It’s been another busy week in prospect-land as the minor league world carries on unaffected by spring break, Easter, and other such real-world events. Despite a few leagues being off this Sunday, there’s still plenty of action to look forward to this weekend and lots to look back on from this past week.
Week in review
The past week gave us our first instance of prospects being promoted to the majors. The Mariners called up Carlos Peguero on what is expected to be a temporary basis, as first baseman Justin Smoak is away on bereavement leave after the death of his father. Peguero won’t likely be in the majors too long, but the brief cameo gives us a glimpse at the raw but powerful outfield prospect. Expect big hacks and big strikeout totals, but also the potential tape-measure shot.
Also getting the invite to the bigs, but for what could be a more long-term assignment, was Jerry Sands, who was brought up to the offensively-challenged Dodgers. Sands has been playing left field regularly and should stick in the majors unless he experiences Brandon Belt -like struggles.
Staying in the minors, at least for the time being, is Manny Banuelos, who was sent to Double-A to start the season despite impressing Yankees brass all March. Banuelos did not, however, start pitching when the minor league season started, instead spending the first week on the disabled list because of a blister on his throwing hand. Banuelos has now returned to action without missing a beat, making two starts, each four innings long, and giving up just an unearned run between them.
Itching to get his season started as well is Jameson Taillon, the Pirates’ top pick from last year’s draft and the second overall pick. Taillon has been held back in extended spring training to limit his innings, but the fireballing righty should be joining the West Virginia Power next week. Taillon will join fellow top draft picks from last year Bryce Harper (first overall) and Manny Machado (third overall) in what has become a stacked South Atlantic League.
Another top prospect on the move is Jean Segura, who is not moving leagues or levels, but is instead shifting to the other side of second base. The Angels are trying Segura out at shortstop, after he proved he could handle second base with little difficulty. The Angels are hoping that the slick-fielding Segura will be able to make the transition, thus making his bat even more valuable.
This week saw the Rangers finally place Tanner Scheppers on the disabled list because of his back. This is the same injury that bothered Scheppers during spring training, caused his velocity to drop dramatically, and leaving him looking like a complete non-prospect.
Also heading to the disabled list was Matt Dominguez, who almost won the Marlins third base job out of spring training, but was instead sent to Triple-A, where he has since been drilled in the elbow with a pitch, resulting in a fracture and a trip to the DL.
Still battling back from injury is Jarrod Parker, whose comeback from Tommy John surgery has been bumpier than expected thus far. Parker has given up 14 earned runs in just seven innings of work over two outings, showing his old velocity but no command of either his fastball or his typically wipe-out slider. There’s no need for alarm just yet regarding Parker, as command is often the last thing to return after Tommy John surgery, but the Diamondbacks may want to consider finding Parker a less public and mentally abusive place for their top prospect to regain his old form than Double-A if this bashing continues.
If you can be only one place this weekend…
We’d like to assume that if you can be only one place this weekend, it’s going to be around the Easter dinner table with family and friends, but you can do that while still seeing some solid baseball action on Friday and Saturday. That being the case, head to Port St. Lucie, Fla., where you can watch the St. Lucie Mets toss Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia out to the mound on back-to-back days. Harvey is making the Florida State League look easier than the ACC, and Familia is one of the more intriguing prospects in the minors, displaying powerful stuff coupled with inconsistency and having allowed only one earned run in three starts this season.