Saturday, May 4 - 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, May 5 - 2:05 p.m.
Monday, May 6 - 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, May 7 - 7:05 p.m.
Asheville Tourists (16-11)
Augusta GreenJackets (16-11)
Right out of the gate, the Asheville Tourists have two of the better prospects in the South Atlantic League this season in outfielder David Dahl and starter Eddie Butler.
Dahl rivals Lexington's Bubba Starling as the best prospect in the league, and I'm sure some would consider Dahl the better hitter. He was a 10th overall pick in 2012 out of an Alabama high school, signing for $2.6 million. The 6-foot-2 center fielder, who bats left-handed, dominated the Pioneer League to wrap up his 2012 season. He is hitting just .240 in six games this season, and he was sent down to extended spring training after just one game for what was reported as disciplinary reasons.
Dahl is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Rockies system by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. Bullpen Banter ranks Dahl No. 1. He has five-tool ability, displaying a plus hit tool with the potential for plus power down the road. He has a plus arm and above-average glove, as well as above-average speed. Dahl is only 19 years old but should hold his own in the league with no problem.
Butler is ranked sixth in the system by BA, drafted in the first supplemental round in 2012 out of Radford. He reportedly has a mid-90s fastball with sinking action, along with a solid slider and curveball. His changeup is a tick behind the other three pitches. BA gives him the ceiling of a No. 2 starter. He has a 2.06 ERA with 17 walks to 33 strikeouts in 35 innings.
Tom Murphy is ranked as the best catcher in the Rockies system. He reportedly has a short, compact swing with the ability to make consistent, hard contact. He knows the zone and pairs that with plus-potential power. He has an above-average arm but needs to continue to work on his defensive profile behind the plate. He has been on fire lately, hitting .407 with seven home runs this season.
Rosell Herrera, a 20-year-old shortstop out of the Dominican Republic, has been one of the league's hottest hitters to date. He's hitting .369/.441/.602 with six doubles and six home runs. Herrera is a 6-foot-3 switch-hitter. It has taken him a couple years to get going in stateside ball after hitting .202 in 63 games with Asheville last season, which led to him falling out of favor with BA's list after ranking as high as 12th in 2011. However, he ranks 12th in MLB.com's Rockies list in 2013, showing patience and faith in the young shortstop. It's paying off so far.
Julian Yan is an outfielder ranked 20th by BA. He smoothed down his mechanics last season and saw positive results, earning a trip to full-season ball at 21 years old this year. Yan has hit a wall to start this season, hitting just .242 with four walks to 32 strikeouts, meaning adjustments will have to be made. He has a true right field profile, displaying a plus arm from a strong 6-foot-2 frame.
Asheville players ranked in top 30 of Rockies system by Baseball America:
OF David Dahl - 2
RHP Eddie Butler - 6
C Tom Murphy - 14
OF Julian Yan - 20