Knocking Down The Door: August 5, 2021

“Knocking Down The Door” is a weekly column highlighting minor leaguers who are making a case for a major league promotion. Listed below are the names of this week’s picks and the player’s team, age, level(s), prospect ranking, and last 2-3 weeks of statistics.

The analysis can be viewed in the embedded video of the previous day’s episode of The RosterResource Show, a weekly live stream focused on all things related to rosters, transactions, and RosterResource content at FanGraphs.

Knocking Down The Archive

Andrés Giménez (22), 2B/SS, Triple-A Columbus | Cleveland Guardians | Prospect Rank: n/a | July 20-August 4: 17-for-46, 5 HR, 4 2B, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K, 4 SB

While last week’s trade of Cesar Hernandez to the White Sox seemingly opened up the starting second base job for Gimenez, who had been playing well in Triple-A, it turns out that he was not an immediate option because he was unable to leave the country for the team’s upcoming trip to Toronto.

Once Cleveland returns home on Friday, it would not be a surprise if the 22-year-old Gimenez was also there waiting and in the starting lineup versus the Tigers. If Wednesday was his final game with Triple-A Columbus, he went out on a high note. Although he failed to record multiple hits for the sixth time in ten games, he did hit his tenth homer of the season.


Greg Bird (28), 1B, Triple-A Albuquerque | Colorado Rockies | Prospect Rank: n/a | July 25-August 3: 15-for-29, 6 HR, 2B, 16 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K

It’s been six years since Bird helped lead the Yankees to a Wild Card berth when he hit .261/.343/.529 with 11 homers and nine doubles in his first 178 MLB plate appearances. He’s since posted an 81 wRC+ in only 522 plate appearances while battling multiple injuries, although that memorable start to his career still has at least some baseball fans hoping he gets another chance at some point.

The 28-year-old Bird is doing his part with 14 hits over his last six games for Triple-A Albuquerque, although the Rockies will either have to cut back on C.J. Cron’s playing time in order to give Bird some at-bats or trade him to a team that can give him a shot. He’s hit six homers in his last 33 plate appearances, including a multi-homer game on Monday.

 

Seth Beer (24), 1B, Triple-A Reno | Arizona Diamondbacks | Prospect Rank: 16 (organizational) | July 2-August 3: 12-for-34, 3 HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 7 BB, 7 K, 4 HBP

Of the four prospects acquired from the Astros in the Zack Greinke trade in July 2019, Beer is the only one who hasn’t reached the majors. Josh Rojas is currently on the MLB Injured List, J.B. Bukauskas is in the bullpen, and Corbin Martin is back in Triple-A, although he has 35 1/3 innings of big league experience. But the 24-year-old Beer, who the Astros chose with the 28th overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft, could soon join them in Arizona.

Over his last 15 games, Beer is slashing .306/.469/.551 with three homers and three doubles while Diamondbacks’ first baseman Christian Walker has struggled badly all season long. While Beer only has 11 homers on the season, he’s tied for the Triple-A lead with 25 doubles. Many of his homers have been absolute bombs, though, including this one from last week.

 

Kutter Crawford (25), SP, Triple-A Worcester | Boston Red Sox | Prospect Rank: 20 (organizational) | July 28-August 3: 11 IP, 4 ER, 10 H, 4 BB, 14 K

With Chris Sale close to returning from the Injured List and Tanner Houck also in the mix, the Red Sox will soon have seven starters to fill five or six spots in the big league rotation. Seems like they’re in pretty good shape. But, in this day and age, that might not be enough to get through two months of a Major League Baseball season. Next in line could be Crawford, who has looked good in two outings since being promoted to Triple-A Worcester and could possibly even help out of the bullpen. In his final three Double-A starts, he allowed five runs over 18 innings with no walks and 27 strikeouts. Here are some highlights from his final start with Portland.

 

Edward Cabrera (23), SP, Triple-A Jacksonville | Miami Marlins | Prospect Rank: 46 (overall), 3 (organizational) | July 24-July 30: 10.1 IP, ER, 7 H, 7 BB, 17 K

Cabrera got a late start to the season due to a biceps injury, but he’s moving quickly up the ladder now that he’s healthy. In his first seven starts, made between Low-A Jupiter and Double-A Pensacola, he posted a 2.25 ERA with six walks and 44 strikeouts in 32 innings. His first Triple-A debut was a bit rocky (3 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 K), but it’s been a different story in his last two starts. After pitching 5 2/3 shutout innings on July 24, he allowed just one run over 4 2/3 innings while striking out 12 batters in his start over the weekend. And he did it against a talented lineup of White Sox players, including Luis Robert and Jake Lamb, both on rehab assignments, as well as Yermín Mercedes and Jake Burger.

 

Francisco Perez (24), RP, Triple-A Columbus | Cleveland Guardians | Prospect Rank: n/a | June 25-August 1: 17 IP, 2 ER, 12 H, 10 BB, 25 K

One look at Perez’s “per 9 IP” ratios — 4.3 H/9, 0.2 HR/9, 4.1 BB/9, 14.4 K/9 — and it’s clear that he’s not a comfortable at-bat for most hitters. The 24-year-old has to be on the Guardians’ radar for a late-season audition. Lefties Sam Hentges and Kyle Nelson have both struggled out of the ‘pen for Cleveland and should take a back seat to a new candidate, which could soon be Perez.

 





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tomerafan

Keep an eye on Ryan Vilade… he’s doing what he’s done at every level, which is take about 150 PA’s to figure it out, and then put up an .800-.850 OPS with some speed on the basepaths. The power hasn’t shown up in games yet, but he did the same thing at High A in 2019… figure out the level and then go on a power surge to close out the season. He’s showing the power in BP but is focusing on being a “tough out” in-game. And he’s doing this while learning LF on the fly.