May 13, 2019 – Under the Radar Hitters of the Day

*Top Hitter of the Day*

  • Terrin Vavra, DH – Asheville Tourists – Colorado Rockies – – 4-4, 2 HR (4,5), 2 2B, 2R, 2RBi – – With the majority of the (much deserved) attention given to top middle infield prospects Brendan Rodgers (Triple-A) and HiA Lancaster’s Ryan Vilade, Vavra, the former Minnesota Golden Gopher (2018 – 3rd round), is making a name for himself in the South Atlantic Season this season. Vavra posted his second four-hit game (April 20), and blasted his fourth and fifth homers of the season last night, breaking out of his 3-for-28 slump (.107) over his last eight games. Asheville got on the board with Vavra’s solo shot in the bottom of the third, and he added his second, another solo shot, in the bottom of the fifth; and that’s all Tourist pitching would need, as four Asheville starters combined to throw a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts in a 2-0 victory over Greenville. 

California League: 

  • Jose Caballero, SS – Visalia Rawhide – Arizona Diamondbacks – – 1-3, 2R, 2 SB (20, 21) – 
  • Torii Hunter Jr., CF – Inland Empire 66ers – Los Angeles Angels – – 2-5, 2B, 2RBi, K – 

Carolina League: 

  • Yohel Pozo, C – Down East Wood Ducks – Texas Rangers – – 3-4, 2B- 2RBi – 
  • KJ Harrison, DH – Potomac Nationals – Washington Nationals – – 2-4, RBi, K – 
  • Oscar Gonzalez, LF – Lynchburg Hillcats – Cleveland Indians – – 2-3, 3B, 2B, 2R, 2RBi, BB – – The Indians unranked prospect finally drew his first walk of 2019 in the third inning of last night’s game versus Carolina. Gonzalez carries a 1:29 walk-to-strikeout ratio, but ranks third in the Carolina League in total bases (69) behind Seth Beer, Houston’s number one draft pick in 2018, who leads the league with nine home runs, and Jarren Duran, Boston’s tenth overall ranked prospect, who carries his league leading  .412 batting average into Tuesday’s games. 
  • Jarren Duran, CF – Salem Red Sox – Boston Red Sox – – 3-3, 2 2B, 3R, 2RBi, 2BB – – Speaking of Duran, his three hits, including his seventh and eighth double, against Fayetteville last night, boosted his average above .400 (seen above), but it wasn’t just yesterday. The 2018 – seventh round draft choice out of Long Beach State has 12 hits over his last five games (12-20; .600) and now sits second in all the minors in hits (54) behind Baltimore’s Mason McCoy, who over two levels, (Carolina League and Double-A Eastern League) has registered 55. 
  • Marco Hernandez, SS – Salem Red Sox – Boston Red Sox –– 3-5, 2B, 2R, RBi, K – 
  • Seth Beer, LF – Fayetteville Woodpeckers – Houston Astros – – 2-3, HR (9), 2R, 2RBi, BB – – Beer’s sixth inning solo shot off Kutter Crawford, Boston’s number 20 ranked prospect, vaulted him into the Carolina League lead in homers. Beer also leads the league in total bases (77), and I’m guessing that with this continued pace of production, the 6’3″- 195 lb. Clemson draftee (2018) isn’t long for a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi. 

Florida State League: 

  • Trevor Larnach, RF – Fort Myers Miracle – Minnesota Twins – – 4-5, 2B, R, 2RBi – 
  • Royce Lewis, SS – Fort Myers Miracle – Minnesota Twins –– 1-4, 2B, 3R, RBi, BB, K, 2 SB (7,8) – – Normally I don’t lean into the pitching side of things, but Fort Myers win last night over Bradenton was not only due in part to former first round draft picks  Larnach (2018) and Lewis’ (2017) combined 5-9 performance, but 2016 – 5th rounder and 19th ranked prospect Jordan Balazovic, who gave up only two earned runs on three hits, but fanned a whopping 12 Marauders in five innings, leading the Miracle to an 8-2 victory. 
  • Alec Bohm, 3B – Clearwater Threshers – Philadelphia Phillies – – 2-5, HR (2/5), R, 2RBi, K – 
  • Nick Maton, SS – Clearwater Threshers – Philadelphia Phillies –– 3-5, 2B, R, RBi – – The Phillies seventh round draft pick in 2017 out of Glenwood HS (IL) entered Clearwater’s May 4 matchup versus Daytona with a .231 batting average. He enters tonight’s contest versus Lakeland batting .308, due to collecting 15 hits over his last seven games (15-for-29; .517). 

Midwest League: 

  • Will Banfield, C – Clinton Lumberkings – Miami Marlins – – 3-4, 2B, 2R, 2RBi – 
  • Thomas Jones, LF – Clinton Lumberkings – Miami Marlins –– 3-5, HR (3), 2B, R, 3RBi, K – 
  • Blaze Alexander, 2B/SS – Kane County Cougars – Arizona Diamondbacks – – 2-5, HR (3), R, 3RBi, K – 
  • Yeison Coca, SS – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers – Milwaukee Brewers – – 2-5, 2 HR (3,4), 2R, 3RBi, 2K – – When looking through 2019 Milwaukee Brewer prospect lists you’ll notice there is no shortage of top middle infielders. Second baseman Keston Hiura occupies the consensus #1 spot, 2018 number one draft pick Brice Turang sits at number three, while SS/2B Mauricio Dubon and the Brewers top international signee out of Venezuala, 16 year old shortstop Eduardo Garcia take up spots as well. But, 2017 trade acquisition from Boston Yeison Coca isn’t one to be ignored. The switch-hitting 19-year-old poked his third and fourth home runs last night, with both coming off Diamondbacks number 28 ranked righty Jackson Goddard, who got destroyed for seven earned runs on seven hits and two walks in only one “full” inning of work. Goddard pitched into the second, lasting six hitters without recording an out before being pulled for reliever Ryan Miller. But the damage was done, as Wisconsin left the second with a 9-1 lead and went on to an 11-6 victory over Kane County. 
  • Jeremy Pena, SS – Quad Cities River Bandits – Houston Astros – – 2-4, 2 3B, 2R, 2RBi – 

South Atlantic League: 

  • Mickey Gasper, DH – Charleston RiverDogs – New York Yankees – – 2-4, HR (3), 2B, R, 3RBi, K – 
  • Onil Pena, 1B – West Virginia Power – Seattle Mariners – – 2-4, HR (3), 2B, R, 2RBi, K – 
  • Justin Connell, LF – Hagerstown Suns – Washington Nationals – – 4-6, 3R – 
  • Jacob Rhinesmith, RF – Hagerstown Suns – Washington Nationals –– 4-5, 3B, 2B, 3R, 2RBi, BB – 
  • Israel Pineda, C – Hagerstown Suns – Washington Nationals –– 2-4, HR (2), 2B, 2R, 4RBi, 2BB, K –– Highlighted by Pineda and the two hitters above, the Hagerstown lineup combined for 18 hits, two home runs and 13 RBi’s in an absolute 15-1 drubbing of the overall league leading Delmarva Shorebirds (26-7). 
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