The latter part of April is a good time to check in on some of baseball’s top prospects.
The New York Yankees hope they have a good one in Gleyber Torres.
Torres made his anticipated debut for the Yankees on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays, and although the 21-year-old infielder went hitless , his arrival drew plenty of attention. Torres’ promotion occurred late enough that he isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2024 season. It made sense for his major league debut to come now, especially after he hit .347 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
A few other top prospects remain in the minors, but they’re also worth keeping an eye on:
—Ronald Acuna, Braves. Acuna hit .432 in 44 spring training at-bats for Atlanta this year, and although he started slowly at Triple-A Gwinnett, a three-hit day Sunday lifted his average to .217.
—Nick Senzel, Reds. Cincinnati is a major league-worst 3-18 and already fired manager Bryan Price . In other words, the addition of a top prospect could certainly improve the mood around, but Senzel hasn’t done much to force the issue. The 22-year-old third baseman is hitting .241 at Triple-A Louisville.
—Michael Kopech and Eloy Jimenez, White Sox. These two jewels of Chicago’s system are certainly on the radar for White Sox fans. Kopech has a 2.40 ERA through three starts at Triple-A Charlotte. Jimenez is 0 for 10 in three games for Double-A Birmingham — but the outfielder hit .353 in 18 games at that level last year. He’s been recovering from a pectoral strain.
—Willy Adames, Rays. Tampa Bay acquired Adames when it traded ace David Price in 2014. He hit well in spring training and is now batting .300 for Triple-A Durham. He spent last season at Triple-A as well, so he’s built up plenty of experience at the top level of the minors.
Some more developments from around the majors:
Milwaukee has won six in a row — all against the last-place Reds and Marlins — to pull within percentage points of first-place St. Louis in the NL Central. The Brewers lost All-Star closer Corey Knebel to a hamstring injury earlier this month, but they nonetheless have the second-best bullpen ERA in the National League, behind NL West-leading Arizona.
FOR THE BIRDS
Baltimore lost 87 games last season and allowed the second-most runs in the American League. Pitching is still an issue for the Orioles, but now they’re also hitting a major league-worst .215. The result is a 6-16 record that already has Baltimore 11 ? games out of first place in the AL East.
Yes, that really happened: San Francisco’s Brandon Belt kept hitting foul balls against Angels right-hander Jaime Barria before finally lining out to right field on the 21st pitch of the plate appearance Sunday.
The interminable at-bat occurred in the first inning. Belt faced Barria again in the third and singled on the eighth pitch of that plate appearance. Barria was lifted that inning after 77 pitches.
Honorable mention highlight: Bryce Harper’s broken-bat home run for Washington on Monday night against the New York Mets.
LINE OF THE WEEK
The first no-hitter of the 2018 season went to Oakland left-hander Sean Manaea, who blanked Boston 3-0 on Saturday night. Manaea struck out 10 and walked two in what was also his first complete game in 58 big league starts.
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