Sunday – Lehigh Valley – Severino Gonzalez vs Matt Wisler
Not the greatest weekend for matchups again, but Sunday will be Severino’s first start since making two major league appearances. Opposing him will be Matt Wisler who was a near consensus Top 100 prospect and the headliner in the deal that sent Craig Kimbrel to San Diego. Wisler will show major league stuff but can lack command, and should represent a big test for Maikel Franco has he continues to make adjustments. The Ironpigs have been reinforced on the pitching side with Gonzalez and David Buchanan, but the offense continues to be fairly uninteresting outside of Franco, Domonic Brown, and the struggling Tommy Joseph.
Lehigh Valley: (vs Gwinnett)
Friday: Phillippe Aumont
Saturday: Adam Morgan
Sunday: Severino Gonzalez
The Phillippe Aumont starting pitcher experiment continues as he faces off against former top prospect Manny Banuelos on Friday night. It was a rough start last time out for Aumont (though he did settle in some). Morgan continues to slowly work back into form and is on the short list for a call up at some point this season. On offense, Maikel Franco has started showing the ability to go the other way while still being able to show his immense pull side power, he isn’t far from a call up, but he still needs to continue to add polish and consistency to his adjustments.
Reading: (@ Erie)
The Reading rotation to continues to not be boring. Windle has been his own worst enemy this season as he struggled to maintain feel and consistency in his arsenal. He has looked either really good or really bad and not much in between. Lively has been dominating at the AA level, but I am not ready to buy in that the arsenal works to the same success at the higher levels, I just don’t see the command and plus arsenal. Aaron Nola on the other hand is running out of things to learn in AA, he commands all of his pitches and while the curveball can flatten it out, the whole arsenal would work in the majors right now. On the position player side, Roman Quinn is good, Altherr and Perkins are interesting, and Pointer, Stassi, and Charles will do fun things. I am most worried about the defense, Gustavo Pierre and Art Charles are brutal defenders, Perkins is rough in left field right now, Brodie Greene is no Carlos Alonso, and KC Serna is not a great defender at short. The defense has killed the pitching, and it isn’t just errors and missed balls, a good amount of double plays die on the throw to second.
J.P. Crawford is back and is probably way too good for this level, however staying in Florida allows them to better keep an eye on his rehab. Victor Arano has been rough after the first few innings so far this year, so it will be interesting if he can keep pushing that back each start. I am not a big fan of Leiter back in the rotation because the stuff ticks back a little bit. I think his home is in the bullpen and that he has a major league future there because the fastball gets to average and he can show a lot of different looks. Miguel Nunez and Yacksel Rios look like they are going to be relievers going forward where they will join Edubray Ramos for what could be a very good bullpen eventually.
Lakewood: (vs Augusta (Friday) vs Asheville (Saturday & Sunday))
Week 3 of the same rotation, which is not bad as Ranfi and Oliver have shown life of late. Garcia has been gutting it out as he faces a level that might be a bit ahead of him. His arsenal is not overpowering enough that he can get away with mistakes so there will be some inconsistency at time. It will be interesting to see if Oliver can keep up his hot start, the stuff is behind where it was when he was drafted, but limiting walks and generating ground balls is a good base to start from. The hitting continues to be exciting, Carlos Tocci, Rhys Hoskins, and Malquin Canelo continue to pace the offense. Deivi Grullon is holding his own and Cord Sandberg is showing some life. I am worried about Jiandido Tromp, and whether he can handle advanced pitching, but it is way too early to bail on him.
- Scout’s Video View: Ricardo Pinto – Josh Norris (Baseball America)
- Prospect Profile: Carlos Tocci – David Lee (Baseball Prospectus)
- PN Interview: Lakewood manager Shawn Williams – Jay Floyd (Phoulballz)
- RHP prospect Watson return to action after 22 months – Jay Floyd (Phoulballz)
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