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Gregory Polanco Homers for Triple-A Indianapolis (VIDEO)


(Apr 23/2014)

Pittsburgh Pirates OF prospect Gregory Polanco hit a home run for Triple-A Indianapolis yesterday. Watch the video below:

MiLB Probable Pitching Prospects to Watch: April 23rd, 2014


(April 23/2014)

Probable pitchers are subject to change. For today's complete Minor League schedule, visit this link to Milb.com.

Notable pitchers scheduled to take the mound today:
  • Akeem Bostick (Rangers)
  • Nate Karns (Rays)
  • Dylan Covey (Athletics)
  • Tyler Anderson (Rockies)
  • Sam Selman (Royals)
  • Rob Zastryzny (Cubs)
  • Garrett Gould (Dodgers)
  • Jose Urena (Marlins)
  • Michael Lorenzen (Reds)
  • Alex Meyer (Twins)
  • Allen Webster (Red Sox)
  • Nick Kingham (Pirates)
  • Robbie Ray (Tigers)
  • Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays)
  • Clayton Blackburn (Giants)
  • Jesse Biddle (Phillies)
  • Ismael Guillon (Reds)
  • Adonys Cardona (Blue Jays)
  • J.R. Graham (Braves)
  • Alec Asher (Rangers)
  • Joan Gregorio (Giants)
  • Mark Appel (Astros)
  • Fabio Martinez (Dodgers)

Five Pitching Prospects That We've Got Our Eyes On Today:

1. Mark Appel, RHP, Houston Astros
Appel has had some mixed results early in the season, and early in his pro career. Reports on Appel's stuff have always been somewhat mixed, as some scouts see a top of the rotation pitcher when he's on, but others see a durable, mid rotation innings eater when his stuff isn't as crisp. He's posted a 5.06 ERA through his first three starts this season in the Class-A+ California League after posting a 3.82 ERA in eight starts in the Class-A Midwest League in 2013. He hasn't been particularly sharp thus far, and the Astros are still stretching him out as he's pitched more than three innings in just one of his starts so far. Appel gets another test against the Inland Empire 66ers tonight. We're hoping to see him go deeper in the game, and be more effective with his pitches, to limit the amount of hits he gives up.
2. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
We talked about Sanchez in this piece before his last start on April 18th. He was coming off a disappointing start against the Binghamton Mets in New Hampshire a week earlier, and was set for a rematch against the Mets, this time at their ballpark. What did he do? Simply shut Binghamton down, pitching six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and two walks, while striking out six batters. That's more like it. Impressive to see him bounce back so strongly against the same team that gave him a rough ride in his previous start. Sanchez will toe the rubber against the New Britain Rock Cats tonight, and he'll look to continue his success on the road, where he's posted a 1.13 ERA through three starts this season.
3. Nick Kingham, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Saw Kingham during the spring, and he looked like a confident young pitcher coming off a breakout 2013 season. He's carried that momentum over into 2014 and has hit the ground running in the Double-A Eastern League, pitching for the Altoona Curve. He made his debut on April 6th, pitching six shutout innings against Erie, and he's been on a roll since. Through three starts, Kingham has a 0.53 ERA and has allowed just 11 hits through his first 17 innings pitched. He'll need to limit the walks a bit, as he's issued three in each of his starts, but he's limiting the damage as opposing batters are hitting just .193 against him thus far.
4. J.R. Graham, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Graham's 2013 season effectively ended in mid May as he was suffering from a right shoulder strain. It eventually forced him to miss the rest of the season as he rested the shoulder. There don't appear to be any lingering effects as he's got off to a red-hot start with Double-A Mississippi this season. In his first start of the season, Graham pitching five nearly perfect innings, allowing just a single walk while striking out three batters. He hasn't allowed an earned run in either of his last two starts as well, so he's sporting a 0.00 ERA through his first three starts. On the season, he's pitched 13.1 innings, allowed eight hits and just two walks, but has only struck out four batters. Graham wont strike out a ton of hitters, but he should miss more bats than that, and he's been more hittable in his past two starts. Interested to see how he fares against the Montgomery Biscuits tonight. Many evaluators had Graham at, or near, the top of the Braves' prospect rankings a year ago, so it's been a good sign to see him return to health and pitch so effectively early in 2014.
5. Fabio Martinez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
An old favourite of mine, Martinez was known as Fabio Martinez Mesa when he was an exciting young pitching prospect in the Angels organization. He struck out a whopping 141 batters in 103.1 innings in the Class-A Midwest League in 2010, but his career has been derailed by shoulder injuries and command problems ever since. Claimed by the Indians midway through the 2012 season, Martinez was signed by the Dodgers as a minor league free agent this past offseason. They've put him back in a starter's role, and they've caught some lightening in a bottle thus far. Control will always be a problem for Martinez, but he's posted a 1.69 ERA through his first three appearances. He's limited opposing batters to just a .137 batting average so far, as he's allowed just seven hits through his first 16 innings pitched to go along with 15 strikeouts. The problem is that he's walked four in each appearance, including his outstanding season debut when he pitched six scoreless innings without allowing a hit. Martinez will have a tough test tonight, pitching at High Desert against the Mavericks. There's a good chance he'll allow another four walks, but how many hits will the Mavericks get?
For today's complete Minor League schedule, visit this link to Milb.com.

MiLB Probable Pitching Prospects to Watch: April 22nd, 2014


(April 22/2014)

Probable pitchers are subject to change. For today's complete Minor League schedule, visit this link to Milb.com.

Notable pitchers scheduled to take the mound today:
  • Blake Snell (Rays)
  • Kevin Ziomek (Tigers)
  • Tyler Matzek (Rockies)
  • Paul Blackburn (Cubs)
  • Adrian Houser (Astros)
  • Daniel Winkler (Rockies)
  • Sal Romano (Reds)
  • Jake Thompson (Tigers)
  • Adrian Sampson (Pirates)
  • Marco Gonzales (Cardinals)
  • Tim Berry (Orioles)
  • Trevor Bauer (Indians)
  • Hansel Robles (Mets)
  • Ty Blach (Giants)
  • Perci Garner (Phillies)
  • Jed Bradley (Brewers)
  • Rafael De Paula (Yankees)
  • Lucas Giolito (Nationals)
  • Jeremy Gabryszwski (Blue Jays)
  • Jon Moscot (Reds)
  • Justin Nicolino (Marlins)
  • Hunter Harvey (Orioles)
  • Ryan Eades (Twins)
  • Taylor Jungmann (Brewers)
  • Jesse Hahn (Padres)
  • Ben Lively (Reds)
  • Josh Hader (Astros)
  • Tom Windle (Dodgers)
  • Chris Heston (Giants)
  • Dylan Unsworth (Mariners)
Five Pitching Prospects That We've Got Our Eyes On Today:

1. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals
Giolito is on a roll with Class-A Hagerstown, as he's posted two consecutive five inning scoreless starts, allowing just three combined hits and three combined walks over those two starts, dominating Lakewood and Delmarva. More importantly, Giolito is building up his pitch count and his durability, as he went five innings in each of his last two starts. Through three outings, he's posted a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings, with 15 strikeouts. Giolito will go up against the Augusta GreenJackets tonight.
2. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland Indians
It's a mystery to many that Trevor Bauer is still pitching in the minor leagues. He's had three fantastic starts this season, one in Cleveland as part of a doubleheader, book-ended by two nine strikeout performances for Triple-A Columbus. It appears that Bauer is simply biding his time at this point, and perhaps another couple of impressive starts will seal the deal and earn up a promotion to the big league level for good. Bauer takes on the Gwinnett Braves tonight.
3. Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Jungmann was the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft, but he's had more mediocre results as a pro. He's repeating the Double-A Southern League after posting a 4.33 ERA in 26 starts last season. A big issue for Jungmann thus far in his pro career is that he just hasn't been missing enough bats. Through three starts in 2014, Jungmann has pitched 17 innings, allowed six earned runs on 16 hits and just three walks, while recording 17 strikeouts. He'll toe the rubber against the Double-A Mobile BayBears tonight looking for his third quality start of the season, in four tries.
4. Justin Nicolino, LHP, Miami Marlins
Nicolino, part of the mega trade with the Blue Jays prior to the 2013 season, has returned to Double-A Jacksonville for the 2014 season, after pitching there in the second half last year. Nicolino's best start of the 2014 season came in his last turn against the Chattanooga Lookouts, when he limited them to five hits and a walk over 6.2 innings of one run ball. On the season thus far, Nicolino has posted a 3.38 ERA in 16 innings, allowing 18 hits, two walks and recording eight strikeouts.
5. Dylan Unsworth, RHP, Seattle Mariners
Unsworth is a 21 year old right-hander that the Mariners signed out of South Africa in 2009. He posted an impressive season in Class-A in 2013, marking his full season debut. He made 11 starts for Clinton of the Midwest League. He allowed one walk in each of the first two starts, but impressively did not allow another walk for the rest of the season, more than roughly 50 innings pitched. Unsworth got off to a strong start to the 2014 in Class-A+, pitching six innings, allowing just five hits, a walk and an unearned run while striking out four batters. Things haven't been as easy the past two times he's taken the hill, but the Class-A+ California League can be unforgiving for pitchers, especially pitching for the Mariners' High Desert affiliate. Unsworth will take on Rancho Cucamonga tonight, and will be looking to get back on track.
For today's complete Minor League schedule, visit this link to Milb.com.

MiLB Probable Pitching Prospects to Watch: April 19th, 2014


(April 19/2014)

Probable pitchers are subject to change. For today's complete Minor League schedule, visit this link to Milb.com.

Notable pitchers scheduled to take the mound today:
  • Kyle Crick (Giants)
  • Sean Nolin (Blue Jays)
  • Anthony Ranaudo (Red Sox)
  • Deck McGuire (Blue Jays)
  • Tom Robson (Blue Jays)
  • Felix Jorge (Twins)
  • Jake Johansen (Nationals)
  • Manny Banuelos (Yankees)
  • Christian Binford (Royals)
  • Severino Gonzalez (Phillies)
  • Carlos Contreras (Reds)
  • Anthony DeSclafani (Marlins)
  • Mauricio Cabrera (Braves)
  • Domingo Tapia (Mets)
  • Matt Boyd (Blue Jays)
  • Mike Wright (Orioles)
  • David Bromberg (Braves)
  • Eddie Butler (Rockies)
  • Vincent Velasquez (Astros)
  • Zach Eflin (Padres)
  • Julio Urias (Dodgers)
  • Noah Syndergaard (Mets)

Five Pitching Prospects That We've Got Our Eyes On Today:

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets
Syndergaard goes up against the El Paso Chihuahuas in his fourth start of the season tonight. He's been solid through his first three starts, putting up a 3.94 ERA and a .283 opponents average, respectable numbers for the hitters haven that is the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Syndergaard appears to be on the cusp of the big leagues, so a strong stretch of starts could push him over the top.
2. Kyle Crick, RHP, San Francisco Giants
Crick has made just two starts so far but he appears to be adjusting to the Double-A level quite well. He had a strong debut for the Richmond Flying Squirrels on April 6th, when he limited the New Britian Rock Cats to just three hits, two walks and a run over five solid innings, racking up five strikeouts along the way. He was limited in his last start by pitch count restrictions, and only lasted 2.2 innings. He still punched out five hitters. Crick will look to put up a longer performance against the Altoona Curve this afternoon.
3. Eddie Butler, RHP, Colorado Rockies
Eddie Butler is off and rolling for Double-A Tulsa again, picking up right where he left off at the end of the 2013 season. He's put up three impressive starts in a row to start the season, striking out 17 batters while issuing just three walks. Opposing batters are hitting just .143 against Butler with runners on base. He's going up against Double-A Northwest Arkansas tonight.
4. Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Urias pitched in the Class-A Midwest League last season at the age of 16, putting up impressive numbers with a 2.48 ERA and a 67:16 K:BB ratio in 54.1 innings. Promoted to Class-A+ Rancho Cucamonga at the young age of 17, Urias had a nice debut start, allowing one hit and four walks over four shoutout innings, picking up five strikeouts. Things have been a bit tougher his last two times out and he's currently sporting a 5.40 ERA through three starts. He'll go up against the Visalia Rawhide tonight.
5. Domingo Tapia, RHP, New York Mets
Tapia returned to the Class-A+ Florida State League, where he pitched in 2013. He's off to a hot start for the St. Lucie Mets, as he's posted a 0.90 ERA through his first two starts. Tapia pitched five no-hit innings in his last start, limiting the Fort Myers Miracle to just two walks. He's drawn Fort Myers again for his next start tonight, and he'll look to carry over the success he had last time out.
For today's complete Minor League schedule, visit this link to Milb.com.

Prospect Pulse: Oscar Taveras, Archie Bradley, Taijuan Walker, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, Noah Syndergaard, Gregory Polanco, Jon Gray


(Apr 18/2014)

Prospect Pulse
The MLB Prospect Portal series 'Prospect Pulse' brings you the latest performance updates from Top Prospects around baseball. The focus of the series is on statistical production rather than scouting projection.
  • Oscar Taveras (OF) is off to a solid start for Triple-A Memphis, after playing in just 47 games last year due to injury. Taveras is batting. 273/.322/.436 with three doubles, two home runs, 10 RBI's and 10 runs scored in his first 14 games of the season. Encouraging to see that he's 8-for-22 (.364) vs. left-handed pitching so far. Oddly, he's 4-for-25 (.160) with the bases empty, yet he's batting .367 (11-for-30) with runners on base. SMALL SAMPLE SIZE ALERT, but interesting numbers nonetheless.
  • Archie Bradley (RHP) got off to a great start to the 2014 season. Making his Triple-A debut against the El Paso Chihuahuas, he pitched five innings of shutout ball, while allowing just four hits and two walks. On the season, Bradley has pitched 16.1 innings, allowed 14 hits, six walks and has struck out 12 batters. Opposing batters are hitting just .237 against him, with a .214 mark when runners are in scoring position. Bradley is also doing a good job of keeping the ball on the ground, as he's posted a 1.69 GO/AO ratio so far.
  • Taijuan Walker (RHP) has been rehabbing a right shoulder injury this spring. He made two minor league starts, with impressive results, but has since been scratched from his third rehab start due to stiffness in his shoulder. He made one start for Class-A+ High Desert, and one more for Double-A Jackson, posting a combined line of 9.1 innings pitched, seven hits, two walks and 17 strikeouts. If Walker can put up 10 strikeouts in five innings at the Double-A level with a sore shoulder, imagine what he'll be able to do once he's back fully healthy. Hopefully that will happen soon.
  • Javier Baez (SS) scuffled through his first eight games in Triple-A, hitting just .154/.214/.423 in his first 26 at-bats. On the bright side, three of his four hits went for extra bases (a double and two home runs). Baez was placed on the Triple-A disabled list on April 13th with a left ankle sprain. He should hopefully be back on the field within a couple of weeks.
  • Carlos Correa (SS) is off to a solid start with Class-A+ Lancaster. He's batting .263/.318/.421 with a double, triple, two home runs, 14 RBI's, 10 runs scored and two stolen bases in his first 14 games. Correa finished the 2013 season with a .320/.405/.467 line for the Class-A Quad Cities River Bandits. Lancaster is an outstanding hitters environment and Correa has the ability to put up some big numbers there this summer.
  • Kris Bryant (3B) is following up his stellar pro debut with a strong start to the 2014 season with Double-A Tennessee. Through his first 13 games, Bryant is hitting .263/.451/.579 with three doubles and three home runs. He's driven in just five runs, but he's scored 11, has stolen three bases and has posted a 10:14 BB:K rate so far. The low RBI total can be explained by the fact that he's had some early struggles while hitting with runners on base. He's just 2-for-13 so far in that category and just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Again, note the SMALL SAMPLE SIZE WARNING here.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS) returned to Double-A Akron, where he finished the 2013 season. However, the Akron Aeros are no more. They have been re branded as the Akron RubberDucks for the 2014 season and beyond. Lindor is off to a decent start with the stick, batting .231/.310/.404 with a double, triple, two home runs, eight RBI, eight runs scored, two stolen bases and a 5:9 BB:K ratio. He's struggling a bit from the left-side of the plate so far, where he's batting just .194 (6-for-31) so far.
  • Noah Syndergaard (RHP) is justifying all the off season hype, as he's hit the ground running in his first taste of the Triple-A level this spring. Syndergaard has made three starts for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51's, and has posted a 3.94 ERA through his first 16 innings pitched. He's allowed 17 hits and five walks, and has struck out 12 batters. He's doing a good job keeping the ball down, which is key in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League. Syndergaard's GO/AO ratio is 1.91 so far.
  • Gregory Polanco (OF) is among the hottest hitters in the minor leagues through the first two weeks. He's batting .423/.464/.654 with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, 13 RBI, 10 runs scored, and a stolen base through his first 13 games (52 at-bats) for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. With RHP Jameson Taillon out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Polanco is now firmly entrenched as the Pirates current top prospect, and the one that may help them the most in 2014.
  • Jon Gray (RHP) rebounded nicely from a rough start against the Corpus Christi Hooks. He made his season, and Double-A, debut against them on April 5th, allowing three earned runs over six innings. However, less than a week later the Hooks got hold of Gray and lit him up for six earned runs in less than an inning. Two days ago against Double-A Northwest Arkansas, Gray righted the ship, pitching 5.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out five. On the season so far, Gray has pitched 12.1 innings, allowed 14 hits and three walks, while he has struck out 11 batters. He needs to keep the ball down as he got hurt by the long ball in each of his first two starts.