I’m gonna double-dip on what I wrote a year ago in my week 23 MiLB report because 1) I think it still holds, and 2) I’m a double-dipper: “The Minor League Baseball season has reached it’s glorious culmination. Well, actually, it’s not very glorious. No, no one really cares who wins in the New York-Penn semis, or the International League title, or the Midwest League championship. It’s just not that interesting. Not even for me. Sure, organizations do their best to instill winning attitudes throughout their farm systems, and I absolutely agree that’s important. It’s why Jeff Luhnow is still tweeting crap like “#JETHAWKS WIN”. Yay, Jethawks… It’s fun for the players, I suppose. It’s fun for the small-town fans, too. And it’s a small source of pride for player development types. But that’s about the extent of it. All that said, the various MiLB playoffs are still worth keeping an eye on, if only for the handful of real-deal prospects who’re performing on a slightly grander stage than usual. So, to wrap up this year’s Minor Accomplishments series, I leave you with a brief rundown of what’s happening with some of the more notable prospects in their respective postseasons.”
Gregory Polanco | OF, Pirates — The Pirates promoted Polanco to Triple-A Indianapolis for the final few games of the regular season, and the first round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, it won’t extend beyond the first round, as Indianapolis was swept by Durham earlier in the week. Polanco is a serious fantasy prospect with potential to help across the board offensively. He ranked #10 on my mid-season top 50.
Danny Hultzen | LHP, Mariners — Although they missed the playoffs, there was good news coming out of Tacoma this week, as Danny Hultzen made his first start since June. The lefty tossed two frames, allowing no baserunners while striking out 3. It was a positive development after the M’s speculated about shutting Hultzen down in August.
Trayce Thompson | OF, White Sox — Thompson finished last season as one of the hottest hitters in baseball, rising from High-A to Triple-A over the course of a couple weeks. However, 2013, his first full year in the upper levels, has been a forgettable year: .229/.321/.383, 15 HR. Thompson finally seems to be rediscovering his power stroke late in the season, though. The 22-year-old has 3 homers in the past week, including one in the Southern League playoffs.
Marcus Stroman | RHP, Blue Jays — New Hampshire missed the playoffs, so Monday was Stroman’s last start of the regular season. The 2012 1st rounder tossed 8 IP, allowing 2 hits and 1 run while whiffing 11 and walking zero. Can’t wait to watch him pitch in the Arizona Fall League next month.
George Springer | OF, Astros — Springer fell three homers short of a 40/40 year in the regular season, but he’ll try to chase down that accomplishment in the playoffs — unofficially, of course. He drilled his first postseason HR on Friday night.
Noah Syndergaard | RHP, Mets — Syndergaard lasted 6 IP in his Eastern League playoffs debut. He allowed 7 hits and 3 runs, but he whiffed 8 along the way, and reports are saying that the 21-year-old was lighting up the radar gun with triple-digit gas. Syndergaard brings legit ace potential, and he could be surfacing in New York as soon as next summer.
Mike Foltynewicz | RHP, Astros — Foltynewicz profiles similarly to Syndergaard in that they’re both big-framed righties with plus fastballs and solid secondary stuff. They also both have 11-letter last names. They also both pitched will in their Double-A playoffs debuts — Foltynewicz tossed 7 IP, allowing 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 6.
Braden Shipley | RHP, D’Backs — The 15th overall pick back in June, Braden Shipley has been sharp since he arrived in the Midwest League, posting a 2.61 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, and a K/9 at 7.0. He continued that trend in the playoffs on Thursday: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.