MLB Prospect Summer Camp Roundup: July 10-12
The start of the Major League Baseball season is just under two weeks away, which means summer camp is in full swing. That means there is plenty of time for prospects to compete in intrasquad and exhibition games. Each day during the week we will be providing a roundup from summer camp that includes highlights, debuts of 2020 draftees and more.
—The Orioles added a quintet of players to their 60-man player pool Friday, headlined by 2019 No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman. Rustchman, the No. 5 prospect in baseball, was previously the lone Top 10 prospect in the Top 100 not to be in a player pool. Rutschman Saturday quickly made an impact in the team’s intrasquad game, drawing a walk against righthander Hunter Harvey, moving from first to third on a single and later scoring on a Rio Ruiz three-run home run.
Chicago White Sox
—Luis Robert has some of the best power in the minors and he showed off the 70-grade tool Saturday with a home run to dead center field. The No. 2 prospect in baseball was the White Sox’s 2019 Minor League Player of the Year and is a frontrunner to add an American League rookie of the year trophy to his collection.
—After making an appearance at third base for the White Sox earlier in the week, No. 2 prospect Andrew Vaughn Sunday played first base and clobbered a home run to left field in the team’s intrasquad game.
—Third baseman/shortstop Yu Chang had a week to build upon following a campaign where he hit .178 in 73 at-bats in his first taste of the major leagues. Cleveland’s No. 22 prospect this week homered five times in simulated or intrasquad games, including twice against righthander Carlos Carrasco and once against all-star righthander Shane Bieber.
Los Angeles Dodgers
—Dodgers’ No. 6 prospect Josiah Gray Saturday showed off his plus fastball, fooling Joc Pederson with a riding heater in the team’s intrasquad game Satirdau. The righthander has three above-average pitches, but its his 92-96 mph fastball that led the way for him to climb three levels in 2019 and win the organization's pitcher of the year award.
—After missing the entire 2018 season due to a second Tommy John surgery, righthander Drew Rasmussen last season quickly rose through three levels in his professional debut and has already drawn notice in summer camp. Milwaukee’s No. 9 prospect Sunday touched 98 mph in the team’s intrasquad game, showing off a plus-plus fastball that sits in the mid-90s regularly.
New York Yankees
—Yankees' No. 2 prospect Clarke Schmidt described to reporters the method he's used in summer camp to induce more swings and misses and ground balls. The righthander is attempting to make the big league club after finishing the 2019 season with three strong outings at Double-A Trenton.
—No. 14 prospect Estevan Florial threw a cannon to third base during the Yankees' intrasquad game Sunday to nail a runner attempting to go from first to third on a single. Though playing right field at the time, Florial has the instincts and athleticism to stick in center field.
—Pirates’ No. 1 prospect Mitch Keller fooled outfielder Cole Tucker with a high fastball during the team’s Saturday intrasquad game. The righthander, who sat 93-95 mph on his plus fastball, looks to break through in his second season with the Pirates after struggling to a 7.13 mark in 48 innings in 2019.
—Mariners' No. 10 prospect Kyle Lewis continued a hot streak of hitting Sunday that dates back to his major league debut last September. Lewis, who hit six home runs in 18 September games, hit three home runs in intrasquad games this weekend, finishing 3-for-3 with two walks.
Tampa Bay Rays
—Top 100 prospects righthander Shane Baz (No. 4) and lefthander Shane McClanahan (No. 6) Sunday each pitched in the team’s intrasquad game and impressed manager Kevin Cash. Cash told Baseball America correspondent Marc Topkin it was “pretty exciting stuff” to watch the two pitch. Baz retired all four batters he faced including one via strikeout, while McClanahan used his 60-grade curveball to strike out second baseman Joey Wendle.
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—Rangers’ No. 18 prospect Anderson Tejeda Saturday showed off his plus power, hitting a home run to left field in the team’s instrasquad game. Tejeda struggled to stay healthy in 2019, but has shown promising tools when on the field, hitting 19 home runs at high Class A Down East in 2018.
—Nationals’ No. 1 prospect Carter Kieboom showed off his plus power by crushing a home run off righthander Daniel Hudson Saturday in an intrasquad exhibition. Kieboom, who was named the Nationals’ 2019 Minor League Player of the Year, was cleared a path this season to take over third base duties for departed all-star Anthony Rendon.