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A SBNation Community about Minor League Baseball, Rookies, and Prospects

Updated: 2017-04-25T18:02:00-04:00


Minor League Ball Gameday, Tuesday, April 25th, 2017



Yesterday was Christian Arroyo Day. Today is Cody Bellinger Day.

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Minor League Ball Gameday discussion thread for Tuesday, April 25th, 2017. Let’s get down to it.

****Today’s Minor League Scoreboard

****Today’s MLB scoreboard

****Beyond the Boxscore’s excellent daily MLB recap

****Yesterday’s Highlights can be seen in the Monday discussion thread.

2017 Minor League Ball MLB prospect index


A centralized index for 2017 MLB prospect reports and content from Minor League Ball. This will be updated as the season progresses. Top 205 MLB Prospects for 2017Index of Top 20 reports per teamPre-Season Farm System Rankings Individual Reports for HITTERS Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers (4/10/2017)Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs (4/6/2017)Christian Arroyo, INF, San Francisco Giants (4/25/2017)Austin Barnes, C-INF, Los Angeles Dodgers (4/5/2017)Cody Bellinger, 1B-OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (4/25/2017)Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox (4/5/2017)Greg Bird, 1B, New York Yankees (3/3/2017)Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Kansas City Royals (4/21/2017)Allen Cordoba, INF-OF, San Diego Padres (4/3/2017)Dylan Cozens, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (3/2/2017)Matt Davidson, 3B, Chicago White Sox (4/13/2017)Yandy Diaz, INF, Cleveland Indians (2/22/2017)  (Update 3/27/2018)Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners (3/28/2017)Alen Hanson, INF-OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (4/11/2017)Kyle Higashioka, C, New York Yankees (4/9/2017)Marco Hernandez, INF, Boston Red Sox (4/12/2017)John Hicks, C, Detroit Tigers (4/24/2017)Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies (4/17/2017)JaCoby Jones, INF-OF, Detroit Tigers (4/10/2017)Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees (3/30/2017)Patrick Kivlehan, OF, Cincinnati Reds (4/13/2017)Andrew Knapp, C, Philadelphia Phillies (4/6/2017)Ramon Laureano, OF, Houston Astros (2/18/2017)Manuel Margot, OF, San Diego Padres (4/7/2017)Jacob May, OF, Chicago White Sox (3/29/2017)Trey Mancini, 1B-OF, Baltimore Orioles (4/4/2017)Peter O'Brien, 1B, Kansas City Royals (3/2/2017)Matt Olson, 1B-OF, Oakland Athletics (4/22/2017)Jose Osuna, 1B-OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (4/19/2017)A.J. Reed, 1B, Houston Astros (3/13/2017)Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Francisco Giants (4/10/2017)T.J. Rivera, INF, New York Mets (4/8/2017)Daniel Robertson, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (4/6/2017)Drew Robinson, INF-OF, Texas Rangers (4/13/2017)Chance Sisco, C, Baltimore Orioles (2/25/2017)Brock Stassi, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies (3/31/2017)Andrew Toles, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (4/6/2017)Luis Torrens, C, San Diego Padres (4/3/2017)Jose Trevino, C, Texas Rangers (3/14/2017)Stuart Turner, C, Cincinnati Reds (4/12/2017)Patrick Valaika, INF, Colorado Rockies (4/20/2017)Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Seattle Mariners (4/24/2017)Christian Walker, 1B, Atlanta Braves (2/26/2017)Nick Williams, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (3/24/2017)Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds (4/14/2017) Individual Reports for PITCHERS Raul Alcantara, RHP, Oakland Athletics (4/4/2017)Dan Altavilla, RHP, Seattle Mariners (4/4/2017)Shawn Armstrong, RHP, Cleveland Indians (4/6/2017)Barrett Astin, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (4/3/2017)Danny Barnes, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (4/20/2017)Ty Blach, LHP, San Francisco Giants (4/13/2017)Jharel Cotton, RHP, Oakland Athletics (4/4/2017)Dylan Covey, RHP, Chicago White Sox (4/14/2017)Stefan Crichton, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (4/18/2017)Rookie Davis, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (4/3/2017)Chase De Jong, RHP, Seattle Mariners (4/4/2017)Miguel Diaz, RHP, San Diego Padres (4/3/2017)Anderson Espinosa, RHP, San Diego Padres (3/16/2017)Kyle Freeland, LHP, Colorado Rockies (4/4/2017)Amir Garrett, LHP, Cincinnati Reds (4/3/2017) (preview 3/15/2017)Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (4/2/2017)Koda Glover, RHP, Washington Nationals (4/7/2017)Robert Gsellman, RHP, New York Mets (4/6/2017)Jandel Gustave, RHP, Houston Astros (4/11/2017)Justin Haley, RHP, Minnesota Twins (4/7/2017)Ariel Hernandez, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (4/24/2017)James Hoyt, RHP, Houston Astros (4/21/2017)Chih-Wei Hu, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (4/24/2017)Joe Jimenez, RHP, Detroit Tigers (4/13/2017)Brian Johnson, LHP, Boston Red Sox (4/19/2017)Casey Lawrence, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (4/12/2017)Jose Leclerc, RHP, Texas Rangers (4/11/2017)Mark Leiter, Jr, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (4/19/2017)Ben Lively, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (4/20/2017)Walker Lockett, RHP, San Diego Padres (4/21/2017)German Marquez, RHP, Colorado Rockies (4/4/2017)Adalberto Mejia, LHP, Minnesota Twins (3/31/2017)Frankie Montas, RHP, Oakland Athletics (4/4/2017)Jordan Mon[...]

Los Angeles Dodgers promote top prospect Cody Bellinger to majors


Here’s a quick report on what to expect Multiple sources report this afternoon that the Los Angeles Dodgers will promote first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger to the major league roster in time for tonight’s game against the San Francisco Giants. Here’s a quick take on what to expect. The Dodgers drafted Bellinger in the fourth round in 2013 from high school in Chandler, Arizona. He comes from a baseball family: his father Clay Bellinger played 183 games in the major leagues with the New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels, hitting just .193 in 344 plate appearances. His son is a much different player, being a power hitter as opposed to a light-bat utilityman like his dad. Cody ranked as the Number One prospect in the Los Angeles farm system on the 2017 Dodgers Top 20 Prospects list, with the following comment: 1) Cody Bellinger, 1B-OF, Grade A-: Age 21, fourth round pick in 2013; hit .271/.365/.507 with 26 homers, 60 walks, 94 strikeouts in 410 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A; 60-grade power from left side, along with a high walk rate; has occasional contact troubles and batting average may not hold up in the majors; however if he can hit .250 the OBP and power will carry him; excellent defensive first baseman and can also play corner outfield if needed without hurting you. ETA late 2017. Bellinger was off to a fine start with Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2017, hitting .343/.429/.627 with five homers, nine walks, and 22 strikeout in 67 at-bats. He’s even stolen seven bases this year without being caught. Listed at 6-4, 210, Bellinger was born July 13th, 1995; at age 21 he is quite young obviously. Early in his career he was something of a slap/gap hitter, albeit a good one, but as he’s matured physically and refined his swing mechanics his power has blossomed. His power is generally but not exclusively to right field. There’s no shortage of bat speed and he’s developed a discerning batting eye, though there’s occasionally some swing-and-miss in his game as he’s worked to find the right balance between slugging and pure hitting. Bellinger is a much better athlete than most first baseman, giving him above-average to excellent defensive ability at first base. His arm is strong enough for him to handle the outfield and he’s held his own in limited appearances in center, though long-term his range works best in left or right. At first base he’s terrific; in the outfield he is certainly playable. Sabermetric projection systems view him as a .240ish hitter at present, albeit with significant isolated power. PECOTA projects .239/.315/.465, while Steamer sees .235/.307/.410. Scouts are more optimistic, but even if the objective projections are correct in the short run we are still looking at a guy who can holds his own in the majors at age 21. That’s special. Given a normal development curve, Bellinger can be an All-Star eventually. src="" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> [...]

Rangers prospect Connor Sadzeck flashing potential



Rangers pitching prospect showing the great —and the not so great— so far in 2017

A 25-year old in Double-A usually doesn’t garner this much attention. When it’s a 6 foot 7, 240 pound pitcher with the stuff of Connor Sadzeck, you start to understand why.

He’s hit triple digits on the radar gun with ease and he spins an impressive slider, a curveball that’s as dominant as it sometimes is hittable and a change-up to complete a repertoire that most believe will end up in the bullpen. With the power behind his arsenal, it could play very well in the back-end as one of the last arms used in future close games in Arlington.

But for now, the Texas Rangers are still utilizing Sadzeck as a starting pitcher. In fact, he was the opening day starter for the Frisco RoughRiders, their Double-A affiliate.

An 11th round pick in 2011, the towering, bulky right-hander spent missed the 2014 season but advanced to Frisco in 2015. After posting a very impressive 3.98 ERA and 10.6 K/9 in the hellish pitching environments of the now defunct High Desert, the Rangers promoted “Sadzy” to Double-A and added him to the 40-man roster in the off-season.

(image) Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Sadzeck may not be the highest profile name on the Riders’ pitching staff —that honor goes to top prospects Yohander Mendez and Ariel Jurado— but Manager Joe Mikulik faced an indecision when assigning his opening day starter for 2017.

Unfortunately, the hard-to-predict Sadzeck was at his worst in his first opener. He failed to record an out on 30 pitches, missing the zone on 18 of them. Four walks and four runs on no outs saddled the righty with an undesirable “INF” ERA and WHIP, among other statistics.

Since the disastrous first game of 2017, Sadzeck has been the hot to his own cold. He’s allowed three earned runs in 18.1 innings, winning two of the three outings.

All of his runs ironically came in what was his finest outing. He carried a perfect game into the 6th and a no-hitter into the 7th. Finishing the game with a season-high 10 strikeouts, the Rangers prospect ranked 14th by John Sickels and as high as 10th by looks to be finding his groove.

Strikeouts are not Sadzeck’s problem. It’s walks that have plagued him his professional career. But in his past three starts, he’s walked just five batters and allowed just six hits. Whatever Texas saw to add Sadzeck to the 40-man roster in 2015 and protect him the year after, he could be starting to show with consistency.

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Reds rookie Ariel Hernandez hits 100 MPH in MLB debut



Four of his pitches reached century mark

Cincinnati Reds Rookie Ariel Hernandez struck out five in 2 2/3 innings last night in Milwaukee. Albeit in a mopup role, Hernandez was dominant on the mound when manager Bryan Price needed to control the game a bit more after Amir Garrett had his first rough outing of the season (10 runs, nine earned in 3 1/3 innings). Hernandez replaced Garrett in the fourth inning and gave up no hits, runs or walks.

He threw 30 pitches, four of which reached 100 mph. After starting the season at No. 23 on the MLB Pipeline Prospect List in the Reds farm system, Hernandez is looking to solidify a spot on the big league roster. It would not be out of the question, especially with the recent struggles of relievers like Robert Stephenson (5.59 ERA, nine walks and 1.96 WHIP) and given Hernandez’s own excellent stuff. Reds starters have also failed to pitch deep into games leaving Reds skipper Price with a worn-out bullpen and few options when he must go to relievers early in games.

Hernandez skipped AAA Louisville this season after posting a 1-0 record in AA Pensacola in eight appearances. His ERA this season with the Blue Wahoos was 1.13 to go along with 14 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP. You can read the fuller report we filed on Hernandez yesterday here.

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MLB Rookie Profile: Christian Arroyo, INF, San Francisco Giants



San Francisco Giants promote top prospect Christian Arroyo to major leagues

Last night the San Francisco Giants promoted their best prospect, infielder Christian Arroyo, to the major league roster. He debuted in the starting lineup as the third baseman, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was off to a blistering start in Triple-A, where he hit .446 in 16 games for Sacramento. Here’s a quick profile.

The Giants drafted Arroyo in the first round in 2013 from high school in Brooksville, Florida. At the time he projected as an advanced contact hitter with high batting averages and moderate power and that’s exactly how he turned out. He hit .304/.344/.459 in High-A in 2015 and .274/.316/.373 in Double-A in 2016, the latter slash line being better than it looks on the surface due to the league/park context. As noted he was mashing Triple-A before his promotion.

Arroyo ranked first on the pre-season 2017 San Francisco Giants Top 20 prospects list with the following commentary:

1) Christian Arroyo, INF, Grade B+/B: Age 21, first round pick in 2013; hit .274/.316/.373 with 36 doubles, three homers, 29 walks, 72 strikeouts in 474 at-bats in Double-A; draws constant praise for swing mechanics, doubles power, and general heady play; hit .315/.348/.438 on the road last year, just .224/.278/.294 in difficult home park; long-term should be a .280ish hitter with doubles power; aggressive and could stand to draw more walks but he makes hard contact on pitches other hitters miss; arm and range fit better at third base than shortstop, has also played well in limited looks at second base; ETA 2018.

The pre-season report remains valid although the ETA has been moved up.

He is an aggressive hitter who doesn’t draw many walks but he makes contact on everything. While his walk rate is low, he demonstrates good knowledge of the strike zone and is not a wild hacker. He will flash some pull-side power on occasion but is capable of hitting to all fields, working with what the pitcher gives him and lashing singles and doubles.

Arroyo started at third base last night but played second, third, and shortstop both last year and this year in Triple-A. He is fundamentally sound and what he lacks in pure tools he makes up for in polish. His range is a bit limited for regular duty at shortstop but he’s reliable at all three positions.

Arroyo doesn’t turn 22 until May so he still has plenty of development time on the clock. Projection systems see him as a .250-.260 hitter right now, though long-term I think him capable of .280-.300 averages. He should show more power in time, but his low walk rate will make his OBP very dependent on his batting averages.

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MLB Rookie Profile: Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates



Young right-hander is first native of Lithuania to pitch in the major leagues

Yesterday the Pittsburgh Pirates promoted right-handed relief pitcher Dovydas Neverauskas to the major league roster. He pitched two innings out of the bullpen against the Chicago Cubs in his debut, allowing two hits and a run while fanning one batter. What else can be expected? Let’s take a look.

The Pirates signed Neverauskas out of Lithuania in 2009 for $60,000. He was a mediocre starting pitcher at the lower levels but moved to the bullpen in 2015 and has steadily improved since, posting a 3.10 ERA in 58 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016 with a 56/22 K/BB and earning a spot on the 40-man roster last fall.

He earned a Grade C+ grade heading into the 2017 season, outside the pre-season Pirates Top 20 prospects but ranked somewhere between 21 and 25th in the system.

Neverauskas is a 6-3, 215 pound right-hander born January 14th, 1993. As a starter he worked with a low-90s fastball but in the bullpen that’s up to 94-98 MPH, including in his debut last night when he averaged 97. He mixes in an 87-90 MPH slider and will occasionally drop in a low-80s curveball. It is a classic middle relief profile and I don’t see any reason why he can’t be at least average in the role.

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Minor League Ball Gameday, Monday, April 24th, 2017



Michael Conforto is locked in; plus highlights from yesterday and discussion of today’s prospect action

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Minor League Ball Gameday discussion thread for Monday, April 24th, 2017. Let’s get down to business.

****Today’s Minor League Scoreboard

****Today’s MLB scoreboard

****Beyond the Boxscore’s excellent daily MLB recap

****Yesterday’s Highlights can be seen in the Sunday discussion thread.


****Young New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto looks locked in: he went 3-for-4 with a homer yesterday and is now hitting .361/.432/.722 through 36 at-bats for the Mets.

****Another product of the Houston Astros secret Latin American pitching cloning facility: Jorge Alcala, RHP, Quad Cities Bandits: eight strikeouts in six innings, five hits, two runs, one walk, has given up just eight hits in 15.2 innings so far.

****Toronto Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr went 2-for-3 for Low-A Lansing yesterday, giving him a .309/.441/.491 line through 55 at-bats, with a notably excellent 12/8 BB/K. His range factor at third base is a mere 1.50, but he hasn’t made an error yet. It will be interesting to read the scouting reports on his glove once they start to come in. I don’t think there’s any real doubt about the hitting.

****Texas Rangers prospect Clayton Blackburn made his first start for Triple-A Round Rock since coming over from the Giants system. It went well: five shutout innings for the Iowa Cubs, two hits, one walk, four strikeouts.


****Travis Sawchik at Fangraphs is not a fan of the new generation of MLB ballparks, feeling that, in their own way, they are just as flawed as the cookie-cutter designs from the early 70s.