Southern League Update: June 9th-16th

Thompson Heating Up

White Sox outfield prospect Trayce Thompson has always had the tools to become a big name prospect. He plays gold glove defense and possesses an outstanding power tool. Thompson has been decent in the minors so far in his career, posting two twenty plus homer seasons, but has never posted an average above .255, or an on base percentage above .330. Thus, his full potential has not been displayed so far in his career. However, Thompson is beginning to heat up this year, and has hit .351 over his last ten games, with an OPS just shy of 1.000. His most impressive game was earlier today, as he went 3/5 with 2 HR’s and 5 RBI’s. If Thompson can continue his hot hitting ways, and cut back on the strikeouts, his biggest issue as a prospect, he could shoot up prospect lists this coming winter. He offers an intriguing combination of power and speed, and if he can start consistently putting up stats that match his tools, watch out.

Hendricks Continues Hot Streak 

Back at the 2012 trade deadline, baseball saw Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster traded to Texas for two prospects. One being Carlos Villanueva, the more well known infielder, and the other being pitcher Kyle Hendricks. While Villanueva was the more highly acclaimed prospect, Hendricks was a sneaky acquisition that had nice upside. The upside is now coming to fruition. Kyle Hendricks has posted a quality start in nine of his last ten outings, along with a K/BB rate of 58/10 in 65.1 IP. Hendricks isn’t the nasty stuff, 100 MPH type prospect that fans love to dream about. His fastball lies right around 90 MPH, but he shows excellent command of all his pitches, with the best pitch in his repertoire being his change-up. Hendricks is an extremely smart player, after all he attended the Ivy League Dartmouth College, and hides his offerings well, along with a great approach in terms of pitch selection. He may not be flashy, but Hendricks is a guy who could sneak all the way into a mid to back-end rotation role in the big-leagues.

Marisnick Improving 

Ex-Blue Jays prospect, and now Marlins prospect Jake Marisnick has had his ups and downs through-out his minor league career. After a stellar .320/.392/.496 campaign in 2011, Marisnick was a common sight on prospect lists everywhere. However, a lackluster 2012 season in which he failed to hit .250 or 10 HR’s, Marisnick’s stock fell. In 2013, Marisnick started out slow, but has come on strong as of late. Over his last ten games, he sports a batting line up .341/.370/.682, with eight extra-base hits and nine RBI’s. While Marisnick has good tools, he does not control the zone particularly well and this can lead to a low batting average, demonstrated in 2012.  He plays above average defense in the outfield, and has very good speed on the base-paths, he is capable of stealing between twenty and thirty bases a year. Marisnick likely won’t see the majors this year, but if he finishes the year strong, he could have an outside shot at an early season call up in 2014.

Conley Figures It Out

Closer turned starter Adam Conley has enjoyed success as of late, after some short and tough outings earlier this year. Conley has posted two straight outstanding starts, both in which he gave up only two combined earned runs in fourteen innings, striking out sixteen with just a lone walk. Conley can get his fastball up to 97 MPH reportedly, and also features a solid change-up and two-seam fastball. However, the most important pitch in the final decision of having Conley either continue starting or move to relief will be his slider. If he can work on the command of his slider, Conley could become a very nice third or fourth starter in the future for the Marlins. If not, he should still be a valuable piece out of the bullpen with his fastball/change-up combination.


Tags: Adam Conley Birmingham Barons Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox Jacksonville Suns Jake Marisnick Kyle Hendricks Miami Marlins Southern League Tennessee Smokies Trayce Thompson

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