Minor League Wrap (8/22-28/11)

Jay Yencich · August 29, 2011 at 8:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

Second to last wrap of the year! The wrap next week will probably come on Wednesday because the regular season schedule won’t end until Monday for the full-seasons. The short-seasons will be cutting out early with Everett ending on Saturday, Pulaski ending on Tuesday, and Peoria ending today. Anyway, this week I have a lot of unusual things from High Desert hitters, a few names that I haven’t brought up before or at the very least often, and a half-blind stab at DSL happenings.

To the jump!

Wrapping the DSL:

I said last week that I was going to cover the happenings in the DSL season this time around, so here we are. The M’s ended the regular season with a 45-24 record and beat a Cubs affiliate (that’s “a”, not “the”) in the first round of the playoffs , a three-game set, but lost in the second three-game set to the Angels. As ever, the usual disclaimers apply: scouting data on anything down there is limited, talent and skills are uneven with players permitted to stay in the league for as many as four years, and the DSL is uniquely bad for analysis in that most of the games are played against teams in the same division. To set up a basis of comparison, the M’s had a 45-24 record and the Brewers had a 44-27 record, but the Cardinals and Athletics had a 27-44 record and a 24-46 record respectively. These statistics were largely compiled against the same inferior teams over and over. But they added a new dimension this year in that some games were played outside the division every now and then. What you were supposed to conclude from those is anyone’s guess.

The best position player from the limited data I have to work with was CF Janelfry Zorilla, who led the team in most categories running a .321/.405/.594 average with a 37/24 K/BB. He’s a fourth-year player and not too much to get excited about save that he’s improved in most respects each year that he’s played and possess a pretty awesome name. Zorilla also had an odd variance in his splits: the OPS was about the same, but he had a 11/12 K/BB against left-handers, contributing to a .483 OBP, and against right-handers, he had a 26/12 K/BB and a .382 OBP, but had more than half his hits go for extras and slugged .613. One would kind of expect that left-handers would be hit harder, but that really wasn’t the case. I could see him showing up stateside next year in Pulaski as one of their starting outfielders.

An assortment of other players contributed as well. OF Randy Perez is another possibility to see time in the states next year, but he only hit .257/.451/.343. More than anything else, his game seems to be geared towards on-base percentage (16/27 K/BB) and speed (22 SB, 7 CS). 1B Axel Wel, a left-handed bat, finally had another good offensive campaign, batting .267/.349/.444 with 40% extra-base hits, but he’s also in his fourth year and was effectively stalled in 2009 and 2010. Another guy that I like mostly for the name is Westlonder Marcelino, who joined Wel in the 1B/DH tandem. He hit .253/.340/.386, but none of those numbers are especially impressive except maybe the OBP, drawing from an 11/11 K/BB. Other names I’d keep an eye on are the two shortstops in Noe Berro and Ketel Marte. Berro is well liked by the org, though he only hit .214/.322/.373, and he could see time sooner than one might think. Marte was a little better considering he was in his first season and he batted .259/.341/.336, not too far off from what Berro did in his second year.

The pitching was slightly more impressive, but when you have seven guys with more than 20 IP and ERAs under 3.00, it’s hard to know what to think. One of the better pitchers on staff this year was LHP Wander Marte, who had an ERA under 1.00, a .136 average against, and a 49/15 K/BB in 38.1 IP in his second year in the league. Of course, last year Henry Perez (in his fourth year) and Brandol Perez (in his first year, though much older than his competition) put up better numbers, and the former got released while the latter was on the shelf the whole year. As I’ve tried to emphasize before, any left-hander with a passable change will utterly destroy the league. Is Marte that guy or is he actually good? Where they assign him to start next season will help to answer that.

Other statistical pitchers of note: Right-hander Jose Torres, who famously asked for a grand more than his countryman Julio Teheran, isn’t as good as Teheran, but he did lead the team by a good margin with 75.1 IP. The bad news is that he only had a 42/26 K/BB, so innings pitched as the only category where he really set himself apart. Right-hander Domingo Brazoban was probably the team’s most valuable pitcher, running a 9-2 record and pitching 54.2 innings despite only three games started of seventeen. He had a 37/12 K/BB and his average was a little high relative to his peers, so I’m not too sure about him going forward. Right-hander Enrique Rosario could be a candidate to move up next season after running a .147 average against and a 27/12 K/BB in 31.1 IP, though he is another fourth-year guy and has never been anything other than a reliever at the minor league level, which isn’t especially exciting.

Tacoma Rainiers (3-4 this week, 66-70 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 22nd 2011
Tacoma 6, Reno 7 (ARI + 13) (twelve innings)
W: Bennett (3-0, 4.70) L: Roe (0-7, 6.75)

Tuesday, August 23rd 2011
Tacoma 4, Reno 5 (ARI + 14)
W: Mickolio (3-3, 4.83) L: Delabar (0-1, 1.00)

Wednesday, August 24th 2011
Tacoma 9, Colorado Springs 3 (COL – 14)
W: Grube (4-3, 5.25) L: Johnson (4-10, 7.34)

Thursday, August 25th 2011
Tacoma 7, Colorado Springs 11 (COL – 13)
W: Mortensen (2-7, 9.36) L: Ramirez (3-1, 6.14) S: Miller (22)

Friday, August 26th 2011
Tacoma 12, Colorado Springs 10 (COL – 14) (eleven innings)
W: Delabar (1-1, 0.82) L: Weiser (1-1, 4.76)

Saturday, August 27th 2011
Tacoma 5, Colorado Springs 8 (COL – 13)
W: Gonzalez (4-3, 4.92) L: French (8-9, 6.39) S: Miller (23)

Sunday, August 28th 2011
Tacoma 6, Colorado Springs 5 (COL – 14)
W: Seddon (9-6, 6.22) L: Williamson (2-3, 7.31) S: Patterson (7)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Mike Wilson, R/R, 6/29/1983
7 G, 29 AB, 7 R, 11 H, 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, SB, 5/6 K/BB, .379/.486/.724

Wilson will probably see some time with the M’s after the Rainiers end their season, thanks to getting hot at the right time, but something about this week’s outing left me curious as to one of his splits for the year. All of Wilson’s home runs this week were with the bases empty. For the year, it actually seems as though he’s doing better without runner on, batting .349/.426/.614 in 166 ABs with ten of his home runs, whereas with runners on he drops a little to .313/.409/.507 in 144 ABs with six of his home runs. They slip a little more when you move those runners to scoring position. I don’t know if this will affect him moving up or if it’s just noise, and the same goes for his OPS being three hundred points higher on the road in spite of Cheney being generally easier to hit it out of this season.

All XBH at Triple-A Level Came This Week Mention:
SS Carlos Triunfel, R/R, 2/27/1990
7 G, 32 AB, 4 R, 14 H, 6 2B, 3B, 6 RBI, SB, 3/0 K/BB, 2 HBP, .438/.471/.688

More HR this Month than All Other Months Combined Mention:
DH/LF Johan Limonta, L/L, 8/4/1983
7 G, 32 AB, 5 R, 11 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, .344/.400/.625

Hits in Each Game This Week Mention:
2B Sean Kazmar, R/R, 8/5/1984
5 G, 19 AB, 2 R, 7 H, 2B, 4 RBI, 3/2 K/BB, HBP, .368/.455/.421

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Scott Patterson, 6/20/1979
0-0, 3 G, SV, 0.00 ERA 4.2 IP, H, 2/0 K/BB, 2/4 G/F, WP

Most of the pitching this week could generously be described as horrible. Thanks Reno. Thanks Springs. I’m highlighting a reliever. Patterson spent three years in a row pitching nowhere but the PCL, but then we sent him to the Southern League to open the season, and he responded by running a 24/1 K/BB in 21.1 IP through mid-May. Now he’s back in Tacoma walking a few more batters than he did before, or three times as many if you’re comparing 1.2% to 3.4%. Patterson was a guy that walked about 5.5% through his career up until he got to triple-A and then in his first tour of the International League he jumped to nearly 15% for some odd reason. Since then, he’s been coming down gradually and is now not walking anyone, which is cool because the strikeout rate has still been high throughout. He’s not young, but he could be the type of pitcher that we get some productive stretches out of like a Wright or a Pauley.

Not-Horrible Starter Mention:
RHP Jarrett Grube, 11/5/1981
1-0, GS, 3.38 ERA in 8.0 IP, 8 H (HR), 3 R, 2/2 K/BB, 9/7 G/F

From The Training Room:
A slow week all around for transactions. LHP Anthony Vasquez was called up on Tuesday and won that game in which he got the kind of run support Doug Fister could only dream of. 3B/1B Matt Mangini was then put on release waivers. I don’t actually know what’s going on with him beyond thinking he was on the DL and finding out that he had left the team for personal reasons… Thursday afternoon, IF Danny Lopez came in from Everett to serve as an infield backup for a while. Tui is slightly hobbled at the moment… Gimenez was 7-for-22 this week in the rehab assignment. He’ll be up when rosters expand, no doubt.

Strange Happenings:
Shawn Kelley had a 1/5 K/BB in 2.0 innings on Monday. That’s just wrong… Forrest Snow has moved to the bullpen and is usually pitching behind Luke French these days. He logged just four innings in the past week. I am not pleased… Steve Delabar gave up his first run in triple-A this week which is also the only reason why he’s not the pitcher of the week… Halman struck out sixteen times in forty at-bats. Yep… Mike Curto’s tweets from the Springs are worth revisiting… Liddi’s next RBI will be his hundredth.

Jackson Generals (5-2 this week, 28-35 in second half, 66-67 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 22nd 2011
Jackson 5, Mobile 4 (ARI + 20)
W: Moran (5-3, 4.77) L: Newby (8-2, 3.84) S: Pryor (4)

Tuesday, August 23rd 2011
Jackson 1, Mobile 2 (ARI + 21) (ten innings)
W: DeMark (2-2, 1.80) L: Paredes (1-2, 4.71)

Wednesday, August 24th 2011
Jackson 2, Mobile 1 (ARI + 20) (eleven innings)
W: LaFromboise (3-3, 3.34) L: Woodall (4-4, 3.43) S: Pryor (5)

Thursday, August 25th 2011
Jackson 1, Mobile 2 (ARI + 21)
W: Spottiswood (5-3, 3.07) L: Cooper (0-1, 6.17) S: DeMark (13)

Friday, August 26th 2011
Huntsville 2 (MIL – 12), Jackson 10
W: Carraway (9-5, 3.46) L: Wright (0-3, 8.17)

Saturday, August 27th 2011
Huntsville 1 (MIL – 13), Jackson 6
W: Kasparek (5-4, 4.40) L: Seidel (1-4, 5.87)

Sunday, August 28th 2011
Huntsville 6 (MIL – 14), Jackson 7
W: Cooper (1-1, 4.91) L: Bowman (6-11, 5.36) S: Pryor (6)

Hitter of the Week:
IF Scott Savastano, R/R, 6/12/1986
6 G, 21 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 5/6 K/BB, .333/.481/.571

For me, Savastano’s defining characteristic is that he’s been somewhere from the second to fifth best hitter on any roster he’s been on, which has meant that he’s been good but rarely good enough to get Hitter of the Week. In the first half, he had to contend with Shaffer, Seager, and Jimenez, and in the second half he’s had to deal with Catricala and others. The second half has had him hit a bit better, going from a .809 OPS to a .860 OPS with a better average and slugging pushing that number up. The .381 season wOBA he has would also rank third on the team among those with 200 ABs or more. He’s also found a more consistent position in second base, which would be good if not for the Ackley ahead of him aspect. I was trying to think of a comparison to him, good hitting, better slugging while moving up, and no true position, and about all that I could come up with was Mike Morse when he was in system, except that Morse was a high school draftee where Savastano came out of Franklin Pierce and Savastano has had twenty points of average and fifty points of OBP on him the whole way. It’s not the best comparison because I don’t think anyone saw Morse’s ascent in Washington coming, though it does show that Savastano could have some value going forward.

Don’t Worry, He’s Still Good Mention:
LF Vinnie Catricala, R/R, 10/31/1988
7 G, 26 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, SB, 4/2 K/BB, HBP, .269/.345/.692

Don’t Worry, He Still Has Peripherals Mention:
RF Johermyn Chavez, R/R, 1/26/1989
5 G, 16 AB, R, 4 H, 2 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, 3/2 K/BB, 2 HBP, .250/.400/.500

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Andrew Carraway, 9/4/1986
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 4 H, R, 6/1 K/BB, 4/6 G/F, WP, BK

We may as well take stock with yet another ’09 draft pick. Carraway leads the Generals staff with 132.2 IP and would probably rank about fifth or so internally, which isn’t half bad considering he was a reliever off and on for the first two months. Since he’s started exclusively since June, we can take a look at the past three month as a unit. In each month, he’s had roughly thirty innings and at least five starts, and from one to the next we see a trend of better command (24/7 K/BB in June, 22/4 K/BB July, 25/2 K/BB August), higher opposing averages (.183, .240, .264), but also decreasing home run rates (three, two, one). I could do without some of the hits, but overall it’s a positive trend. Taking these relative to last season’s High Desert campaign where he gave up twenty-five home runs and had a 120/31 K/BB (he’s at eight dingers and a 100/23 K/BB right now), I would say that he’s actually improved quite a bit in his double-A tour, albeit while turning into more of a flyball pitcher. He’s probably in the same boat as Vasquez in that he’s competing for a spot with pitchers that are just superior like Hultzen, Paxton, and Walker, to say nothing of the guys in the rotation already, but he has better stuff overall. Depth?

Still Solid in Relief Mention:
LHP Brian Moran, 9/30/1988
1-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 5 H, 5/2 K/BB, 4/1 G/F, PO

From the Training Room:
Movement was down all throughout the league. The first transaction of the week for the Generals was when 1B Rich Poythress came off the DL for Saturday’s game and OF Kuo-hui Lo went on the inactive list.

Strange Happenings:
Yoervis Medina’s start wouldn’t qualify as good, if you care about things other than ERA, but it was interesting. Five hits, five walks and six KS through six innings, but only one run. Gillheeney’s first outing also fell under this header, two hits, five walks, three Ks in six and two-thirds, only one run… Franklin hit .276/.322/.379 this week with a 8/2 K/BB in 29 ABs. Someone would have asked.

High Desert Mavericks (4-3 this week, 24-38 in second half, 56-76 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 22nd 2011
High Desert 4, San Jose 18 (SF + 8 )
W: Marte (11-6, 3.29) L: Reed (1-2, 5.55)

Tuesday, August 23rd 2011
High Desert 8, Visalia 14 (ARI – 1)
W: Smith (5-11, 6.11) L: Miller (0-1, 34.71)

Wednesday, August 24th 2011
High Desert 13, Visalia 6 (ARI – 2)
W: Sorce (8-11, 4.88) L: Eitel (8-8, 5.78)

Thursday, August 25th 2011
High Desert 8, Visalia 2 (ARI – 3)
W: Sena (3-4, 6.20) L: Holmberg (3-5, 4.65) S: Hudson (5)

Friday, August 26th 2011
Bakersfield 6 (CIN – 6), High Desert 7
W: Stanton (3-4, 5.75) L: Fairel (0-4, 10.80) S: Kesler (9)

Saturday, August 27th 2011
Bakersfield 4 (CIN – 7), High Desert 6
W: Reed (2-2, 4.88) L: Shunick (3-3, 2.51) S: Kahn (2)

Sunday, August 28th 2011
Bakersfield 12 (CIN – 6), High Desert 4
W: Sulbaran (9-5, 4.57) L: Miller (0-2, 21.60)

Hitter of the Week:
LF Daniel Carroll, R/R, 1/6/1989
7 G, 24 AB, 12 R, 10 H, 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 SB, CS, 6/10 K/BB, .417/.588/.875

Perhaps Carroll has finally found that way of letting himself reach base that doesn’t involve getting hit. I looked up his August stats expecting to find this outburst speaking to a general trend, more walks in August or something, I mean, why not? As it turns out, he has sixteen walks total this month which has pretty much been the average for him all season, so this didn’t actually do anything aside from bring him back to the norm. Fun, isn’t it? By this point in the season, I’m kind of burned out on offense, so even in a week as silly as this one can just throw my hands up and say it figures. If nothing else, you had the two triples bringing him to five for the season, and the fact that he’ll probably hit sixty stolen bases before the season’s over. The eighty-one walks also put him at second in the league and his OBP ranks third, just behind Jedd Gyorko.

Three Dingers in a Game Mention:
1B Joe Dunigan, L/L, 3/29/1986
7 G, 22 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 5 HR, 10 RBI, CS, 12/2 K/BB, .364/.417/1.045

A Cycle Mention:
CF Denny Almonte, S/R, 9/24/1988
6 G, 25 AB, 6 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 9/0 K/BB, .320/.320/.840

Fun with Peirpherals Mention:
C Trevor Coleman, S/R, 1/19/1988
5 G, 13 AB, 3 R, 3 H, HR, 2 RBI, 4/7 K/BB, .231/.500/.461

Most Versatile Defender Mention:
SS/DH Leury Bonilla, R/R, 2/8/1985
5 G, 17 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4/2 K/BB, HBP, .412/.500/.824

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Jandy Sena, 8/10/1989
1-0, GS, 1.50 ERA in 6.0 IP, 6 H, R, 3/0 K/BB, 10/2 G/F, 2 HB

Without knowing how much High Desert is affecting him, it seems to me that Sena has some consistency issues. Sena was the Pitcher of the Week [for me] the first week of August and got mentioned the week of the 4th of July, and not for middling performances in either case (remember him nearly throwing a CG?). But in his eight starts since arriving, he’s had a few stinkers. July 16th at home, 4.0 IP, ten hits (2 HR), seven runs (five earned), 2/1 K/BB. July 22nd at Lancaster, 5.2 IP, twelve hits (HR), same run totals, 4/4 K/BB. August 8th at Modesto, a slight pitcher’s park, 5.0 IP, five hits (HR), four runs, 4/1 K/BB. Last time at home against Stockton, after which he was shut down for a week and a half, 2.2 IP, eight hits (HR), nine runs, 2/4 K/BB. If I were to conclude something from all this, I would point out that Sena is generally a groundball pitcher, has a mild case of gopheritis (and struggles when he gives those up), and strikes out hitters at the dangerous level of only 11.5% of his batters faced, or 4.8 K/9, which has actually improved since he came up from Clinton. The walks, have remained at the same levels, roughly three per nine or around 8%. That he puts the ball in play so often probably contributes to how erratic he is because the Ks aren’t there to stabilize things.

Do Longer Outings Mean He’s Actually Healthy? Mention:
RHP Stephen Kahn, 12/14/1983
0-0, 2 G, SV, 1.59 ERA in 5.2 IP, H, R, 4/2 K/BB, 7/2 G/F

From the Training Room:
Monday was the busy day for the Mavs, as RHP Trevor Miller was called in to make a spot start or two or more and 3B/1B Rudy van Heydoorn and IF Jake Schlander both landed on the DL. This meant four infielders, a utility guy to play everywhere (Bonilla), and four outfielders with three backstops. Joe Dunigan ended up taking over as the team’s first baseman… Saturday, CF Matt Cerione came off the DL and took up another OF spot, which freed up Bonilla for more infield work with 3B Mario Martinez hitting the temporarily inactive list.

Strange Happenings:
Denny Almonte hit for the cycle one day and the next, Joe Dunigan hit three home runs in a game. What more do you want from me? Sure, that happened, but you also had Leury Bonilla go yard twice in a game. Carroll walked ten times. Four guys who were regulars this week had an OPS north of 1.100 and three of them cleared 1.300. Forget it, Jay. It’s the Cal League.

Clinton Lumberkings (7-0 this week, 37-25 in second half, 61-71 overall)

The Week in Review:
Monday, August 22nd 2011
Kane County 1 (KC + 8), Clinton 12
W: Butler (2-3, 3.16) L: Billo (9-4, 1.74)

Tuesday, August 23rd 2011
Kane County 2 (KC + 7), Clinton 4
W: Kohlscheen (4-3, 4.79) L: Ventura (3-5, 4.48) S: Arias (9)

Wednesday, August 24th 2011
Clinton 7, Cedar Rapids 3 (ANA – 8 )
W: Fernandez (7-3, 2.86) L: Fowler (2-4, 7.00)

Thursday, August 25th 2011
Clinton 5, Cedar Rapids 2 (ANA – 9)
W: Elias (3-1, 3.94) L: La Tempa (3-9, 4.61) S: Burgoon (14)

Friday, August 26th 2011
Clinton 5, Cedar Rapids 4 (ANA – 10) (ten innings)
W: Arias (5-3, 2.70) L: Robinson (10-3, 2.97) S: Nava (3)

Saturday, August 27th 2011
Beloit 2 (MIN – 7), Clinton 6
W: Butler (3-3, 3.16) L: O’Rourke (5-4, 3.22)

Sunday, August 28th 2011
Beloit 2 (MIN – 8), Clinton 5
W: Bischoff (4-3, 3.47) L: Soliman (7-11, 4.03) S: Taylor (1)

Hitter of the Week:
C John Hicks, R/R, 8/31/1989
6 G, 23 AB, 7 R, 12 H, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI, CS, 2/0 K/BB, .522/.500/.913

When Hicks was drafted, the word on him was generally that he could hit well for a catcher, but he might have to move off in the end because he wasn’t that strong a receiver. Through the thirty-four games he’s played, we’ve seen him throw out eighteen of thirty-seven would-be base stealers, commit one error, participate in three double plays, be responsible for four passed balls. Minor league catching stats at this level aren’t a whole lot to go off of, but the early returns are positive enough to where I’m not worried about them so much as the fact that he’s only walked twice in 130 plate appearances. Miguel Olivo at this moment has a walk percentage of 4.6% of his PAs and Hicks has about a third of that. He’s rebounded nicely from his debut as far as the rest of his hitting stats, but seriously, 1.5%?

Fourth Outfielder or More? Mention:
CF Mike McGee, R/R, 3/7/1989
6 G, 25 AB, 4 R, 9 H, 4 2B, HR, 6 RBI, 3/0 K/BB, .360/.360/.640

Little Guy Swinging Well in August Mention:
2B Anthony Phillips, R/R, 4/11/1990
7 G, 19 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 3 2B, 5 RBI, SB, CS, 2/1 K/BB, HBP, .316/.363/.474

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Carter Capps, 8/7/1990
0-0, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 2 H, R, 7/1 K/BB, 1/3/ G/F

Capps is a guy that I can see provoking some debate in the prospecting community over the next couple of years. To reiterate the main points, he was a catcher in high school, redshirted his first year of college, and then switched to the mound and is throwing in the low-to-mid-90s with good sink. The secondary offerings are thought of as underdeveloped; some like the slider and since he’s gone pro, Dorman has talked up the change-up, but both would need work for him to be trusted in longer stints. These coupled with his reputation for inconsistent mechanics have given him the “future reliever” tag, but is it really warranted at this point? This is a guy who has been pitching for all of two years now, and I would imagine that the vast majority of hurlers with that little time under their belts would have similar things said about their mechanics and offspeed pitches. Now, am I proposing that’s he’s going to pull a Taijuan Walker and suddenly click and be amazing? Nope, but the reliever tags are certainly premature.

Solid Groundball Lefty #1 Mention:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
1-0, GS, 2.57 ERA in 7.0 IP, 6 H (HR), 2 R, 7/2 K/BB, 8/1 G/F

Solid Groundball Lefty #2 Mention:
LHP Roenis Elias, 8/1/1988
1-0, GS, 3.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 7 H (HR), 2 R, 7/2 K/BB, 7/2 G/F, 2 WP

From the Training Room:

Strange Happenings:
Burgoon struck out six in 3.0 innings this week, including five in two innings on Thursday. Why he hasn’t moved faster this year is anyone’s guess… John Hicks is one of five minor league John Hickses in history and the first since 1949. The More You Know… Brad Miller hit .286/.360/.429 this week. Someone would have asked… LHP Ryan Kiel was ejected between innings for arguing balls and strikes on Saturday. Between innings.

Everett Aquasox (2-5 this week, 19-14 in second half, 35-36 overall)

Monday, August 22nd 2011
Eugene 0 (SD + 1), Everett 7
W: Hobson (2-2, 1.95) L: Scott (2-1, 2.91)

Tuesday, August 23rd 2011
Eugene 5 (SD + 2), Everett 4
W: Wilkes (4-1, 3.69) L: Landazuri (4-4, 4.82) S: Stites (2)

Wednesday, August 24th 2011
Yakima 10 (ARI – 1), Everett 6
W: Gutierrez (4-3, 3.94) L: DiRocco (1-2, 5.09)

Thursday, August 25th 2011
Yakima 6 (ARI 0), Everett 0
W: Camacho (2-1, 3.25) L: Campos (5-4, 2.12)

Friday, August 26th 2011
Yakima 9 (ARI + 1), Everett 3
W: Kudryk (4-4, 3.54) L: Whitmore (4-6, 5.40) S: Robinson (2)

Saturday, August 27th 2011
Yakima 6 (ARI + 2), Everett 5 (ten innings)
W: Albert (5-1, 2.19) L: Griffin (3-1, 2.31)

Sunday, August 28th 2011
Yakima 3 (ARI + 1), Everett 5
W: Hobson (3-2, 2.17) L: Pedrotty (2-4, 3.29) S: Hunter (2)

Hitter of the Week:
LF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
7 G, 30 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 5 2B, 5 RBI, 10/2 K/BB, .333/.375/.500

I get to talk about Blash again and how wildly inconsistent he is. Wonderful. Well, the good news is that the 50% xbh rate was maintained and the bad news is that before this week, he had struck out fourteen times in sixty-four at-bats and now he’s gone back to striking out about a third of the time again, just like he did in June. Just wonderful. I suppose I could put it in the larger context of, “hey, he’s hitting .306/.404/.588 for the month and that’s nearly a 1.000 OPS” or “the offense was only averaging a little over three runs a game this week and most of the hitter lines looked awful, yet somehow Blash kept his head above water even though he generally seems to do better with runners on”, but I would prefer to not half to think about him just being rather erratic as a realistic possibility. Maybe it was the opponents, maybe it was something else.

This is What I Had to Work With Mention:
RF Mario Yepez, S/R, 6/15/1988
7 G, 32 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 5/0 K/BB, .313/.313/.406

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Vicente Campos, 7/27/1992
0-1, GS, 0.00 ERA in 8.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (0 ER), 12/1 K/BB, 8/3 G/F

If you were one of those crazy types like myself who paid attention to the deep internal scouting stuff, then you probably knew Campos was coming and had a reputation of being good. Now, as he’s working his way onto the national radar (scroll down), it helps a little to review how much he’s accomplished this season. It hasn’t worked out for my schedule to get up and see him (I always think I’m going to make it to far more Aquasox games than I do), but Churchill has seen him twice and had reports from his second visit to the park. What we’re apparently seeing with Campos on the micro level is what we saw with Felix early on in his major league career: high velocity and limited command at the outset, slightly reduced velocity with better control and sink later on. The secondary offerings also have developed well this season, whereas before he’d only really had the curveball in flashes. I think that Campos has a shot to break into the national scouting consciousness in 2012 in the same way that Walker did this season, and then we have one more studly low minors arm to work with down the road.

POTW on Most Other Teams Mention:
LHP Cameron Hobson, 4/10/1989
2-0, 2 GS, 1.80 ERA in 10.0 IP, 10 H (HR), 3 R (2 ER), 12/2 K/BB, 15/3 G/F

Two Great Outings this Week, Two Bad Outings Last Week Mention:
RHP David Colvin, 1/7/1989
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 3 H, 4/2 K/BB, 10/1 G/F

The Rare Command Lapse Mention:
RHP Tim Griffin, 3/1/1988
0-0 2 G, 1.69 ERA in 5.1 IP, 2 H, R, 6/3 K/BB, 5/1 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
Lopez left. Shipers still wasn’t starting. Lopez’ departure and the Sox being sort of down a pitcher anyway allowed them to add RHP Andrew Kittredge to the roster. Kittredge was supposed to be the ace of the UW staff this year, but was ruled academically ineligible before the season and went undrafted, only really getting his reps in during summer ball. The M’s drafted him out of Ferris High School in ’08 in the 45th round and he’s a local kid, so it made sense for him to come here, I just didn’t expect it to happen so easily… This is not pertinent to the Aquasox, at least not this year, but the news of Kittredge’s signing also brought another NDFA signing in RHP Dylan deMeyer, a prep kid from California who had originally committed to a JuCo in Galveston, TX. He had a 69/18 K/BB in 59.0 IP for his high school team and fifty-five hits allowed, for whatever this means. The usual scouting sources are turning up nothing for me and I didn’t have time to search for game footage.

Strange Happenings:
A reminder from the Herald: Everett Memorial is small. The Aquasox have the most home runs hit and the most allowed… I keep forgetting to mention it, or maybe I just don’t really want to remember that I know that it happened, but various members of the Aquasox got together and performed a Backstreet Boys song. I have not watched it. I am merely aware of its existence…. Jetsy Extrano played four games this week and was plunked three times… Littlewood had one hit this week, which was a home run. He ran a 10/6 K/BB through five games. I don’t get him… Yepez still hasn’t hit a home run this year.

Pulaski Mariners (4-3 this week, 30-36 overall)

Monday, August 22nd 2011
Pulaski 4, Princeton 2 (TB – 4)
W: Unsworth (6-4, 4.66) L: Jensen (1-6, 4.42) S: Sabala (4)

Tuesday, August 23rd 2011
Pulaski 5, Princeton 2 (TB – 5)
W: Guaipe (4-6, 4.03) L: Lopez (2-3, 3.02) S: Kim (1)

Wednesday, August 24th 2011
Pulaski 0, Princeton 6 (TB – 4)
W: Spann (4-0, 2.61) L: Taylor (3-2, 8.87) S: Ames (1)

Thursday, August 25th 2011
Kingsport 9 (NYM + 7), Pulaski 3 (six innings)
W: Morris (3-2, 3.86) L: Cornwell (0-2, 3.66)

Friday, August 26th 2011
Kingsport 3 (NYM + 6), Pulaski 12
W: Sabala (1-2, 3.23) L: Diaz (1-1, 4.28)

Saturday, August 27th 2011
Kingsport 13 (NYM + 7), Pulaski 1
W: Montero (2-1, 4.24) L: Unsworth (6-5, 5.16) S: Ynoa (1)

Sunday, August 28th 2011
Pulaski 12, Greeneville 2 (HOU – 16)
W: Guaipe (5-6, 3.66) L: Batista (3-4, 4.72) S: Dobbs (1)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Jordy Lara, R/R, 5/21/1991
5 G, 19 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5/1 K/BB, .316/.350/.895

Lara scoots onto the list in spite of limited playing time because he had two home runs in a game on Friday, and while I know that Dunigan also had a multi-home run night this week, it feels like a while since I’ve seen this outside of the PCL or the Cal League. For Lara, you can see it happening because his xbh rates were 40-50% in his DSL years and he’s managed to maintain that coming to Pulaski, sitting at 45.5% for the season. The average and on-base percentage is more difficult to parse. He was around the Mendoza-line his two DSL seasons, with a .389 OBP and a near even eye ratio his first year and then a worse K/BB the second year and an inferior OBP at .335. This season had seen him bat .260, which is a definite improvement, but his OBP is at the lowest season mark yet at .308. He’s only walked ten times this season. With the issues I’ve talked about before in the DSL, it could be a change in his approach or just the fact that smarter hitters know when the other guy couldn’t throw a strike to save his life. I would hope that Lara could regain some of that discipline, but I’m not holding out for it.

Spot Starts in the Six Hole Mention:
SS Dillon Hazlett, R/R, 1/22/1989
6 G, 16 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2 2B, RBI, 3 SB, 0/4 K/BB, .438/.524/.563

A 20/14 K/BB in July, a 5/3 K/BB in August Mention:
3B/2B/SS Michael Acevedo, R/R, 12/5/1990
7 G, 22 AB, 5 R, 8 H, HR, 8 RBI, 2/2 K/BB, .364/.417/.500

Mostly OBP and Limited Power This Month Mention:
2B Dan Paolini, R/R, 10/11/1989
6 G, 19 AB, 3 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 4/3 K/BB, 2 HBP, .316/.440/.421

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Mayckol Guaipe, 8/11/1990
2-0, 2 GS, 0.00 ERA in 12.0 IP, 7 H, R (0 ER), 9/2 K/BB, 14/5 G/F, 3 HB

I don’t think I’ve had much of an opportunity to talk about Guaipe yet, which surprises me a little because he’s lost very little in the translation from his fourth year in the VSL and the Appalachian League. Last year in the VSL, from the standpoint of the basic outcomes, had 22.7% of the batters he faced get hits, 6.3% get walks, and 19.8% strike out. Home runs have pretty much been a non-factor his entire career, with just four allowed over 203.2 innings. This year, his outcomes have been 23.1% hits, 7% walks, and 17.1% Ks. Those are pretty close overall, and yet he’s allowed a lot more runs for reasons I’m not totally clear on. He’s hit quite a few guys, but in my mind that seems to be symptomatic of pitching inside a lot, and the wild pitches have spiked, but that’s about it. Another name for the “mildly intriguing” folder.

More Than a Reliever? Mention:
LHP Jeremy Dobbs, 10/12/1989
0-0, 2 G, SV, 2.25 ERA in 8.0 IP, 10 H, 3 R (2 ER), 6/0 K/BB, 9/7 G/F,

Slightly Better than July Run Mention:
RHP Reynaldo Sabala, 8/16/1990
1-0, 2 G, SV, 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP, 2 H, 5/1 K/BB, 1/5 G/F, WP, HB

From the Training Room:
There wasn’t even any vague DL shuffling that I was conscious of, but SS Bryan Brito has been shelved since last week and OF/3B Kenny Straus has also been off the DL since last week.

Strange Happenings:
Marlette, between DH and catching, is playing about every day. He’s only hitting .108/.108/.135, but he’s playing every day… Acevedo’s switch to all contact is a little weird.

Dispatches from the Land of Rehabbers and Teens:
IF Yidid Batista: 40 G, 136 AB, 24 R, 43 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 18 RBI, 10 SB, 7 CS, 17/18 K/BB, .316/.416/.368
2B Felipe Burin: 39 G, 155 AB, 12 R, 51 H, 12 2B, 21 RBI, 2 SB, 3 CS, 35/18 K/BB, .329/.400/.406
OF Phillips Castillo: 47 G, 169 AB, 36 R, 51 H, 18 2B, 5 3B, HR, 27 RBI, 8 SB, 5 CS, 60/15 K/BB, .302/.368/.485
RHP Min-sih Chen: 4-4, 11 G (10 GS), 6.33 ERA in 48.1 IP, 57 H (4 HR), 42 R (34 ER), 34/24 K/BB, 7 HB
C Luke Guarnaccia: 11 G, 22 AB, 2 R, 4 H, 2 SB, CS, 7/5 K/BB, .182/.333/.182
RHP David Holman: 2-1, 15 G (GS), 5.27 ERA in 28.1 IP, 34 H (4 HR), 28 R (16 ER), 19/7 K/BB, 6 HB
RHP Lars Huijer: 0-0, 5 G (3 GS), 5.40 ERA in 15.0 IP, 19 H (2 HR), 9 R, 9/2 K/BB
OF Reggie Lawson: 42 G, 159 AB, 16 R, 36 H, 4 2B, 3 3B, HR, 21 RBI, 5 SB, 4 CS, 43/5 K/BB, .226/.266/.308
RHP Jochi Ogando: 1-4, 8 G (5 GS), 5.84 ERA in 24.2 IP, 23 H (HR), 19 R (16 ER), 15/25 K/BB, 2 HB
SS Esteilon Peguero: 43 G, 165 AB, 23 R, 46 H, 12 2B, 3B, HR, 25 RBI, 17 SB, 5 CS, 22/6 K/BB, .279/.309/.382
LHP Scott Ronnenbergh: 1-0, 15 G (GS), 5.14 ERA in 28.0 IP, 38 H (2 HR), 20 R (16 ER), 22/13 K/BB
C Angel Salome: 15 G, 58 AB, 13 R, 21 H, 8 2B, 8 RBI, SB, 14/3 K/BB, .362/.387/.500
RHP Gabe Saquilon: 0-2, 9 G (3 GS), 22.0 IP, 27 H, 13 R, 19/10 K/BB
RHP Alex Sunderland: 0-2, 17 G, 3 SV, 4.91 ERA in 22.0 IP, 23 H (4 HR), 15 R (12 ER), 22/13 K/BB
LHP Nick Valenza: 0-1, 10 G (3 GS), 7.40 ERA in 24.1 IP, 25 H (HR), 23 R (20 ER), 18/27 K/BB
RHP Richard White: 0-0, 5 G (2 GS), 4.09 ERA in 11.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 13/7 K/BB, 2 HB
CF James Zamarripa: 33 G, 131 AB, 21 R, 35 H, 5 2B, 2 3B, 9 RBI, 6 SB, 3 CS, 36/13 K/BB, .267/.336/.336


13 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (8/22-28/11)”

  1. maqman on August 29th, 2011 11:08 am

    Going to miss these Jay, thanks for all the great input. Doesn’t look like they are going to do anything with Catricala this season, which I think is a shame. The guy has produced. It occurs to me that all the 2B guys in the system must be thinking about a position switch as Ackley has them all blocked. I’m wondering about the September call-ups. I’m thinking I’d like to see Saunders, Mike Wilson, Peguero and Liddi get new looks but how they will find them playing time is the question. Campos is indeed a watcher.

  2. TumwaterMike on August 29th, 2011 11:59 am

    I always enjoy your Minor League Wrap. Its a must read. Where are the signed draft picks, Hultzen, Carson Smith, Cohoes and Scammell going to end up? Do we have to wait until next year to see them or will some be playing fall and winter ball? Thanks.

  3. Jay Yencich on August 29th, 2011 12:32 pm

    I’m thinking I’d like to see Saunders, Mike Wilson, Peguero and Liddi get new looks but how they will find them playing time is the question.

    Triunfel also needs to be added to the 40-man in the offseason, so I could see him coming up early.

    Where are the signed draft picks, Hultzen, Carson Smith, Cohoes and Scammell going to end up? Do we have to wait until next year to see them or will some be playing fall and winter ball? Thanks.

    Hultzen is supposed to be going to the AFL, or at least that was the early impression I got. I don’t think that Carson Smith will start out anywhere because there isn’t really the appropriate difficulty level for him in the Winter Leagues right now unless they wanted to send him to someplace weird like Nicaragua or Colombia, and I don’t see that happening. Puerto Rico is a distant possibility I suppose, but more likely, we wait until spring. The other two I wouldn’t expect to turn up anywhere for a while. Clinton to open next season would be rather aggressive for both.

  4. TumwaterMike on August 29th, 2011 12:34 pm


  5. Westside guy on August 29th, 2011 1:54 pm

    I’m thinking I’d like to see Saunders, Mike Wilson, Peguero and Liddi get new looks but how they will find them playing time is the question.

    One could argue that Saunders and Peguero already got significant looks (and, even if Saunders new swing is coming around, he’s not a Wedge-style player), but who knows. The team probably would also like to give Wells and Robinson significant playing time, and I don’t expect Wedge is going to sit Ichiro at all – so it’ll be interesting to see how Wedge handles all these guys.

    So after August 31 they don’t have to worry about the 40 man, right?

  6. Mike Snow on August 29th, 2011 2:15 pm

    So after August 31 they don’t have to worry about the 40 man, right?

    The 40-man roster is a fixed cap throughout. It’s the 25-man limit on who can be in the major leagues that doesn’t apply in September.

  7. Westside guy on August 29th, 2011 2:19 pm

    Thanks Mike.

  8. paracorto on August 29th, 2011 2:43 pm

    Jay I know it’s soon, but who are the position players going to AFL in your opinion ? I know that’s a kind of selection that has to fit with other clubs needs, however on which players you would bet two cents ?

  9. Jay Yencich on August 30th, 2011 1:40 am

    Jay I know it’s soon, but who are the position players going to AFL in your opinion ? I know that’s a kind of selection that has to fit with other clubs needs, however on which players you would bet two cents ?

    The AFL rosters and winter leagues in general are too hard to predict. Players often have commitments in the offseason and real lives and such, so sometimes an AFL selection is just a guy who was sort of liked and happened to be available. I could see Nick Franklin down there to make up for some lost time, but I don’t know how his stamina is at the moment and it might not be so good an idea. Catricala or Tenbrink could also show down there, or Liddi, or Shaffer. Like I said, I really have no idea, it’s too hard to predict, but last year the AFL roster had already been announced by now. It should come out at any time.

  10. Oolon on August 30th, 2011 9:37 am

    Thanks Jay! These reports are always the first thing I look for when stopping by ussmariner.

    We were at 17 Aquasox games this year and here are some non-expert observations…

    Last week Jabari Blash hit a double with the bases loaded in his first at bat and then struck out his next three times up. He’s inconsistent and hard to figure out, but fun to watch (especially when he hit that home run over the net above the left field wall and onto the roof of the building across the street!).

    Jose Campos reminds us of Felix when he was with the Aquasox. Also has the Felix sulk when fielders don’t make plays behind him. He’ll be in the Mariner rotation in a couple years barring injuries.

    Mike Dowd has a great arm behind the plate and is a real character. Unfortunately, he’s had a hard time hitting. Maybe “great arm” is an understatement – it’s the best we saw all year.

    Speaking of good arms, Ramon Morla at third base has a rocket. His fielding and hitting aren’t in the same class.

    Marcus Littlewood is an oddity. Apparently he’ll be a catcher next year (not sure what that’s all about) – he hasn’t looked like a second round pick. But he’s still young. And his aunt, who sat next to us at a game, says he’s a nice kid…

    Jharmidy DeJesus is back and was reasonably good at both first and third base. He’ll just turn 22 tomorrow – it seems like he’s been around forever though.

    If I were to predict who will end up in the big leagues I’d go with the obvious – Campos and Blash. But then, I’m not a very good judge – I would never have picked Fister and Saunders from their time in Everett where they were just interchangable parts in the pitching and outfield rotations…

    Thanks again for the great summaries of the minors!

  11. nathaniel dawson on August 30th, 2011 8:27 pm

    The thing with Snow might be an attempt by the org to keep his innings down, so I don’t think it should be something to cause concern. He pitched 45 innings in the minors last year, plus whatever he pitched in college, and is up to 141 innings this year. Next year, 180 innings should be within his reach.

  12. J-Dog on August 31st, 2011 8:08 am

    What is the deal with Campos’ name? Is it Jose or Vicente?

  13. Jay Yencich on August 31st, 2011 2:29 pm

    What is the deal with Campos’ name? Is it Jose or Vicente?

    It seems pretty common for VSL/DSL players to go by a middle name instead of their first name. I generally default to what I’ve seen in the box scores down there [or sometimes whichever sounds cooler] and down in the VSL, he was Vicente, but now everyone’s calling him Jose. It’s the same thing with Acevedo: he’s listed as Jean but I’ve always known him as Michael in the box scores.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.