The All-Star break in Minor League Baseball tends to signal the beginning of new assignments, a few higher draft picks making pro debuts and system cuts. The South Atlantic League has seen its share of impact moves already.
Charleston pitchers Rafael De Paula and Dietrich Enns were assigned to Class-A Advanced Tampa on Tuesday, meaning the SAL lost two of its better arms. De Paula had a 2.94 ERA and 2.03 FIP in 64.1 innings for the RiverDogs, recording the highest strikeout percentage in the league at 37.5 percent. I wrote this on De Paula after a May 31 start in Augusta:
"De Paula worked mid-90s with a fastball that sank and cut. RiverDogs manager Al Pedrique said De Paula's fastball is a four-seamer that moves late on the plate. He commanded it very well in this start. Reports give De Paula's curveball plus potential, and he flashed several plus offerings. The one thing holding it back right now is command, but that comes with repetition. I can almost guarantee it will become a plus pitch.
"The right-hander's changeup isn't that far behind, either. He's not confident in throwing it at important spots, but it's better than reports indicate and will surprise some people once he's able to let it fly more often.
"De Paula's delivery has a good pace to the plate with very little pause. He stays upright/balanced and finishes fairly well. It's a pretty clean motion overall."
Enns was also impressive in his outing against the GreenJackets on May 30, throwing four perfect innings with six strikeouts. I wrote this on Enns following the game:
"Enns flashed some of the best stuff from a lefty I've seen in some time at this level, working mid-90s with a sharp breaking slider and solid changeup. The fastball had boring action on right-handed batters, sawing off more than one Augusta hitter, while striking out six over four perfect innings."
One of Charleston's roster spots went to shortstop Eric Jagielo, the New York Yankees' first-round pick this year out of Notre Dame. Jagielo was selected 26th overall and signed quickly, giving him a chance to get ahead with time in full-season ball straight out of college.
The Pittsburgh Pirates assigned Stetson Allie to Class-A Advanced Bradenton on Wednesday. The big first baseman hit .324/.414/.607 with 17 home runs for West Virginia in the first half, earning a quick promotion to the next level at 22 years old. Expect Allie to continue slugging at a high clip throughout his time in the minors, but his hitting skills will be tested in the higher levels. If he makes it, the Pirates have a big slugger on their hands.