As we enter August, most of the minor league teams have about 30 games remaining, which means these horses are running out of time to prove their worth to the organization, and their teams are running out of time to make the playoffs. Some are just kicking it into high gear, some are fading around the final turn, and some are pulling up lame at the worst time. Here are three prospects feeling their oats and three we hope don't get sent to the glue factory.
Walt was probably right in waiting to deal him, because if he keeps hitting like he has been recently, his stock will be much higher in the offseason. The wrist finally seems healed, and Alonso has been crushing the ball lately to the tune of a .297/.422/.676 line in his last 10 games, and he has raised his AAA OPS to .793. Keep it up, young man. You've got to get us Hanley!
The other possibly big trade chip in the offseason keeps raising his stock as well. He's still not walking, and in fact his BB/K ratio hasn't shown any improvement from his career norms. Still, the .571 SLG which is driving his .895 OPS will look mighty tempting to a team needing a cheap 3B next year. Keep hitting, young man, the END is nigh!
Chapman clearly struggled adapting to the bullpen, but he seems very comfortable now, as he hasn't allowed a run in his last 10.1 innings of work. In that time he has struck out 15 while only walking 4. I was the most vocal opponent of moving him to the pen, but Walt assures me he'll be a starter next year, and with his current run of dominance, it is pretty exciting to think about him mowing down major league hitters in late innings sometime soon.
Devin certainly didn't make this list because of performance, because he has just kept on hitting this summer. Unfortunately, someone hit him in a home plate collision on Friday night, giving him a mild concussion. Hopefully he won't be out too long, but this is a major bummer for a guy who could have been in the conversation for minor league player of the year. (Not just Reds, but the entire minors)
Matt hasn't pitched terribly, but he can't seem to stay in Louisville, and with the major league rotation so deep, he doesn't seem poised to crack it any time soon. That'd be OK if he wasn't going to be 26 next season. This could be another Matt Maloney situation, where a guy has plenty of minor league success and could contribute at the back end of a rotation, but just can't get a good shot.
The Dayton Dragons
This is a first for us here at Farmers Only, but the entire Dragons team deserves this one. They have lost 11 in a row and 18 of their last 19. I mean, come on. That's ridiculous. The team isn't exactly stacked with top prospects but they have plenty of useful players. There is no reason for that much futility. Common guys! Get it together!
Follow the jump for a recap of the busy weekend!
- Louisville got the weekend off on the right foot, winning 5-2 on Friday. Micah Owings and Chad Reineke shared the start with each allowing 1 run over their respective 4 innings. Aroldis Chapman earned his first save of the season pitching a perfect 9th with one strikeout. Michael Griffin and Wilkin Castillo were each 2-3, and one of Castillo's hits was a homer. Oh, and Yonder Alonso hit his first triple of the season. That would've been fun to watch. Saturday the Bats kept the win train rolling, winning 10-2. Homer Bailey had a successful rehab start, throwing 6.2 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits, 2 walks, and striking out 3. It's easy to forget about him, but Bailey has a history of being much better in the second half of seasons, and a healthy Homer will do wonders for the rotation depth down the stretch. Offensively, just about everyone got in on the act again, with 6 players having multiple hits. Zack Cozart, Yonder Alonso, and Todd Frazier all had 3, and Alonso's were 2 doubles and a homer. Sunday they won in exciting walk-off fashion, 3-2 in 11 innings. Danny Ray Herrera, Jesus Delgado, and Aroldis Chapman each threw 2 scoreless innings of relief. Chapman also struck out 4 and earned his 8th win of the season. Yonder Alonso was 2-3 with a double and 3 walks, Wladimir Balentien was 3-4 with 2 walks, Chris Dickerson was 3-4 with a walk, and Juan Francisco was 2-5 with a walk(!) Drew Sutton drove in Michael Griffin in the bottom of the 11th for the walkoff win. Up Next: The Bats are off today.
- Carolina lost 10-8 on Friday. Matt Klinker struggled, giving up 7 runs (3 earned) in just 4 innings. Brad Boxberger finally had a successful outing out of the pen, going 2 scoreless while striking out 3. Chris Denove went 2-3 with a double and homer, but the big news is why he was playing: Devin Mesoraco suffered a concussion from a hard collision at the plate in the first inning. Get well soon Devin! The Mudcats lost again Saturday, this time 3-1. Jeremy Horst and Joe Krebs each pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief. Kris Negron hit his 9th homer of the year to provide the team's only run. Sunday they won 8-5. Jake Kahaulelio was 3-5 with 2 doubles, and Mike Costanzo and Luis Terrero each had 2 hits, including a double. Up Next: Someone will start at 8:00.
- Lynchburg lost 2-0 on Friday. Jordan Hotchkiss had another good start, giving up 2 runs in 6.2 innings, striking out 6. The offense couldn't get anything going, as they only mustered 6 hits, 2 each by Kevin Coddington and Denis Phipps. Lynchburg's game was rained out on Saturday, and the team was off on Sunday. Up Next: Chase Ware takes the hill at 7:00.
- Dayton lost 9-7 on Friday. Josh Garton and Cameron Satterwhite each had 2 hits, including a homer. Saturday the team lost again, 2-1. Jacob Johnson had a great start wasted, as he went 7 innings, allowing just 1 unearned run on 6 hits, and he struck out 4. Doug Salinas gave up the winning run in the 8th to take the loss. Ryan LaMarre was 2-4 with a double. The Dragons kept the streak alive, losing Sunday 10-7. Junior Martinez and Kevin Arico each pitched scoreless innings of relief. DiDi Gregorius was 4-5, Frank Pfister was 2-4 with a homer and Josh Garton was 2-5 with a homer. Up Next: Clayton Shunick tries to stop the bleeding at 7:00.
- Billings lost Friday 13-5. Juan Duran went 3-5 with a double, Theodis Bowe was 3-4, and Dayne Read was 2-5 with a double and home run. Saturday the Mustangs lost 3-2. Josh Smith, this year's 21st round pick, pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief, striking out 3. In 17 innings this year, Smith has struck out 24 batters. Interesting. Only 4 players got hits, but Billy Hamilton made the most of his, stealing 2 bases as well. Sunday the team won 9-5 in 12 innings. Tyler Cline started and pitched 4 shutout innings, and Ryan Smith finished the game with 3 shutout innings to earn the win. Billy Hamilton was 4-6 with a double and his 19th stolen base, and Juan Duran and Trey Manz each doubled twice. Up Next: Tanner Robles starts at 9:00.
- AZL Reds were off Friday. Saturday they won 4-3. This year's 5th round pick, Wes Mugarian, pitched the first 2 innings, allowing an unearned run, and Kyle Lotzkar followed with 3 shutout innings, striking out 3. He's finally showing some signs of life. Samuel Diaz was the only player with more than one hit. Junior Arias did have 2 RBI. Sunday the game was postponed. Up Next: The team plays a doubleheader today starting at 7:00. Neither starter is known yet.