- You'll be seeing Dayan Viciedo this weekend on your TV, just not at the Cell. Viciedo will be playing for the World Team at the Futures Game (joined by Gregory Infante), televised on ESPN2 Sunday night at 5pm (central). I expect that he will be the starting rightfielder. Viciedo continues to make himself hard to ignore, with a line of .325/.374/.535. Now is a good time to assess his progress, as he now has roughly the same number of plate appearances in AAA as he had last season. His power numbers are solid and virtually unchanged, with an ISO of .212 compared to last season's .219. However, his plate discipline has improved significantly. He's more than doubled his walk rate to 6.5% and his strikeout rate has declined from 21.3% to 17.8%. Contact has never been an issue for him but his batting average has improved from .274 to .325, fueled by an increased BABIP from .302 to .367. Some of that is luck but Viciedo makes hard contact and he can sustain a better than average BABIP. He is, at best, passable in the outfield corners but his offense will more than make up for that deficiency. He'll also be playing in the AAA All-Star Game on Wednesday night, televised by MLB Network at 8pm (central). And, if things are done properly, he'll be playing in Detroit on Friday.
John Danks will be making his first of two rehab starts for Charlotte on Sunday, likely joining Jordan Danks on the field for their first competitive professional game together. The little brother has shown offensive improvement in his second season for the Knights - his walk rate is up to 11.3% from 8.2% and his ISO is .198 compared to last season's .128. The category that really matters for him, though, is strikeouts, and the improvement there hasn't been quite so impressive: 26.9%, down from 30.2%. His season line is .258/.353/.455.
- Top pick OF Keenyn Walker signed and is expected to debut tonight for Great Falls. His $795,000 bonus exceeded the slot recommendation by a bit more than $55K. 2nd round pick RHP Erik Johnson also signed. He will be headed to the Voyagers, as well, arriving on Tuesday.