Daily Prospect Notes: 7/4 and 7/5

Daily notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.

Games of July 3

Dominic Smith, 1B, New York NL (Profile)
Level: Triple-A Age: 22   Org Rank:  3 Top 100: 73
Line: 3-for-5, 2B, 2 HR
Most developmental paths are long and winding, but Smith has been robotically effective since his first full pro season. He has made hard, all-fields contact each year, his home parks always tossing his slugging figures around. Even his year-to-year batted-ball profile has been consistent. He’s a high-probability regular with a chance to be a three-plus-win player if the glove scouts see shows up on paper.

Ronaldo Hernandez, C, Tampa Bay (Profile)
Level: Short Season Age: 19   Org Rank: HM   Top 100: NR
Line: 4-for-5, 3 2B

Hernandez struck out just 12 times in 206 plate appearances in the DSL last year, and his bat has a good chance to get him to the majors if he can stay behind the plate. He’s a converted infielder who is new to catching — just 44 affiliated games back there entering the year — and the jury’s still out.

Curtis Taylor, RHP, Arizona (Profile)
Level: Low-A Age: 21   Org Rank: NR   Top 100: NR
Line: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 R, 7 K

Taylor will sit 91-96 and flash a plus slider. Most scouts think the delivery points to the bullpen but for a 6-foot-6 pitcher from a cold-weather climate, he already throws a fair ratio of strikes.


Games of July 4

Jay Groome, LHP, Boston (Profile)
Level: Low-A Age: 18   Org Rank: 3   Top 100: 29
Line: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 7 K

Groome missed two months with a lat injury and then made three June tuneup starts at Lowell before returning to Greenville last night. He’s sitting in the low-90s and missing bats with the curveball. His delivery has drawn mixed reviews, but Groome has thrown strikes so far.

Jhoan Urena, 1B/3B/LF, New York NL (Profile)
Level: Hi-A Age: 22   Org Rank: HM   Top 100: NR
Line: 3-for-5, 2 2B, BB

Urena is starting to get to his power in his third try at High-A. He likely projects to left field or first base, defensively.

Terry Fuller, 1B/OF, St. Louis (Profile)
Level: Rookie Age: 18   Draft Board Rank: 81   Top 100: NR
Line: 3-for-4, HR

Fuller has a physicality not frequently found in baseball and plus-plus raw power. He signed for $200,000 in the 15th round.

Michel Baez, RHP, San Diego (Profile)
Level: Low-A Age: 21   Org Rank: NR   Top 100: NR
Line: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 9 K

Baez repeats his delivery surprisingly well for a 6-foot-8, 21-year old and he wields a 94-98 mph fastball and generates crazy extension. He’s just blowing fastballs past hitters right now, but he showed breaking-ball feel in Arizona.

Notes from the back fields
Diamondbacks RHP Yoan Lopez sat 95-98 with his fastball on Monday and flashed a plus slider. The Dodgers’ 17-year-old, 6-foot righty Melvin Jimenez has been up to 97 and is also flashing a plus breaking ball.

Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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Thank you for the Melvin Jimenez comment!