I asked this question a few weeks back and nobody took me up on it. So I'll ask it again. Who would you rather have right now, Aaron Blair or Archie Bradley? They're basically the same age (Blair is 2.5 months older). They're basically the same size. They're both right-handers. The difference? Blair throws more strikes. He threw 6 more shutout innings last night on 4 hits and a walk with 7 strikeouts, and only needed 78 pitches to do it. For the season he's sporting nearly a 4:1 K to BB ratio. That's borderline elite for a starter who has thrown 143 innings.
I'm not saying it's a slam dunk decision, especially if you look at their entire careers since high school. The chart below shows those numbers, and as you can see, the main edge that Blair has over Bradley is the number of walks allowed. But that's a biggie, and looking at where the two are right now, it's hard not to argue that Blair is much more ready for a possible big league tryout than Bradley. And that being the case, one could argue that Blair is currently the organization's #1 prospect. Just some food for thought.
3 Stars: Justin Williams, South Bend 3 for 4, 1 BB, 4 R, 1 TPL, 1 HR (3), 4 RBI
2 Stars: Aaron Blair, Mobile 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 0 ER, W (4-1)
1 Star: Carlos Hernandez, Missoula 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 ER, W (4-4)
0 Stars: Kevin Medrano, Visalia 0 for 6, 3 K
AAA: Reno 2 @ New Orleans 3. Zach Borenstein hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 8th to tie the game at 2-2 and push the game into extra innings. But Kevin Munson served up a solo home run leading off the bottom of the 11th for the walk-off loss. Lucas Harrell didn't pitch badly allowing 2 runs over 5.2 innings on 4 hits and 5 walks. The offense was pretty awful with just 2 hits on the night.
AA: Mobile 4 Mississippi 2. It was all Aaron Blair as he shut down the Braves for 6 innings on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 7. The bullpen served up 2 runs but Kaleb Fleck slammed the door in the 8th and 9th innings for his 17th save. Tom Belza hit a solo home run in the 7th that proved to be the game-winner. Evan Marzilli and Todd Glaesmann each went 2 for 4 with a double, and Brandon Drury had a pair of singles to raise his average to .362.
A+: Visalia 5 @ Modesto 3. Spencer Arroyo was solid allowing 3 runs over 7 innings while the offense bailed him out of a hard-luck loss with 2 runs in the 9th and 2 more in the 11th. The bullpen of Keith Hessler, Kyle Schepel and Enrique Burgos tacked on 4 shutout innings to set the stage for the comeback. Breland Almadova led the way with 3 of the 4 late-inning RBI. Ryan Gebhardt also came up big going 3 for 5 with a double and a triple. Alex Glenn, Rudy Flores and George Roberts each had 2 hits.
A: South Bend 11 Dayton 6. Justin Williams flashed some of that power we're all waiting for in a big 3 for 4 night that included a homer and a triple for 4 RBI. Jamie Westbrook had 3 RBI of his own as the result of his 3-hit game that featured a triple. Not to be outdone Andrew Velazquez had 3 hits and a walk and stole his 47th base. Ryan Doran got roughed up for 5 runs in the 2nd inning, but he gutted out 3 more innings and still earned the win.
A-: Hillsboro 9 @ Eugene 2. Starter Jared Miller was pretty darned good getting through 5.2 innings allowing 2 runs with 8 strikeouts. The offense took care of making him a winner with a 6-run outburst in the 5th inning. Galli Cribs did the most damage with 3 RBI on 2 hits. Elvin Soto went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and scored 3 runs. Stryker Trahan was 2 for 4 with a walk, an RBI and 2 strikeouts.
R: Missoula 5 Idaho Falls 1. Carlos Hernandez was on his game with 6.2 shutout innings on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 5. The game was close until Fernery Ozuna blew it open in the 7th with a 3-run homer, his 7th. Trevor Mitsui contributed a pair of singles to the cause.