May 4, 2019 – Under the Radar Hitters of the Day

*Top Hitter of the Day* 

  • Rodolfo Castro, 2B – Greensboro Grasshoppers – Pittsburgh Pirates – 3-4, 2 HR (8,9), 2B, 2R, 5RBi, K – – It’s guys like Castro that truly are the reason Jim and I get up in the morning to do this every single day. It’s been a tale of two halves for Castro thus far in 2019.  In his first 11 games of 2019, he batted a meager .189 with six doubles, five runs scored and a 13:1 K:BB ratio. However, all the 19-year-old, primarily unranked prospect (across nearly all major publications) has done lately is pulverize Sally League pitching. The switch-hitting Dominican Republic native clubbed another two homers last night, giving him nine on the season; and in his last 11 games, he’s batting .400 with (his) nine homers, five walks, 12 runs scored and 16 RBi. He could be one of the fastest risers in the Pirates system this season, and in fantasy leagues that allow minor leaguers, place him on your Watch list immediately. 

California League: 

  • Jeter Downs, SS – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes – Los Angeles Dodgers – – 2-5, 2 HR (3,4), 2R, 3RBi, K – 
  • Sean Bouchard, LF – Lancaster JetHawks – Colorado Rockies – – 4-4, 4 2B, R, SB (2) – 
  • Jose Caballero, 3B – Visalia Rawhide – Arizona Diamondbacks – – 1-5, HR (3), R, RBi, 2K – 
  • Joe Rizzo, 3B – Modesto Nuts – Seattle Mariners – – 3-3, HR (1), 2B, R, 2RBi, BB – – The 5’9″- 190 lb. lefty added to his Cal League leading batting average (.358) with his third consecutive three-hit game, including his first homer of the season  (a two-run shot in the fourth) and a double in his first at-bat of the night in the second inning. Rizzo has collected 22 hits in his last 11 games (22-44; .500) dating back to April 24 where he posted his second three hit game of the season versus San Jose.  

Carolina League: 

  • Seth Beer, DH – Fayetteville Woodpeckers – Houston Astros – – 2-5, HR (6), 2B, 2R, RBi, K – – Beer’s two-out solo homer in the seventh inning last night pulled him into the Carolina League “UTR only” home run lead with Carolina MudCats (Milwaukee) left fielder Rob Henry, who clubbed his sixth on the season April 29 in a 5-3 victory over Salem. I say “UTR-only” because the current league leaders in home runs (with eight) are White Sox slugger Luis Robert, who’s (finally) off to Double-A Birmingham and Potomac’s David Masters, who is well past our UTR age criteria of 25 year’s old. 

Florida State League: 

  • Lewin Diaz, 1B – Fort Myers Miracle – Minnesota Twins – – 2-3, HR (1), 2B, 2R, 3RBi, 2BB – 
  • Justin Toerner, RF – Palm Beach Cardinals – St. Louis Cardinals – – 2-3, R, RBi, 2BB – 
  • Jose Devers, SS – Jupiter Hammerheads – Miami Marlins – – 4-5, 2B – 
  • Vidal Brujan, SS – Charlotte Stone Crabs – Tampa Bay Rays – – 1-5, HR (1), 2R, 2RBi – – Brujan slugged his first home run of 2019, but the current Tampa Bay Rays number seven prospect (Pipeline) currently sits atop the Florida State League in stolen bases with 14 (two ahead of Lakeland’s Brock Deatherage – 12), despite not stealing a base since swiping two off Tampa pitching back on April 30. 
  • Dermis Garcia, 1B – Tampa Tarpons – New York Yankees – – 1-2, HR (8), R, RBi, BB, SB (2) – – The Yankees unranked prospect hit his eighth homer on the season last night, and heading into Sunday’s games, nearly half of the 6’3″- 200 lb. righty’s 29 hits this year have gone for extra bases (.448). 
  • Riley Unroe, SS – Florida Fire Frogs – Atlanta Braves – – 1-3, 2B, 3RBi, K – 
  • Hendrik Clementina, C – Daytona Tortugas – Cincinnati Reds – – 4-5, HR (3), 2R, 3RBi – 
  • Matt Vierling, LF – Clearwater Threshers – Philadelphia Phillies – – 2-3, HR (4), R, 4RBi, SB (7) – 
  • Simon Muzziotti, CF – Clearwater Threshers – Philadelphia Phillies –– 3-4, R, RBi – – The Phillies 2016 international signee (although Muzziotti’s signing has a little more intrigue to it than that, as seen here) has logged eight hits in his last three games (8-for-13) and is 12 out of his last 33 over his last eight (.364). 

Midwest League: 

  • Reece Hampton, LF – West Michigan Whitecaps – Detroit Tigers – – 2-5, 3R, BB, K, SB (4) – 
  • Buddy Kennedy, DH – Kane County Cougars – Arizona Diamondbacks – – 2-4, HR (2), R, 2RBi, K – – Arizona’s number 19 prospect slugged his first home run on the season Friday night and it didn’t take the 2017 – fifth rounder long to hit his second, as he opened up Kane County scoring last night with a three-run blast in the top of the first, giving the Cougars a 3-0 lead. But the lead didn’t last long as Lake County scored a run of their own in the first, another in the third on a leadoff home run by Indian’s number three overall prospect Tyler Freeman (seen below), and tacked on five more runs in the fifth and sixth. After a rough first inning, Captain pitcher Juan Mota held Kane County scoreless for his remaining four innings, while Thomas Ponticelli tacked on four innings of his own, giving up only two hits, and collecting his second save on the season to help Lake County claim a 9-3 win. 
  • Tyler Freeman, SS – Lake County Captains – Cleveland Indians – – 2-3, HR (2), 2B, 3R, 2RBi, BB – 
  • Scott Schreiber, 1B – Quad Cities River Bandits – Houston Astros – – 3-5, 2 2B, 3R, RBi, SB (5) – 

South Atlantic League: 

  • Frankie Tostado, 1B – Augusta GreenJackets – San Francisco Giants – – 2-4, HR (5), 2B, R, RBi – 
  • Jarred Kelenic, CF – West Virginia Power – Seattle Mariners – – 2-3, HR (6), 2R, 2RBi, BB, K, SB (5) – – I’m hoping and praying for the sake of Mets fans everywhere that Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano come through in a big way, helping the New York Mets to a division title, and a possible deep World Series run, because if they don’t, 19-year-old Jarred Kelenic, the Mets first-round draft choice in 2018, whom they sent to Seattle for Diaz and Cano, could be forever labeled as “the one that got away” because he’s good. Like really freaking good. The Waukesha West HS draftee (WI) registered another two hits last night, (including his fifth home run on the season), is sitting on an even .500 extra-base percentage and is currently riding a 20-game on-base streak dating back to April 10.
  • Samuel Huff, C – Hickory Crawdads – Texas Rangers – – 2-5, HR (14), R, 3RBi, 2K – Another day at the office for the Rangers 21st ranked prospect (Pipeline), as Huff slammed his minor league leading 14th home run last night, a two run shot in the 7th inning, helping lead the now 20-8 Hickory Crawdads to a 9-6 victory over Kannapolis. 
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