By the numbers, Manny Machado struggled through his first two months of Double-A baseball. It seemed like most nights I looked at Bowie’s box, Machado’s line was 0-fer. But then I’d read something from the O’s about how his current production was of no concern, that he was tweaking his approach, that scouts are still encouraged. Still, it’s hard not to be a little worried when the guy I ranked No. 2 on this list is slugging just .375 at the end of May. Well, it appears now that whatever tweaks Machado had been working on are beginning to take hold. Since the calendar rolled over into June, Machado has been a different guy at the plate, peaking especially during his last ten: .444/.500/.806, 3 HR, 16 RBI. He’ll be a fun guy to keep an eye on the rest of the way.
Starling Marte | OF, Pirates — Marte is another guy who’s picked up his pace considerably following a slow start. Last ten: .419/.468/.791, 3 HR, 13 RBI. He leads the minors in triples with ten, and he’s certainly a candidate to join Pittsburgh’s outfield for the 2nd half.
Shelby Miller | RHP, Cardinals – I noted last week that Miller was going to be skipped in the Memphis rotation in order to work on mechanics. He returned to game action on Wednesday and was much improved, allowing one run on one hit, while striking out eight over five frames.
Jake Marisnick | OF, Blue Jays — Marisnick seems to have found his power stroke recently, as his last eight hits have all been for extra bases, including 3 HR. On the season he’s hit .258/.337/.444 in the High-A Florida State League.
Travis D’Arnaud | C, Blue Jays — D’Arnaud hits the shelf for a couple months after tearing his PCL on Monday. He was among the hottest hitters in the minors post-April, on track for a 2nd half promotion to Toronto, so this is disappointing news.
Andre Rienzo | RHP, White Sox – Rienzo got busted for drugs too, but his drugs were of the performance-enhancing variety. He jumped up to Double-A upon his return, and through his first three outings he’s posted a 0.49 ERA along with 14 K’s.
Hak-Ju Lee | SS, Rays – Lee leads the Southern League with 27 stolen bases, and he’s heating up at the plate too, batting .391/.429/.543 through his last 49 PA. The Rays always practice patience with their prospects so it’s tough to say with certainty, but given their struggles at shortstop this year, there’s a good chance we’ll see Lee up in 2013.
Matt Adams | 1B, Cardinals – Adams has blasted four homers and knocked in nine runs in seven games since returning to Memphis. After a tough go for a month in the bigs, it’s nice to see him get back on track in Triple-A. He could find his way back to St. Louis this year should their injury woes persist.
Bubba Starling | OF, Royals – Starling, the No. 5 overall pick in 2011, has finally debuted as a pro. The 19-year-old is oozing with plus tools and he’ll get started at the rookie-level with the Burlington Royals for the Appalachian League.