Pipeline Preview: Frazier, Shipley to make '14 debuts
Thursday's Minor League schedule is highlighted by the anticipated season debuts in the Mdwest League of two players selected in the first round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
Outfielder Clint Frazier, the fifth overall pick and the Indians' No. 2 prospect, will join Class A Lake County and is expected to be in the lineup against Burlington. Right-hander Braden Shipley, the 15th overall pick and the D-backs' No. 2 prospect, is slated to start for Class A South Bend at Quad Cities, in a game that can be seen on MiLB.TV at 8:35 p.m. ET.
Frazier, ranked No. 46 on Top 100 Prospects list, missed part of Spring Training due to a tweaked hamstring and began the season in extended spring camp as a result. Shipley, ranked No. 75 overall, was slowed by bicep tendinitis.
Frazier spent all of last summer in the Rookie-level Arizona League, while Shipley made four starts for South Bend late last season.
In the Florida State League, several Mets prospects will try to keep their hot streaks going as Class A Advanced St. Lucie travels to Fort Myers to begin a three-game series. Center fielder Brandon Nimmo, the Mets' No. 6 prospect, carries a nine-game hitting streak into Thursday, while second baseman Dilson Herrera (10) has an eight-game streak. Left-hander Steven Matz (No. 11) will get the start for St. Lucie.
While Byron Buxton, ranked No. 1 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, is on the disabled list and not yet playing this season, Fort Myers has several players ranked on the Twins' Top 20 Prospect list. Infielder Jorge Polanco (8), outfielders Travis Harrison (12), Adam Brett Walker (14) and Max Kepler (15), as well as pitchers Jose Berrios (5) and Mason Melotakis (20) all make the Miracle a team to watch.
Fans can also check out many top prospects on MiLB.TV. In addition to Shipley's debut, Thursday's schedule includes a matchup between Clayton Blackburn, the Giants' No. 8 prospect, and Nick Kingham, the Pirates' No. 8 prospect. The two right-handers will face off at 6:30 p.m., when Double-A Richmond visits Altoona to open a three-game series.
Thursday's top prospect probables:
- Martin Agosta (Giants No. 13), San Jose at Bakersfield
- Tyler Anderson (Rockies No. 10), Tulsa vs. Northwest Arkansas
- Tim Berry (Orioles No. 8), Bowie vs. Akron
- Corey Black (Cubs No. 16), Tennessee vs. Jackson
- Clayton Blackburn (Giants No. 8), Richmond at Altoona
- Amir Garrett (Reds No. 20), Dayton vs. Kane County
- J.R. Graham (Braves No. 6), Mississippi vs. Huntsville
- Nick Kingham (Pirates No. 8), Altoona vs. Richmond
- Jorge Lopez (Brewers No. 19), Brevard County vs. Dunedin
- Steven Matz (Mets No. 11), St. Lucie at Fort Myers
- Tyler Matzek (Rockies No. 12), Colorado Springs vs. Oklahoma City
- Justin Nicolino (Marlins No. 3), Jacksonville at Chattanooga
- Teddy Stankiewicz (Red Sox No. 18), Greenville at Savannah