Minor League Wrap (6/29-7/5/09)

Jay Yencich · July 6, 2009 at 6:05 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Overall, the system is treading water at the moment, so save for the fact that the D-Jaxx are leading their division now, we’re waiting on draft picks before things start to really get interesting throughout. But Tui is back in the batter’s box and KAHN is back on the mound, and those are both gains for us.

To the jump!

Odds and Ends:
• McOwen is still hitting.
• Kyle Seager, 3rd-rounder, was rumored to be close to signing earlier in the week. No news on the others, though 4th-round pick James Jones was working out with the team when they were in Yankees Stadium.
• I haven’t heard anything beyond Pimentel on the international front.
• The triple-A All-Star Rosters were released. Congrats to Chris Shelton and Bryan LaHair. All that hitting pays off in some small way.

Tacoma Rainiers (3-4 this week, 39-44 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 29th 2009
Tacoma 7, Reno 8 (ARI + 2) (eleven innings)
W: Woody (1-1, 7.39); L: Thomas, J (0-3, 6.16)

Tuesday, June 30th 2009
Tacoma 6, Reno 12 (ARI + 3)
W: Spottiswood (1-0, 4.63); L: Delgado, J (2-2, 7.18)

Wednesday, July 1st 2009
Portland 1 (SD – 6), Tacoma 4
W: Fister (4-1, 4.20); L: Stauffer (1-1, 3.60); SV: Messenger (14)

Thursday, July 2nd 2009
Portland 3 (SD – 7), Tacoma 5
W: Rowland-Smith (2-3, 5.91); L: Inman (0-4, 7.21); SV: Messenger (15)

Friday, July 3rd 2009
Portland 8 (SD – 6), Tacoma 4
W: Lawrence (2-1, 3.46); L: Baldwin (5-6, 4.78); SV: De La Cruz (4)

Saturday, July 4th 2009
Tacoma 7, Salt Lake 5 (ANA + 1) (twelve innings)
W: Hull (7-3, 5.07); L: Rodriguez, Fr (3-2, 2.23)

Sunday, July 5th 2009
Tacoma 2, Salt Lake 6 (ANA + 2)
W: Knox (5-4, 5.53); L: Shell (1-1, 8.20)

Hitter of the Week:
LF Bryan LaHair, L/R, 11/5/1982
7 G, 28 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 8/2 K/BB, .321/~.367/.679

Zduriencik has done an interesting job creating depth in Tacoma. I can talk in theoretical terms, like we would need a bat that could really hit right-handers rather well (.302/.360/.584 right now), one that seems rather hot, but in addition to LaHair, we also have Nelson, who also hit three taters this week, and Carp, who already has a 1.004 OPS against righties and can work his way into good counts, as we saw in Seattle. LaHair was formerly the top first base prospect in the system by default, but I’m having a hard time seeing what role he has with the team, if any, in the future. But hey, at least he’s an all-star.

“I’m Still Here (Until I Can Catch)” Mention:
DH Jeff Clement, L/R, 8/21/1983
7 G, 30 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 3 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 5/5 K/BB, .333/~.429/.533

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Doug Fister, 2/4/1984
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H, R, 5/0 K/BB, 3/11 G/F, BK, WP

Fister again. How much have I said about him of late. I remain a defender of his, but there’s only so much you can do with a pitcher like him unless you want to talk every week about how his strikeouts are okay and he’s nigh incapable of handing out a walk (4 in 70.2 innings), so I’ll go outside to Tacoma Weekly for this one. Fister is old school, somehow managing to pull this off without the use of high socks, and likes to play with the strike zone by throwing and trying to locate everything he has. He’s a neat guy to have around.

That Other Lefty Mention:
LHP Chris Seddon, 10/13/1983
0-0, 2 GS, 3.97 ERA in 11.1 IP, 14 H, 5 R, 11/5 K/BB, 10/11 G/F, BK

From The Training Room:
Gaby Hernandez has been placed on the DL. Steven Shell is replacing him in the rotation. Michael Saunders had a minor hamstring injury and is on the DL again, but Langerhans means we don’t need him that badly.

Strange Happenings:
In Tuesday’s loss, Rainiers pitchers collectively ran a ground/fly ratio of 20/3.

West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (6-1 this week, 9-5 in the second half, 36-48 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 29th 2009
Mississippi 4 (ATL + 1), West Tenn 5 (thirteen innings)
W: Aumont (1-2, 1.69); L: Dumesnil (1-6, 4.24)

Tuesday, June 30th 2009
Mississippi 0 (ATL 0), West Tenn 6
W: Shell (3-0, 0.43); L: Heath (2-4, 4.12)

Wednesday, July 1st 2009
Mississippi 6 (ATL + 1), West Tenn 5
W: Gearrin (1-1, 2.45); L: Varvaro (2-1, 1.57); SV: Dumesnil (1)

Thursday, July 2nd 2009
Mississippi 0 (ATL 0), West Tenn 1
W: Parker (4-3, 3.77); L: Mann (4-4, 5.20)

Friday, July 3rd 2009
Mississippi 3 (ATL – 1), West Tenn 4
W: Hill, N (2-3, 2.83); L: Gearrin (1-2, 2.84)

Saturday, July 4th 2009
West Tenn 10, Huntsville 2 (MIL + 1)
W: Orta (2-1, 2.16); L: Jones, M (1-3, 6.00)

Sunday, July 5th 2009
West Tenn 11, Huntsville 8 (MIL 0)
W: Pena, L (1-0, 3.86); L: Hand (6-2, 3.23); SV: Varvaro (3)

Hitter of the Week:
CF Gregory Halman, R/R, 8/26/1987
7 G, 32 AB, 11 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 6 HR, 8 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, SB, CS, .313/~.333/.938

What can I do? He’s not walking, but he’s not striking out either, once every five at-bats or so since returning, and everything he makes contact with is going into orbit. He’s hit .333/~.360/.875 since getting back and has gone from thirteen home runs to twenty in the space of a week and a half. I don’t have the slightest idea what to make of it because it’s difficult to believe that he suddenly turned into some variation of Vlad Guerrero and decided that he owns any pitch in the zone, but there’s not many ways I can come up with to describe all this power hitting with so few Ks. He’s doing it. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

Let’s Pick Up Where We Left Off Mention:
DH Mike Wilson, R/R, 6/29/1983
6 G, 23 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, SB, .348/~.423/.696

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Nick Hill, 1/30/1985
1-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, H, 5/0 K/BB, 8/2 G/F

Dave writes to ask me if I know if Hill’s velocity has been on the uptick of late. I don’t know, but what explanation do we have? Double-A is where soft-tossing lefties go to get stomped on. Hill ran a K-Rate of 6.31 last year, had a 3.24 walk rate, a .279 average against, and was giving up a home run every nine innings. He’s at ten and a half strikeouts now, he’s giving up walks and home runs at about half the pace, and is only getting a .239 average against. Halman’s jump is more out there, but Hill’s has a few good months of supporting evidence. Something is up here.

One of Many Good Relievers Mention:
RHP Ricky Orta, 11/6/1984
1-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP, 2 H, 4/1 K/BB, 5/5 G/F

From the Training Room:
Yamid Haad hit the DL, so the backstops are now Colt Morton, who sounds like an Old West gunslinger, and Guillermo Quiroz, who we know from earlier. Mike Wilson has also come off the DL, which you may have noticed.

Strange Happenings:
Aumont and Varvaro also had good performances at points during the week, with Aumont allowing one hit and striking out three in two innings of work and Varvaro doing the same plus one more K, but both faltered later on. Fields could have gotten mention, but his command has been off lately, as he had a 3/2 K/BB in three innings this week, but didn’t allow any hits. Before that, he had been giving up runs left and right, so he seems to be straightening things out now.

High Desert Mavericks (5-2 this week, 7-4 in the second half, 50-31 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 29th 2009
Lake Elsinore 1 (SD + 1), High Desert 5
W: Wild (4-4, 3.50); L: Pelzer (7-4, 4.93)

Tuesday, June 30th 2009
Lake Elsinore 4 (SD 0), High Desert 12
W: Ramirez, J (5-4, 4.76); L: Kluber (6-7, 4.71)

Wednesday, July 1st 2009
High Desert 3, Rancho Cucamonga 7 (ANA – 1)
W: Miller, J (4-4, 4.30); L: Penney (1-1, 8.31); SV: Anton (1)

Thursday, July 2nd 2009
High Desert 6, Rancho Cucamonga 2 (ANA – 2)
W: Hume (9-3, 4.15); L: Thorne (0-3, 3.68); SV: Paredes (2)

Friday, July 3rd 2009
High Desert 4, Rancho Cucamonga 6 (ANA – 2)
W: Kohn (1-0, 0.00); L: Mortimore (2-2, 7.08)

Saturday, July 4th 2009
Visalia 4 (ARI – 2), High Desert 5
W: Zapata (2-0, 6.69); L: Spottiswood (3-2, 5.93)

Sunday, July 5th 2009
Visalia 0 (ARI – 3), High Desert 8
W: Ramirez, J (6-4, 4.45); L: Beltre, C (2-5, 7.09)

Hitter of the Week:
RF James McOwen, L/R, 9/26/1985
6 G, 22 AB, 4 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 7 RBI, 2/2 K/BB, .545/~.583/.864

One wouldn’t expect the best hitter in the league for the past month+ to have such stiff competition from his own lineup, but here we are, on the cusp, with McOwen having a chance to tie the longest hitting streak in the past twenty years at forty-three games tonight. That mark was set two years ago by Brandon Watson while he was playing for Columbus, but anything McOwen does beyond that approaches more interesting history. Larry Stone did the digging and next up would be Johnny Bates, at forty-six, who set his record in 1925, and nothing higher than that was set before 1954. Mavericks fans are getting quite a show this season.

Slugs, Ks Mention:
RF Carlos Peguero, L/L, 2/22/1987
7 G, 28 AB, 9 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 11/1 K/BB, .393/.414/1.071

Measly Seven-Game Streak Mention:
CF Tyson Gillies, L/R, 10/31/1988
7 G, 28 AB, 6 R, 12 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, 3 SB, CS, .429/~.484/.643

Other Futures Game Guy Mention:
3B Alex Liddi, R/R, 8/14/1988
7 G, 24 AB, 5 R, 11 H, 3 2B, 5 RBI, 4/0 K/BB, SB, .458/~.458/.683

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Donnie Hume, 8/29/1985
1-0, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R (0 ER), 7/1 K/BB, 5/5 G/F, HB

This week, three different starters had six unearned runs, two each, scoring against them. As Adcock also walked five and Wild had some hit issues in his second outing (you’ll still see him below), Hume gets the nod here. Despite being around fifteenth in the league in ERA at 4.15 (5.84 tRA, for you more discriminating types), he’s picked up nine wins thanks to the support of the Mavericks offense, of which little need be said. That may be a little unnerving to those looking for a capable left-hander in the system, but keep in mind that of his 32 walks, 15 came in his first six starts. He’s improved for the most part as the season has gone on.

Future Swingman(?) Mention:
RHP Jake Wild, 8/18/1984
1-0, 2 GS, 1.97 ERA in 13.2 IP, 14 H, 4 R (2 ER), 15/2 K/BB, 13/9 G/F, WP

From the Training Room:
Juan Diaz came off the DL, and Marwin Vega got put on it. It’s about time?

Strange Happenings:
The Mavericks team OPS is .100 higher than the second best, they have eleven more triples (Peguero!), and twenty-eight more home runs, but four fewer doubles. What’s up with that?

Clinton Lumberkings (3-3 this week, 5-5 in the second half, 45-35 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, June 29th 2009
Off day

Tuesday, June 30th 2009
Clinton 4, Wisconsin 2 (MIL + 1)
W: Renfree (1-0, 2.70); L: Ohlmann (2-3, 3.49); SV: Flores, R (15)

Wednesday, July 1st 2009
Clinton 3, Wisconsin 4 (MIL + 2)
W: Peralta, W (3-1, 3.41); L: Nation (1-2, 3.07)

Thursday, July 2nd 2009
Clinton 3, Wisconsin 4 (MIL + 3)
W: Merklinger (2-2, 3.09); L: LaFromboise (5-3, 3.61); SV: Tyson (3)

Friday, July 3rd 2009
Clinton 9, Wisconsin 7 (MIL + 2)
W: Venegas (3-3, 4.50); L: Nieves (2-5, 6.83); SV: Flores, R (16)

Saturday, July 4th 2009
Kane County 0 (OAK – 1), Clinton 5
W: Pribanic (7-4, 2.28); L: Haviland (6-4, 3.89)

Sunday, July 5th 2009
Kane County 8 (OAK – 2), Clinton 2
W: Smalley (7-3, 2.13); L: Kasparek (4-5, 2.73)

Hitter of the Week:
2B Luis Nunez, R/R, 12/31/1986
6 G, 24 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 2/2 K/BB, 4 SB, CS, .333/~.385/.333

Like Savastano, Nunez has been hitting well enough throughout the year to garner some interest, but it’s the quietest .327 average I’ve seen in a long time. A little over an eighth of his hits are going for extras, and he doesn’t have anything beyond doubles at this point, despite flashing a little speed now and then that might warrant a triple or two. At least in Everett last year he had a few of those and a dinger. You can make a few allowances given that he was in the U.S. after two seasons in the DSL and faceplanted in his first run at the Midwest League, but he’s merely a good defender, nothing close to high end, so his bat must do more than it presently does.

Peripherally Good Mention:
DH Kris Sanchez, L/L, 1/9/1984
4 G, 13 AB, 3 H, 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5/3 K/BB, .231/~.375/.846

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Aaron Pribanic, 9/1/1986
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3/1 K/BB, 10/5 G/F

Pribanic gets two grounders for every fly in a start and we call it an off week for him. Two and a half, that’s par for the course, but just two? That’s slipping. Speaking of which, I have reason to be concerned about the strikeout rate of 4.66 in 29.0 innings pitched since his return. It’s not recovering much, and that would make the difference in deciding whether or not he could handle starting long-term. Those decisions will be made down the road, so there’s ample time for things to turn around.

Where’s Escalona Now? Mention:
LHP Jose Jimenez, 3/23/1987
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 2 H, 6/1 K/BB, 4/0 G/F

From the Training Room:
I don’t know if I got this before, but Maximo Mendez is on the DL, and Kalian Sams has moved to Clinton’s DL from Everett, while Daniel Carroll has come off and so has catcher Travis Howell as of yesterday. Maybe things will start moving soon. It all depends on the draft signings.

Strange Happenings:
Cleto had a 6/3 K/BB in 3.1 innings, and allowed four hits, scoring two runs. With his command, he may be “strange” more often than he’s notable at this rate.

Everett Aquasox (5-2 this week, 10-6 overall)

Monday, June 29th 2009
Everett 3, Eugene 4 (SD – 2)
W: Tabachnik (1-1, 3.00); L: Staehely (0-1, 5.06); SV: Erickson, D (3)

Tuesday, June 30th 2009
Everett 7, Eugene 4 (SD – 3)
W: Lewis (3-0, 2.50); L: Hernandez, P (0-2, 11.57); SV: Cooper (1)

Wednesday, July 1st 2009
Everett 5, Eugene 15 (SD – 2)
W: Poynter (1-0, 5.40); L: Roy (0-2, 24.55)

Thursday, July 2nd 2009
Everett 3, Eugene 0 (SD – 3)
W: Carraway (1-0, 0.00); L: Mikolas (0-1, 6.75); SV: Cooper (2)

Friday, July 3rd 2009
Everett 4, Eugene 3 (SD – 4)
W: Reid (1-0, 2.70); L: Erickson, D (0-1, 1.17); SV: Cooper (3)

Saturday, July 4th 2009
Yakima 2 (ARI – 1), Everett 3 (ten innings)
W: Carraway (2-0, 0.00); L: Rodriguez, P (1-2, 2.35)

Sunday, July 5th 2009
Yakima 14 (ARI – 2), Everett 15
W: Pullen (2-0, 1.23); L: Taylor, D (1-1, 9.35); SV: Cooper (4)

Hitter of the Week+:
C Juan Fuentes, R/R, 1/28/1986
7 G, 26 AB, 7 R, 11 H, 4 2B, HR, 8 RBI, 1/3 K/BB, .423/~.483/.692

As I mentioned in the preview for the Aquasox, Fuentes can’t be judged on the exact same criteria as everyone else because he had Tommy John surgery early in his career and has been a little slow to develop since. He’s had about two-thirds of his plate appearances at catcher with the Sox, and the rest as a DH, and that trend may continue for a little while yet. If he doesn’t work behind the, he could be moved around the infield, as he’s played both at the hot corner and first in his recovery years. He won’t hit well enough to stay at either, but a player who can do both those things and catch off and on can be interesting.

More in his Element Mention:
3B Mario Martinez, R/R, 11/13/1989
7 G, 30 AB, 6 R, 9 H, 4 2B, 3B, 7/3 K/BB, .300/.364/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Taylor Stanton, 1/15/1988
0-0, 2 GS, 1.64 ERA in 11.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 12/3 K/BB, 11/9 G/F, 2 HB, BK

What do we call the five and one starters in the Aquasox rotation? The Dueling Taylors? Make some pun about haberdashery? (The Haberdashing Duo? Even I couldn’t do that with a straight face.) Lewis fired the first couple of shots, picking up two quick wins, but in his time in the spotlight this week, Stanton might have come close to outdoing him. There were fewer grounders, but fewer home runs. The Aquasox got five wins this week and it’s a shame none went to Stanton, but those will come. He seems to be a better pitcher than he was initially advertised, as he came in known mostly as an athlete.

Nuke LaLoosh Impersonator Mention:
RHP Luke Burnett, 12/10/1986
0-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 5.2 IP, 7/5 K/BB, 6/3 G/F, 3 HB

From the Training Room:
The only major movement of this week was the addition of reliever Andres Esquibel, who was recently covering in Tacoma.

Strange Happenings:
Earlier in the week, LHP Eddy Hernandez took the field as a pinch-runner and was set up to be the DH if it came to that. Versatility as a former outfielder allows for little moments like this.

Pulaski Mariners (2-5 this week, 3-10 overall)

Monday, June 29th 2009
Johnson City 9 (STL + 3), Pulaski 8
W: Simpson (1-0, 0.00); L: Thomas (0-1, 6.75); SV: Kington (1)

Tuesday, June 30th 2009
Johnson City 9 (STL + 4), Pulaski 8
W: Notti (1-0, 11.57); L: Tome (0-2, 9.35)

Wednesday, July 1st 2009
Johnson City 3 (STL + 3), Pulaski 4
W: Vasquez (1-0, 1.50); L: Heim (0-1, 7.36)

Thursday, July 2nd 2009
Bluefield 10 (BAL 0), Pulaski 2
W: Moore, J (1-0, 2.61); L: Rodriguez, L (0-2, 9.39)

Friday, July 3rd 2009
Pulaski 2, Bluefield 4 (BAL + 1)
W: Beal (2-1, 4.76); L: Diaz, N (0-2, 5.63); SV: Dowdy (2)

Saturday, July 4th 2009
Bluefield 5 (BAL + 2), Pulaski 4
W: Phelps (1-1, 7.59); L: Josselyn (0-1, 3.86)

Sunday, July 5th 2009
Danville 5 (ATL + 1), Pulaski 8
W: Tome (1-2, 7.90); L: Masters, C (1-2, 2.79)

Hitter of the Week:
IF Cesar Fuentes, R/R, 4/12/1987
7 G, 24 AB, 4 R, 11 H, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 4/1 K/BB, .458/.480/667

No relation to Juan, Cesar spent a good three years in Venezuela before graduating to the U.S. level of competition. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Luis Valbuena was down there for the same amount of time, but for whatever reason Cesar excites me less. Perhaps it’s because he’s not left-handed and never attempted to play all nine positions in a single game. Right now he’s hitting well, a bit lucky, but his early strikeout problem has gone away and he’s one of a handful of Pulaski M’s hitting for a small amount of power. Still, in an overall depth chart of the system’s middle infielders, I don’t know how eager I would be to list him.

“Don’t Call Me Cibney” Mention:
2B Fred Bello, R/R, 10/6/1987
5 G, 17 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 3B, 2 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, SB, CS, .353/~.389/.471

Pitcher of Week:
RHP Nolan Diaz, 3/28/1991
0-1, GS, 1.42 ERA in 6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R (ER), 6/1K/BB, 9/3 G/F

Sketchy pitching from the whole of the staff (Moran still hasn’t debuted) gives me the luxury of mentioning whoever I find to be interesting. One of two Nolans in the system, Diaz was a mid-range signing from the ’07 international period who put up 39 strikeouts in 59.0 innings last summer. Hardly impressive, but look at him now, as he has a 15/3 K/BB in 16.0 IP and a nearly 2/1 G/F, as the youngest pitcher on staff, and tell me that he isn’t interesting. Hat tip to Engle and crew, because they always manage to find something down there in Venezuela that other teams miss on.

Pac Rim Scouting Mention:
RHP Kenta Suda, 7/22/1989
0-0, G, 0.00 ERA in 2.0 IP, 3/0 K/BB, 1/2 G/F

From the Training Room:
Julio Morban was inexplicably moved to Peoria. Boo! Suda was added to the roster though, which is good for him, as he was working rather hard through extended from what I understand.

Strange Happenings:
Catcher Emmanuel Familia has no hits and eight Ks in fifteen at-bats spread over six games.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers:

SS Jetsy Extrano: 11 G, 46 AB, 16 R, 17 H, 5 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 9/2 K/BB, 2 SB, .370/.420/.609
RHP Kyle Haas: G, 0.00 ERA in 1.0 IP, H, R (0 ER), 1/0 K/BB, , HB,
LHP Cesar Jimenez: 2 G, 6.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3/1 K/BB
RHP Stephen KAHN: G, 27.00 ERA in 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1/1 K/BB
OF Julio Morban: 4 G, 15 AB, 3 R, 4 H, HR, 3 RBI, 6/2 K/BB, .267/.353/.467
3B Matt Tuiasosopo: 2 G, 8 AB, 2 R, 4 H, RBI, .500/.500/.500


9 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (6/29-7/5/09)”

  1. galaxieboi on July 6th, 2009 9:09 am

    Awesome work as usual, Jay.

    Re: McOwen – He’s hitting .350 this season with a .398 BABIP all while sitting at a 10% LD. Crazy. 55% on GBs.

  2. Jay Yencich on July 6th, 2009 10:05 am

    Seager still close to signing

    Signed on a Monday
    Clinton on Tuesday
    Majors on Wednesday
    Injured on Thursday
    Grew worse on Friday
    Retired on Saturday
    HOF on Sunday
    That is the end of..
    hey wait a second.

  3. coasty141 on July 6th, 2009 12:01 pm

    Thanks Jay, As of right now, whats general feeling on Halman? If he doesn’t cut down on the K’s for the rest of the year is it time to give up on him as a prospect?

  4. Jay Yencich on July 6th, 2009 1:29 pm

    I think the notion of giving up on x prospect for y reason is perhaps bandied about a bit too casually. Halman is just twenty-one, and is one of the most physically gifted athletes one can find. If you happen to catch him when he’s on, all that he does comes so naturally that it’s easy to dream on. His issues have never been a lack of talent, or even a lack of skill, as he grew up playing baseball (father was a former player) and did some monstrous things in the Dutch pro league before he could legally drive. The issues have always been in how he approaches each individual at-bat and how his performance is so frequently ebbing and flowing with his emotional state. He gets bad, he stays bad. He gets good or is reminded of his true abilities and starts doing things like this, until he gets overconfident and tries to pull absolutely everything out of the park.

    When you ask me about the feeling on Halman, I’d imagine people would speak in similar terms. He’s phenomenally talented, and not incapable of improving in certain areas of his game, plate discipline being one of them, but above everything else I question his mental state and his ability to adapt to adverse circumstances. I don’t put it past him to improve on that too, but we’ve seen two years from him now where half the season was effectively lost because he got himself into a funk and didn’t have the sense to shake it off. Once, that’s understandable. Twice, and I start to be a little concerned.

  5. coasty141 on July 6th, 2009 2:17 pm

    Thanks Jay, great answer. The thinking behind my question was…. due to Halman’s propensity to strike at such high rates, it doesn’t bode well for his future. I know Halman’s been thought of as a boom/bust prospect but there aren’t many players that strike out as much as he does and become successful major league players. Halman needs to make significant progress at some point doesn’t he?

  6. homi on July 6th, 2009 2:24 pm

    Hey Jay!

    I loved to hear about Kyle Seager who im really excited about overall … where do you see him starting out at? Clinton or does he pass go and head towards High Deseret? Being 21 and playing a few years of college ball that certainly helps his development dosn’t it?

    Also who do you see being promoted in the coming weeks from A ball to AA and AA to AAA and so on and so forth … any clues?

    Last question, do you see Fields and Aumont headed to spring training next year with the team like what Shawn Kelley did this past year, or is he just an exception?

  7. robsols on July 6th, 2009 2:31 pm

    Your exactly right about Halman, Jay.
    His confidence started to regress on the WBC (and a litte bit at the AFL). Every Dutchman who just liked baseball a little bit (more than you’d think) was watching the WBC. And with that everyone’s expectations of Halman were sky high, higher than on anyone else’s.
    Greg knew that and in such situations he gets over-agressive and you know what happened.

    His ultimate, and for know only, goal is playing in the majors and he wants to achieve it as fast as possible, one way or another.

    He needs to be told or convinced that he needs to stay focused on the things they want him to focus on and that there is no haste at all.

  8. SeasonTix on July 6th, 2009 4:02 pm

    wow, awesome report.

    Can you tell us more about Tui’s current status?

  9. Jay Yencich on July 6th, 2009 9:06 pm

    Halman needs to make significant progress at some point doesn’t he?

    He would, but as I said earlier, and I think robsols was corroborating, it’s a mental thing. I’ve seen him make the adjustments to lay off pitches that had previously given him trouble, but he needs to want to do it first. As it stands, he runs a pretty high risk of busting, but the Ks have been curtailed somewhat since he got back.

    I loved to hear about Kyle Seager who im really excited about overall … where do you see him starting out at?

    Word is that he’ll be in Clinton, and playing second much of the time. Originally, they weren’t going to push him, but now it seems like they think he’s ready.

    Also who do you see being promoted in the coming weeks from A ball to AA and AA to AAA and so on and so forth … any clues?

    I’m not sure exactly because the player development structure changed quite a bit. I’d consider promoting guys like Scott, who have been around a while at their level, or relievers like Flores and Hann while seeing what Wild is capable of West Tenn. That’s just me though, I’m torn between wanting to move up Liddi/Dunigan/McOwen and seeing how much they can improve at their current level, but I can imagine some first base moves made to compensate for the addition of Poythress at Clinton or higher.

    Last question, do you see Fields and Aumont headed to spring training next year with the team like what Shawn Kelley did this past year, or is he just an exception?

    Shawn Kelley pulled a Mark Lowe and these things don’t happen all that often. If Fields can keep his control consistently good, then yes, he’s on the short-list for next year’s bullpen if not earlier. Aumont, I’m not entirely convinced on. I don’t know that he’s not a starter, but they really need to work on some aspects of his mechanics before they start pushing him too hard.

    Can you tell us more about Tui’s current status?

    DHing for a few innings and then sitting. He’s scheduled to be on the field in a few days, so I’ve heard.

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