Cubs’ Russell at home down South

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com

Last week, Addison Russell had two two-homer games for the Tennessee Smokies, six days apart. In the first, teammate and fellow highly-touted Cubs prospect Pierce Johnson pranked him out of his routine and into a big performance.

In the second, a loss for the Smokies, the mood was much more serious in the Tennessee dugout.

“There were no jokes today,” Russell said. “We’d already won the series but wanted to end on a good note, so there were no jokes tonight. We wanted to take care of business tonight, but it wasn’t in the cards.

(more…)

Prospect Roundup: Games of July 27

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com news:

Cubs 3B Kris Bryant leads Cubs core in latest Top 100

MiLB.com game stories:

Indians OF Jordan Smith cycles in the clutch for RubberDucks

Dodgers LHP Julio Urias thriving on, off the field for Quakes

Yankees RHP Bryan Mitchell tosses up seven more zeros

Twins LHP Stephen Gonsalves shines in Cedar Rapids debut

Astros 3B J.D. Davis builds on hot start with Quad Cities

Cardinals LHP Rob Kaminsky hurls six scoreless for Peoria

Wilmington turns triple play in loss to Winston-Salem

Astros OF Derek Fisher collects four hits for ValleyCats

Other top prospect performances:

Cubs OF Jorge Soler, Triple-A Iowa: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, K — The homer was the first in Triple-A for Soler. The 22-year-old hit .415 with six homers in 22 games at Double-A this year prior to the promotion.

(more…)

Prospect Roundup: Games of July 26

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com news:

Red Sox add LHP Edwin Escobar, RHP Heath Hembree for Jake Peavy

MiLB.com game stories:

A’s OF Kent Matthes homers twice, drives in nine

Indians SS Francisco Lindor smacks first Triple-A homers

Red Sox 2B/OF Mookie Betts returns with a bang for PawSox

Cubs SS/2B Javier Baez homers in both ends of doubleheader

Ten ejected in Albuquerque-Reno brawl

Padres RHP Rafael De Paula impresses in system debut

Rockies OF David Dahl breaks out in third game with Nuts

Marlins RHP Jose Urena posts more zeros for Jacksonville

Cubs OF Jacob Hannemann shines in Daytona debut

Twins RHP Chih-Wei Hu fans 10 over six scoreless

Other top prospect performances:

Braves 2B Jose Peraza, Double-A Mississippi: 3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, K, SB — Peraza is hitting .368 in 31 Double-A games. He has more stolen bases (19) than strikeouts (13), including 10 swipes in his last seven games. The speedster is likely headed to the Arizona Fall League and appears to have a bright future in Atlanta, where he’ll shine in all three phases of the game (hitting, fielding, baserunning). (more…)

Prospect Roundup: Games of July 25

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com news:

Twins RHP Kohl Stewart lands on DL with shoulder impingement

MiLB.com game stories:

Cubs SS Addison Russell adds another two-homer day

Nationals RHP Lucas Giolito all but perfect in Suns’ win

Red Sox LHP Brian Johnson blows away Rock Cats

Rangers 3B Joey Gallo goes long in third straight, reaches 35

Six ejected after Birmingham-Jacksonville brawl

Giants RHP Kyle Crick fans 11 in tough loss with Richmond

Marlins OF Fernery Ozuna plates seven for Missoula

Padres OF Mallex Smith continues wielding power bat

Red Sox RHP Anthony Ranudo picks up another win for PawSox

Cardinals RHP Blake McKnight yields one hit in Chiefs’ win

Red Sox LHP Cody Kukuk fans career-high 10 to pace Salem

Other top prospect performances:

Red Sox 2B/RF Mookie Betts, Triple-A Pawtucket: 4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB — Betts has been back with Pawtucket for six games and has gone 10-for-27 with three extra-base hits. He played right field on Friday and figures to get plenty of reps out there while he remains in Triple-A.

(more…)

Minoring in Twitter: Vegas always wins in airport money prank

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com

the prank

After a somewhat depressing look behind the curtain at the bus problems facing Minor Leaguers last week, we switch gears and present the Las Vegas 51s and their dugout prank that ended up fooling every opportunistic airline traveler who walked by. You know the trick: a player connects a baseball to a fishing line or piece of string and tosses it over the dugout roof, only to pull it back from wide-eyed fans. Take a look:

How many people can say they’ve been publicly pranked by an entire team of New York Mets prospects? But Anthony Seratelli also has a softer side — look at his view of Mt. Rainier from the air, after he was done stealing money from old men:

And he also posted this gem from PhotoBooth:

Here’s your sneak peak at the Ninja Turtle uniforms Fresno is making its players wear next month:

Ever wonder if all ballplayers wear sunscreen or are, like, magically immune from getting sunburned, despite being out in the sun every day for seven months?

Free life advice from Rangers prospect Luke Jackson:

Here’s Yadiel Rivera, a shortstop with Double-A Huntsville, showing off his fingers:

The Syracuse Chiefs are now the most mohawked team in the Minors:

Great Falls left-hander Eric Skoglund is documenting the consequences of teammate Eric Stout, who lost some bet or game or whatever and is now toting around a rock that resembles a poorly drawn face:

Uh, what?

How ugly is this couch? It looks like the Duck Dynasty guys should be wearing it:

Louisville’s Kris Negron got some goody bags:

Oakland catcher Nick Rickles hasn’t played this season — we’re assuming you’re just hurt, Nick. But you can appreciate his latest selfie:

Bat Boy Tweet of the Week:

For those of you who enjoy Twitter and Minor Leaguers who use Twitter (that’s why you’re here, right?), you may appreciate this list:

Minor League Bus Drama of the Week

Last week, we covered the various bus-related issues plaguing the Minors, from shredded tires to missing drivers to seven-hour delays. This week, we heard that Hillsboro’s bus broke down en route to Vancouver, a seven-hour drive on a good day. The Hops got in late and played their game on three hours’ sleep, beating the Canadians, 13-3, on July 22.

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes’ bus broke down in Bakersfield and the team found the most bad-ass truck ever to haul it away. Seriously, how powerful is that truck that it can carry a bus?

It’s not:

Moving on, someone is hungry:

When you’re a first-round pick, you get free stickers mailed to you in the Gulf Coast League. Just ask Cole Tucker:

Clinton’s Isaiah Yates is a gourmet chef:

Here’s more Reds Minor Leaguers invading Party City:

Cole Tucker’s grandma is named “Gooch,” like the nickname of Major League umpire Chris Guccione. And holy smokes, he has 346 unread text messages? What?

Cubs No. 4 prospect C.J. Edwards trying to look cool in Mesa:

Louisville’s Chad Rogers is ready for Shark Week on Discovery:

Bored at his hotel, Jupiter’s Colby Suggs bought a dozen donuts. Did he share them?

Chipotle Tweets of the Week

Surely, Minor Leaguers have helped Chipotle rise to the elite levels of the American restaurant industry. Here’s a pictorial on how to eat Chipotle:

#FACT? #FALSE.

Wow, what’s the world coming to?

Prospect Roundup: Games of July 24

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com game stories:

Yankees OF Zoilo Almonte spreads out three-homer effort

Cubs RHP Pierce Johnson snaps skid with six scoreless

Dodgers OF Joc Pederson hits go-ahead grand slam 

Astros RHP Mark Appel goes career-long six innings in win

Indians RHP Toru Murata carries no-hit bid into sixth inning

Angels LHP Nate Smith holds own in pitchers’ duel

Tigers RHP Jonathon Crawford dominates for Whitecaps

Rangers RHP Justin Germano throws three-hitter for Express

Marlins RHP Jacob Smigelski spins one-hit start for Muckdogs

Other top prospect performances:

Cubs SS Javier Baez, Triple-A Iowa: 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, R, 2 K — Baez is on another hot streak in Iowa, hitting .366 with three homers in his past 10 games. He also has been making more starts at second base since Arismendy Alcantara was promoted. It’s a bit of a mystery what Chicago is going to do with Baez as far as a timeline for reaching to the Majors, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Cubs wait until Baez shows he can consistently dominate at Triple-A before the call comes. The team certainly has no reason to rush the 21-year-old.

(more…)

Prospect Roundup: Games of July 23

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com features:

Stock Watch: Twins RHP Jose Berrios bounding up charts

MiLB.com game stories:

White Sox 1B Andy Wilkins continues powerful tear with Knights

Nationals RHP A.J. Cole stays in command for Chiefs

Cubs 1B Dan Vogelbach goes opposite field twice in D-Cubs’ win

Yankees OF Tyler Austin starting to bring Thunder at plate

Royals OF Bubba Starling flirts with cycle for Blue Rocks

Braves LHP Matt Marksberry marks territory for R-Braves

Phillies LHP Brandon Leibrandt shines with dad in stands

Padres SS Trea Turner collects four hits, raises average to .444

Padres OF Rymer Liriano debuts in Chihuahuas’ wild win

Cardinals RHP Sam Gaviglio bounces back with two-hit outing

Other top prospect performances:

Twins RHP Alex Meyer, Triple-A Rochester: 6 IP, 5 H, 8 K — Meyer had issued four walks in each of his last three starts, so it was a move in the right direction that he allowed no free passes Wednesday. The 6-foot-9 University of Kentucky product has shown flashes of brilliance with bouts of inconsistency sprinkled in, too. The upside is tremendous, but even if his command doesn’t take another step forward, Meyer at least has the look of a shutdown, late-innings reliever. (more…)

Notable Quotables: Soler, Berrios, Turley, Ranaudo

Jorge Soler, Cubs OF: After watching Jorge Soler homer twice and drive in a career-high five runs, Tennessee manager Buddy Bailey ruminated on the Cubs future with Soler, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez all in starring roles. Each has played for Bailey in the last year.

“As an organization we’re fortunate that we have kids like Javy Baez, and now Bryant has come on the scene and now him [Soler]. I don’t know who’s got more or who is going to hit more down the road. I know that all of them have the potential to be really good in the upper tier of a Major League lineup from what I’ve witnessed. It’s a nice little trio as far as that type of hitter.”

Soler has since been promoted to Iowa and is expected to make his Triple-A debut Wednesday night.

Jorge Soler

Roger C. Hoover/Tennessee Smokies

Jose Berrios, Twins RHP: For a player whose fastball can reach 96 mph, the hardest part is taking it down a notch when it’s needed. Especially someone who is having major success with said fastball, as Jose Berrios is this year. (more…)

Prospect Roundup: Games of July 22

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com news:

Blue Jays RHP Aaron Sanchez gets call-up to Major Leagues

Padres pick up RHP Rafael De Paula from Yankees for Chase Headley

Cubs promote OF Jorge Soler, Albert Almora

MiLB.com game stories:

Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy rebounds with three-hit outing

Marlins LHP Andrew Heaney carries perfecto into seventh

Pirates RHP Tyler Glasnow gets comfortable, stays scoreless

White Sox 1B Andy Wilkins blasts two more homers for Knights

Mets LHP Blake Taylor deploys new changeup in one-hit outing

Yankees 3B Rob Segedin quickly acclimates to Triple-A

Yankees LHP Manny Banuelos takes the fifth for Trenton

Orem takes first-half Pioneer League South title

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard adapting to life in PCL

Other top prospect performances:

White Sox 2B Micah Johnson, Triple-A Charlotte: 3-for-5, HR, RBI, R — The speedy Indiana product hasn’t been quite as impactful on the bases this year, swiping 19 bags in 30 tries a year after accruing 84 stolen bases. He has been proficient at the plate, slashing .315/.369/.432 between Double-A and Triple-A. Johnson has an offense-first profile at second that will probably prove more valuable to fantasy owners than to a Major League team, if only because of his stolen-base potential. (more…)

Prospect Roundup: Games of July 21

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com news:

Indians SS Francisco Lindor promoted to Triple-A Columbus

Mariners OF Alex Jackson gets X-rays after taking liner off face

MiLB.com game stories:

Twins C Mitch Garver slams three homers for Kernels

Durham manager Charlie Montoyo becomes Bulls’ all-time wins leader

D-backs RHP Aaron Blair bests Reds RHP Ben Lively in debut

Braves RHP Jason Hursh makes adjustment in scoreless start

Blue Jays RHP Taylor Cole takes Minors strikeout lead with 12 K’s

Tigers LHP Kevin Ziomek fans career-high 11 batters for ‘Caps

Spokane clinches NWL North first-half title on last day

Other top prospect performances:

Rays LHP Enny Romero, Triple-A Durham: 6 IP, 6 H, ER, 3 BB, 4 K — Romero entered the year a remarkably raw talent for someone with so much success in the upper Minors, but he’s struggled to repeat his delivery and find the strike zone this year. Montoyo said this was Romero’s best start this season — the 23-year-old repeated his delivery and found the strike zone more often with his mid-90s heater and changeup. The curveball is still a work in progress for Romero, but the ceiling is very high for the lefty, who could still be a year or more away from regular action in the Majors. (more…)

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