Spring Training Roundup: Moncada Makes Impression
- Zach Eflin/Jake Thompson/Mark Appel, rhps, Phillies: The Phillies went with three righthanders acquired in trades the past two years, and all shined. Eflin, acquired from the Dodgers for Jimmy Rollins, went the first three innings, allowing a run on four hits; Jake Thompson—acquired in the deal that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers—pitched three scoreless innings, while Appel, acquired from Houston for Ken Giles, gave up an unearned run in two innings. They combined for six strikeouts without a walk. Appel might be closest to the majors, but the Phillies won't rush the 2013 No. 1 overall pick. All three have flashed elite stuff at times but have warts and all three were reassigned Thursday morning to minor league camp. Expect them to start the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
- Colin Rea, rhp, Padres: Rea, pushing for a rotation spot after a representative turn with the Padres at the end of 2015, pitched three scoreless innings on Wednesday. Rea's development of a splitter was the difference for him in 2015, giving him a pitch to neutralize lefties. He's pitched five shutout innings so far.
- Patrick Wisdom, 3b, Cardinals: Wisdom has plus raw power, which he showed Wednesday with a two-run homer. His issues with breaking balls, however, lead to a boom-or-bust approach, although he cut down on his strikeout rate in 2015. Defensively, Wisdom has a double-plus throwing arm, but had some issues with reaction time at third base. He wasn't selected in the Rule 5 draft and should move to Triple-A this spring.
- Hyun-Soo Kim lf, Orioles: Kim did not come to the majors from the Korean Baseball Organization with the same fanfare as 50-homer slugger Byung Ho Park, but with the reputation as a solid, patient hitter. While Park has hit two homers this spring, Kim has run into some hard luck in going hitless in his first 21 at-bats. On Wednesday, he hit the ball hard three times, but had nothing to show for it. Kim slashed .318/.406/.488 in 10 seasons in KBO, showing great plate discipline.
- Brandon Drury, 2b, Diamondbacks: Arizona's No. 3 prospect, Drury's a hitter first. The doubles power he has now, scouts believe, will eventually grow into over-the-fence pop, and he did hit his second spring homer Wednesday. The Diamondbacks have played Drury at second and third and he could make the team as a bat-first utilityman.
- Lucas Giolito, rhp, Nationals:The Nats got their top prospect—and No. 5 overall in baseball—an inning in garbage time on Wednesday and he showed some of his tantalizing stuff, striking out three while allowing a homer to Tyler Collins. The Nats have a full, expensive rotation, but they might have a difficult time slowing the roll of Giolito, who could help down the stretch.
- Tyler White, 1b, Astros: White is engaged in a scrum for the Astros' first base job. And all White does is hit. He went 2-for-3 Wednesday with a double and an RBI. One evaluator who saw White said his actions aren't pretty, but he makes lots of hard contact.
- Danny Hultzen, lhp, Mariners: The No. 2 overall pick in 2011, Hultzen missed most of 2013-14 with a shoulder injury that eventually required rotator-cuff surgery. The Mariners decided to shift him to the bullpen because they were concerned he would not hold up under a starter's workload. On Wednesday, the Mariners said Hultzen had a "setback" and a timetable for a return to action is unclear.
South Korea Routs Israel To Advance To Olympics Semifinals
South Korea pounded out 18 hits and beat Israel, 11-1, to advance to the Olympics semifinals.
- Austin Meadows, of, Pirates: Meadows, the No. 22 overall prospect, injured his right eye Tuesday. The Pirates said tests show an orbital fracture and the club will send Meadows to Pittsburgh to determine the extent of the damage.