HOUSTON - AUGUST 19: Houston Astros first round draft pick George Springer takes batting practice at Minute Maid Park on August 19, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Springer was introduced earlier to the media at a press conference. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
"Celebrate the birth of your country by blowing up a small portion of it" - The Simpsons
Hope everyone is having a great 4th of July, and that you are finding yourself watching some baseball throughout the day. By the time you're reading this I should be midway through setting up for my barbecue and hopefully at least part of a baseball game. Everybody stay safe today, and as always be responsible with your fireworks today. With that in mind, here's some brief notes on the High-A leagues.
Xander Bogaerts (BOS) - Bogaerts has really been heating up as the season has gone on, as he is now up to .282/.361/.477 with 12 home runs on the season. I don't really foresee a promotion to AA for him, as he is still just 19 years old and won't turn 20 until October.
Yordano Ventura (KCR) - Craig wrote about Ventura last week after seeing him in person, and the performance has definitely been eye opening. He is leading the Carolina League in strikeouts with 95 in just 73+ innings pitched, and has issued just 27 walks in that time. He's one of the prospects I am really looking forward to seeing in the Futures Game next Sunday.
Dylan Bundy (BAL) - Orioles' manager Buck Showalter hinted that there was an outside chance of Bundy being called up if the Orioles remain in the playoff race, and I would absolutely love to see that if they are. Bundy has posted a 30/8 K/BB rate in High-A Frederick, and Steve Melewski of MASNSports (via Camden Chat) has the details on the Orioles' innings plan for Bundy the rest of the season.
Billy Hamilton (CIN) - Yes, as you probably already knew, Hamilton stole his 100th base of the season on Monday night, and is now 100 for 121 on the season. At some point, it would be nice to see him promoted to AA, because at least on the offensive side of the game, he probably has nothing else to work on in High-A.
Rymer Liriano (SD) - Liriano was promoted to AA last week after finishing up his High-A season with a .298/.360/.443 line, 5 home runs, 41 RBI, and 22 stolen bases. This is a very nice sign for Liriano, as he had spent a full season at each level so far.
George Springer (HOU) - Springer also looks like someone who might be in line for a promotion to AA, as he is hitting .316/.395/.570 with 17 home runs, 59 RBI, and 17 stolen bases. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like we are going to learn very much unless he does get promoted.
Tyler Matzek (COL) - Matzek was a Cal League All-Star, and is currently second in the Cal League with 97 strikeouts. Unfortunately, he has also issued the most walks with 59 in 87 2/3 IP. It is good to see solid performance from him other than the walks, as he was a bit of a lost prospect until this year.
Florida State League
Christian Yelich (MIA) - Yelich just continues to rake down in High-A, as he is now up to 29 extra base hits, 14 stolen bases, and a .316/.387/.573 slash line. The FSL is known to be a pitchers' league, so I am really interested to see what happens when he moves up to AA. Reports about his defense seem to have improved since last year, to the point where it appears he will be able to stick in the outfield as opposed to being just a 1B prospect.
Jameson Taillon (PIT) - Taillon's strikeout rate has dropped recently (40 K in his last 56 IP), and while the performance has been a bit hit-or-miss from start to start, he is still the youngest pitcher in the FSL and is more than holding his own.