I don’t often interest myself with indie league baseball, but with this whole 50-year-old Roger Clemens comeback ordeal, I just had to watch. And from what I witnessed, Clemens was good. He allowed just one baserunner (a hit) over 3.1 IP, striking out two, showing good command of a fastball in the mid-upper-80s. After watching the outing, there’s no reason to believe that Clemens couldn’t be as effective as Jaime Moyer was when he pitched with the Rockies this year. A sideshow type return to the bigs seems plausible here — scouts from the Astros and the Royals were reportedly in attendance. Of course, my cynical mind wonders how, after five years away from the game, a 50-year-old man can compete at a major league level. I can’t help but think The Rocket’s return is PED-fueled — and it’s not like there’s no precedent with this guy. Clemens has an enormous ego. That’s no secret. The past five years have been brutal on his legacy, and a “legitimate” return to the majors could go a long way in repairing his image. I’m not familiar with the PED testing policy employed by the independent Atlantic League, or if there is one at all. And obviously this is purely speculative thinking. But, c’mon. Doesn’t it seem a little fishy?
Darin Ruf | 1B, Phillies – Ruf has been mashing since the calendar rolled over into August, slugging 15 homers since the 1st of the month. On the year, the 26-year-old has hit .313/.404/.609 with 34 HR and 93 RBI through 541 PA at Double-A Reading.
Trevor Bauer | RHP, D’Backs – Bauer’s posted a 21/2 K/BB over his last two outings. The mid-season savior-that-wasn’t seems to be back on track, although it’s unlikely we’ll see him resurface in the bigs as Tyler Skaggs has worked his way into the Arizona rotation.
Jedd Gyorko | 3B, Padres — After a hot week at Triple-A Tuscon, Gyorko is up to 28 homers and 94 RBI on the year, along with a slash line at .321/.383/.561 in 519 PA between Double-A and Triple-A. One would assume he’ll join the Padres come September, with a chance at regular play if San Diego uses him at 2B.
Shelby Miller | RHP, Cardinals – Miller’s recent dominance continues: 12 more K’s and zero walks in 7 IP since I highlighted him in last Sunday’s post. Should this hot streak keep up, Miller could be an attractive option for the Cardinals down the stretch, especially if Joe Kelly regresses upon his return to the St. Louis rotation.
Billy Hamilton | SS, Reds – With 148 stolen bases on the year, Hamilton is the all-time leader in that category, passing Vince Coleman’s mark of 145 earlier this week. With ten games remaining on Pensacola’s schedule, 160 is surely in sight. Crazy.
Delino DeShields | 2B, Astros – Lost in all the Billy Hamilton hoopla are the 96 SB’s DeShields has collected this year between Low-A and High-A. Also worth noting is Delino’s 14% CS rate, 6% better than Hamilton’s.
Corey Seager | SS, Dodgers – LA’s 2012 first-rounder Corey Seager — younger brother of Kyle — has been terrific in his first go at pro ball, hitting .317/.385/.524 with 7 homers and 8 steals through 42 games in the rookie-level Pioneer League.
Jorge Soler | OF, Cubs – In 11 games since his promotion to Low-A Peoria, Soler has hit .333/.375/.533 along with 2 long balls and 11 RBI. The 20-year-old should surface in Double-A by the time next year. More on him here.
Tyrell Jenkins | RHP, Cardinals – Cardinals prospect Tyrell Jenkins has been shut down thanks to a shoulder injury. It was a disappointing year at Low-A Quad Cities for the highly touted 20-year-old: 5.14 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 80/36 K/BB in 82 IP.
Miguel Sano | 3B, Twins – The 19-year-old slugger is up to 26 homers on the year at Low-A Beloit. The Snappers, by the way, wore tuxedo-jerseys recently. Not sure why. But here‘s a look at Sano in the curious threads.
Mike Zunino | C, Mariners – Having blasted two homers in his first seven games at Double-A, Zunino hasn’t slowed a bit since his three-level promotion to Jackson.