Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quick Hits from the Minors and Around the Web

With the Olympics going on and the approach of football season, there hasn't been a lot of chatter about baseball around the internet, but there's still plenty to talk about.

  • The U.S. Olympic team has had some interesting moments in Beijing, especially against the Chinese national team. Between the 2 teams, there were 7 beaned batters (including a shot to Matt LaPorta's head), 2 flattened catchers, and 3 ejections.
  • Speaking of the U.S. Olympic team, last week I had the chance to watch Trevor Cahill pitch against the Cuban national team. He started out a bit shaky, but once he settled down he looked pretty good. He kept most of the Cuban hitters guessing, and ended with a few strikeouts, lots of ground balls. Cahill pitched 3 scoreless innings this morning against Japan, and teammate Brett Anderson got the win against Canada last Friday. If you're interested in box scores or overall stats, you can check out the U.S. Olympic team's website for more.
  • Back here in the U.S., the A.L. Rookie of the Year race came to a standstill after Evan Longoria suffered a fractured wrist earlier this month. He should be back around the beginning of September, but it's difficult to say if he'll continue his pre-inury level of play.
  • With Longoria on the DL, Chris Davis had a wide open opportunity to steal the spot light and make a run at the A.L. ROY. Unfortunately for him and the Rangers, Davis has seen a dramatic drop in his power prouction, with only 2 home runs and 2 doubles in August and an OPS of just .627 for the month. Overall, he's still hitting for a .275 average, with 12 home runs in 189 plate appearances, but unless he jumps back on the torrid pace he was on in July, he doesn't have a shot at the 2008 ROY.
  • For any card enthusiasts out there, the release of 2008 Bowman Chrome is currently sweeping eBay. Other than a few good auto cards, there isn't much to this year's list of prospects.
From around the web (click the link to read the article)...
From the minors...
  • Matt Wieters -- After 200 plate appearances at AA, Wieters has a .352/.452/.605/1.057 line with 12 doubles, 9 home runs, 32 walks, and 23 strikeouts.
  • Mike Moustakas -- Over the last 2 months, Moustakas is hitting .316, with 9 home runs and an ISOP around .250.
  • Hank Conger -- When Conger started the year with a shoulder injury, I never expected that he'd be able to bounce back and put up the numbers we've seen from him this year (.297/.328/.480/.808). Not stunning numbers, but very good for a young catcher with Conger's potential.
  • Madison Bumgarner -- In 21 innings, Bumgarner has a 39.7% K% rate for August, with a 2.7% BB%.
  • Lars Anderson -- I wasn't a big believer in Anderson at the start of the season, but he has flat out raked at A+ and AA ball this year. After 114 plate appearances at AA, Anderson is hitting .347/.447/.611/1.058, with 5 home runs and 10 doubles. His .483 BABIP suggests that those numbers will come down a bit in the near future, but he still has the potential to be a Boston version of David Wright at first base.
  • Dellin Betances -- In his last 18 innings, Betances has 28 strikeouts with a 54% GB% rate.
  • Josh Vitters -- I've been looking for game logs on Vitters to see how far back his hitting streak goes, but the search has been unsuccessful. For August, Vitters has a .373/.407/.573/.980 line.

...Read more


Anonymous said...

vitters streak is at 25 right now. he also has 20 doubles in only like 210 at bats. his stats are unreal even though they are in low a. for a 19 year old, hes a beast. oh and his gap power will definately turn into home run power.

Skewtosis said...

Hi, great site BTW.

I was just reading your Ground Ball Grafix post, and had a general question... where do you find stats such as fly/ground balls converted into outs, runs per GB/FB, etc.?

Is there a lot of spreadsheet parsing involed, or can you come up with the stats fairly quickly?


Mike said...

Looking at the Mad Bum, do you think he skips High A next year and goes straight to AA where him and Alderson can come up together?

Adam G said...

Hey guys, thanks for the great comments.

Anonymous -- I agree that Vitters' gap power is going to produce some very nice home run totals in a few years.

Skewtosis -- The GB/out stats came from this year's The Hard Ball Times book. I'm not sure of the correct title for it, but it's the book that they put out every spring. I'm sure you can get the stats at other sites, but that's where I got most of my stats for the ground ball article (I also appreciated your comment on that post as well. I think you made some excellent points.) Otherwise, I use sites like for minor league ground ball rates.

Mike -- The Giants seem to be comfortable with moving their pitching prospects along quickly, so I see no reason for them to hold back with Bumgarner. I think there's a chance he goes to high A ball next spring, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them stick him in AA ball and see what happens.