Minor League Notes: April 9

There were some fireworks from notable prospects playing in the Pacific Coast League.  On the bump, a Mariners farm hand turned heads in his Double-A Southern League debut.  Meanwhile, in the low-minors, a Twins youngster found the seats twice in a High-A Midwest League contest. 

South Atlantic League (Low-A)

  • Gary Sanchez- Sanchez continued his sizzling start to the season recording one double and two walks in five plate appearances.  He should see an in season promotion in short order, and the Yankees decision to have him repeat the South Atlantic League may have lit a fire under Sanchez. 
  • Nick Delmonico-  The Orioles paid a pretty penny, over $1.5 million, to sway Delmonico away from a commitment to Georgia after selecting him in the sixth round of last June’s draft.  An assignment to a full-season league is relatively aggressive for a prep bat, but he has taken to it well thus far.  He has put a forgettable 0-5 in the first game of the season in the rearview mirror, reaching base in each of the next four games.  He has shown impressive plate discipline working four walks in 21 plate appearances.  He went 1-3 with two walks on Monday.
  • Blake Swihart-  Four games played as a pro, four games in which he has tallied at least one hit.  He hit a triple Monday and went 1-4 overall.
  • Luis Sardinas-  Sardinas was signed as an international free agent the same year as Jurickson Profar, but has seen his development slowed by injuries.  The young Venezuelan, 18 years old, has been healthy this year and is white hot.  In 17 plate appearances on the year, he is hitting .429/.529/.429.  On Monday he went 2-4 with two runs scored, and added a stolen base.  The stolen base is notable because it brings his season total to a juicy five stolen bases in six chances.
  • Delino Deshields Jr-  With his 2-5 effort, Deshields Jr has back-to-back multi-hit efforts and raised his average to .368.
  • Trevor Story-  Ashville exploded for 13 runs.  Story, the 45th overall selection in last June’s draft, chipped in to the offensive onslaught going 1-3 with a walk, two runs scores, two runs batted in, and a home run.  The home run was Story’s first of the year.

Midwest League (Low-A)

  • Miguel Sano-  Sano claimed Kane County’s home ballpark, Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, as his own.  He went 2-3 with two walks.  Both hits were home runs, and he drove in five.  Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus attended the game, and tweeted that Sano didn’t square up either ball he sent into the seats.  One of the two home runs was taken to the opposite field.  Sano’s power is unquestioned, and Monday’s display served as a reminder he has special pop.
  • Jorge Bonifacio-  Bonifacio was overshadowed playing opposite Sano, but had a fine game in his own right.  He reached base all five times he went to the dish, going 2-2 with a double and three walks.
  • Francisco Lindor-  Lindor had his first extra base hit of the year, a triple, going 2-5.  It was his second consecutive game with multiple hits. 
  • Justin Nicolino-  Nicolino was nearly perfect starting for Lansing on Monday.  His lone blemish was a hit batter.  He threw three innings allowing just the one baserunner and struck out five. 
  • Aaron Sanchez-  Nicolino wasn’t the only sharp pitcher for the Lansing Lugnuts on Monday.  Sanchez followed Nicolino, and tossed three scoreless innings of his own.  He allowed one hit, walked two, uncorked a wild pitch, and struck out four. 

Florida State League (High-A)

  • Nick Castellanos-  Castellanos went 2-5, raising his average to .412, with one of those hits being his season’s first home run.
  • Avisail Garcia-  Garcia went just 1-4 with a couple of punchouts, but made the most of his lone time on base stealing both second and third base. 
  • Gerrit Cole-  Cole made his minor league debut, and it was a good one.  He pitched four innings, yielding one earned run on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.  All of the outs recorded on balls put in play against Cole were on the ground.
  • Jake Marisnick-  Marisnick served as the catalyst atop the Dunedin lineup.  He went 2-5 with a walk.  He scored two runs, hit one double, and stole one base.

Carolina League (High-A)

  • Cheslor Cuthbert-  There was only one game played in the Carolina League on Monday, and Cuthbert probably wishes there weren’t any games played.  He had a forgettable day going 0-3 at the dish with one walk and one strikeout.  His problems weren’t limited to a poor performance at the plate, he committed two throwing errors in the field.

California League (High-A)

  • Telvin Nash-  Nash went 3-5 on Monday with one double.  Most importantly, he didn’t strike out.  He has a bagel in the strikeout column in four-of-five games played this year.  That’s no small feat for a player that struck out in 32.6 percent of his plate appearances in 2011.
  • Brad Miller-  As I type this, the game is still in progress, but Miller is 2-4 on the evening.  No extra base hits, but he keeps his average at .500 for the season with his continued hot hitting.
  • Kyle Lotzkar-  Lotzkar has been snake bitten in his professional career.  He was drafted in the supplemental first round of the 2007 amateur draft, but due to injury, last year’s 67 innings pitched marked a career high.  He’s looking to make up for lost time, and was tough on Stockton on Monday.  He pitched six innings allowing two earned runs on six hits, one of which was a solo home run, with zero walks and eight strikeouts.
  • Miles Head-  Head was the man that took Lotzkar deep.  He came to the A’s organization as a member of the package sent from the Red Sox in return for Andrew Bailey.  The home run was Head’s first on the season, but his fourth extra base hit overall.
  • Billy Hamilton-  Hamilton is off to a slow start, but used his blazing speed to swipe his third base of the season.

Eastern League (Double-A)

  • Nolan Arenado-  Arenado wrapped out a couple of singles in five at-bats.  The pair of hits couldn’t prevent his average from dropping on the season.  He now has a paltry .500 average on the season.  Wake me when he gets a hit in more than half of his at-bats.
  • Kolten Wong-  Wong is tearing the cover off the ball.  He went 2-5 with his first home run of the year.

Southern League (Double-A)

  • Taijuan Walker-  The Mariners decided to have their minor leauge pitcher of the year in 2011 skip High-A, and Walker didn’t disappoint in his Southern League debut.  He pitched five innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. 
  • Nathan Eovaldi-  Eovaldi jumped from Double-A to the majors last year, and came up just one-third of an inning short of losing his rookie eligibility.  Still a prospect, the Dodgers sent him back to Double-A to marinate a little longer.  Monday was his first start of 2012, and a solid one.  He pitched five innings allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
  • Andrelton Simmons-  Simmons made his season debut Monday going 2-4 with one stolen base.
  • Tyler Skaggs-  Skaggs dominated the Southern League in ten starts last year, so it is a bit surprising to see him back in Mobile.  Regardless, he picked up where he left off going six strong innings showcasing prisine control by walking zero.  He had no problems piling up the strikeouts either, sending seven Mississippi batters back to the dugout via strike three.

Eastern League (Double-A)

  • Aaron Hicks-  No one has accused Hicks of lacking tools, but for the most part, his tantalizing tools haven’t translated into game skills.  Hicks has had a rough start to this year, but Monday was a good day for him.  He went 2-4 with one home run and four RBIs. 
  • Deolis Guerra-  Guerra lost most of his prospect luster as a starting pitcher, but found success after being moved to the bullpen last year.  He tossed two and two-thirds scoreless innings Monday striking out one and keeping the ball on the ground.
  • Manny Machado-  Machado went 2-5 against Richmond hitting his second home run of the year.  He also added a couple of strikeouts, and he has struck out at least once in every game played this year. 

Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)

  • Anthony Rizzo-  I’m not sure if Rizzo was aware that Cubs starting first baseman Bryan LaHair hit a home run against the Brewers Monday night, but he raised him one nonetheless.  Rizzo was a perfect 3-3, hitting two home runs, and reaching base a fourth time with a walk. 
  • Leonys Martin-  Martin flashed his power, hitting one double and a home run, and his speed, stealing one base, on Monday.  He went 3-5 overall.
  • Tanner Scheppers-  Scheppers worked a perfect eighth inning needing only 11 pitches, nine of which were strikes, to strikeout two batters and retire the side. 
  • Tony Abreu-  Abreu worked an uneventful ninth inning, which is noteworthy for the erratic reliever, and preserved Oklahoma City’s two run lead earning himself the save while striking out two batters.
  • Mike Trout-  Trout hit his first home run of the year going oppo and putting it in the right field seats.  He finished the game 2-4. 
  • Chance Ruffin-  The Mariners acquired the former Texas Longhorns closer as a part of the Doug Fister trade to the Tigers.  He notched his first save of the year striking out two, and throwing 11 of his 14 pitches for strikes.

International League (Triple-A)

  • Starling Marte-  Marte lead the game off with a home run, his first of the season.  He added another hit, and went 2-4 on the day Monday.