Minor league state of the stats

I am not at all competent to judge the prospects in the minors. But I can at least look at the stats and say who’s having a good year.

Baseball America: Minor League Statistics

Not many, in Richmond. The best hitter on the R-Braves so far has been minor league journeyman Michael Ryan; there’s no hope in help from that direction, and with his .409 slugging percentage he isn’t actually hitting well. The only respectable power source on the team has been Scott Thorman, if you call two homers respectable. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s 40 percent of the team total.

Carlos Duran might be able to come up and be Charles Thomas for awhile. Maybe not. He’s hitting .300/.364/.367, which gives you some idea of his problem; major league pitchers will knock the bat out of his hands. Also he’s hurt, or has been hurt.

Having the most disappointing season is James Jurries, who’s hitting .235 and slugging .314, though he’s drawing walks at a good clip. The best pitcher in Richmond has been Travis Smith, so we can pretty much rule out any help there either. Anthony Lerew has been horrific and is probably hurt. Macay McBride has thrown three innings in three appearances so far, struck out three and allowed one hit and one walk.

Baseball America: Minor League Statistics

Saltalamacchia update: So far, good but nothing spectacular (.258/.364/.485, 3 HR). As expected, he’s been the best hitter on the team. Eddie Perez has, in some sort of cruel joke, hit .360 in limited ABs and somehow convinced the Braves that he can still play baseball. Yunel Escobar has shown on-base skills but no power (.250/.348/.276).

A player I had high hopes could surge, Matt Esquivel, hasn’t played particularly well so far (.230/.278/.351); Luis Hernandez is being Luis Hernandez (.200/.250/.400), but Gregor Blanco is playing better than he has in years (.282/.407/.408) and might actually have a future if the walks (a team-high 14) are for real and not a fluke.

You’ve probably heard about Will Startup’s great early work in the pen (16 K 1 BB 0 R); I’d prefer it if he got a full minor league season in before he’s declared the future of the pen, though… Ryan Basner (not a prospect) somehow has a 6.32 ERA even though he’s struck out 20, walked 2, allowed no homers, and has a 1.09 WHIP in 15 2/3 IP.

Baseball America: Minor League Statistics

It’s so hard to hit in Myrtle Beach that I won’t judge the guys who have .330 slugging percentages harshly. Brandon Jones is doing pretty well in limited PT (I guess he’s been hurt) .314/.359/.429. Barbaro Canizares has a great name and a .381/.409/.524 line, but that’s in only six games; Pelicans Field will bring him down too.

I was hoping for some absurd pitching lines in answer, but only reliever Arthur Santos (0.75 ERA in 12 IP) stands out. Jake Stevens has been even worse than Lerew, considering the level and the park — 0-4, 11.02 ERA, 12 K 15 BB.

Baseball America: Minor League Statistics

The best hitter (.333/.459/.683) in Rome has the best name, Kala Kaaihue. He’s a little old for the level so let’s see what he does when he moves up the chain. Myrtle Beach awaits; if he can hit there he can hit anywhere. Max Ramirez has been keeping pace (.320/.417/.540); he’s a few months older than Kaaihue and also probably should move up pretty soon.

Elvis Andrus is very young for the level and has been overmatched so far (.221/.284/.279); there’s nothing to be concerned about there. Jamie Romak is hitting .176, but with on-base of .306 and slugging of .412; he might rise in a hurry.

Best freak pitching line is Michael Nix, 0.00 ERA, 17 K 1 BB in 7.1 innings. That means he’s only gotten five outs not by strikeout. Beau Jones has a nice ERA (2.13) but his K/BB of 11/7 worries me. Better Tyler Bullock’s 13/4.

32 thoughts on “Minor league state of the stats”

  1. Considering Salty experienced a Frenchy type of slow start, his current stats are actually quite respectable.

  2. I dunno what happened to Jake Stephens. He’s probably hurt. I read an interview of him last year when he expressed frustration at his poor K/9 and K/BB ratios, so he seems to be the type of kid who knows a little something about stats. He’s got to be beside himself now.

  3. Actually, the bat stories on the previous thread reminded me of a great one featuring an Atlanta Brave. Claudell Washington got hit by a pitch in one inning and took his base. Next time up, the bat slipped out of his hands, about halfway to the mound. He ran out to get it, kept right on going, and got in a couple of shots at the pitcher before the catcher couild get to the mound.

  4. Izzy Alcantara’s real first name is Israel. For some reason, that makes me sad.

  5. Too bad they don’t let you fight in baseball anymore. It’s sort of like there’s something missing.

  6. I was at the Nolan Ryan/ Ventura beat down game. My grandpa and I drove from Houston to Arlington just to see Nolan pitch. The inning before Juan Gone was hit by a pitch, so Nolan may have been throwing at Ventura (I don’t remember the count).

    After the rumble Jack McDowell was pointing at Nolan and yelling, Nolan went after him, but Bo Jackson grab Nolan and held him back. Oddly enough, Nolan wasn’t ejected from the game.

  7. LaRoche would take 3 swings and head back to the bench…
    Wryn…Already summed up Frenchy’s approach. No strikes, just balls.

  8. Frechy would would have troubles. Adam would fight right handed until round 12, then switch over to south paw. Rocky style!

  9. Here’s a headline from today’s AJC:

    Francoeur, Delta Team Up
    Struggling Hitter to Appear in Commercial for Faltering Airline

    Fill in your own punchline…

  10. LOL, Izzy is my hero. Classic side kick to take out the catcher then sprint to the mound. If only he had controlled his swing better he could have taken the pitcher out no prob.

  11. I think a mix of martial arts and baseball would be the best entertainment around. Who wants to help me start a new baseball/fightclub league?

    I’ll call it FIGHTBALL. I like that.

  12. You can’t be talking minor league stats without giving the latest report on former Brave fave Mike Hessman in his return engagement with the Toledo Mudhens.

    The Hess-monster is batting a robust .113 after this afternoon’s game against Indianapolis. Mike is now 7-for-62 with 6 (count ’em, 6) round-trippers. He has struck out 22 times in those 62 ABs, but his walk rate is a very uncharacteristic 1/6 (12 BB in 74 PA). His IsoOBP is around .160.

    Mac, revisiting the furor of a few years back, shouldn’t Hessman be playing for the “Mud-Huns?”

  13. I think 60-70 PAs in April is not enough data to make too many conclusions about major or minor league players, for the most part. An exception would be something like that Francoeur will have to get more control of the strike zone if he’s to reach his potential as a major leaguer, even if it is very early in his career. Which may mean some more time in AAA.

    I would like to permanently post Juries’ spring training and April Richmond stats on a few bulletin boards to help temper the people who called Braves management into question for keeping Jordan and sending JJ down.

    The folks who wanted to dump LaRoche for Juries are probably beyond making an impression on.

  14. I agree with Newt for the most part. In addition, what is often more important with minor league players is their trends.

    That said, I think the Jake Stevens who I think pitches today)situtation is a serious. Before the beginning of 2005 he was regarded as possibly the best of all Braves pitching prospects–only to be hit really hard in Myrtle Beach, which is about as friendly a place for pitchers that can be found.

    Therefore his bad start in 2006 merely confirms the 2005 results.

    I read on the badly missed No Pepper last year that someone who had seen Stevens claimed that he had lost velocity. The local Myrtle Beach paper ran a piece of him this spring, quoting a Pelican coach (possibly Dal Canton) as saying that Stevens has 3 quality pitches, but has concentration problems and does not handle pressure as well has he might.

    Whatever the truth of these bits of information, it really seems that Stevens is on the brink of becoming a non-prospect.

    I really hope that the Braves can get him turned around as he was nothing less than dominant in 2004.

  15. I read on the badly missed No Pepper last year that someone who had seen Stevens claimed that he had lost velocity.
    I got reemed over that one a little bit, but that info was from Dave Cameron, who I trust just about as much as anybody. Here is the original link: Jake Stevens Scouting Report

    Stevens had another poor outing (at least from expectations standards) last night, giving up four earned on eight hits in five innings. He only walked one, but didn’t log a K either.

  16. Brad, it is nice to hear from you.

    You may have felt `reemed’ by providing Cameron’s report, but it now rings sadly prophetic.

  17. From Rome last night, Eric Campbell hit his 2nd home run of the year, and Elvis got his first. Ka’aihue not only hits like a monster, but he plays first really well for a big guy. Beau Jones pitched a good game (struggled early, then settled down), and Michael Nix closed the game out with three of the unluckiest hits I’ve ever seen hit consecutively (one off Campbell’s glove, one hit the 2nd base umpire, and then a really high chopper). Nix then walked in a run, but still got the save. They announced right after the game that Nix got the call to Myrtle Beach, so he’ll be there now.
    Rome is fun to watch this year, and the players are mostly very nice. Jamie Romak takes a lot of time with fans, as does Ka’aihue and even Campbell to some degree. Elvis is swamped nightly by people, but signs everything put his way. Quentin Davis (who I’ve never heard of) is tearing up the SAL, and he does an Ozzie Smith-esque flip on his way out to right field. Jordan Schafer constantly looks like he has a mouthful of lemons and somewhere he really needs to go. Snooty is the best I can say.

    If you’re ever anywhere close, I’m telling you, you’ve got to go to Rome! I’m hoping to go Friday the 5th to Montgomery to see Will Startup and the M Braves…if he doesn’t move up before then….

  18. I did a double take today when I went to a Wichita Wranglers game. I had read about somebody named Kaaihue on this thread and realized that his brother played for Wichita. I agree, I thought he was a good player, good size and power. It’s interesting to see the similarities. Kila and Kala Kaaihue, both around 6’3″, 230 lbs and both born on 3-29 but different years. Just an interesting coincidence!

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