For the past few weeks I’ve been super pumped for Dan Straily‘s arrival — like, Brett Lawrie-on-a-shizzload-of-RedBull pumped. I first wrote about him here, providing a little background and a brief scouting report. Then, earlier this week, I rolled out my Top Ten Prospects for the Stretch Run, and Straily topped the list. He debuted on Friday night. I watched. And what I saw was pretty much what we expected: Straily worked his fastball at 91-92, touching 93 a handfull of times, commanding it all over the zone, and drawing variable contact. He countered with his sharp slider and his fading change often. Both offerings looked like plus pitches, generating whiff-rates right around 25%. He also threw a few curveballs, but he used the pitch sparingly, and it looked like nothing more than a get-me-over type. When he needed to throw strikes, he threw strikes. And as his pitch count reached toward triple-digits, his velocity didn’t dip, and his pitch movement remained steady. There was one glaring mistake, however: the run he allowed in the fourth inning on a sac fly from Rajai Davis. Straily flat out hung that slider — zero movement, 82 mph, fat part of the plate. Davis should’ve blasted that pitch. Check it out the Brooks Baseball charts from that at bat and see what I mean. And check out the rest of Straily’s Brooks charts here — the site is off-the-chain cool. In all, though, I was impressed. The A’s ‘pen squandered his W, but Straily looks like he’ll handle himself very well going forward. Go ahead and blow out your FAAB.
Wil Myers | OF, Royals – Remember last week when he was bogged down in his first cold-stretch of the year? Yeah, well that’s over. Myers has collected four homers in the past week, pushing his season total to 33.
Zach Wheeler | RHP, Mets – Wheeler has moved up to Triple-A Buffalo, filling the void that Matt Harvey left when promoted to the bigs. Given the early success of Harvey, it looks like Wheeler won’t get a chance to pitch in the majors this year, but he’s now well positioned to make an early impact next season. For those wondering, Wheeler is widely regarded as the higher-ceiling prospect when compared to Harvey.
Anthony Rendon | 3B, Nationals – Rendon entered the season with plenty of hype, but a broken ankle in early April effectively squashed any chance he had at a breakout year. He’s worked his way back to A-ball, though, and through his first 27 PA in the Short-Season New York-Penn League, he’s homered once and doubled twice. It’s nice to see him back out there, but he’ll drop quite a ways down most prospect boards after losing most the season.
Gerrit Cole | RHP, Pirates – 2011’s No. 1 overall pick is coming off his best start of the year at Double-A Altoona: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. His 3.94 ERA and 1.31 WHIP at the level are still rather unsightly, however.
Jameson Taillon | RHP, Pirates – Escaped the trade deadline without being moved, and responded with an outstanding effort at High-A, tossing seven scoreless frames while allowing only two hits.
Adieny Hechavarria | SS, Blue Jays – Toronto has called up Hechavarria, a defense-first shortstop, while Brett Lawrie nurses a ribcage injury. I doubt he’ll bring much value in the fantasy game. Not this year, at least.
Manny Machado | SS, Orioles – Machado’s line on the year at Double-A isn’t pretty: 255/.339/.405, 9 HR. Still, he’s not slipping much in mid-season prospect rankings, as scouts and pundits continue to believe in his tools. At just 20-years-old, there’s ample time for him to play up to his potential, and I’m inclined to agree with the masses — Machado is still a future fantasy stud.
Oscar Taveras | OF, Cardinals – Earlier in the week I mentioned that the Cardinals might use Taveras off the bench come Septemeber. Well, St. Louis put that idea to rest, insisting that they plan for Taveras to finish his year in Double-A.
Jurickson Profar | SS, Rangers – The Rangers’ aggressive promotion of Mike Olt has me wondering if — and this is a big if — an injury to either Ian Kinsler or Elvis Andrus would prompt a call-up for Profar. Meanwhile, the 19-year-old is batting .284/.357/.471 with 13 HR and 14 SB at Double-A Frisco.
Matt Adams | 1B, Cardinals – With Lance Berkman shelved once again, the Cardinals have recalled OF Shane Robinson from Triple-A Memphis, but with oft-inured guys like Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran in the lineup, I wonder if Matt Adams will resurface in St. Louis before long. Because of his brief stint in the bigs, followed by a couple weeks on the DL with an elbow ailment, his Triple-A line has come in three separate chunks, and has been largely overlooked. But do take notice, as it’s one of the more impressive lines you’ll see this year: .340/.375/.647 with 17 HR in 253 PA.