Gray Not Close
We're seeing a trend of pitching prospects moving more and more quickly through farm systems these days, with teams getting their top young arms to the majors before something can happen to them. It doesn't appear that the Rockies will be using that philosophy with last year's 3rd overall pick Jonathan Gray, who is not expected to get to the majors this season, according to Cody Ulm of MLB.com.
The Rockies like to mold their pitching prospects into a certain type of pitcher, one that they believe will work best in the thin air of Coors Field by generating ground balls and keeping the ball in the yard. Their system goes against the strengths of Gray, who is a power, strikeout pitcher, so the developmental path is taking longer than had been expected when he was selected.
Norris Promoted Again
Daniel Norris begin the 2014 season in High-A Dunedin of the Florida State League, but Tom Dakers of BlueBirdBanter.com reports that Norris has received his second promotion of the year and is now in Triple-A, just one step away from the majors. The move doesn't mean that Norris will get yet another promotion to the majors this year, but the Blue Jays continue to be aggressive with the left-hander which means that it is possible should the team need more reinforcements for their playoff run.
Norris showed improved control in the FSL which led to his most successful stint at any level. That control regressed back to it's previously borderline form upon his promotion to Double-A, but he missed more bats than ever while at New Hampshire.
Franco Staying Put
Many people believed that Maikel Franco would be the Phillies starting third baseman by now, but the team's top prospect has not cooperated in Triple-A this season. Current third baseman Cody Asche hasn't done a ton to solidify his job in the majors, yet the Phillies don't appear ready to call Franco up until the rosters expand in September, notes Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
After a horrid start to the season, Franco is coming around, hitting .343/.371/.596 in the month of July. Still, even with a hot month, his on-base percentage remains below .300 and his OPS is just .680. His power production hasn't translated to Triple-A the way the Phillies had hoped, and his aggressive approach has led to a ton of bad contact.
In September, the Phillies could give Franco some of Asche's at-bats as well as some time at first base as they begin explore opportunities outside of Ryan Howard.