Daily minor league curtain call: Albert Amora on a tear
Among the highlights from around the minors Monday was the Mariners’ 2012 first-round draft pick, Mike Zunino, getting promoted up three levels from short-season Everett to double-A Jackson. As mentioned in yesterday’s Curtain Call, Zunino had been on a tear at the plate, hitting 14-for-23 (.609) over his last six games, with three home runs and 16 RBI. The Rockies’ 2012 first-round pick, David Dahl, went 1-for-5 with a double to extend his hitting streak to 24 games. Dahl has gone 47-for-108 (.435) over the streak with 31 runs, 14 extra-base hits and 22 RBI. Here are the top performances from Monday, August 13:
10. There are whispers the Rangers are planning on calling up top prospect Jurickson Profar. If this happens, everyone in keeper leagues should grab him immediately. The 19-year-old shortstop went 2-for-4 for double-A Frisco on Monday with a home run and RBI. On the season, he is hitting .285 over 111 games with 25 doubles, seven triples, 14 home runs, 61 RBI and 15 stolen bases. The 5’-11”, 170-pound switch-hitter has all five-tools, and at just 19, his ceiling is ridiculous.
9. Oscar Taveras, the Cardinals top offensive prospect, went 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and a stolen base for double-A Springfield. The 6’-2”, 180-pound left-hander has more offensive potential than Profar as his power and approach at the plate are scary good for his age. The 20-year-old is now hitting .321 over 111 games with 31 doubles, seven triples, 21 home runs, 82 RBI and nine stolen bases. He has drawn 39 walks to just 53 strikeouts for a slash line of .382/.574/.956. Over the last two seasons, he is hitting .348 with 58 doubles, 12 triples, 29 home runs and 144 RBI over 189 games.
8. Another talented teenager, the Twins Miguel Sano, may have more power potential than the two players listed above. The 6’-3”, 200-pound right-hander went 2-for-4 with a home run and RBI for class-A Beloit. He is now hitting .371 over his last 10 games with three home runs, nine RBI and a 1.210 OPS. After bursting on the scene in 2011, hitting 20 home runs with 59 RBI and a .988 OPS over 60 games, Sano is hitting .259 with 24 home runs, 90 RBI and a .902 OPS over 114 games this season.
7. Heading into the 2012 draft, Lewis Brinson was considered extremely raw. Compared to second-overall pick Byron Buxton for having similar tools, most thought Brinson would struggle early and take a while to refine his game. The Rangers snagged him with the 29th-overall pick, and along with Joey Gallo, have secured some potent bats for the future. The 6’-3”, 180-pound right-hander went 1-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and two walks on Monday for the AZL Rangers and is now hitting .292 over 42 games with 18 doubles, seven triples, three home runs, 30 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He has struck out 55 times, but everything else has exceeded early expectations.
6. Josh Elander, one of the best offensive catchers in the 2012 draft, went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs and three RBI for the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League. A sixth-round draft pick by the Braves, the 6’-1”, 215-pound right-hander hit .333 over 169 games at TCU with 39 doubles, 18 home runs, 114 RBI and 94 walks. He also added 34 stolen bases. Over his 25 games this season, he is hitting .258 with three home runs, 12 RBI and has drawn 10 walks to just 11 strikeouts.
5. Alberto Tirado, a 17-year-old free agent signed out of the Dominican Republic, tossed four shutout innings for the GCL Blue Jays, allowing just one hit while striking out six to no walks. The 6’-1”, 180-pound right-hander now has a 2.68 ERA over 11 starts this season with 34 K/12 BB over 37 innings. Hitters are batting just .217 against him. I’ll be honest, I can’t find a whole lot of info on the kid, but when I do, I’ll pass it along.
4. A 24th-round selection by the Dodgers in this year’s draft out of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, third baseman Paul Hoenecke is playing better than most guys selected 23 rounds ahead of him. The 6’-1”, 180-pound left-hander went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI for the AZL Dodgers on Monday and is now up to .410 over 29 games with 17 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 32 RBI. He has also shown a great understanding of the strike zone as he has only struck out 13 times over 117 at-bats.
3. Mets prospect, Michael Fulmer, continued his dominant pitching for class-A Savannah on Monday, allowing one run over five innings. Over his last 10 games, the 6’-3”, 200-pound right-hander has a 1.53 ERA and 52 K/19 BB over 59 innings. On the season, he is now 7-5 with a 2.54 ERA and 93 K/36 BB over 102.2 innings. The 19-year-old features a mid-90s fastball, along with a 12-6 hammer curve, slider and change-up.
2. Cardinals prospect, Tony Bryant, stuffed the box score for the GCL Cardinals on Monday. The 6’-3”, 215-pound left-hander went 5-for-6 with a double, home run, 4 RBI and three stolen bases in an 11-10 loss to the GCL Astros. The 20-year-old is hitting .274 over 36 games with four home runs, 21 RBI and 18 stolen bases, showing great speed for his size, along with raw power that will get better as he matures.
1. Albert Almora, the sixth-overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Cubs, has been everything as advertised during his first few weeks of pro ball. From his first home run in his first game, to the over-the-shoulder catches in center field, to his recent hitting frenzy, Almora is showing fans just how special of a player he is going to be. The 6’-2”, right-hander went 5-for-6 on Monday with three runs, a triple, three RBI and a stolen base as the AZL Cubs scored 17 runs on 25 hits against the AZL Reds. Over his last three games, he is 10-for-14 (.714) and has knocked in a run in five straight games. On the season, he is hitting .347 with 13 RBI and five stolen bases over 18 games.