(Rewind) June 9, 2018 – Under the Radar Pitcher Performances

I just returned from a short vacation where I was unable to provide content from June 9th to June 13th. So to provide continuity to my tracking process, including for my year-end review, I will rewind those days top performances and post them over the next few days. Also, I will update the Two-Start Treasure feature for those starts missed from June 5th to June 11th.
 
TOP NL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE
LHP David Peterson (LoA Columbia – New York Mets) 22 years old
8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 1.82 ERA
  • Peterson was the Mets top pick in the 2017 draft coming out of the University of Oregon. This outing marked a career-high in strikeouts. The 6’6″ 240 lb right-hander is getting his first stint at full season after only making three one inning starts at short-season Brooklyn in 2017. Peterson was one of the UTRMinors.com Top Prospect National League Pitchers for May 2018.
 
 
TOP AL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE
LHP Zach Logue (HiA Dunedin – Toronto) 22 years old
7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2.00 ERA, Win 2-0
  • The lefty Logue is handling his promotion to Dunedin, thus far. He was a 9th round pick in 2017 and quickly has found his way into the advanced levels, with only 12 appearances in the rookie leagues during his debut season.

 

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June 16, 2018 – Under the Radar Pitcher Performances

TOP NL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE
RHP Alec Bettinger (LoA Wisconsin – Milwaukee) 22 years old
6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER,  0 BB, 10 K, 3.00 ERA, Loss 0-1
  • 10th round pick in 2017 made a statement in his HiA debut by setting a career-high with 10 strikeouts. Bettinger made 12 appearances (11 starts) at LoA Wisconsin with 5-4 record, 4.02 ERA, and an almost 3:1 K:BB ratio. He did pickup a UTR Two Start Treasure mention from May 8th to 14th. 
 
TOP AL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE
RHP Gabriel Valdez (HiA Buies Creek – Houston) 22 years old
7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 3.60 ERA, Win 3-3
  • The righty out of Panama had his longest outing of his career last evening, throwing seven scoreless innings and only allowing one hit. He made his U.S. debut in 2016 with the GCL Astros and asserted himself in his first full season by reaching Buies Creek to begin 2017.
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Under the Radar Hitters of the Day – June 16, 2018

First, on behalf of UTRMinors.com, Jim and I would like to wish all the father’s  –  and single mothers  –  a very Happy Father’s Day. 

Secondly, the Florida State League regular season was on hold due to their annual All-Star Game, where the North defeated the South by a score of 5-0. Check out the box scorehere.*

National League – Top Hitter of the Day: 

  • Oneil Cruz, SS – LoA West Virginia Power (PIT) – Sally League4-5, 2 3B, 2B, 2R, 3RBi
    • When reading the scouting report on Cruz, who came to the Pirates in the trade that sent reliever Tony Watson to the Dodgers in July 2017, the 6’6″ long-limbed Dominican native brings sick power and a canon arm to the field every day. His knock was his strikeouts and that he didn’t hit much for average. Enter 2018. My 2018 Pirates“One to Watch” choice is currently hitting 49 points (.304) above his career average (255), has cut down his strikeouts (by nearly 7 percent), upped his walk rate and has more than doubled his isolated power (ISO) from last season upon joining the Pirates. Oneil sits among the Sally League leaders in hits (73), RBi (39), total bases (125) and OPS (.885). For Oneil to show this much improvemt as a 19-year-old in full-season ball? That’s a scary thought for league opponents, but pure excitement for Pirates fans, especially when he’s improved this much as a hitter knowing that he already brings two plus-tools to the table.

American League – Top Hitter of the Day: 

  • Ronaldo Hernandez, C – LoA Bowling Green Hot Rods (TB) – Midwest League3-4, 2 HR (9,10), 3R, 3RBi
    • In the much-talked-about N.L. only fantasy league that Jim and I compete in, there are generally enough top prospects to choose from when looking for that next great kid you’d love to stash on your roster. But then there are those specific American League kids that you drool over, wishing that they “just played for National League organization.” Hernandez is one of those prospects (for me). There isn’t a thing he can’t do on both sides of the ball. He’s among the Midwest League leaders in home runs, doubles and total bases; and by seasons’s end, could (or should be) one of baseball’s top overall catching prospects. If you’re in a league where he’s available, shame every other owner first, then pick him up. You will reap rewards. 

National League:

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June 15, 2018 – Under the Radar Pitcher Performances

TOP NL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE
LHP Adrian Morejon (HiA Lake Elsinore – San Diego) 19 years old
6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER,  1 BB, 12 K, 3.59 ERA, Win 4-4
  • The Cuban southpaw registered a career-high 12 strikeouts last night versus Lancaster (Rockies). The Padres #5 prospect is the youngest arm in all of HiA. So far, the 6’0″ 175 lb lefty has been handling the hitter friendly Cali League, keeping batters to a lean .242 average and producing a 55% groundball rate. In 11 starts, Morejon has a 3.59 ERA and 10.3 K/9 rate in 57.2 innings.
 
TOP AL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE
RHP Nolan Watson (LoA Lexington – Kansas City) 21 years old
9 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 5.81 ERA, Win 4-6
  • The Royals first round pick in 2015 (Lawrence North HS – Indiana) has had a rough go in the South Atlantic League in 2018. Prior to his first ever complete game last night, Watson has given up 28 earned runs over his last 34.1 innings for a 7.34 ERA. The Royals aggressively assigned the 6’2″ 195 lb righty to the SAL during his sophomore season in 2016, where he also took his lumps in 24 starts (3-11 record with a 7.57 ERA). They tried again last season and the results were the same in posting 1-10 record with a 6.78 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts). The staff tried to push the re-set button by sending Watson down to the rookie leagues for a month. The alarming factor would be that his peripherals also remained a steady pace, compared to 2016. His third foray with Lexington is somewhat better in 2018, though he is still proving to be hittable. But there is still plenty of time for Watson to develop, who remains 21 years-old throughout this season.
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Under the Radar Hitters of the Day – June 15, 2018

First things first, the Florida State League had a scheduled day off Friday. However, the bigger news is that Jim and I finally welcome the start of short season leagues to daily reporting. Last night, Short Season New York-Penn League (NYPL), the Northwest League (NWL) and Pioneer Leagues (PIO) kicked off their season(s) and this marks an exciting time of the season for sites like ours. Jim and I have declared since we began our UTR quest back in 2009 that the beginning of these leagues (as well as the Appalachian/APPY, Gulf Coast League/GCL and Arizona League/AZL) is the part of our season where true under-the-radar gems are (and can be) found. Today marks Day 71 of our in-season work, so readers should have a handle on kids we’ve promoted and/or highlighted thus far. The short season leagues will be full of fresh faces, high draft picks, mid-level kids and even late rounders who’ll be trying to prove that being a late round pick was a mistake. This is the beauty of what we do. Stick with us and we’re positive you’ll find a kid no one else is chirping about. After all, catcher Mike Piazza was drafted as a favor from Dodger’s manager Tommy Lasorda to Piazza’s father back in 1988. And I think the former 62nd round draft pick had an Ok career don’t you think? 

National League – Top Hitter of the Day: 

  • Robbie Podorsky, LF – LoA Fort Wayne TinCaps (SD) – Midwest League
    • 5-5, 3B, 3R, 2RBi, 2 SB (11,12) 
    • My hope was that a NYPL, NWL, or PIO hitter would capture the THOD distinction today, but we can’t have it all. We have to go where the numbers take us, and you simply can’t ignore that Podorksy, a 2017 – 25th round pick out of McNeese State,  recorded his first ever 5-hit game. But, the former Cowboy is no stranger to multi-hit games. He registered four hits June 2 vs. Great Lakes; and dating back to last season as a member of the Tri-City Dust Devils (NWL), the 5’7″ – 170 lb. righty rapped out six hits July 15 vs. the Boise Hawks. 

American League – Top Hitter of the Day: 

  • Freddvil Chevez, 1B – DSL Rays2 (TB) – Dominican Summer League
    • Hit for cycle
    • 4-5, HR (1), 3B, 2B, R, 3RBi
    • It’s somewhat rare to see a hitter bat for the cycle, let alone reporting two in one week; against the same team. On June 13, DSL Dodgers Guerrero third baseman Jesus Valdez hit for cycle vs. the Cubs1, posting his own 4-for-5 performance.  This time, it’s the hulking 6’4″- 200 lb. 18-year-old Chevez, who hit for the cycle yesterday vs. the same DSL Cubs1 squad. He got the most difficult hit out of the way first with a two-out RBi triple in the bottom of the 1st inning. Chevez then lined an RBi double to left in the 3rd, then hit an infield single in the 5th; and capped off the cycle with a lead-off homer in the 7th. 

National League:

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Pitchers Are Back!!! – UTR Performances for June 14th

The pitchers return today!!!!!……Thank you UTR followers for your patience while I was away.
 
I’ve returned from a nice little jaunt, visiting Minnesota and Colorado, including catching a concert at Red Rocks. It was my first visit to the Boulder area and it was awe inspiring. It was even made better by travelling with friends and making new friends from the area, who were great hosts in providing an awesome touring experience.
 
Unfortunately, baseball took a back seat, as I was unable to make time to provide content and taking in any games was not on the itinerary. As always seems to be…..while I was out West, the Rockies were trekking East and the Triple-A Sky Sox schedule didn’t jive with mine. As I say when travelling, you cant see everything…so why not go back. That’s something I plan to do and recommend to anyone who haven’t experienced the Rocky Mountains. So much for my moonlighting for the Denver Tourist Bureau…..let’s get back to highlighting minor league pitchers.
 
I’ll be very busy over the next couple days getting back to speed, especially with the Short-Season Leagues getting underway tonight. I get back into tracking mode this morning with the performances from last night, but I will get the readers caught-up with the missed performances while I away. Added bonus posts will be included throughout the next few days, so you can update your tracking methods. I cant wait to see what I missed, so lets get cracking!!! 
 
TOP NL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE
RHP Keegan Thompson (HiA Myrtle Beach – Chicago Cubs) 23 years old
7 IP, 0 H, 0 ER,  0 BB, 8 K, 3.19 ERA
  • Thompson hurled seven perfect innings last night against Carolina (Brewers). The 3rd round (2017) arm out of Auburn University is enjoying his first full season and as a starter for the Pelicans. He spent his debut season with short-season Eugene in the Northwest League in making 7 appearances (1 start), posting a 2.37 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 19 innings.
 
TOP AL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE
RHP Miguel Yajure (LoA Charleston – New York Yankees) 20 years old
5 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 3.00, Win 1-0
  • The Venezuelan right-hander makes a strong start, his 2nd this season, after returning from missing the 2017 season. He pitched well during his U.S. debut season in 2016 with the GCL Yankees. He made 9 appearances with 6 starts in registering a 2.87 ERA and a o.926 WHIP. The 20 year- old (6′ 1″ 175 lb) projects with a mid 90’s fastball with excellent control and promising secondaries.
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Under the Radar Hitters of the Day – June 14, 2018

National League – Top Hitter of the Day: 

  • Steven Fana, DH – DSL Colorado (COL) – Dominican Summer League3-6, 2 HR (2,3), 3R, 2RBi, 3K 
    • The 18-year-old Dominican native is repeating the DSL this season after batting .236 with only 10 extra base hits and seven stolen bases last year. So far in nine games this season, the 6’1″ – 180 lb. righty has doubled his per-game output based on his 2017 debut statistics. It took 43 games to drive in 11 runs last year, but he’s raised his average 50 points and Fana has five RBI’s in nine games on the season so far. Plus, he’s cut his BB:K ratio from 2017 (10:44) in half (4:9). 

American League – Top Hitter of the Day: 

  • Alex Kirilloff, RF – LoA Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) – Midwest League4-6, 2 HR (12,13), 2R, 4RBi
    • If you’re a fan of the Midwest League, you’ve enjoyed what is one of the more exciting crops of prospects the league has seen in a long time with Kirilloff leading the way. In 2018, the 2016 – 1st rounder out of Plum HS in Pittsburgh (PA) is giving Twins fans and the Midwest League an absolute show, as he took sole possession of the league home run lead last night with his 12th and 13th homers of the season. The 6’2″- 215 lb. lefty also leads the MWL in hits (79), RBi’s (55) and total bases (146). All this after he lost the entire 2017 season to Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow. But this was to be expected. After all, Kirilloff won Appalacian League MVP honors in his rookie season with Elizabethton back in 2016; and if Kirilloff stays in the MWL for the entire year, I expect him to run away with another MVP trophy, but only because Toronto prospect Kevin Smith (a 2017 – 4th rounder) packed his bags for HiA Dunedin a little over two weeks ago. 

Notes on LAD’s Morales, Rockies Diaz, Angels Adell…

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