Saturday, August 30, 2008

Quick Hits from the Minors

With the Olympics over, guys like Matt LaPorta and Brett Anderson are back to work in the minors.

  • Matt LaPorta -- While the Olympics weren't a smashing international debut for LaPorta (3 for 19 with 2 home runs), he's back to clubbing AA pitching going 3 for 6 with a home run in his first 2 games since leaving China.
  • Brett Anderson -- Anderson also faced some difficulties in China (4.97 ERA in 12.2 IP), but he's back with a vengeance, posting a 59% GB% while striking out 9 and walking just 1 in 6 innings Thursday night. 92.3% of the batters that Anderson faced either struck out or hit a ground ball.
  • Chris Davis -- The Rangers are pretty much toast for the season, but Davis is heating back up. Since August 18th, he's 13 for 38, with 3 home runs, 5 doubles, and 7 RBI.
  • Andrew Lambo -- Does Lambo have a cool nick name yet? Maybe something like "Rambo"? In 5 games at AA, Lambo is holding a .409/.435/.864/1.299 stat line, with 3 home runs.
  • Madison Bumgarner -- In low A ball where defense can be sketchy at times, it's amazing that an 18 year old (he actually turned 19 on August 1st) has done so well (1.40 ERA) in his first year of professional ball. Mad Bum is lighting it up this month, with 48 strikeouts in his last 32.1 IP and an ERA of 0.28. I wonder if he's beginning to mix in a decent breaking ball, or if he's just doing it all on his fastball still. Either way, he's had an historic season. On a side note, Bumgarner's shrinking GB% suggests that he's letting his fastball drift up high in the zone. For now, those high pitches are helping his strikeout rate, but once he gets to AA ball, those pitches will often find their way into the outfield bleachers.
  • Angel Villalona -- At 17 years old, he's posting a slugging percentage (16 home runs, 29 doubles) higher than Miguel Cabrera at 17, and an average in the same vicinity as the 17 year old Miggy. Watching Villalona, it's obvious that he's a great hitter, but I don't think he's a great batter. By that, I mean that Villalona has exhibited a very poor pitch selection, with a 23.6%/4.2% K%/BB%, while posting an OBP of .306 on the year. I expect Villalona to hit for more power than Cabrera, but I don't think he'll match Cabrera's OPS production.
  • Michael Bowden -- The Red Sox loss is Bowden's gain. With Josh Beckett visiting Dr. James "Death" Andrews, Bowden will face the White Sox to make the first major league start of his career Saturday. I don't expect great things from him right away, but he has lots of potential and could be a very reliable starter alongside Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester in 2 or 3 years.
  • David Price -- Price continues to underwhelm me, and I really doubt the Rays will consider using him as a starter this year. Thursday night Price went 5 innings with 5 strikeouts and 3 walks. His August GB% is sitting at 55%, which is good, but he has a just 17 strikeouts in 18 innings at AAA, with 9 walks. It's becoming increasingly obvious that Price's stuff isn't very deceiving to advanced hitters, and his control isn't that great. If you compare his AAA stats to those of Tim Lincecum, Joba Chamberlain, or even Brett Cecil, you can see that for his age, Price isn't doing anything out of the ordinary.
  • Brett Cecil -- Speaking of Cecil, how about his start on August 23rd? No hits over 7 innings, with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks. Since moving up to AAA, Cecil has a GB% of 69% in 30.2 innings, with a total of 92% of hitters either striking out or hitting a ground ball (compared to the 75.7% posted by David Price).

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Mike said...

If Mad Bum plays AA for the Giants in Connecticut then the fly balls won't go into the bleachers. But once he gets to Fresno his ERA might rise. For now though, I'm excited about the SAL Triple Crown winner.

Mike said...

Mad Bum was nasty again in the playoffs. He let 3 guys get on base through 8 innings only to work on his pick off move, and promptly picked off all 3 runners. Minor League Pitcher of the Year?

Anonymous said...

I used to love this website!

James Qu said...

same here man... Adam where u've been?

James said...

Yo Adam, check out the start that Hanson had!

struck out the side first inning (all swinging). the walks sucked but I think it was the nerves.

Struck the side in 2nd inning as well.

But look at WHO he struck out. Matt Weiters, Halman, and A Jackson.

I think he's ready for the big league :)