Mike Minor

Nobody really knows anything. Minor, when drafted seventh overall in last year’s draft, was considered a signability pick, a low-ceiling, polished lefthander who might be in the majors quickly but was nothing more than a back of the rotation starter. Well, they were right about him getting to the majors quickly.

Minor actually signed for above-slot money and was assigned to Rome, where he allowed one run in fourteen innings at the end of last season. A first-round pick out of college probably should do that to the Sally League. At any rate, Minor made some adjustments, with the presumed help of Braves coaches, and added a lot of velocity. After a bit of a speedbump in Mississippi, he pretty soon had the Southern League figured out, and was moved to Gwinnett. In six AAA starts, he went 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA, striking out 37 in 33 1/3 while allowing just 19 hits.

Minor’s career minor league strikeout rate is 10.9/9. That was unexpected, to say the least. There was a little loss of control when he made the adjustments, but worth it… Hitless in 20 career minor league PA, and from what I can tell didn’t even come to the plate in college.

Mike Minor Minor League Statistics & History – Baseball-Reference.com.

307 thoughts on “Mike Minor”

  1. I’d take the second coming of Kent Mercker at this point, with a progression to the second coming of Steve Avery.

  2. To Marc from previous thread-

    That was a much, much better way for us to talk on the Andruw issue. That nice approach always works. I promise.

    I might say that Andruw’s last 2 years were bad all the way around, but certainly, the last year was dreadful on all fronts. Like I said, when even Mac is pointing out his defensive slippage, there’s a problem.

    I’m at a standstill with Stu on Ankiel’s defense. Again, Ankiel at his best is nowehere close to Andruw’s defensive best – again, when Andruw was in his prime, it’s arguably the best defense in center field of all time. (yes, maybe even above Mays).

    But, and maybe this is a better way to compare, Ankiel LOOKS like Andruw compared to what I’ve seen from Melky and McLouth.

  3. Keith Law, for what it’s worth:

    “Throwing harder – a good 2-3 mph harder – with the accompanying drop in command. The questions are: Can he improve his command without giving up the newfound velo? And can he maintain the velo for a full season? If the answers to both are ‘yes,’ his ceiling would jump to that of a [number two] starter.”

  4. re: Edmonds. The lefty thing matters, true, but he’d instantly be our best defensive outfielder and among our two best hitting outfielders. He’s having a great year. I’d love to put Edmonds in center, and I’m surprised, if the Braves had any interest, that they wasted their time on Ankiel at all.

  5. Melky lugging that chunky body around center field actually has caused damage to my retinas. I can’t stomach watching him chase a ball down…I am out of breath just sitting on my couch.

    Re: Mike Minor

    His numbers in Gwinnett are outstanding. If McDowell ever leaves, we need to promote whomever the pitching coach in Gwinnett is.

    I’m excited to see Minor pitch tonight, even if it’s just the Astros. Frankly, just the fact that he’s a lefthander adds a little more balance to the rotation. But unless he’s unhittable the rest of the way, we’ll still be all righties come post season rotation.

  6. CourtneyC,

    I hope that’s sarcasm, but if not:

    Mike Minor went to Vanderbilt.
    Mike Minor has not broken both of his wrists trying to jump into a pool from the top of a roof.
    Mike Minor went to Vanderbilt.
    Mike Minor has not been bitten by a Copperhead snake and refused to seek medical treatment.
    Mike Minor went to Vanderbilt.
    Mike Minor, in his short career in pro-ball, has shown the ability to make adjustments to his pitching in order to be more effective.
    Mike Minor went to Vanderbilt.
    Mike Minor can throw more than two pitches.
    Mike Minor went to Vanderbilt.
    Mike Minor is not missing two lobes from his brain.

    Am I missing anything?

  7. Tonight’s lineup for Mike Minor’s Major League debut: Infante 4 Heyward 9 Chipper 5 McCann 2 Hinske 7 Glaus 3 Ankiel 8 Gonzalez 6 Minor 1

    Edit: Shocking that Wakamatsu got fired. I think I’d take him before all of the candidates listed the other day by Mac.

  8. from previous thread: thanks to all for the waiver explanation.

    On not trying to get Jim Edmonds:
    Well, we had/have a CF named Nate McLouth. In the pre season there was no reason to pursue a CF. I may be the only one but I’m pulling for McLouth to make a comeback. If he is his good self he is > Rick Ankiel.

  9. If Minor turns in an Aug/Sept performance reminiscent of very-early-era Chuck James and/or Damian Moss, I’ll take it.

  10. Watching Melky in the OF at the game yesterday was painful… and nobody in our OF looked like they were going to get to ANY of the balls in the first few innings… I was genuinely surprised when somebody got to the ball.

  11. Last time I saw Minor he was 89-93 w/ good tail, plus change, fringe-average curve. I’ve never seen him throw the slider but that’s supposedly the better of his two breaking balls. He should be a good one if he can stay healthy.

  12. 11- Mac, you’re such a pessimist. Everyone knows that 114 strikeouts in 233 at-bats is a sure sign of future greatness. If everything goes right, he could be the next Mike Hessman! Wasn’t that worth a first-round pick?

  13. Ankiel hasn’t looked good in the outfield at all. He’s taken some horrible routes to a few balls. It’s a small sample size and I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I wouldn’t say he’s a defensive upgrade over anybody (except for Melky, who should be in a bowling league eating chicken wings.)

  14. Cody Johnson could be out of the system in a year.

    With the pitching depth the Braves have developed of late, it’s time they start paying for hitting–after Freeman it looks pretty bare until you get to the low minors. The Braves will have holes at 3B, SS, CF, and LF at least, so hopefully they can figure out how to fill some or all of them better than they have these past couple years (especially in the OF).

  15. Cody Johnson is absolutely horrific. He had a stint in the GCL earlier this year in which he amassed eight strikeouts in six games!

    Until his demotion from Mississippi, he was averaging 2.03 AB/SO. That includes a 4.56 SO/BB ratio and 34 more strikeouts than total bases!

    Those numbers have to be historic.

  16. Well, he’s been hurt all year and he’s only 21. Let’s see what he does next year before we totally write him off, but right now it doesn’t look good.

  17. we’re scoring double digits tonight against bud norris. he strikes out quite a few, but gives up quite a bit of walks and hits.

  18. @31, Sounds like you have a good wife. My lady tries to like baseball too, though I have a feeling she’d rather be watching something else.

  19. 23,
    I have a few friends that are scouts, learned a lot from them and from talking to scouts in Rome and at Spring Training over the past several years. Then I took a 12-hour class on scouting last summer. It was very basic and I didn’t really learn much I didn’t already know, but it was fun nonetheless.

  20. My wife tries too. Bless her heart she still remembers Zane Smith. Invariably she’ll ask ‘Is that really ugly guy still pitching for the Braves?’ Sigh.

  21. My mom still looks for Javy Lopez, Furcal, Maddux, etc., on the chance occasion that she watches the Braves these days.

  22. Speaking of Chuck James, he’s been pretty dominant for the Nationals’ upper minors teams. Surprised they haven’t called him up to at least be a reliever — it’s not like they have San Diego’s pitching staff. Is he hurt?

  23. Non-baseball related thought before the game starts:

    I’m watching this “Ultimate Warrior” on Spike and they’re trying to decide who would win between a Spartan and a Ninja. Watching it makes me feel good about how much of a nerd I am (I DVR’d a documentary about Samurai last night.. I’m a pretty big nerd), because these guys are ridiculous. There’s like 5 grown men spending an hour going “Nuh-uh my guy beats up your guy because he has this super awesome armor!”

  24. Why do I get the feeling that no one has out-kicked their coverage more than our favorite Vandy lawyer?

    Just finished the late, great Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear”. Recommend it highly.

  25. Ron Gant thinks the reason our last road trip sucked was because of pitching. Do he and Jordan actually watch the games?

  26. The Hooters waitress marked the beginning of the end of my mom’s Braves fandom. As the other old names drifted away and it gradually became Chipper’s team, she had less and less to do with them.

  27. Just saw the Lisp warming up in bullpen
    Also Chip is getting a massage from some heavy-set woman in her late 40’s while he fiddles on his iPad

  28. And according to Chip, the fact that a pitcher named “Minor” is starting a game on Heyward’s 21st birthday qualifies as irony.

    And happy birthday to Bad Henry County!

  29. Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn headline my personal ‘guys I always sort of thought were the same guy but are actually two different guys’ team. Also, Dodger relievers Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso.

    I didn’t recognize half the names on that Astro lineup card.

  30. 32- Ryan, I think you’re being a bit too optimistic. This is the same cough-boiling offense that has struggled for the last month.

  31. The one flaw in McCann’s game is his throw to second. But, he does have a good slider.

  32. Ah, the old ‘turn the wrong way jump catch’ move by Ankiel. Works every time.

    Joe is becoming quite the grumpy old man.

  33. Not exactly a dominant first inning, but, hey, no runs!

    (Mikie, get the ball down in the second, please.)

  34. I just figured out who Rick Ankiel looks like. I shall henceforth refer to him as Rick Diamond Ankiel.

  35. Don said that if they would just “leave ed Wade alone” he could fix this team. The mind boggles.

  36. Minor probably would have been safe if he didn’t have to slow down to avoid crashing into the first baseman.

  37. Minor apparently is unaware of the rules of baseball. Upon getting thrown out he asked first base coach “Does the run count?”

  38. Shawn,

    He was orgasming over Minor’s first hit, until Minor got thrown out at first. Anyone watching the play could see what was going to happen. It wasn’t even that close at first.

  39. @83 Yea, as soon as I saw where the outfielder was playing I knew he was going to first. But it helps if you actually understand baseball, which I’m not sure Chip does.

  40. rewound it… the actual call was:

    “and Minor with a hit to right. That’s gonna plate a run I think. No they got him at first”

  41. I’m glad I don’t have to listen to him as much as you guys- he’s much more entertaining when you tell me what he says than actually hearing him.

  42. “minor’s getting all of his firsts out tonight…” – chip

    its the 2nd inning of his ML debut….ya think chip?

  43. What percentage of hit-by-pitch’es are called strikes for not trying to avoid the ball, 0.01%? I’ve seen one this season (Brandon Phillips) and that’s more than I can remember from any other year really.

  44. Watching that home run I thought two things:

    (1) That’s awesome! Happy Birthday!

    (2) Thank goodness my mute button is on.

  45. Not to pick on Chip but the baby at the end was totally awkward.

    He just can’t do anything right.

  46. I have slight delay on my PS3 broadcast so …..

    YEAH!!! there’s the power stroke!!!

  47. 92 — AAG swung and missed at a ball that hit him in the foot the other day. Though that’s not really a “called” strike.

  48. 105, yeah, those they are calling pretty consistently. It’s more the ones where you somehow can’t manage to avoid getting “hit” by a slow curveball I mean.

  49. Chip on Bourn: “He hit a line drive his first time up between Chipper and Alex”

    How could the apple fall so far from the tree?

  50. @106 – LOL.

    Someone has already pointed it out but Chipper since all star break is like 90% of the Chipper we know and love. Maybe some baseball in the old guy after all. But his home/road splits are positively KJ like.

    According to game day Mike is pounding the zone.

  51. Lilliquist and Mercker are good thoughts, both top 10 1st round picks and lefties. I’m surprised they’ve come up with as many good guesses as they have.

    The answer is easy, don’t want to overthink it.

  52. 117 — Sometimes I wonder if Joe has Alzheimer’s. He forgets answers to simple Braves’ trivia questions he was there for.

  53. Somewhere some scout is watching the game and smirking a bit at all the people denouncing the Minor pick as a reach back at the draft.

  54. Did Chip just call that routine fielder’s choice Ankiel hit into the key play of the game?

  55. @125 Like I said, I’ve got the game on mute. But didn’t he do that a couple days ago as well?

  56. Ankiel didn’t even advance the runner on that play. Are they suggesting that it’s the key play because he didn’t ground into a double play? Really?

  57. Serious question: If you could choose to have the Braves miss the playoffs this year, but Chip would be fired and never work for Atlanta again, would you take that deal?

    I would.

  58. 128,
    the bad Astros actually has the 8th highest team OPS in the majors over the last month. I’m not saying he’s going to be an all-star, but he is showing (and has been in the minors) some stuff not many thought he had.

  59. @125 Like I said, I’ve got the game on mute. But didn’t he do that a couple days ago as well?

    Yeah, but that at least got the runner to third – a productive out if you will. Everybody gets over excited about those (the next guy hit a home run, I’m pretty sure the runner scores either way).

    This was just a force out a second.

    Serious question: If you could choose to have the Braves miss the playoffs this year, but Chip would be fired and never work for Atlanta again, would you take that deal?

    I’d take it. The fun game to play is how much would you pay to banish him from the Braves for life. If I knew his replacement would be someone palatable, I think I could rationalize $1000.

  60. I’ve seen guys named Magnus drag semi’s faster than Glaus ran after that foul ball.

  61. 130 nope. Bobby’s last season. Possibly Chipper’s. And we haven’t been to the post season for a while.

  62. Watching Glaus run after that foul ball was painful! He’s got major arthritis going on in his knees, I know that run from experience!

  63. I remember this happening to Hanson in his first start, too- just losing his rhythm when bad things happened, and things got worse and worse. At least Minor’s kept it in the yard.

  64. There have been a couple ropes too. In the first couple innings the line drives were at fielders, now the luck has turned. He seems to have trouble putting guys away, but then again–so do most of our starting pitchers.

  65. Yeah, he scores points from me for attacking the strike zone. Whatever he calls that breaking ball needs some work though.

  66. Well, to be fair, the last two hitters’ batting averages combined are less than Infante’s. So there’s that.

    Norris can be beaten yet. Have faith.

  67. Way to go Chipper and Brian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nice to see the boys unloading on this guy.

  68. Chipper hit a rope, then McCann hit a bomb to right-center. Then Hinske took it to the warning track for a long fly-out. Then Glaus popped on to shallow CF for an easy out. It was really disappointing. Ankiel hit it kinda hard, but right at the pitcher, so it was easy for him to knock it down and toss to first.

  69. @149–a cart like those at the airport to get him back to the dugout

    Glad to see BMac get Minor off the hook. The kid’s done ok and doesn’t deserve to lose his debut on a couple of Melkys.

  70. @185-187, 191 – No doubt. I wonder how many errors he’d make if he officially sucked.

  71. More Baghdad Bobby:

    Bobby Cox tells MLB.com’s Steve Gartner that Alex Gonzalez has been excellent on defense since the Braves acquired him for Yunel Escobar last month.


  72. Uggh…the Astros have scored the greasiest 4 runs i’ve ever seen. Minor deserves better than this.

  73. While the Braves defense has been bad, Minor looks like ‘just a guy’ to me. And yes I know he’s 21-22.

  74. Gonzalez may be able to turn a smooth double-play once in a while but his glove seems to be made of lead just as often. Any time I see him drive in a run or two, he gives it right back with his “excellent” defense.

  75. @198- Robert, that’s a good way to put it. I know the guy doesn’t consistently suck but his misplays usually figure into the outcome of the game.

  76. I think Minor’s location looked great. Didn’t see much in the way of his stuff, but what do you expect from his first start?

  77. He was getting the ball up too frequently, but he pounded the zone and had velo on his fastball, along with that plus change. The breaking ball definitely wasn’t there. Still, a pretty darn good debut. I’m proud. (So is my wife.)

  78. Yeah, I can see why gets the low ceiling rap. His stuff doesn’t really blow you away. But he’s a lefty, throws pretty hard and pounds the strike zone. He should do fine.

  79. ESPN just showed players with HR on their 21st birthdays: Frank Robinson, Ted Williams, ARod, and Heyward.

  80. Pretty much all of the Astros’ offense in this game has been a combination of Houston’s aggressive baserunning and poor defense by Atlanta, plus a healthy amount of lucky breaks for Houston. This is really frustrating.

  81. This team just isn’t good enough to win while doing all the little things wrong.

  82. by default (i.e. not being awful) Ankiel is the best player we’ve gotten via trade

  83. So Freeman couldn’t possibly worse than the cement shoe wearing Troy Glaus that looks like he is in pain with every move he makes. Why are they still waiting on bringing him up?

  84. Prediction: taylor-made DP ball to second. AAG fumbles the relay, throws late, Glaus misplays it into right field, two runs score runner on second.

  85. What a bunch of punch n judy slop hits by Houston. This sucks….but I think I will still blame Glaus…and Moylan….I dislike him just about as much

  86. Well, that’s it for tonight. I swear to god if they bring back Farnsworth next season I am boycotting the Braves.

  87. @227

    Not stupid at alll. Teams that possess the capacity to slug their way out of jams are ones that can do the little things wrong and sometimes overcome them. The Yankees and Phillies come to mind. Since Glaus came back to earth, the Braves’ overall margin for error has been slim.

  88. @251

    The Bad News Bears looked much better than this when they played in Houston.

  89. “Oh come on. If the Braves doesn’t bench AAG for that they are some two faced SOBs.”


  90. Yes, at least Venters, Saito and Wagner will get the day off.

    Phillies are off tonight and will gain a half game.

  91. Well, that was a diaster. Cue Yakity Sacks.

    How is the play going to be scored. Is there room in the scorebook for all those errors.

    Tonight is “that loss”, you know, the one to a team that you are better than that torepedos the season.

    This team is awful….Third place by the end of the year.

  92. LOL! Happy Bday Jason!!! We brought you an entire circus to come and dance like complete morons!

  93. The Astros broadcast was playing the Benny Hill theme music as they cut to commercial.
    Pretty fitting actually!

  94. A wise man said it best: “If you promise to patronize our sponsors, you have permission to go walk the dog.”

  95. Heyward’s gonna become an alcoholic at the age of 21 years and 1 day thanks to this team

  96. We should hire Buttermaker to replace bobby. He taught the Bears to play defence, he can do the say with the Braves.

  97. circus and benny hill music is made funnier by picturing pudgy Hinske running to the left field corner in FF

  98. LOL! Glaus even dropped the infield warm-up ball thrown at him from the dugout!!! anyone just see that??

  99. All I want to do is take shots at AGony. But I know, in my head anyway, that this loss belongs to so many others too. Glaus, Farnsworth, Moylan, McCann, etc.

    In other news, I looked down for 20 seconds and the Astros recorded three outs. That was, um, impressive.

  100. Chip: the Astros are not a club that’s playing very good baseball. The braves are a club that is playing very bad baseball. Get it right.

  101. The thing about the Braves is they have been put together with no rhyme or reason. No power but no speed either. Good pitching but poor defense. It seems that Wren had to sort of mix and match and hope the result was good. For the most part it has but it is not working on the road.

  102. re: 279
    I can’t be the only who saw this. anyone with mlb.tv has to have seen this.


    will we see Gorkys tomorrow?

  103. Marc, the Braves had a good defense in the first half. It was massively downgraded by the July trades (Escobar to Gonzales, Cabrera/ Diaz to Ankiel/ Hinske), Prado’s innjury, and Glaus’ petrification.

  104. wow.. that guy’s still on the team? thank god for that. i was afaid we were going to have to use one of our good relievers to finish the game.

  105. @290 I agree with this completely. Of course, being the partisan that I am, I think the Escobar swap has been rather devastating, and not just in regards to the awful, soul-crushing, remarkably ill-timed errors. The Braves were also running Hinske (LF) and Melky/McLouth (CF) out there for much of the first half, so there’s no way that the outfield defense was ever that good. But largely, yeah, they have gotten worse while their flaws have gotten exposed.

  106. 294- Similarly, the Braves had a very clear offensive concept until mid-June- get on base with good plate discipline and hit lots of singles and doubles, and you won’t need too much home run power. This worked until Heyward hurt his wrist and stopped hitting HR, Chipper’s power dropped further, and Glaus flatlined.

    The July trades overcorrected for this- trading away a SS who could get on base for one with moderate power and little on-base ability, and acquiring a CF with the same offensive profile. Now, the Braves don’t get on base and still don’t have much power, leaving no way to score many runs.

  107. So Ankiel was .179/.258/.250 going into tonight, and is 0-4 tonight.

    How long until McLouth gets another shot?

  108. AAG has actually been pretty good offensively for us. He’s hitting .260/.333/.455 coming into tonight, which is better than Yunel was doing for us. Blaming that trade for the recent offensive struggles just is erroneous.

    Going forward, that point may be correct, but it hasn’t really been the case so far.

  109. @296 I think, though, that it’s overstating the case to blame the trades entirely, especially for the offensive side of the ledger. Your caveat is more the heart of the matter: Glaus (July/August) and Heyward’s (June) slumps, especially in the former’s case, have crippled the offense more than anything. So has some bad luck. There was never much production out of CF, or LF for that matter, and AAG has still hit marginally better than did Escobar during the first half. The problem is structural. The trades–on offense, anyway–merely attempted to put band-aids on gunshot wounds.

  110. 10 to 4 loss to the Astros? WTF?……Isn’t Bud Norris terrible? Melky is one best offensive players on the team right now….pains me to say it, but the braves need to find him a spot.

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