Prospect Summer Camp Roundup: July 14
The start of the Major League Baseball season is less than 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.
—Diamondbacks No. 9 prospect Levi Kelly Monday struck out four of the six batters he faced in the team's intrasquad game. The righthander went 5-1, 2.15 with 126 strikeouts in 100.1 innings at low Class A Kane County in 2019.
—Orioles’ No. 11 prospect Dean Kremer Tuesday was added to the team’s 60-man player pool. The righthander, who was invited to spring training last year before an oblique strain sidelined him, will head to the team’s alternate training site.
—Ryan Mountcastle Monday started at left field during the team’s intrasquad game after mostly playing first base in 2019. The Orioles’ No. 5 prospect has had trouble holding down a position due to his below-average defensive ability, but seems to have found a home in left field, where he also played during spring training.
Boston Red Sox
—The Red Sox have added No. 3 prospect Jeter Downs to the team’s 60-man player pool, according to Chris Cotillo. Downs, who was acquired in the three-team trade that sent Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, is coming off a season where he hit .276/.362/.526 with 24 home runs and 24 stolen bases between high Class A and Double-A.
—The Red Sox are also expected to add righthanders Bryan Mata (No. 4) and Tanner Houck (No. 11), according to Baseball America correspondent Alex Speier. Mata excelled at high Class A in 2019 before experiencing growing pains as a 20-year-old at Double-A, while Houck pitched well out of the bullpen at Triple-A before going back to starting duties in the Arizona Fall League.
—The Cubs added three minor leaguers to their 60-man player pool, including No. 25 prospect Justin Steele. The lefthander dealt with injuries in 2019 and pitched just 38.2 innings at Double-A Tennessee.
Chicago White Sox
—Luis Robert Tuesday continued his hot start to summer camp with a single followed by a stolen base. The No. 2 prospect in baseball also tracked down a long fly ball in center field to show off his defensive range.
—Jake Burger, the White Sox 2017 first-round pick, was given permission by the team to play in a St. Louis local league, according to MLB.com reporter Scott Melkin. Burger has not played in a professional game since 2017 due to multiple injures including a ruptured Achilles.
—The White Sox Tuesday announced 16 players that will report to the team's alternate training site, including righthander Jonathan Stiever, the team's No. 6 prospect, outfielders Blake Rutherford (No. 9), Luis Gonzalez (No. 10) and Micker Adolfo (No. 11) and lefthander Garrett Crochet, the team's first-round pick.
Kansas City Royals
—Royals' No. 1 prospect Bobby Witt Jr. Tuesday hit the first pitch he saw in an at-bat from righthander Kevin McCarthy for a single in the team's intrasquad game. Witt, who turned 20 in June, is a five-tool talent and the face of the Royals' rebuild.
—No. 8 prospect Kris Bubic Tuesday pitched two innings, striking out two batters including outfielder Alex Gordon. The lefthander cruised through both levels of Class A in 2019, pitching to an 11-5, 2.23 mark with 185 strikeouts in 149.1 innings.
—No. 10 prospect Nick Pratto hit a long home run to right field off righthander Tyler Zuber. The first baseman is attempting to bounce back after hitting .191 in his first taste of high Class A in 2019.
New York Mets
—The New York Mets Tuesday moved 11 players from their 60-man player pool to the team’s alternate training site, including lefthanders Kevin Smith (No. 9) and David Peterson (No. 10), righthanders Walter Lockett (No. 22) and Ryley Gilliam (No. 26) and catcher Ali Sanchez (No. 27).
San Francisco Giants
—Giants’ No. 2 prospect Joey Bart Monday roped an RBI single down the left field line during the first inning of the team’s intrasquad game.
The catcher, who missed parts of the 2019 season due to hand injuries, excelled after a promotion to Double-A Richmond in early August, hitting .316/.368/.544 in 22 games with four home runs. So far in summer camp, Bart has caught the eye of third baseman Evan Longoria, who told KNBR reporter Mark Sanchez that Bart “is the closest we have in terms of breaking through at the big-league level and being an impact player right out of the chute.”
Yet general manager Farhan Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler insist that Bart needs more seasoning before he plays in the majors, even as he continues to prove himself as one of the best prospects in the minors.
Connor Wong Impresses With His Versatility
Wong has made a strong impression since arriving as part of the Mookie Betts trade.
—Mariners’ No. 6 prospect Noelvi Marte Tuesday used his 60-grade arm to throw out Mariners’ No. 1 prospect Julio Rodriguez during the team’s intrasquad game. Marte, a shortstop, is one of the top teenagers in summer camp and was ranked the No. 1 prospect in the Dominican Summer League after the 2019 season.
—Mariners' No. 3 prospect Evan White Tuesday showed off his power with a line-drive home run to left field. White is likely to be the Mariners' starting first baseman on Opening Day after signing a six-year deal in November.
Toronto Blue Jays
—Blue Jays' first-round pick Austin Martin Monday arrived at Rogers Centre for the first time and delivered a message to Blue Jays' fans. With the addition of Martin, the Blue Jays now have three of the top 35 prospects in baseball.