Minor League Wrap (4/23-29/12)

Jay Yencich · April 30, 2012 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Minor Leagues 

In this one, we have two hitters of the week in Jackson, a walk-off from Carlos Triunfel, mention of Lansing’s bizarre mascot, a seven-inning complete game in the Cal League, Anthony Vasquez’s new nickname, four dingers by one hitter in the span of twelve innings (his week is even more interesting than just that!), a pitcher that has more walks than either hits or Ks, continued Cerberus-related dominance, a batter that accumulated half his hits for the year in the past week, and various other things to shock and educate you in how amazing and dumb baseball can be.

To the jump!

Tacoma Rainiers (2-4 this week, 9-15 overall, 5 GB in PCL Pacific Northern)

The Week in Review:
Monday, April 23rd 2012
Fresno 5 (SF + 9), Tacoma 6
W: Perez (2-0, 5.40) L: Rodriguez (1-1, 9.39)

Tuesday, April 24th 2012
Fresno 11 (SF + 10), Tacoma 5
W: Yourkin (1-1, 5.59) L: Vasquez (3-1, 2.92)

Wednesday, April 25th 2012
Off day

Thursday, April 26th 2012
Tacoma 6, Las Vegas 4 (TOR – 9)
W: Henn (2-0, 4.50) L: Laffey (0-3, 7.91) S: Kelley (3)

Friday, April 27th 2012
Tacoma 0, Las Vegas 5 (TOR – 8 )
W: Chavez (3-1, 2.51) L: Marquez (1-2, 7.13)

Saturday, April 28th 2012
Tacoma 5, Las Vegas 15 (TOR – 7)
W: Carreno (2-2, 6.64) L: Robles (0-3, 9.95)

Sunday, April 29th 2012
Tacoma 2, Las Vegas 5 (TOR – 6)
W: Richmond (2-2, 7.22) L: Snow (0-3, 7.30) S: Beck (1)

Hitter of the Week:
1B/LF Scott Savastano, R/R, 6/12/1986
5 G, 14 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2/3 K/BB, HBP, .500/.611/.500

Savastano is known for going on these little hitting tears every now and then that pique the interest of casual observers. The thing is though, these little spates of hitting are usually accompanied by some power production from him. Not so in this case. In fact, only about a fifth of his hits have gone for extras this year, despite him playing mostly in traditional power positions. Everything else approximates career numbers, minus a walk or two, it’s just the power that’s absent. This week comprised half of Savastano’s hit total through sixteen games this year. That’s interesting, I guess. He’s managed to hit his way into an organizational role, but it’s hard to hold onto that when you’re a contact-hitting corner guy. I guess Johan Limonta sort of does it.

Doing Stuff With the Bat! Mention:
SS Carlos Triunfel, R/R, 2/27/1990
6 G, 21 AB, 5 R, 5 H, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 5/3 K/BB, HBP, .238/.360/.476

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Cesar Jimenez, 11/12/1984
0-0, 2 G, 2.25 ERA in 4.0 IP, 5/0 K/BB, 5/1 G/F

Instead of talking immediately about Jimenez, I’ll talk around him. The Rainiers played six games this week. The starters had an earned-run average of 11.08. That’s thirty-two runs in twenty-six innings. A lot of the relievers were also awful. This happens when you end up giving up seven and a half runs a game. Those few that were half-decent (Shawn Kelley! 2.1 IP, 1 H, 3/1 K/BB!) didn’t cross the four-inning minimum I usually set for qualifying relievers. So we have Jimenez. Jimenez was on the 40-man for a while. Since Sherrill is likely to hit the 60-day, he could end up on the 40-man again! I would prefer that the spot be given to someone more interesting.

This is Where I Post the Line of a Second Pitcher Mention:
LHP Oliver Perez, 8/15/1981
1-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.1 IP, 7/3 K/BB, 1/0 G/F, PO

From The Training Room:
Thursday afternoon, RHP Matt Fox hit the DL, which has moved Grube back into the rotation. RHP Scott Patterson came off the DL to fill in that roster spot… Carp sat out from Monday through Wednesday’s off-day and is 3-for-17 since coming back.

Strange Happenings:
Curto is calling Anthony Vasquez “The Out Whisperer” and that is just the best… Carlos Triunfel hit the walk-off single in the ninth inning of Monday’s game. There was one out and Leury Bonilla, pinch-running for Luis Jimenez, was on second with Quiroz on first. Triunfel was 3-for-3 in the game and all of those hits were singles, but in the next game he had a triple and a home run and that’s cool too.

Jackson Generals (6-1 this week, 17-8 overall, 1st in SL North)

The Week in Review:
Monday, April 23rd 2012
Jackson 6, Huntsville 4 (ten innings) (MIL + 1)
W: Capps (1-1, 2.53) L: Marzec (1-1, 8.53)

Tuesday, April 24th 2012
Jackson 8, Huntsville 1 (MIL 0)
W: Hultzen (2-2, 2.08) L: Stinson (3-1, 3.57)

Wednesday, April 25th 2012
Tennessee 1 (CHC – 1), Jackson 5
W: Carraway (3-0, 2.63) L: Raley (1-1, 3.65)

Thursday, April 26th 2012
Tennessee 2 (CHC – 2), Jackson 7
W: Paxton (2-0, 3.09) L: Struck (2-2, 3.29) S: Hensley (1)

Friday, April 27th 2012
Tennessee 0 (CHC – 3), Jackson 3
W: Walker (3-0, 1.64) L: Searle (1-2, 2.16) S: Capps (2)

Saturday, April 28th 2012
Tennessee 4 (CHC – 4), Jackson 6
W: Maurer (1-0, 4.15) L: Beeler (0-1, 3.29) S: Pryor (6)

Sunday, April 29th 2012
Tennessee 5 (CHC – 3), Jackson 3 (ten innings)
W: Hatley (1-1, 3.86) L: Capps (1-2, 3.55)

Hitters of the Week:
CF Denny Almonte, S/R, 9/24/1988
7 G, 22 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 2 HR, 6 RBI, SB, 4/5 K/BB, .409/.519/.682

RF Johermyn Chavez, R/R, 1/26/1989
6 G, 23 AB, 5 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5/3 K/BB, .391/.462/.739

Well, crap. I think this marks the first time I’ve had two hitters come up with the same OPS, and if it isn’t, it’s the first time that OPS has been 1.201. Watch the Southern League go hand the award to Scooter Gennett or some crap. I’m on to your schemes, Southern League.

So, recently, when I was talking about Almonte, I noted that for the span of the week before last, he had dropped to 16% Ks (34% career) and raised his walks to 12% (5% career). This week continued some of the same mind-blowing things that I was talking about before. 18.5% walks! 14.8% Ks! Someone, have enough context watching Almonte to have your mind blown by this, because it’s really quite startling. To boot, he went yard twice, and his xbh% for the year (which dropped this week) is 37.9%. I usually beg that people exercise hella caution when making too much of a single month’s worth of efforts, but everything is clicking for him right now and usually it’s only one or two things clicking if at all. Tennessee is not a team that hands out a lot of free passes. Be cautiously awe-struck.

Chavez is slightly different beast because he’s already seen the league and faceplanted last season, at least where average was concerned. Still, his extra-base hits were off and not a whole lot seemed to be clicking and his plate discipline was static. The plate discipline is still static, at least for the year. He usually runs about 2.5 Ks for every walk, and what do you know, he’s right there now. But he also had nearly half his hits for the week go for extras and showed some positive trending, so we can make of that what we will because Tennessee is not bad at pitching. Since Brandon Morrow has been pretty valuable for the Jays the past two season, more than twice as valuable as League at closer, it sure would be nice to get something else out of that exchange.

Hitting AND Walking Mention:
3B Francisco Martinez, R/R, 9/1/1990
7 G, 27 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, 5/5 K/BB, 3 SB, .370/.469/.481

New Guy Mention:
LF Chris Petit, R/R, 8/15/1984
6 G, 23 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 8/1 K/BB, SB, CS, 2 HBP, .348/.423/.565

Second Time’s A Charm? (Needs More Dingers) Mention:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
6 G, 23 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 4 RBI, SB, 2/3 K/BB, .348/.423/.435

STRIKE OUT LESS OFTEN Mention:
DH Joe Dunigan, L/L, 3/29/1986
7 G, 31 AB, 7 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 11/1 K/BB, .258/.281/.548

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP James Paxton, 11/6/1988
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 3 H, R (0 ER), 9/2 K/BB, 4/3 G/F

I wasn’t wanting for options this week, not that I ever really am with this club. Each of the Cerberus trio managed to make quick work of a bad Tennessee offense, but I’ll stick to Paxton because of his dearth of baserunners allowed and the high strikeout totals. After an uneven start to Thursday’s game, Paxton retired eleven of twelve to end the game, striking out seven, only two of which bothered to swing. I’m not super excited about the progress because Tennessee is the only squad that’s walked less than Jackson (gulp), but I am looking forward to next week’s series with Pensacola because they are a patient team. A patient team about to go up against the league’s best pitching.

Some Command Wonkiness, Had a 16-Inning Scoreless Streak Mention:
LHP Danny Hultzen, 11/28/1989
1-0, 2 GS, 0.87 ERA in 10.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (ER), 9/4 K/BB, 9/5 G/F, HB, WP

More Hits, But No Slouch Himself Mention:
RHP Taijuan Walker, 8/13/1992
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 6.0 IP, 6 H, 5/1 K/BB, 7/1 G/F, HB

Harder to Get Noticed Mention:
RHP Andrew Carraway, 9/4/1986
1-0, GS, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP, 5 H, R, 3/1 K/BB, 3/7 G/F

Good Relief, Probably Could Be Starting in Another System Mention:
LHP Bobby LaFromboise, 6/25/1986
0-0, 3 G, 0.00 ERA in 5.0 IP, 2 H, 6/0 K/BB, 4/3 G/F

Extra Pitching Notes:
I did all the hits already, but since I like the relievers here too, I’ll mention Pryor and Capps. Pryor pitched 2.2 innings this week and got his sixth save, allowing three hits total and running a 3/1 K/BB and a 1/3 G/F. Capps was unevenly fortunate. He made three appearances. The first one saw him pick up a win in two innings of work that spilled into extras, giving up a run on a solo shot and running a 3/1 K/BB with two grounders. The second outing got him his second save with a K and a flyout in an inning of work. And then Sunday. The Generals had a chance to sweep the Smokies, but Capps gave up two runs on a walk and a dinger against one K in an extra inning, and that was that.

From the Training Room:
Nick Franklin was 6-for-17 this week and had two doubles and a 3/2 K/BB. He would’ve stood a shot for Hitter, but he only played in four games due to some toe thing.

Strange Happenings:
The one thing breaking up Paxton’s retired streak was a walk, after which the Tennessee hitting coach was ejected. I’m sure there’s something behind that. If you’re curious, what immediately preceded the streak was a single, where the runner ended up being caught stealing. It’s hard to know what to do with those… Next week’s series will be against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The Wahoos are not an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, in fact, as I understand it, the Wahoo is a fish. The club was formerly the Carolina Mudcats and seven other things before that, mostly affiliated with the White Sox. Because they are playing in Pensacola, and not necessarily because I like the song, I will have this stuck in my head all week… Monday’s win came courtesy of a bases-loaded single by Sucre to drive in a pair and then another single by Noriega to plate a third. The Generals gave back a run in the bottom half of the inning though. That was Capps…. The third baseman for the Smokies was ejected early in Sunday’s game for throwing his bat up into the air on a strikeout call. Facing Jackson pitchers is frustrating for mere mortals… Larry Stone was in Jackson over the weekend and had reports on Taijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen. Speaking of Walker, a couple weeks ago he talked about his pitches and I forgot to link it. Speaking of Hultzen, MLB.com named him their pitcher of the week going off a different range than I did. The same article talks a bit about some pitchers that we have in extended like Richard Vargas, Fray Martinez, and others. Some guys were apparently held back to work on fundamentals.

High Desert Mavericks (3-5 this week, 14-11 overall, 0.5 GB in CAL South)

The Week in Review:
Monday, April 23rd 2012
High Desert 7, San Jose 1 (SF + 5)
W: Gillheeney (3-0, 1.29) L: Bradley (2-2, 2.11)

Tuesday, April 24th 2012
High Desert 5, San Jose 9 (SF + 6)
W: Valdez (1-1, 2.38) L: Mieses (1-2, 6.65)

Wednesday, April 25th 2012
Rainout

Thursday, April 26th 2012
High Desert 0, San Jose 3 (SF + 7) (seven innings)
W: Snodgrass (2-1, 1.61) L: Elias (2-1, 2.70) S: Osich (1)

High Desert 6, San Jose 0 (SF + 6) (seven innings)
W: Fernandez (1-1, 3.26) L: Sanford (3-2, 5.00)

Friday, April 27th 2012
High Desert 5, San Jose 3 (SF + 5)
W: Smith (1-0, 5.63) L: Kehrer (1-2, 2.79) S: Arias (3)

Saturday, April 28th 2012
High Desert 8, Inland Empire 12 (ANA – 1)
W: Lopez (1-0, 3.86) L: Burgoon (1-1, 9.00)

Sunday, April 29th 2012
High Desert 2, Inland Empire 4 (ANA 0) (seven innings)
W: Russell (2-2, 6.75) L: Mieses (1-3, 6.75)

High Desert 0, Inland Empire 3 (ANA + 1) (seven innnings)
W: Correa (1-0, 0.48) L: Stanton (0-1, 13.11)

Hitter of the Week:
C/DH John Hicks, R/R, 8/31/1989
6 G, 19 AB, 7 R, 8 H, HR, 5 RBI, SB, 2/5 K/BB, .421/.542/.579

Hitting in the early run for the Mavericks has been pretty dominant. When I was looking it up Sunday morning, the team had something like a .852 OPS. As a team. Six hitters are above that for the season. But now two of them, Marder and Morban, are on the DL and that means I’m looking for more names to talk about. Hicks is probably not being thought of a whole lot because Marder has been hitting so much better, but our 4th-round pick from last year hasn’t exactly been a slouch at the plate, even if he’s not among that elite group of six. Right now, what I’ve liked best about Hicks through his first twenty-one games is that he doesn’t have awful splits. He’s hit .318/.388/.455 at home and .278/.395/.361 on the road. That’s not bad. Slightly concerning with all the power that’s showing up only at home (although his one dinger was in a road game), but still not bad. Good on him. I’d like to see more hitters on this team pull similar things off.

Not Road-Inept Mention:
2B/DH Stefen Romero, R/R, 10/17/1988
8 G, 31 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, CS, 2/2 K/BB, .323/.364/.484

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Anthony Fernandez, 6/8/1990
1-0, GS, 0.00 ERA in 7.0 IP, 2 H, 7/1 K/BB, 7/4 G/F

Fernandez becomes the first Mav to log a complete game on a technicality due to a seven-inning doubleheader. Were it not for that, it would be much harder to get a shutout for the team. San Jose’s offense is middle of the pack for the Cal League and they play in a slight pitcher’s park, but that should not diminish the accomplishment too much. After a double in the first inning, Fernandez retired the next sixteen in a row, if you’re willing to credit him for erasing a single on a double play in the fourth. Moreover, he’s averaging six innings a start, which is pretty impressive when three of them have been at home and one of the remaining two was at Lancaster.

12.5 K/9 For the Year Mention:
RHP Willy Kesler, 8/11/1987
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP, 3 H, 7/1 K/BB, 5/1 G/F

From the Training Room:
Tuesday afternoon, OF Julio Morban and C Jack Marder were both placed on the DL, which is sad and disappointing on both accounts since they were hitting and all. Morban had been playing corner positions instead of center leading up to it, so my guess is that he was experiencing some leg issues? Marder had skipped a few days here and there, but was still catching. Their replacements on the roster were IF Carlos Ramirez, boomeranging back, and C Trevor Coleman, who had been in extended.

Strange Happenings:
I mentioned before that it seemed a bit, ambitious let’s say, to front a Mavericks team with only Jack Marder and John Hicks behind the plate if you’re counting on both being in the lineup. Mind you, the team does have an emergency catcher, sort of, in Jonathan Arias who played thirty-nine games behind the plate stateside and sixty-five overall before moving to the mound, but in the event that the backstop of the night had to be replaced by the DH, the team would be stuck batting the pitcher. Such is what happened Monday ninth when Marder had to be replaced by Hicks, who had been DHing. This did not result in a plate appearance by the pitcher, Tyler Burgoon, but one of these days it could. If we go through a full minor league season without a pitcher hitting, or at least Arias behind the plate, I will regard this experiment as a complete failure and waste of time… Miller made only one error this week! YAAAAAAAAAAAAY! He hit .217/.379/.217. At least the walks were there?

Clinton Lumberkings (4-3 this week, 10-14 overall, 3 GB in MWL Western)

The Week in Review:
Monday, April 23rd 2012
Fort Wayne 3 (SD – 5), Clinton 5
W: Kohlscheen (1-0, 2.84) L: Rea (0-3, 4.50) S: Taylor (3)

Tuesday, April 24th 2012
Fort Wayne 7 (SD – 4), Clinton 3
W: Barbato (2-0, 1.59) L: Miller (1-1, 3.72)

Wednesday, April 25th 2012
Clinton 1, Great Lakes 3 (LA + 2)
W: Ozoria (2-0, 3.93) L: Hobson (0-4, 4.50) S: Dominguez (1)

Thursday, April 26th 2012
Clinton 8, Great Lakes 4 (LA + 1)
W: Hidalgo (1-2, 5.40) L: Martin (1-1, 3.67)

Friday, April 27th 2012
Clinton 7, Great Lakes 1 (LA 0)
W: Landazuri (3-0, 1.86) L: Martinez (1-4, 7.04)

Saturday, April 28th 2012
Clinton 6, Lansing 2 (TOR + 11)
W: Corrales (1-0, 4.70) L: McFarland (1-1, 4.85)

Sunday, April 29th 2012
Clinton 0, Lansing 4 (TOR + 12)
W: Sanchez (3-0, 0.00) L: Miller (1-2, 3.91) S: Meyer (9)

Hitter of the Week:
RF Jabari Blash, R/R, 7/4/1989
7 G, 24 AB, 7 R, 4 H, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 8/6 K/BB, .167/.300/.667

Jabari Blash is just a joy to have in the system. I mean, really, how often are you going to see a guy who has 60% of his plate appearances in a week result in one of the three true outcomes? This run was especially entertaining because all of those home runs came in the span of twelve innings, and the rest of the week, Blash did nothing. A recent MiLB.com article suggests that the reason why Blash had been struggling was because he tried a new hitting stance and did not succeed with it, and is now back to doing what he’s been doing all along. Of the home runs hit, two were to center, one was pulled, and the other was to the opposite field, so he really has the power to go out anywhere, it’s just a matter of picking his spots and striking out less. Even if he continues to strike out, at least I will be entertained.

Scaling the Backstop Mountain Mention:
C/DH Mike Dowd, R/R, 4/10/1990
5 G, 19 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2B, 2 RBI, 1/3 K/BB, .368/.455/.421

Second MWL Tour Going Better, Save For the D Mention:
3B Ramon Morla, R/R, 1/20/1989
7 G, 29 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 4/1 K/BB, .276/.300/.551

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Steve Landazuri, 1/6/1992
1-0, GS, 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 5 H, 5/1 K/BB, 7/4 G/F

In the midst of a three game sweep of the Great Lakes Loons, Landazuri had the best performance by a good margin. It was also the second time in a row that he managed to go six+ innings without more than a walk. Not that endurance has yet been an issue for him, it’s more that he walked three in his second start and five in his third. Through five turns of the rotation, only he and Hidalgo have managed to walk more than ten overall. And looking over it right now, I’m a bit concerned that this week’s lack of free passes might be a product of the competition as well, since going into Sunday, Great Lakes had draw the fewest walks in the league by fourteen. The next outing against Wisconsin will provide him with a bit more competition, though not a great deal more as they’re still comfortably in the bottom half.

Still Has More Walks than Hits or Ks Mention:
RHP Wes Alsup, 11/25/1986
0-0, 2 G, 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP, 3/2 K/BB, 5/0 G/F, WP

From the Training Room:
Nothing doing.

Strange Happenings:
HOW DID I GO THROUGH EIGHT YEARS OF THIS WITHOUT KNOWING ABOUT LANSING’S MASCOT?… In “that’s a lot of errors” news, Ramon Morla has eleven of them… The Lumberkings won four in a row this week. Significant because they were hitting. Significant because that’s 40% of their season win total.

Comments

13 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (4/23-29/12)”

  1. nwade on April 30th, 2012 8:45 am

    RE: Denny – My Mind. Blown. Just his line had me doing a double-take, and your words added to the effect. Does Denny have a twin who’s taken over for him (…Pepe Almonte)?

  2. Westside guy on April 30th, 2012 8:51 am

    “Big Lug”? What is that even supposed to be?

    Jay, thank you for the write up. Is there a good place one can find info on player minor league options? We were having a discussion about Carp (and likely related moves to be made) during last night’s game thread, but Google was being uncharacteristically unhelpful.

  3. sergey on April 30th, 2012 9:36 am

    Jay,

    Finally, I will get a chance to see our big 3 pitchers in person against a PATIENT Pensacola team.

    Since, Hultzen just pitched last Sunday. Is it Carraway on Tue, Paxton on Wed, Walker on Thu, and Hultzen on Sat? Where to look up the starting match-up to know for sure?

    Even though I’ve read this site for 6 years, I attended very few games. This will be my first trip “scouting” a pitcher. Any advice? Where to get the tickets? What to pay attention to? Are there any sites to track the pitch location live for MiLB? I know too many questions, I am just excited.

  4. Mike Snow on April 30th, 2012 10:23 am

    Does Denny have a twin who’s taken over for him (…Pepe Almonte)?

    Me, every time I see his name, I want to get him confused with Danny Almonte, the pitcher who was mowing down the competition in the Little League World Series a few years ago, and turned out to be over-age. Somehow it makes me want to think that a similar revelation will explain Denny’s performance this year. Don’t ask me how that would actually make any sense even if it was true. (Also, wow, has it been more than a decade since that scandal?)

  5. maqman on April 30th, 2012 11:08 am

    Almonte had a very successful time in the Australian winter league so his performance stateside this season is not something out of the blue. It’s good to see Andy Carraway step up his game with the Big Three on board. It will be interesting to see who moves up first among them.

  6. marcus_andrews on April 30th, 2012 11:41 am

    Jay, what exactly is wrong with Vinnie Catricala? I mean this kid has hit everywhere he’s played and yet this year he’s been god awful. Is this something we should really worry about or is it just a horrible slump?

  7. Jay Yencich on April 30th, 2012 11:58 am

    Jay, thank you for the write up. Is there a good place one can find info on player minor league options? We were having a discussion about Carp (and likely related moves to be made) during last night’s game thread, but Google was being uncharacteristically unhelpful.

    I’ve never had an easy resource to get that information. Usually, I just go back and try to reverse engineer it from their debut relative to when they were put on the 40-man. It works most of the time, but it’s a click-intensive process.

    Since, Hultzen just pitched last Sunday. Is it Carraway on Tue, Paxton on Wed, Walker on Thu, and Hultzen on Sat? Where to look up the starting match-up to know for sure?

    That’s the one. Maurer on Friday! I hope he starts pitching in a relevant manner soon.

    Even though I’ve read this site for 6 years, I attended very few games. This will be my first trip “scouting” a pitcher. Any advice? Where to get the tickets? What to pay attention to? Are there any sites to track the pitch location live for MiLB? I know too many questions, I am just excited.

    Getting a spot behind home plate makes it easier to track arm angle and horizontal break, but they tend to be pricier tickets so failing that, if you really want to try to figure a pitcher out, I’d recommend sitting along the first base line for left-handers and the third base line for right handers. Check if the mechanics are consistent. Check if release points are consistent for each pitch. Watch how he responds to trouble both in terms of composure and pitch selection. I don’t know, it’s kind of weird to explain these things, I’m used to just doing them or trying to do them and scribbling all over a legal pad. MiLB.com has Gameday for most of the Southern League (except Jackson :( ) so they may have a tracker during the game or they may just be talking about results like called strike, foul, etc.

    Me, every time I see his name, I want to get him confused with Danny Almonte, the pitcher who was mowing down the competition in the Little League World Series a few years ago, and turned out to be over-age.

    This is the main reason I would dislike talking about him. EVERYONE brings this up. Even Baseball-Reference, which is usually not awful, brings up Danny Almonte as a possible return when you straight-up search for Denny Almonte. It’s annoying.

    Jay, what exactly is wrong with Vinnie Catricala? I mean this kid has hit everywhere he’s played and yet this year he’s been god awful. Is this something we should really worry about or is it just a horrible slump?

    Don’t know just yet. His career strikeout% was 16.7% coming into the season. It’s 14.6% now. That’s not it. Career walks were 9.2%. It’s 5.2% right now, but again, probably not that. Career BABIP is .330. Right now, it’s .208. Let’s go with that for the time being.

  8. Mike Snow on April 30th, 2012 1:09 pm

    Even Baseball-Reference, which is usually not awful, brings up Danny Almonte as a possible return when you straight-up search for Denny Almonte. It’s annoying.

    That is sort of strange. I didn’t even realize Danny Almonte had played professionally. I guess they can’t exclude him from the database, even if it is just a six-game stint in an independent league, but that doesn’t explain treating his record as a hit for Denny’s name. Not even so much as a “did you mean to search for” to distinguish it as an alternate possibility.

  9. marcus_andrews on April 30th, 2012 1:24 pm

    Thank you for the response to the last question and for the write-up, always enjoy reading it. One other question, do Marder and/or Hicks look like they’ll be able to stick behind the plate defensively? Is the DH thing just to get both bats in the lineup or is it partially because of poor defense?

  10. nwade on April 30th, 2012 1:31 pm

    —–
    JY said: Career BABIP is .330. Right now, it’s .208. Let’s go with that for the time being.
    —–

    So this is the one area where the stats still break down a bit, yeah? Let me explain what I mean, and tell me if I’m veering off the tracks here: BABIP is really cool and if someone has an established career its probably a good benchmark to measure against. HOWEVER, the “catch” with BABIP is that there’s nothing in it that tells you about the quality of the contact a hitter is presently making, right? To put it another way: Being down on your BABIP by 122 points means that you’re getting crappy luck IF you’re making good swings and decent contact. But if you’re making poorer contact than before, then luck isn’t the only reason your BABIP is so much lower – you could be on your way to establishing a new (lower) career BABIP…

    Or to put it more succinctly (this just occurred to me): comparing present BABIP with past BABIP may not be a way to predict future performance; all it does is provide possible explanations for current results.

  11. Jay Yencich on April 30th, 2012 1:40 pm

    Okay. His groundball rate is 34% right now when it’s usually closer to 44% for his career. Line drive rate is within the margin of error I guess. Statcorner is telling me that he’s getting 4% more pop-ups than he usually does and is hitting the ball in the air more often. The variation of the various rates is enough to explain some of the drop, but not all of it.

  12. nwade on April 30th, 2012 3:05 pm

    Jay – Thanks, illuminating numbers (and I should figure out how to look them up myself). BTW, I wasn’t trying to press for more numbers or a justification of your earlier line of reasoning; I was merely trying to get confirmation that I’m not looking at this all wrong or failing to understand the various aspects of some of these statistical measures… But thanks again!

  13. Jay Yencich on April 30th, 2012 7:05 pm

    Yeah, it’s just a frustrating point for me. So much of analysis at this level is taking an inadequate array of stats and trying to draw out conclusions from them, and the dissolution of minor league splits, particularly from a historical level, has killed me. They had a lot of really useful situational stuff. Fortunately Statcorner and Firstinning fill in partial gaps for me.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.