MINORS: News and notes

With just a few weeks to go in the 2012 minor league season, we take another tour around the minors to see who is hot and who is not.  Next week we begin to take a look at possible September call-ups.  On 8/17 we take a look at possible AL call-ups, followed by the NL on 8/24.

Triple-A Update:
The Arizona Diamondbacks Tyler Skaggs (LHP) has been lights-out since being promoted to Triple-A Reno.  In 8 starts with the Aces, the left-handed Skaggs is 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA.  On the year, Skaggs now 9-5 with a 2.38 ERA, 35 BB/112 K, and a .236 BAA in 117.1 IP.

The Atlanta Braves Julio Teheran (RHP) continues to be ineffective for Triple-A Gwinnett.  In his last 10 starts, the 21-year-old right-hander is 1-4 with a 7.93 ERA.  Teheran has had inconsistent mechanics and has struggled to put hitters away as he had in the past.  On the year, Teheran is now 6-7 with a 5.35 ERA, 38 BB/71 K, and a .235 BAA in 106 IP.

The Kansas City Royals Jake Odorizzi (RHP) looks ready to make his major league debut.  In 21 minor league starts, the 22-year-old righty is 12-4 with a 3.22 ERA, 41 BB/118 K, and a .252 BAA in 120.1 IP.  Odorizzi still needs to be more efficient and work deeper in his starts, but he should develop into a solid mid-rotation starter very soon.

The Tampa Bay Rays Chris Archer (RHP) is making steady if not rapid progress.  Archer struggled after coming to the Rays in the Matt Garza trade in 2011.  Archer’s control has improved this year, but he is still walking 4.7/9 and on the year is 6-8 with a 3.97 ERA, 53 BB/113 K, and a .219 BAA in 102 IP.

The Philadelphia Phillies Tyler Cloyd (RHP) might have the best control of any pitcher at Triple-A.  Cloyd has made a successful transition from reliever to starter over the past several seasons and continues to put up impressive results.  In 23 starts in 2012, the 25-year-old Cloyd is 14-1 with a 2.07 ERA, 34 BB/104 K, and a .213 BAA in 143 IP.  Cloyd hasn’t posted an ERA over 3.00 since 2010 and could get replace Kyle Kendrick at the back-end of the Phillies rotation before the end of the season.

Double-A Update:
The Houston Astros Jonathan Singleton (1B) remains stuck at Double-A Corpus Christi and the big league club seems in no hurry to bring him to the majors.  Singleton is having a solid season, hitting .274/.387/.465 with 23 doubles, 14 home runs, and 73 BB/107 K in 383 AB, but hasn’t yet forced the Astros hand by dominating.  Singleton is still just 20-years-old, but could get a chance to win the starting 1B job when the Astros move to the AL in 2013.

The Cincinnati Reds Billy Hamilton (SS) remains on pace to break the minor league stolen base record of 145 set by Vince Coleman in 1983.  Through 109 games the speedy Hamilton has 131 steals while being caught just 27 times.  For the year Hamilton is hitting .310/.407/.421 with 20 doubles, 11 triples, 2 home runs, and 69 BB/92 K in 432 AB.

The Baltimore Orioles promoted top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy (RPH) to Double-A after just 11 starts with High-A Fredrick.  The 19-year-old Bundy continues his rapid ascent toward the majors and for the year is 7-3 with a 1.92 ERA, 19 BB/103 K, and a .182 BAA in 84.1 IP.

The Colorado Rockies Nolan Arenado (3B) hasn’t been as impressive in ’12 as he was a year ago, but he’s been red-hot in August.  After hitting 20 home runs in the CAL, Arenado has 9 round-trippers in ’12, but is hitting .400 with 8 doubles and 2 home runs in his past 10 games.  Long-term Arenado still has the tools to develop into an above-average 3B with solid power.  It just might not happen as quickly as some anticipated.

The Chicago White Sox Carlos Sanchez (3B/2B) has been a pleasant surprise in ’12.  The short, but athletic Sanchez has played both 3B and 2B.  Since being promoted to Double-A July Sanchez is hitting .387 in 75 AB.  For the year, the 5’11”, 175 pound Sanchez is hitting .327/.385/.409 with 19 doubles, 7 triples, 1 home run, 24 SB, and 37 BB/76 K in 440 AB.

The Seattle Mariners Stefen Romero (3B) is a bit old to be considered an elite prospect, but the 24-year-old 3B is having a solid campaign.  In 99 games between High-A and Double-A, Romero is hitting .351/.392/.599 with 31 doubles, 19 home runs, and 23 BB/60 K in 404 AB.

The Boston Reds Sox continue to aggressively promote Xander Bogaerts (SS) and this week moved the budding star to Double-A Portland.  Prior to the promotion, the 19-year-old SS was hitting .302/.378/.505 with 27 doubles, 15 home runs, and 43 BB/85 K in 384 AB for High-A Salem.  Long-term, Bogaerts may be moved to 3B, but he has plenty of pop to handle any position change and homered in his first game with Portland.

The Houston Astros promoted 2011 1st rounder George Springer (OF) to Double-A Corpus Christi this week after he dominated in the CAL.  The 22-year-old Springer hit .316/.398/.557 with 18 doubles, 10 triples, 22 home runs, 28 SB, and 56 BB/131 K in 434 AB.  Springer will need to cut down his strikeout totals, but has the potential to develop into a solid 20/20 player down the road.

Single-A Update:
The Washington Nationals Matt Skole (3B) is in the midst of a solid breakout season.  Skole was a 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft after playing college ball at Georgia Tech.  The 23-year-old Skole is a bit old to still be at Low-A, but does have solid power and draws plenty of walks.  On the year, Skole is hitting .287/.438/.582 with 18 doubles, 27 home runs, and 91 BB/115 K in 335 AB.

The Philadelphia Phillies Adam Morgan (LHP) has quietly emerged as a solid pitching prospect.  Morgan was the Phillies 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft who had a nice combination of stuff and command.  He features an 87-92 mph fastball, slider, and change-up.  At 6’1”, 195 he isn’t tall and doesn’t overpower, but on the year he is 4-10 with a 3.29 ERA, 28 BB/140 K, and a .227 BAA in 123 IP for High-A Clearwater.

The Marlins Jose Fernandez (RHP) hasn’t missed a beat since being promoted to High-A Jupiter, going 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 7 starts.  Fernandez was one of the most impressive pitchers in the Futures Game and for the year is 11-1 with a 1.89 ERA, 29 BB/134 K, and a .193 BAA in 114 IP.  If he continues like this, he could start 2013 at Double-A.

The Texas Rangers Jorge Alfaro (C) signed out of Columbia for $1.3 million and is quickly developing into one of the better catching prospects in the AL.  Alfaro just turned 18 in June and is already holding his own in the SAL where he is hitting .274/.336/.452 with 16 doubles, 3 home runs, and 13 BB/60 K in 197 AB.  Alfaro actually has decent speed for a catcher and a cannon for an arm.  If his power develops the way some scouts think it will, he could be the complete package behind the plate.

The San Diego Padres Yeison Asencio (OF) – formerly known as Yoan Alcantara – remains a solid prospect, despite the revelation that he is 2.5 years older than originally reported.  Asencio has been very impressive in the MLW and is currently hitting .326/.354/.502 with 17 doubles, 8 home runs, 7 SB, and 11 BB/30 K in 267 AB.

The Baltimore Orioles Kevin Gausman (RHP) made his professional debut on 8/6/12, throwing three no-hit innings for Aberdeen in the NYPL.  Gausman was the 4th overall pick in the 2012 draft and should be able to move up quickly.

The Minnesota Twins moved Byron Buxton (OF) from the GCL to rookie ball in the Appalachian League after Buxton struggled against older competition.  The 18-year-old Buxton showed good power in his debut, but struck out 26 times in just 88 GCL AB.  Long-term, Buxton has legitimate 5-tool potential but could take some time to develop.

The Chicago Cubs Dillon Maples (RHP) finally got into game action after starting the year with a sore elbow.  The 20-year-old Maples was a potential 1st round pick in 2011, but fell to the 14th round due to concerns about signability.  The Cubs gave Maples $2.5 million to buy him out of his commitment to North Carolina.  In his pro debut, Maples gave up 3 hits and 1 earned run, while walking 4 and striking out 5.

The Colorado Rockies David Dahl (OF) has been one of more dynamic players in the PIO.  The 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft is hitting .381/.427/.602 with 12 doubles, 8 triples, 4 home runs, 8 SB, and 15 BB/26 K in 181 AB.  Dahl just turned 18 in April and was one of the younger high schoolers in the draft.

The San Diego Padres Casey Kelly (RHP) is finally back in action after missing three months of action with a sore elbow.  Since his return, Kelly has given up 4 ER in 9 innings with 0 BB/7 K. If healthy, Kelly remains a very good pitching prospects and could see some action in PETCO come this September.

The Washington Nationals Anthony Rendon (3B) is trying to make an impression despite missing much of the 2012 season with a broken ankle.  After spending a week in the GCL and a week in the NYPL, Rendon was moved back to High-A Potomac where he started the season.  Despite missing much of the season, Rendon has been productive with the bat, hitting .327/.453/.673 with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, and 11 BB/10 K in 52 AB.

The Philadelphia Phillies Jesse Biddle (RHP) is one of the organizations few bright spots in 2012.  The 6’4”. 225 pound lefty has been one of the more consistent starters in the Florida State League.  Through 22 starts, Biddle is 7-5 with a 3.47 ERA, 47 BB/122 K, and a .254 BAA in 116.2 IP.  Biddle features three solid offerings in a low-90s fastball, 12-6 curveball, and solid change-up.  If his off-speed offerings continue to improve, he has the size and fastball to be a solid #2 starter down the road.

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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.