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Written by Mark Nikolov Photo by MiLB.com
Recently I got a chance to watch quite a few minor league baseball games on a recent trip to Hartford, Connecticut. The Yardgoats have a very strong team this year. Here are some player notes from guys that on the 40-man roster:
Sam Hilliard – Defense is improved. Got his AVG. up to .315, OBP is sitting at .383 and seems to have picked up some speed along the base paths.
Garrett Hampson – Hard worker. He was promoted to AAA during my visit so I barely got to see him play. Power has improved from last season. Defense is plus at shortstop and second base.
Yonathon Daza – Seems to be making a lot of progress in his development. He’s using an open stance right now, similar to Colton Welker. Seems to be much more relaxed at the plate with a small uptick in power.
Brendan Rodgers – Showing an increase in power. His defense still needs more refinement but his arm strength has improved. He played 3B, SS and 2B while I was there. I expect him to get the call to AAA Albuquerque by the end of the season.
Peter Lambert – Has a low to mid 90s fastball with above average control. Good overall command. He should be headed to Albuquerque by next year, if not sooner.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – After the first game he signed for about 25 people. Some of the graphers (autograph seekers) got aggressive but security did a good job keeping them calm. From my view, it looked like he was signing 2-3 items per person.
Bo Bichette – Bo was signing his usual 1 per (one autograph per person). He was in a rush to leave the stadium when I saw him but he still signed for a few graphers. I’ve picked up some of his signed cards last year from Nick Thiel. I doubt we will pick up anymore. His signature can be easily copied and I suspect that there may be too many counterfeits out there.
Brendan Rodgers – I didn’t see him sign for anyone but I imagine he is still 1 per. Last season I was able to obtain several autographs from him with the help of a Salvador Justo. I was planning on asking him about his favorite non-profit so that a percentage of the signatures could go to charity. Next time I get a chance to speak with him I’ll try to get that information.
For more minor league player news and graphing information check us out on twitter at @REALMcCOYMINORS. Below is a video of Oscar Gonzalez. He’s an up and coming prospect from the Indians farm system.