Minor League Minutes: 7/9/2021

Be sure to check out the final edition of our 2021 MLB Draft rankings. The draft starts on Sunday night. Everything you need to know about the draft can be found in here.

The reason for Davis moving above Rocker is pretty simple for me: when we did our Prospects Live mock, I was so excited to actually get Davis that I realized my preference was probably Davis over everyone not named Jordan Lawlar. Davis isn’t just the best college hitter in this draft, he might be the best player in the draft. Having Lawlar above him was really about projection at this point, and the fact I think Lawlar can be like a Gold Glove-caliber SS one day while Davis is just pretty good behind home plate. Otherwise it is really, really close.

Joel and I had Mason McRae on to talk about the draft in the most recent edition of our podcast.

AAA Omaha (35-21): L 5-12

At the time of writing this, I still haven’t gone back and watched Daniel Lynch’s start from tonight. What I can tell you is that his final line consisted of him giving up 8 hits, 3 walks, and 8 earned runs while striking out just 2 batters in 2.1 IP. What I can’t tell you is how we wound up at this point. His ERA for the season has ballooned to 6.38 and I really just don’t know what to make of it. Before this season he had never thrown a pitch above A-ball. That is something to consider. On the other hand, he’s getting hit all over the place and while some of it can be chalked up to weird luck, he’s not missing nearly enough bats to warrant a swing in luck either. Maybe he gets it turned around here soon, but the preseason hype we all heard about Lynch coming into this season just hasn’t been there so far for the 24-year old lefty.

On the bright side, Kyle Isbel recorded a couple of hits last night. Dylan Coleman struck out 2 batters in a perfect inning of relief. And Erick Mejia finished the night 2-2 with 3 walks for Omaha. Jackson Kowar will look to give us a reason to watch baseball tomorrow night at 7:05.

AA Northwest Arkansas (30-25): W 10-1

Considering that Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto are playing in the MLB All-Star Future’s Game in Denver on Sunday, it’s certainly possible that we have seen Bobby Witt Jr.’s final game in AA. He finished last night’s game 2-5 with a double and a walk and continues to be very impressive for the Naturals. I know folks will assume that Pratto would go to Omaha as well, but he’s running up a K% of 35.7% over his last 98 PA since June 15th, and while I think he’s done enough over the course of the season that it would make sense, he struck out 3 more times last night and there is ZERO rush to get him to Kansas City. The Royals have Carlos Santana under control for 2022 and, quite frankly, I would be just fine with them leaving Pratto in AA all year and then starting him in AAA next spring. Bobby Witt Jr., on the other hand, has struck out in just 17.4% of his PA since June 13th with a 193 wRC+ in 98 PA. If I had a vote (obviously I do not), I would move Witt Jr. up after the Future’s Game and leave Pratto and Melendez in NWA for the time being. Melendez, by the way, hit his 16th HR of the year last night and has struck out in just 20% of his PA dating back to June 13th. He needs to be mentioned in all of these conversations about the core hitters at AA.

A+ Quad Cities (36-19): L 1-4

The walks plagued Asa Lacy again tonight. He walked 5 batters in 4.1 IP and while he struck out 5 as well, allowed 4 hits and 4 runs in the process. He just hasn’t been able to string together two really good starts in a row so far this year. I’m not worried about him yet. He’s just getting his professional career started and his stuff has been incredible all year. Quad Cities only mustered two hits last night, which is an impressive feat for any opposing pitching staff. Logan Porter homered for their only run. Noah Murdock will go for the River Bandits tonight.

A- Columbia (28-25): W 20-1

No, that was not a typo. The Fireflies put on an offensive clinic last night with 6 XBH, 7 walks, and TWENTY (20) runs scored, the most in franchise history. Juan Carlos Negret hit 2 HR in the game, setting a franchise record for HR in a season for the Fireflies with 13. The Fireflies aren’t a very old team, but still. Negret’s OPS is up to .730 for the season but his batting average (pardon my French) is still .177 and the K% is still pretty high for a 22-year old in Low-A. Darryl Collins finished 3-5 with a double and a triple. Maikel Garcia finished 2-3 with a pair of walks and a double. Herard Gonzalez finished 1-3 with 3 walks and a HR. Anderson Paulino allowed just 1 run in 5 IP with 4 K. Good night all around for Columbia. They’ll send Rylan Kaufman to the bump tonight.

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