June 26, 2019 – Under the Radar Hitters of the Day

*Top Hitter of the Day* 

  • Will Benson, LF – Lynchburg Hillcats – Cleveland Indians – – 1-3, HR (2/20), R, RBi, BB, K – – I know this isn’t Benson’s sexiest stat line of the season. However, with his fourth inning solo blast last night off Baltimore’s eleventh overall ranked prospect Brenan Hanifee, Cleveland’s Will Benson became 2019’s first 20-20 player in the minors and majors. Reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich is three stolen bases away from reaching the 20-20 mark, as he sits on 17 steals heading into today’s games, while he leads he majors with 29 home runs. No way am I comparing Will Benson to Christian Yelich, however, Benson’s feat is one to be recognized and celebrated, especially given the fact that with approximately 65 games left in Lynchburg’s season, it’s easy to suspect that the 6’5″- 225 lb. lefty could achieve 30 home runs and 30 steals. But is it out of the realm of possibility for Benson to reach the 40-40 club? He’d be in elite company if he did.

California League: 

  • Cal Raleigh, C – Modesto Nuts – Seattle Mariners –– 3-4, 2 HR (11,12), 2R, 3RBi, BB –– Raleigh, Seattle’s top ranked catcher and #13 overall prospect (MLB Pipeline), posted his second two-homer game of the season, and third of his pro career, despite Modesto going down to San Jose by a score of 6-5 last night. The third round draft choice out of Florida State in 2018 also ranks as one of the most productive back-stops in the Cal League, next to Lake Elsinore’s (SD) Luis Campusano and Rancho Cucamonga’s (LAD) Connor Wong. Raleigh’s first multiple home run game in 2019 came in the Nuts 6-4 victory over Lancatser on May 12, where the 6’3″- 215 lb. switch-hitter blasted two homers and drove in a career high five runs, but he equaled that RBi total on June 23, when he homered drove in five and scored two runs in an 11-7 win at Visalia.
  • Casey Golden, DH – Lancaster Jethawks – Colorado Rockies – – 2-4, HR (10), 2B, R, 4RBi, K – 
  • Orlando Martinez, LF – Inland Empire 66ers – Los Angeles Angels – – 3-4, HR (4), R, 2RBi, BB – 
  • Gareth Morgan, CF – Inland Empire 66ers – Los Angeles Angels –– 2-5, HR (8), 2R, 2RBi, 2K – 

Carolina League: 

  • Steele Walker, CF – Winston-Salem Dash – Chicago White Sox – – 3-5, 2B, 2RBi – 
  • Jakson Reetz, C – Potomac Nationals – Washington Nationals – – 2-4, HR (4), 2B, R, 4RBi – 

Florida State League: 

  • Wander Franco, DH – Charlotte Stone Crabs – Tampa Bay Rays –– 3-4, 2B, 2R –
  • Alejo Lopez, 2B – Daytona Tortugas – Cincinnati Reds –– 4-4, R –
  • Rodolfo Castro, SS – Bradenton Marauders – Pittsburgh Pirates – – 3-4, 2 HR (2/16), 2B, 3R, 3RBi, K – – Heading into the 2019 minor league season, the 20-year-old Dominican Republic native was looking up at fellow middle infield prospects Oneil Cruz, Ji-Hwan Bae and Stephen Alemais on the Pirates top 30 prospects depth chart. Well, when it comes to pound-for-pound production 67 games into the season, Castro finds himself looking down at all of them. The 6’0″- 180 lb. switch-hitter cranked his first two Class A Advanced home runs last night in Bradenton’s 7-3 victory over Jupiter bringing his season total to 16, which ties him for second among all Pittsburgh Pirate farmhands with Triple-A’s Will Craig (Indianapolis) and four behind Pirates minor league leader Mason Martin, who leads the South Atlantic League with 20. 

Midwest League: 

  • Hosea Nelson, CF – Lake County Captains – Cleveland Indians – – 3-4, 2 HR (6,7), 3R, 2RBi, BB, SB (4) – 
  • Agustin Ruiz, RF – Fort Wayne TinCaps – San Diego Padres – – 2-4, HR (4), R, 4RBi, K – 
  • Christopher Proctor, C – West Michigan Whitecaps – Detroit Tigers – – 5-5, 2B, 3R, 2RBi – 
  • Jeremy Pena, SS – Quad Cities River Bandits – Houston Astros – – 2-4, HR (5), 3R, RBi, 2K, SB (17) – – Tampa Bay shortstop phenom Wander Franco was recently anointed the minor league’s newest top prospect by MLB Pipeline. An extremely rightful distinction, however it leaves room for guys like Houston’s #24 overall ranked prospect Jeremy Pena to go moderately unnoticed.  The round three pick in 2018 out of the University of Maine is having a breakout sophomore season after batting .250 with a home run, five doubles and three stolen bases for Tri-City of the New York-Penn League last season. With Franco off to HiA, Pena sits among the loaded shortstop heap of the Midwest League including Cleveland’s Tyler Freeman, Brice Turang of Milwaukee and the Dodger’s Jacob Amaya. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Astros give the 6’0″- 170 lb. righty a promotion of his own to Fayetteville of the Carolina League sooner rather than later. 
  • Geraldo Perdomo, SS – Kane County Cougars – Arizona Diamondbacks – – 3-4, 2B, 2R, RBi, K – 

South Atlantic League: 

  • Mason  Martin, 1B – Greensboro Grasshoppers – Pittsburgh Pirates – – 2-4, HR (20), 2R, 2RBi, BB, 2K – 
  • Fabricio Macias, CF – Greensboro Grasshoppers – Pittsburgh Pirates –– 4-5, 2B, R, 3RBi, K – 
  • Ji-Hwan Bae, 2B – Greensboro Grasshoppers – Pittsburgh Pirates –– 2-4, 3R, BB, K – 
  • Pedro Gonzalez, RF – Hickory Crawdads – Texas Rangers – – 2-3, HR (14), 2R, RBi, BB, K – 
  • Adam Hall, SS – Delmarva Shorebirds – Baltimore Orioles – – 2-4, HR (3), 2R, 2RBi –
  •  Johan Cruz, 3B – Kannapolis Intimidators – Chicago White Sox – – 2-2, 2 2B, R, 5RBi, BB – 

New York – Penn League:

  • Hill Alexander, RF – Hudson Valley Renegades – Tampa Bay Rays – – 1-4, HR (1), R, 2RBi, K – 
  • Bryan Lavastida, C – Mahoning Valley Scrappers – Cleveland Indians – – 2-3, 2 2B, R, 2RBi, BB – 
  • Brylie Ware, 1B – State College Spikes – St. Louis Cardinals – – 2-4, HR (1), R, 3RBi, K – 
  • Nick Ward, 2B – Vermont Lake Monsters – Oakland Athletics – – 2-3, HR (2), R, 3RBi, 2BB – 
  • J.D. Orr, CF – Batavia Muckdogs – Miami Marlins – – 2-3, 2R, RBi, BB, SB (4) – – Could CEO Derek Jeter and the Marlins organization have gotten a tenth round steal in outfielder J.D. Orr? The Wright State draftee from earlier this month came to the Miami system as the 2019 NCAA leader in steals with 60 in his final season as a Raider, and 94 over his last two seasons in college. He sits third in the NYPL in steals this far, but with (near) top of the 20-80 scouting scale speed, he could (no pun intended) run away with another stolen base crown by season’s end. 

Northwest League: 

  • Michael Toglia, 1B – Boise Hawks – Colorado Rockies – – 3-4, 2 2B, 3R, RBi, BB, K, SB (1) – 
  • Bladimir Restituyo, 2B – Boise Hawks – Colorado Rockies –– 3-5, 2B, 2R, RBi, 3 SB (3,4,5) – 
  • Joe Aeilts, RF – Boise Hawks – Colorado Rockies –– 2-5, HR (1), 2B, R, 3RBi – 
  • Harrison Freed, LF – Salem-Keizer Volcanoes – San Francisco Giants – – 1-4, HR (1), R, 2RBi, K – 

Appalachian League: 

  • Yunior Martinez, LF – Princeton Rays – Tampa Bay Rays – – 3-4, 2 3B, 2B, 3R – 
  • Ernny Ordonez, 1B – Bristol Pirates – Pittsburgh Pirates – – 1-4, 2B, 3R, BB, 3K – 
  • Chase Murray, DH – Bristol Pirates – Pittsburgh Pirates –– 3-5, R, 2RBi, K – 

Pioneer League: 

  • Andy Pages, CF – Ogden Raptors – Los Angeles Dodgers – – 4-6, 2 HR (2,3), 2R, 4RBi, 2K – 
  • Brandon Wulff, RF – Ogden Raptors – Los Angeles Dodgers –– 1-4, HR (1), 2R, 4RBi, BB, K – 
  • Jose Verrier, DH – Orem Owlz – Los Angeles Angels – – 1-2, 3R, 2BB, K, 2 SB (2,3) – 
  • Spencer Brickhouse, 1B – Missoula Osprey – Arizona Diamondbacks – – 2-3, 2 2B, R, RBi, BB, K – 

Arizona League: 

  • Zac Taylor, CF – AZL Cubs 1 – Chicago Cubs – – 5-6, 3 HR (3,4,5), 4R, 5RBi – Regardless of age and level, you simply cannot exclude a three home run game from a daily performance list. Taylor came to the Cubs via the 29th round in this years draft out of the University of Illinois. Is the 23 year old a top prospect? I wouldn’t tag him with that moniker, but his five-hits, four runs scored and five runs batted in were clearly instrumental in the Cubs1 14-7 win over the Reds squad.
  • Luis Lopez, DH – AZL Reds – Cincinnati Reds – – 4-4, HR (1), 3B, 2R, 3RBi –
  •  Ismael Alcantara, CF – AZL Dodgers Mota – Los Angeles Dodgers – – 4-6, 3B, 2B, 3R, 3RBi, K, SB (3) – 
  • Diego Cartaya, DH – AZL Dodgers Mota – Los Angeles Dodgers –– 2-6, 2 2B, 2R, 3RBi, 3K – 
  • Luis Yanel Diaz, 3B – AZL Dodgers Mota – Los Angeles Dodgers –– 3-6, HR (1), 4R, 2RBi, 2K, SB (3) – 
  • Jeremiah Vison, LF – AZL Dodgers Mota – Los Angeles Dodgers –– 4-6, 3R, RBi – – If you look up, you’ll notice that I’ve listed four Dodgers Mota hitters, and their rather boisterous stat lines from yesterday. The sum of the parts added up to an AZL Dodgers Mota 20-5 thrashing of the Athletics Gold roster. Click here for deeper insight. 
  • Chris Givin, 1B/3B – AZL Padres 1 – San Diego Padres – – 3-4, 2B, R, 3RBi, SB (2) – 
  • Angel Solarte, CF – AZL Padres 2 – San Diego Padres – – 2-5, HR (2), R, 3RBi – 

Gulf Coast League: 

  • Nerio Rodriguez, C – GCL Astros – Houston Astros – – 4-5, HR (1), R, 2RBi, K – 
  • Rixon Wingrove, 1B – GCL Phillies West – Philadelphia Phillies – – 2-3, HR (1), 2R, 2RBi, BB – 
  • Cordell Dunn, DH – GCL Tigers East – Detroit Tigers – – 2-4, 2B, 2RBi, BB, K – 
  • Alexander Vargas, SS – GCL Yankees East – New York Yankees – – 3-5, 3B, 3R, RBi – 
  • Jhon Solarte, CF – GCL Blue Jays – Toronto Blue Jays – – 2-4, 2B, 3RBi – 
  • Jose Rivas, 2B – GCL Blue Jays – Toronto Blue Jays –– 2-4, 2B, 3R, 2RBi – 

Dominican Summer League: 

  • Luis Izturis, 2B – DSL Dodgers Shoemaker – Los Angeles Dodgers – – 3-5, HR (2), 2R, 2RBi, K – 
  • Albert Feliz, 1B – DSL Red Sox1 – Boston Red Sox – 3-4, HR (5), 2 2B, 2R, 3RBi – 
  • Brainer Bonaci, SS – DSL Red Sox1 – Boston Red Sox – – 1-3, 2B, 2R, RBi, BB, SB (12) – – The four-time Hitter of the Day selection ranks as one of the DSL hit leaders (30) heading into Thursday’s games. The 16-year-old Venezuela native also ranks in the DSL top five in doubles (8) and stolen bases (12). 
  • Jeury Corona, RF – DSL Phillies White – Philadelphia Phillies – – 2-4, 3R, BB, K, 3 SB (6,7,8) – 
  • Francisco Palma, LF – DSL Colorado – Colorado Rockies – – 1-1, 2B, 2R, 3RBi, 2BB, SB (5) – 
  • Victor Bericoto, 1B – DSL Giants – San Francisco Giants – – 4-5, R, 2RBi – 
  • Robert Gomez, RF – DSL Giants – San Francisco Giants –– 2-3, HR (2), R, 2RBi, 2BB – 
  • Jorge Burgos, CF – DSL Indians – Cleveland Indians – – 2-4, 3B, R, 2RBi, BB, K – 
  • Yonathan Pierre, LF – DSL Rays2 – Tampa Bay Rays – – 2-4, HR (2), 2B, R, 3RBi, K – 
  • Ortwin Pieternella, C – DSL Mariners – Seattle Mariners – 3-4, 3B, R, 2RBi – 
  • Juan Batista, RF – DSL D-backs1 – Arizona Diamondbacks – – 4-4, 3B, 2R, 2RBi, SB (10) – 
  • Jommer Hernandez, C – DSL Pirates2 – Pittsburgh Pirates – – 3-5, 2 3B, 2B, 2R, 3RBi – 
  • Kiumel Bastardo, 1B – DSL Dodgers Bautista – Los Angeles Dodgers – – 2-5, HR (1), 2R, RBi – 
  • Naysbel Marcano, DH – DSL Red Sox2 – Boston Red Sox– 2-3, HR (2), 2B, 4R, 3RBi, 2BB, K – 
  • Francis Grullon, DH – DSL Royals1 – Kansas City Royals – – 2-3, 2B, R, 2RBi, 2BB – 
  • Luis Feliz, LF – DSL Rangers2 – Texas Rangers – – 2-4, HR (2), 2B, 2R, 2RBi, 2K – 
  • Flemin Bautista, 2B – DSL Cubs2 – Chicago Cubs – – 3-6, R, 6RBi, 2K – 
  • Gerard Ramos, LF – DSL Rockies – Colorado Rockies – – 4-5, HR (3), 2B, 3R, 3RBi – 
  • Branfiel Concepcion, RF – DSL Rockies – Colorado Rockies –– 2-5, R, 2RBi, BB, 3 SB (13,14,15) – 
  • Michael James, SS – DSL Rockies – Colorado Rockies –– 2-3, HR (4), 2R, 2RBi, BB, K – 
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