Over at BP Kevin Goldstein posted his Midseason Top 50 Prospects list:
2. Matt Moore, LHP, Rays
Moore has led the minor leagues in strikeouts over the last two years, yet has somehow gotten better, adding 1-2 mph on his fastball and throwing far more strikes. The new best pitching prospect in baseball.
In yesterday's Prospect Hot Sheet Chat Ben Badler answered questions involving Montgomery's Chris Archer and Charlotte's Hak-Ju Lee:
Will T. (Cary, N.C.): Which of these pitchers that have struggled so far this year is most likely to bounce back the second half of this season and into next year. Matzek, Dwyer, Archer, Castro?
Ben Badler: Archer, although if you read John Manuel's story on Matzek, you know he's a bit of a wild card. Archer's stuff hasn't been quite as good as last year, but he's still got a plus fastball an a plus to plus-plus slider, but he might be a guy like Edwin Jackson who needed to get into his mid-20s to finally figure everything out, even with a good amount of year-to-year fluctuation after that.
Daryl (New York): Thanks for the chat Ben. What do you think of Hak-Ju Lee offensively? Will he develop into a future star at SS?
Ben Badler: Above-average regular. He's a spray hitter but he makes a ton of contact, will hit for a high average, get on base, 70 speed and the defensive tools to be a quality defender with more polish.
Brian Moynahan profiled the Rays 2011 9th rounder, Hudson Valley's Matt Rice:
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound catcher out of Western Kentucky was MLB.com's "Mr. Don't Count Him Out," selected by the New York Yankees in the 50th round with the 1,525th and final pick.
In addition to being a star on the baseball field -- he hit .369 with 10 home runs and 72 RBIs as a junior -- he was a top performer in the classroom with a 4.0 grade point average as a Mechanical Engineering major. He fell so far in the Draft, he says, as teams figured a student of his caliber would prefer to finish school and get his degree.
Jonathan Greene took a look at another 2011 pick who was previously drafted, supplemental 1st rounder Jeff Ames of the Princeton Rays:
“It’s kind of a small world,” Ames said, with a laugh. “I know Sale and Vettleson and I know of Ryan Brett. It’s kind of surreal to be on a team with guys I know.”
After being selected in the 2009 draft by Philadelphia and the 30th round in 2010 by Colorado, Ames opted for another season at Lower Columbia College.
The ceiling is high for the fastball pitcher who has the ability to reach triple digits. But as Ames said, “I probably pitch best with my fastball. I just have to work down in the zone a little bit better.”
Away from his usual gig at MLB.com, Jonathan Mayo wrote a story about Hudson Valley's Lenny Linsky:
Never heard of him, you say? Well, get to know him because he was the top Jewish player selected, taken in the second round, just 88 picks after Cole at No. 89 overall. According to the site Jewishbaseballnews.com, a total of nine Jews were taken in the 50-round Draft.
College relief pitchers often move quickly and Linsky’s got the kind of stuff that could get the game’s best hitters out in the very near future. He throws from a slightly unorthodox low three-quarters angle, which makes it even tougher to hit his sinking fastball that has touched 96 miles per hour. He has a really good slider to go with it, all a guy who will pitch in the eighth or ninth inning will need.
Moves: SS Norly Suarez assigned to VSL; RHP Emanuel Ramirez assigned to DSL. Suarez, 17, was one of the nine July 2nd international signings by the Rays.
Oscar Hernandez: His average fell a point to .404 after he went 2 for 5 on Friday. Both hits were singles. He drove in 2 and scored once as the VSL Rays beat the Pirates 9-1.
Stat 'O The Day: Most strikeouts.
Pitcher Team ERA G GS IP H HR BB SO Matthew Moore* MTG 2.14 17 17 96.2 61 8 26 125 Alexander Torres* DHM 3.23 18 18 94.2 95 3 51 99 C.J. Riefenhauser* BWG 2.43 17 17 96.1 76 7 25 94 Enny Romero* BWG 4.93 17 17 76.2 79 9 42 92 Christopher Archer MTG 4.93 18 18 95.0 108 7 50 88 Alexander Colome CHA 3.79 18 18 99.2 75 8 41 88 Marquis Fleming MTG 2.57 28 0 56.0 36 3 27 84 Victor Mateo BWG 4.55 17 16 87.0 98 11 25 77 Alex Koronis CHA 4.24 18 16 91.1 94 8 27 76 Braulio Lara* BWG 4.59 17 17 80.1 74 5 42 73Trivia: Besides Linsky, name the only other Jewish player currently in the Rays organization.