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Minor League Monitor: David Holmberg and Visalia Visit Ian Krol in Stockton

David Holmberg of the Visalia Rawhide (Personal Photo)
David Holmberg of the Visalia Rawhide (Personal Photo)

Normally on Mondays, I would have a new prospect for you to take a look at who could be up in the Majors before too long. However, I attended a High-A game on Saturday night between the affiliates for the Diamondbacks and the Athletics. I had not been anticipating seeing so many prospects there, but I came away with a bunch of observations on a number of up and coming prospects in both systems.

David Holmberg (ARI)

Holmberg was the starter for the Visalia Rawhide on Saturday, and I came into the start thinking he was a decent pitching prospect. I came away with even more belief in his abilities, and will be previewing him more in-depth on Friday.

  • He went 8 innings on Saturday night, and it appeared based on bullpen activity that the manager only considered lifting him in the 7th and 8th innings
  • Holmberg throws a fastball, curveball, a changeup, and what appeared to be a cutter. I wasn't able to get radar readings earlier in the game, but he was still sitting 89-91 during his last inning on the fastball.
  • He was showing excellent command early on with both his fastball and changeup, and appeared to be able to continue that for the most part as the game went on.
  • He appeared at times to be just overpowering some of the hitters, but it was a bit hard to judge how much of that was his pitching and how much of that was poor approach by the hitters.

Chris Owings (ARI)

Owings is probably the top shortstop prospect in the Diamondbacks system right now, and has been showing excellent power thus far in High-A

  • Owings hit an absolute laser beam later on in the game for a home run to right field. For what it's worth, the wind was blowing out relatively strongly to left field.
  • He didn't have too many chances on the defensive side, but it appeared that his arm was strong on the couple of throws he did make.

Bobby Borchering (ARI)

  • Borchering had a nice single from the right side (he's a switch hitter), taking a breaking ball from Krol to right field.

Ian Krol (OAK)

  • Krol started out the game with 3 straight balls, very low and inside, but managed to come back and get the batter out.
  • He showed a solid changeup, and a decent curveball, but struggled at times with overthrowing his fastball.
  • Overall, he pitched pretty well, but it was clear that he has some things to work on. Nothing unexpected for a player with his age and experience, but still things to work on.

Yordy Cabrera (OAK)

  • The thing I noticed watching his at bats was that he doesn't have a great feel for the strike zone yet, as he pretty consistently was swinging at pitches outside and even a few away from the zone.
  • Hopefully the strike out rate will decline as he continues this season, but based on the very small sample I saw he has more work to do.

Miles Head (OAK)

  • The organization has been playing Head at 3B, including on Saturday. That said, his motions at the position are not fluid, and his arm strength looked fair, but it wasn't really tested. Long-term, I would be extremely surprised if they can keep him at 3B long-term, and more likely he appears headed for 1B at some point.
  • He did win the game in the 9th with an extremely well hit home run, and finished a double short of the cycle. The triple likely would have been an out had the right fielder played the ball well, and at worst likely would have been a double, but the wind made that an adventure at the time.