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Astros Prospect Report: Appel's shutout effort; Reed, Nottingham stay hot for Lancaster

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Your daily look at the previous night's Minor League happenings.

A.J. Reed continues to demolish the California League
A.J. Reed continues to demolish the California League
Timothy De Block

AAA Fresno Grizzlies: 4-1 win over Sacramento (SFG)

-> Domingo Santana: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R
-> Matt Duffy: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R
-> Tyler White: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
-> Andrew Aplin: 2-for-4, RBI
-> Nolan Fontana: 1-for-2, RBI, 2 BB
-> Tony Kemp: 0-for-3, BB, SB
-> Max Stassi: 0-for-3, BB

SP Mark Appel: 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 4 K (win)
RP Jason Stoffel: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 3 K (hold)
RP Jordan Jankowski: 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 K

Better and better for Appel. With 10 outs on the ground tonight, he's collected 19 ground outs in 15.1 innings in AAA. His season GB rate is at 47% now, according to MLBfarm.com. You can still pick nits here, with a few walks, fewer strike outs...but this is a great step forward, even if you're in the camp that's just hoping he builds up some trade value ahead of the deadline.

White has a 1.143 OPS in his first seven games with the AAA club. Notably he's struck out just twice during that run. Power has come from five doubles. Looking for the first AAA homer.

AA Corpus Christi Hooks: 9-3 loss to Tulsa (LAD)

-> Jack Mayfield: 1-for-3, BB, solo HR
-> Alfredo Gonzalez: 1-for-3, BB
-> Brett Phillips: 1-for-4, 3B, RBI, R
-> Colin Moran: 1-for-4
-> Chan Moon: 0-for-3, BB, R
-> Brandon Meredith: 0-for-3, BB
-> Jiovanni Mier: 0-for-3, BB
-> Conrad Gregor: 1-for-1, 2B (defensive sub)

SP Brian Holmes: 2.0 IP, 6 R (3 ER), 7 H, 1 BB, 1 K (loss)
RP Reymin Guduan: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 K
RP Aaron West: 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 2 K
RP Travis Ballew: 0.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K

"Jarek Cunningham singles on a pop up to first baseman Jon Kemmer. Jarek Cunningham out at 2nd, first baseman Jon Kemmer to shortstop Jiovanni Mier to second baseman Jack Mayfield to shortstop Jiovanni Mier."

So says the play-by-play recap. Yeah, that kind of game.

Mayfield has had two good games since being promoted from Lancaster. Four hits the previous day, and his first AA homer in this one. Jack's name isn't Jack, by the way, it's David. Thanks for that, Jack-David, wasn't hard at all to find your B-Ref page. He's listed as a second baseman, but for the most part (especially this season), he's played shortstop more. Well, not that that will have him less blocked at the MLB level if he makes it that far, but if he's legit with the glove and has a stick with some upside like it appears he might, there will be trade value.

Aaron West continues his very, very nice season. In May, June, and July combined, he owns a 2.06 ERA thanks to never having allowed more than two earned runs in any one game. Has hasn't allowed more than one earned since May 8. And while not quite Musgrove territory, he's walked just six batters in 54 innings, for a 1.00 BB/9 on the nose. Heck, one of the six was intentional even. K/BB ratio is 6.67 now.

A+ Lancaster JetHawks: 6-5 loss to Rancho Cucamonga (LAD)

-> A.J. Reed: 3-for-4, BB, 2B, 2 R
-> Jacob Nottingham: 2-for-4, 2 R
-> Mott Hyde: 2-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI
-> Marc Wik: 2-for-5, 2B
-> James Ramsay: 2-for-5
-> Ronnie Mitchell: 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
-> Brian Holberton: 0-for-3, BB, RBI
-> J.D. Davis: 0-for-4, BB

SP Daniel Mengden: 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K
RP Albert Minnis: 1.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K
RP Andrew Walter: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 2 K (loss)

Tough one here, as Walter coughed up the walk-off hit in the bottom of the tenth inning.

No, I don't know why Reed hasn't been promoted yet. It's pretty baffling. I certainly trust that the front office and minor league coaches know what they're doing, but I really can't remember a situation like this, where a polished, high-round college player just destroyed the competition in A-ball for a good, long time and still wasn't promoted. His slash line has fluctuated between Albert Pujols and Ted Williams since April ended. Currently sitting at .339/.443/.619 with 22 HR in 80 games. I mean, those are Pujols-in-his-prime numbers, and we're right at half an MLB season sample size. Hard to figure what the hold up is. We can only wonder.

Nottingham has hit .400/.455/.667 in his first seven games with the JetHawks. That nice, but it's the California League, it's seven games, etcetera. Better though? Three strike outs in those seven games. He has a 9.1% strike out rate in these first seven games.

Things are looking better for Mengden out in the desert. He's allowed five earned runs total over his last four games for a 2.25 ERA during that run. Three of his starts have been rough (four earned or more), but the other five have been very nice. Five outs on the ground tonight.

A- Quad Cities River Bandits: 3-2 loss to Clinton (SEA)

-> Jason Martin: 2-for-4, BB, R
-> Nick Tanielu: 1-for-4, BB, 2B, R
-> Jamie Ritchie: 1-for-5, 2B
-> Ramon Laureano: 1-for-5, RBI
-> Kristian Trompiz: 0-for-3, BB
-> Alex Hernandez: 0-for-4, RBI

SP Joshua James: 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K
RP Jorge Perez: 2.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 1 K (blown save)
RP Eric Peterson: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 K (loss)

Bregman has just one hit in his last four games, bust!!!

The same could have been said about Martin entering this game, so this was a nice night. He's hitting .288/.361/.420 at the moment, with 14 extra-base hits and nine steals (though he's been caught six times).

Joshua James continues a solid first full pro season. Nine outs on the ground in this game gives him a 48.3% rate. He's sitting with a 2.47 ERA in 69.1 innings of work. He's allowed just one homer all year, which is a good thing, but at the same time, a sign of likely regression at some point. I can't recall a starting pitcher who was able to maintain a HR/FB ratio of around 2%, after all.

SS Tri-City ValleyCats: 10-6 win over Williamsport (PHI)

-> Bobby Wernes: 3-for-4, BB, SB, 2 RBI, 2 R
-> Johnny Sewald: 3-for-6, RBI, R, 3 SB
-> Anthony Hermelyn: 2-for-4, SB, R, 2 BB, 2 RBI
-> Garrett Stubbs: 1-for-3, SB, RBI, R, 2 BB
-> Drew Ferguson: 1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, 2 R
-> Brooks Marlow: 1-for--4, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R
-> Keach Ballard: 1-for-4, BB, 2B, RBI
-> Edwin Medina: 0-for-3, SB, R, 3 BB
-> Bryan Muniz: 0-for-5, RBI

SP Harold Arauz: 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 K
RP Zac Person: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 1 K (win)
RP Juan Santos: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K
RP Steve Naemark: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K (hold)
RP Yeyfry Del Rosario: 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 1 K

Sewald is in full-on super lead-off man mode right now. He's hitting .333/.440/.362 with 12 walks to just 10 strike outs, and he's 12-for-12 in stolen base attempts. 12 bags in 18 games, man. If he played 162 games while maintaining that rate, he's steal 108 bases. With his lack of power, the odds are against him, but I love the speedy Michael Bourn-type players; bunts, steals, great defense...small ball. Love it. I want to believe in Johnny Sewald. Probably get my heart broken, but that's the game.

Hey, Bobby Wernes. Remember this guy? Oh yeah. He's hitting so far, too. Eight games into his pro career and he owns a .393/.514/.393 slash line. Seven walks in eight games. It's doubtful he hits at the higher levels, but we'll see.

RK Greeneville Astros: 6-4 to Johnson City (STL)

-> Hector Roa: 3-for-4, RBI, 2 2B
-> Brauly Mejia: 2-for-4, BB, 2B, RBI, R
-> Justin Garcia: 2-for-4
-> Connor Goedert: 2-for-5, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R
-> Luis Payano: 1-for-2, HR, RBI, R, 2 BB
-> Aaron Mizell: 1-for-5, 2B

SP Alex Winkelman: 3.1 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K (loss)
RP Joselo Pinalez: 0.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K
RP Jose Montero: 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K
RP Erasmo Pinales: 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K

Goedert continues his hot start. He's hitting .442/.508/.769 through 14 games so far, with three long balls already.

Roa is on a three-game multi-hit streak, with 10 hits during that time. He got a few games in with Tri-City but was demoted very quickly after managing just one single.

Today's Scheduled Starters

AAA: Asher Wojciechowski vs. Clayton Blackburn
AA: Adrian Houser vs. Jharel Cotton
A+: Akeem Bostick vs. John Richy
A-: Francis Martes vs. Lukas Schiraldi
SS: Ralph Garza vs. Alejandro Arteaga
RK: Ryan Deemes vs. Julio Mateo