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Prospect Roundup: Games of Aug. 28

Staumont gets in control; Mejia, Rooker show off power
Josh Staumont has averaged 10.0 strikeouts and 7.1 walks per nine innings this season between Triple-A and Double-A. (Jeremy Davis/
August 29, 2017

Royals RHP Josh Staumont, Double-A Northwest Arkansas: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K, 95 pitches, 57 strikes -- As with every Staumont outing, there's a temptation to check his walk total, and this one is very encouraging. After all, the Royals' No. 9 prospect has walked

Royals RHP Josh Staumont, Double-A Northwest Arkansas: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K, 95 pitches, 57 strikes -- As with every Staumont outing, there's a temptation to check his walk total, and this one is very encouraging. After all, the Royals' No. 9 prospect has walked 94 batters in 119 innings this season between Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, and his 17.1 percent walk rate is second-highest among all qualified Minor League pitchers. The rest of Monday's line follows suit, giving Staumont back-to-back impressive starts after tossing seven no-hit innings with eight strikeouts last time out, though he did walk five batters. With a 70-grade fastball and an impressive curve, the 2015 second-rounder has perhaps the liveliest arm in the Kansas City system -- as his 132 strikeouts in 119 innings indicate. It makes sense to get him as many innings as possible in a starting role, especially if he can make outings like this more frequent. But he needs to find the strike zone with increasing regularity if he is to be an effective starter and avoid a move to the bullpen.

Rockies RHP Ryan Castellani, Double-A Hartford: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K, 100 pitches, 68 strikes -- The Rockies' No. 6 prospect has gone through an uneven season at Double-A, but there's plenty of encouragement in the fact that he can still toss eight scoreless frames this deep into the season. In fact, Castellani's gem Monday pushed him to 151 1/3 innings this year, breaking the 150-inning mark for a second straight campaign. That might be the prettiest number on his 2017 resume, though, as his ERA stands at 5.00 to go with a 1.35 WHIP and .271 average-against. He hasn't been quite as bad as his ERA would suggest, however. His 4.03 FIP is much closer to the Eastern League average, and the 0.96 difference between his ERA and FIP is second-largest among qualified pitchers in the Double-A circuit. Despite the rough numbers, Castellani is still a solid pitching prospect with a plus fastball, two above-average offerings in his slider and changeup and solid control. The environments won't get any easier the higher he climbs with the Rockies, but as he showed Monday, there are still plenty of reasons for optimism with the 21-year-old right-hander.

Indians C Francisco Mejía, Double-A Akron: 2-for-5, HR, RBI, R, K -- The top Indians prospect saw his average dip to .298 after an 0-for-3 showing Sunday -- the first time it stood below .300 since May 24 -- only to push it back to an even .300 with two hits Monday. One of those knocks was a solo homer off Harrisburg right-hander Kyle McGowin in the first inning, pushing Mejia's career-high total to 14 in 2017. With his well-rounded offensive profile and impressive arm, it came as no surprise that he was named to the Eastern League end-of-season All-Star team last Friday. Whether he's done enough to get a Major League look in September is yet to be seen. He's already on the Indians' 40-man roster, so a move wouldn't be necessary. At the very least, he remains on track to be Cleveland's starting catcher next summer, but a look down the stretch as the Tribe tries to capture a second straight American League Central Division crown would be telling. 

Twins OF/1B Brent Rooker, Class A Advanced Fort Myers: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, 2 K -- This was the third straight game in which the Twins' No. 14 prospect has gone deep, giving him 11 homers in 37 games for Fort Myers since being promoted July 18. There's all sorts of fun to be had with Rooker's power numbers in his first professional season. His 11 homers in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League are tied for 15th, despite the fact that he only has 151 plate appearances in the circuit. Including his time at Rookie-level Elizabethton, Rooker's 18 homers on the season are second-most in the entire Twins organization, trailing only Jonathan Rodriguez (20). The Mississippi State product, who won the SEC Triple Crown in the spring, has smacked 41 homers in 2017, if you include his collegiate output. There's a reason why he jumped from a Twins' 38th-round pick in 2016 to the same club's first-round (35th overall) selection in June. Rooker hasn't been a one-trick pony in the FSL either with a .288/.377/.583 line, and it'll be intriguing to see what the 22-year-old right-handed slugger is capable of when he's tested at the higher levels starting in 2018.
Nationals RHP Jackson Tetreault, Class A Short Season Auburn: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 66 pitches, 43 strikes -- A seventh-round pick out of a Florida junior college, Tetreault enjoyed his best start as a professional Monday, limiting Williamsport to one hit and one walk while fanning six in a career-long five innings. The 21-year-old right-hander hasn't allowed an earned run in his last three outings, spanning 12 innings, and owns a 2.12 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 34 strikeouts and 13 walks in 34 innings for the Doubledays. Tetreault has earned solid grades for his mid-90s fastball and above-average curve but has been knocked for control issues, especially after walking 40 in 80 1/3 frames as a sophomore at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. The good news is that those woes haven't been a big worry yet in the pro ranks, and at 6-foot-5, 170 pounds, the Nationals' No. 17 prospect has plenty of projectability. With 116 1/3 innings under his belt between college and the Minors in 2017, he should be well-prepared to tackle a full season next summer.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.