May 18, 2015 – Under the Radar Hitters of the Day (Welcome Back VSL)

After 39 days of reporting the top performers in HiA and LoA, Jim and I take a step forward as May 18 marked the beginning of the Venezuelan Summer League (VSL); and if you haven’t taken a moment already, click here to check out Jim’s VSL Pitcher primer, a report highlighting a slew of hurlers who excelled in the VSL last year, who could easily climb into the higher levels and those you might want to place on your ‘Watch List” for the upcoming season. However, on the hitter side of things, the VSL is viewed as the embryonic stage of development. After gathering data on hitters over the last several years, it’s grossly apparent that the VSL is a pitchers league.  In fact, looking back, only two hitters from the VSL made my 2014 Organizational All-Star lists. Ironically, both kids came from the same organization: the Detroit Tigers 1B Junnell Ledezma and SS Anthony Pereira.  Let’s review a bit. The 19 year-old Ledezma posted a stellar 2014 ranking within the VSL league leaders in several categories: a .326 batting average (2nd), 8 triples (1st) an .385 OB% (2nd), .465 SLG% (2nd) and an .850 OPS (2nd).  After repeating the VSL in 2014, Ledezma might head to the the Gulf Coast League, however his defensive positioning might be in question. His offensive profile as a contact-first hitter with little power might limit the switch-hitter to second base.  Looking at 2014 teammate Pereira, the now-18 year-old didn’t disappoint in his professional debut.  The 6’0″ – 170 lb. Tocuyito, VE native led the VSL in runs scored with 48, ranked third in doubles (15), third in stolen bases with 19 and ranked fifth in total bases with 92.  I predict Pereira could see a repeat of the VSL with the majority of his time either at shortstop or second base. He’s seen time at third base, but much like Ledezma, he lacks the power to project at the position.  So, with the VSL now underway, we have the Dominican Summer League coming up in less than two weeks; and in mid-June, Jim and I see the Rookie Leagues begin. Just as Jim said in his VSL Pitcher primer, the Rookie leagues are where we generally pan the vast majority of our UTR gold. So, please stay tuned. We’re just getting started.

Now, back to the bread-and-butter. Not only does today’s post mark the beginning of the Venezuela Summer League, it also marks the largest UTR HOD list to date. After suffering though 30+ days of short lists and dominant pitching performances, today was the day I was hoping for. Scanning down through preliminary box scores last night, I knew today was going to be quite bountiful. So, I’ve said enough. Let’s get right to it…

National League:  

  • Jose Osuna, RF – HiA Bradenton Marauders (PIT) – Florida State League – 22 yo;  (2014 Org. All-Star)
    • 2-5, HR(3), R, 3RBi, K 
  • Daniel Palka, RF – HiA Visalia Rawhide (ARI) – California League – 23 yo;
    • 3-4, 3B, 2B, 2R, RBi, SB(9) 
    • *The Palka ‘Home Run – Stolen Base” tracker continues as the 2013 – 3rd rounder out of Georgia Tech stole his 9th base of the season while his home run total currently sits at five. The  6’2″ – 220 lb. lefty entered the 2015 season with 31 homers and 12 stolen bases in his pro career.*
  • Marty Herum, 1B – LoA Kane County Cougars (ARI) – Midwest League – 23 yo;
    • 4-6, 2B, 2R, RBi
  • Grant Heyman, LF – LoA Kane County Cougars (ARI) – Midwest League – 21 yo;
    • 4-6, 2B, 2R, 5RBi 
  • Stryker Trahan, C – LoA Kane County Cougars (ARI) – Midwest League – 21 yo;
    • 2-6, HR(4), 2R, 3RBi, 3K 
  • Dillon Thomas, LF – HiA Modesto Nuts – California League – 22 yo;
    • 2-4, HR(4), R, 3RBi, 2K 
  • Omar Carrizales, CF – LoA Asheville Tourists (COL) – South Atlantic League – 20 yo;
    • 3-5, 3R, RBi, BB, 3 SB(8)
  • Drew Weeks, RF – LoA Asheville Tourists (COL) – South Atlantic League – 21 yo;
    • 2-6, R, 2RBi, 3 SB(13) 
  • Wes Rogers, LF – LoA Asheville Tourists (COL) – South Atlantic League – 21 yo;
    • 3-4, 3B(2), 3R, BB 
    • *The 6’3″ – 180 lb. South Carolina native currently sits a solitary stolen base behind Sally League leader, Charleston River Dog outfielder Jorge Mateo’s 27.*  
  • Ruddy Giron, SS – LoA Fort Wayne Tin Caps (SD) – Midwest League – 18 yo;
    • 6-6, HR(1), 2R, RBi, K, SB(1)
    • *Giron made his 2015 season debut last night after logging 48 games in the AZL last season where he batted .168 with a near 6:1 K-to-BB ratio. In one night the 5’11” – 170lb. righty from the Dominican collected nearly a fifth of the amount of hits he gathered in all of 2014. Giron’s sixth hit of the night, a 9th inning solo home run, was the first home run of his professional career.*  

American League: 

  • Rafael Devers, SS – LoA Greenville Drive (BOS) – South Atlantic League – 18 yo;  (2014 Org. All-Star)
    • 2-4, 2 2B, 3R, BB 
  • Michael Chavis, DH – LoA Greenville Drive (BOS) – South Atlantic League – 19 yo;
    • 1-4, HR(4), 2R, 3RBi
  • Chris Breen, DH – LoA Charleston River Dogs (NYY) – South Atlantic League – 21 yo;
    • 2-4, HR(2), R, 3RBi, K 
  • Mitch Nay, 3B – HiA Dunedin Blue Jays (TOR) – Florida State League – 21 yo;
    • 2-4, HR(3), 2B, 2R, 4RBi 
  • D.J. Davis, LF – LoA Lansing Lugnuts (TOR) – Midwest League – 20 yo;
    • 4-4, 2B, R, SB(7) 
  • Toby Thomas, 1B – LoA Kannapolis Intimidators (CWS) – South Atlantic League – 21 yo;  (2014 “Breakout”)
    • 4-5, 2 2B, 2R
  • Ben Verlander, RF – HiA Lakeland Flying Tigers (DET) – Florida State League – 23 yo;
    • 3-4, HR(3), 2B, 2R, RBi, BB
  • Ryan O’Hearn, 1B – LoA Lexington Legends (KC) – South Atlantic League – 21 yo;  (2014 Org. All-Star)
    • 3-5, 2B, 2R, 3RBi
  • Chase Vallot, C – LoA Lexington Legends (KC) – South Atlantic League – 21 yo;
    • 3-4, HR(1), 2B, 2R, 4RBi, BB 
  • Jason Kanzler, DH – HiA Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) – Florida State League – 24 yo;  (2014 Org. All-Star)
    • 2-5, HR(4), 2B, 3R, 3RBi, BB
  • Chad Christensen, RF – HiA Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) – Florida State League – 24 yo;
    • 4-5, 2 2B, R, RBi, K
  • Trey Vavra, DH – LoA Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) – Midwest League – 23 yo;
    • 2-4, HR(5), 2B, R, 3RBi 
  • Jacob Nottingham, C – LoA Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU) – Midwest League – 20 yo;
    • 3-4, 2B, 3R, 2BB, K 
  • Nick Tanielu, 3B – LoA Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU) – Midwest League – 22 yo;
    • 3-4, 2B, 4R, 2BB 
  • Sean McMullen, LF – LoA Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU) – Midwest League – 22 yo;
    • 4-6, 2 2B, 3R, 6RBi
  • Franklin Barreto, SS – HiA Stockton Ports (OAK) – California League – 19 yo;  (2014 Org. All-Star  – Toronto)
    • 3-4, 2 HR(3), 2R, 5RBi, K 
  • Erick Mejia, SS – LoA Clinton Lumberkings (SEA) – Midwest League – 20 yo;
    • 3-4, 3B, 2R, 3RBi, K 
This entry was posted in 2015, Hitters, May, Performances of the Day. Bookmark the permalink.

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