Prospect Roundup: Games of July 16
By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com
Stock Watch: Braves 2B Jose Peraza speeding up the charts
MiLB.com game stories:
Other top prospect performances:
Dodgers SS Darnell Sweeney, Double-A Chattanooga: 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB — The switch-hitting 23-year-old is putting together an excellent season with the Lookouts, slashing .311/.406/.500 with 11 homers and 29 doubles. The only downside in Sweeney’s offensive game this year has been on the bases, where he’s 10-for-23 on stolen base attempts. Otherwise, Sweeney’s showing the potential to hit his way to the Majors, where his versatility as a middle infielder should work well in a utility role, if not something more.
Braves SS Daniel Castro, Double-A Mississippi: 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R — Castro has started to emerge as a name to know in the Braves’ system playing next to Peraza. The 21-year-old has a short, quick stroke and can sting line drives across the diamond. He didn’t show much power in 70 games with Lynchburg and he’s a pretty small guy, but he does have three homers in 14 games with Mississippi. At short, Castro has hands that draw rave reviews from his coaches and is more refined than most shortstops his age thanks to a 1 1/2-year stint in the Mexican League, which is comparable to Triple-A talent-wise.
Rockies SS Trevor Story, Double-A Tulsa: 2-for-4, HR, RBI, R, K — The homer was Story’s first with the Drillers since a promotion up from the Cal League. Story was mashing with Modesto, slashing .332/.436/.582 despite playing half his games in one of the league’s most pitcher-friendly parks. He’s struggled a bit in the Texas League, hitting .212 with 25 strikeouts in 17 games.
Yankees RHP Rafael De Paula, Class A Advanced Tampa: 6 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 7 K, HR — The 23-year-old has piled up the strikeouts this season, punching out 97 in 83 2/3 innings with the T-Yanks. He’s been especially good of late, allowing just four earned runs in his past five starts.
Phillies OF Carlos Tocci, Class A Lakewood: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, SB — It took nearly 250 games, but at least Tocci has hit his first professional home run. The 160-pound 18-year-old was the youngest player in the South Atlantic League last season and is again among the youngest while repeating the level this year. Tocci needs to put on some man strength, and when he does, the rest of his game — which includes good skills in center, speed and a good plate approach for his age — should take a giant leap forward. He’s heated up of late, hitting .372 with seven extra-base hits in his past 10 games.
Rangers OF Nomar Mazara, Class A Hickory: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R — Mazara is about four months older than Tocci and is also repeating Class A this year, and like Tocci, he’s beginning to figure things out at the pro level. The left-handed hitter has big raw power and has utilized it more this season, setting a career high with 15 homers while slashing .251/.339/.444. He’s helped a bit by Hickory’s home park, where he has 10 homers and a .473 slugging percentage, but regardless, the improvements in Mazara’s game look legit enough.
Brewers C Clint Coulter, Class A Wisconsin: 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB, K — The 20-year-old’s been healthy in 2014, and that’s made all the difference. Coulter has some big raw power and has shown an impressive plate approach this season, helping him post a .265/.404/.505 triple slash. At this point, 2013 looks like a clean mulligan that can be put in the past for Coulter. His defensive game still needs the sort of refinement most Class A catchers require, but the upside is tremendous thanks to his stick.
Red Sox 1B Sam Travis, Class A Short Season Lowell: 3-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R — Boston’s 2014 second-rounder hasn’t exactly showcased his power stroke in his pro debut, but did put on a show Wednesday. Along with Indiana University teammate Kyle Schwarber (now with the Cubs), Travis was a part of one of college baseball’s best offensive duos last season and has a shot to profile as a bat-first first baseman.