Prospect Pulse: July 25th, 2012 – Burch Smith and Aaron Hicks


The Prospect Pulse is a recap of some of the top performances in the minors from the previous day. Prospects are sorted by the league in which they play with their parent club listed in parentheses. In each of the 14 leagues this series follows I will select what I feel is the single best performance and may mix in a few “honorable” mentions as well. Then at the end of each days’ recap I will pick a hitter and pitcher of the day from among the 14+ players covered.

Appalachian League (Rk)

No Games Scheduled

Pioneer League (Rk)

3B – Diego Goris, Idaho Falls (Kansas City): 4-5, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 4 R

3B – Seth Mejias-Brean, Billings (Cincinnati): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, SB

This is Brean’s second appearance on the Prospect Pulse in the last four days, and why not? The Reds 8th round pick is hitting 0.406/.473/.719 in his first 17 professional games. Amazingly he’s been even better in his last 10 with a 0.524/.543/.881 slash line. In this latest stretch he’s scored 11 runs, driven in 16 and has reached base at least twice in all but two games.

New York-Penn League (A-)

RHP – Clay Holmes, State College (Pittsburgh): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

Northwest League (A-)

LF – Shaun Cooper, Yakima (Arizona): 3-5, 2B, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R

RHP – Taylor Cole, Vancouver (Toronto): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

Cole keeps rolling along in 2012. 5 starts have resulted in 24.0 innings pitched and just 1 earned run.

Midwest League (A)

RHP – Sam Gaviglio, Quad Cities (St. Louis): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO

3B – Jason King, West Michigan (Detroit): 3-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R

King got off to a woeful start this season and missed some time this summer due to injury but has hit well of late. He’s 14-38 (0.368) with 8 R, 4 XBH and 5 BB in his last 10 games.

South Atlantic League (A)

DH – Christopher Duffy, Lakewood (Philadelphia): 5-6, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R

Duffy has hit 0.380/.466/.605 in 56 SAL games this season and it’s time for the Phillies to bump the 24-year old back up to the FSL.

California League (A+)

LF – Leon Landry, Rancho Cucamonga (LA Dodgers): 3-6, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, 2 R

RHP – Burch Smith, Lake Elsinore (San Diego): 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO

The Padres 2011 14th round pick, Smith has impressed in his first full professional season. He has a 3.19 ERA, 119-18 SO-to-BB and has allowed 92 H in 104.1 innings. Let’s also not forget that he’s accumulated those stats while pitching in the Cal League.

Carolina League (A+)

RHP – Elisaul Pimentel, Wilmington (Kansas City): 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO

3B – Brent Morel, Winston-Salem (Chicago White Sox): 3-5, 3 2B, 2 RBI, R

RHP – Alex Meyer, Potomac (Washington): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO

His second Carolina League start was strikingly similar to his first. Between the two Meyer has allowed 5 hits, 2 walks and 1 unearned run in 12.0 innings while striking out 12.

Florida State League (A+)

RHP – Matthew Hauser, Fort Myers (Minnesota): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO

1B – Aaron Dudley, Jupiter (Florida): 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, R

Eastern League (AA)

RHP – Jonathan Pettibone, Reading (Philadelphia): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO

DH – Aaron Hicks, New Britain (Minnesota): 5-6, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 5 R

Still just 22-years old, the 3-time Top-50 prospect is having his finest season since his professional debut in 2008. He’s hitting 0.284/.379/.456 with 22 SB, 53 BB and 86 SO in 93 games on the season.

Southern League (AA)

SS – Junior Lake, Tennessee (Chicago Cubs): 2-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, BB

Texas League (AA)

CF – Oscar Taveras, Springfield (St. Louis): 2-3, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, BB

RHP – Yordano Ventura, NW Arkansas (Kansas City): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO

Greeted rudely in his Texas League debut (7 ER in 4.2 IP), Ventura has bounced back to allow just 3 hits and 1 earned run in his last 12.2 innings pitched.

International League (AAA)

DH – John Lindsey, Toledo (Detroit): 4-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 R

CF – Rich Thompson, Durham (Tampa Bay): 4-6, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, SB

LHP – Brian Matusz, Norfolk (Baltimore): 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO

Pacific Coast League (AAA)

LF – Matt McBride, Colorado Springs (Colorado): 3-5, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 2 R

1B – Brett Pill, Fresno (San Francisco): 3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R

RHP – Claudio Vargas, Nashville (Milwaukee): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO

Pitcher and Hitter of the Day

Lake Elsinore’s Burch Smith and New Britain’s Aaron Hicks

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