers and 12 RBIs. The 19-year-old with 80-grade power connected for a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning of yesterday’s game, part of a 2-for-3 performance that also included a walk. He leads the Florida State League in home runs and has batted .413/.472/.761 through 46 at-bats.

Nolan Arenado, 3b, Rockies. Colorado’s heir apparent at third base has enjoyed an early-season swing through Colorado Springs (his home park), Las Vegas and Reno as he’s jumped out to a .463/.500/.878 start through 11 games. The 22-year-old went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI yesterday and now has collected a two-bagger in seven straight games.

The top individual batting performances based on the simplest of formulas: total bases minus strikeouts. The AL leaders in this made-up category last year were Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Beltre, Robinson Cano, Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.
Cody Keefer MIA LOA 9 0 9
Jurickson Profar TEX AAA 8 0 8
Cameron Garfield MIL HIA 8 0 8
Zach Borenstein LAA HIA 8 0 8
Lee Orr SD HIA 7 0 7
Andrew Ray LAA LOA 7 0 7
The top individual pitching performances based on the simplest of formulas: strikeouts minus baserunners. The NL leaders in this made-up category last year were Clayton Kershaw, Gio Gonzalez, R.A. Dickey, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.
Jeff Ames TB LOA 8 1 7
T.J. House CLE AA 9 2 7
Travis Ballew HOU HIA 6 0 6
Will Hudgins WAS LOA 5 0 5

Gerrit Cole, rhp, Pirates. The No. 1 overall pick in 2011 collected his first Triple-A win yesterday, limiting Toledo to one run in 6 1/3 innings and striking our five. Cole allowed four hits and four walks, but despite throwing a similar percentage of strikes in all three starts for Indianapolis (about 64.7 percent), he avoided the blowup inning yesterday that sabotaged his last start, also against Toledo. He averaged 15 pitches per inning Tuesday, one week after receiving an early hook based on the fact that he required 30 pitches to complete each of the first and second innings.

Jeff Ames, rhp, Rays. Ames and two low Class A Bowling Green relievers combined to one-hit Great Lakes yesterday. A supplemental first-round pick in 2011 out of junior college, Ames struck out eight over five innings, issuing no walks but allowing one hit. The 22-year-old owns a sparkling 15-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.20 ERA in 15 innings this season, and he’s allowed just five hits. His power slider has been especially effective versus righties, who have gone 2-for-26 (.077) on the young season.

Mauricio Cabrera, rhp, Braves. The breakout pitching prospect in last year’s Rookie-level Appalachian League, Cabrera one-hit Charleston over six innings yesterday while striking out six and walking three. The low Class A Rome righty must harness his control after issuing 11 walks in 13 2/3 innings this season, but his 94-96 mph fastball will play in any count.

Dan Straily, rhp, Athletics. Sooner or later, the Athletics will extend Straily a longer look in the major league rotation—he allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings during a spot start for Bartolo Colon on April 5—but for now the reigning minor league strikeout champ must stay sharp with Triple-A Sacramento. That’s exactly what he did Tuesday in Las Vegas, when he fanned seven 51s batters in seven innings while allowing a run on four hits. Straily is now 2-0, 1.42 in two starts for the River Cats.

Who’s Hot Since The Last Prospect Hot Sheet

• Michael Choice, cf, Athletics. The 2010 first-round pick lost 20 home runs in the jump from high Class A Stockton to Double-A Midland a year ago, but he appears to have found his power stroke in the early going with Triple-A Sacramento. The 23-year-old Choice has gone 8-for-19 (.421) with three homers, two doubles, nine RBIs and six walks since Friday, good for 10.6 runs created in five games.

 • Adam Morgan, lhp, Phillies. The former Alabama lefty finds himself in Triple-A less than two years after his selection in the third round of the 2011 draft, but Morgan has required no adjustment period. He logged a 79 game score for Lehigh Valley in his Saturday start, throwing eight shutout innings against Syracuse while allowing just three hits and striking out four.