BEST PLAYER: Righthander Jon Harris, the 2015 first-rounder from Missouri State, has been excellent through his first 12 starts at low Class A Lansing. He went 6-1, 2.59 with a 1.25 WHIP, which is a huge improvement after a rough pro debut at short-season Vancouver last year.
Harris recorded a 6.75 ERA in 36 innings in 2015, leading roving pitching instructor Sal Fasano to recommended the 6-foot-4 righty to lift his hands over his head at the start of his windup to help generate more momentum. He also asked Harris to move over to third-base side of the rubber.
“It was a tough transition (to pro ball),” Harris said. “I was tired physically, drained mentally and I just had to push through it . . .
“I took to (the mechanical changes). I believed in what they were talking about, and it’s helped with the success I’ve had because I really feel confident.”
BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD: At 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, Lansing lefthander Angel Perdomo generates all types of deception in his delivery, which adds more oomph to his mid-90s fastball. Through his first 14 games (12 starts) he had the numbers to match. He had struck out 87 over 65 innings with a 2.48 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.
That builds on the momentum Perdomo, a 22-year-old who signed in 2011 out of the Dominican Republic, created last year in short-season ball. “The last couple of years he’s jumped on the radar,” Lansing manager John Schneider said. “He’s a big kid who throws hard . . .
“He’s been really focusing on throwing strikes with his secondary stuff, and that’s a little bit of a work in progress. Same thing with repeating his delivery, but the deception he creates strictly from his natural windup, and the way he delivers the ball, hitters have a tough time picking it up.”
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: High Class A Dunedin center fielder Anthony Alford, the system’s top prospect, wears this one only because of the bad luck that led to a pair of injuries. He injured a ligament in his right knee in April, then sustained a concussion in an outfield collision in June.
In 32 games between the incidents, he hit .205/.277/.262 with 51 strikeouts. Last season, his first full campaign since giving up football, he batted .298/.398/.421 with four homers and 27 stolen bases in 107 games.