We get a fun one today because Miami Marlins prospect Chris Vallimont wasn’t on my radar. Last night, he threw seven no-hit innings and struck out nine batters. That gives him a 2.70 ERA on the season with a 10+ K/9 and a crisp 2.7 BB/9. All three stats are massive improvements over his performance last season. At 22, he’s probably just beating up on the younger competition in A ball, but there could also be a legitimate change in him that’s causing the success. Either way, I think he’s earned our attention moving forward in a Marlins system that features some nice pitching talent. Here’s what else is happening around the minor leagues…
Luis Urias, 2B/SS | SDP – 3-for-5 with a homer, his 12th of the year in Triple-A. Urias is slashing .350/.439/.775 in the hitting-friendly PCL and he’s still a solid stash for this season. He just needs another break at the MLB level, hopefully one where he’s up for good and can adjust.
Mitch Keller, RHP | PIT – Six strikeouts in seven innings of 1-run ball for Triple-A Indy. Keller’s ERA is a solid 3.45 with 56 punch outs in 47 innings pitched. Another stash if you need some pitching help this year, as he’ll likely be up in the next month or two. Here’s what I said about Keller in the offseason: “Keller’s been around a good while, drafted out of high school back in 2014. This could be the year he finally reaches the bigs after throwing about 50 innings in Triple-A last season. He has a plus heater that can touch triple-digits, and pairs that with an above average curve and change. Steamer is giving him about 90 innings in the majors this season, and I’d say that’s spot on. His walk rate has trended in the wrong direction over the past two seasons though, so I’m a little concerned it will be a rocky debut.” That walk rate is still pretty high – 3.8 BB/9 on the season.
Nate Lowe, 1B | TBR – 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. While we’re on the subject of stashing, we might as well discuss Lowe, who should be back up this summer. He’s not the sexiest prospect, but he’ll get the job done in AL-only and deeper mixed formats.
Matt Manning, RHP | DET – Struck out ten batters in six scoreless innings. Both Manning and Mize have pitched well in Double-A, and both could contribute this year if given the chance. I like Mize’s upside a lot more than Manning if you’re deciding between the two kitties.
Kevin Cron, CI | ARI – Hitting .429 with three homers in his last three games. If you play for the Diamondbacks, that’s not sweat on the back of your neck. That’s the condensation from Cron’s heavy breathing. He’s inappropriately close and doing inappropriate things to baseballs, so he should be stashed at this point.