The Z-Meter: 5/29/2008 – Chasing Headley

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.


Evan Longoria, 3B, Durham (AAA) to Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
Luke Hochevar, RHP, Omaha (AAA) to Kansas City Royals (MLB)

Max Scherzer, RHP, Tucson (AAA) to Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Jacksonville (AA) to Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
Jay Bruce, OF, Louisville (AAA) to Cincinnati Reds (MLB)

Justin Masterson, RHP, Portland (AA) to Pawtucket (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading (AA)

Travis Snider, OF, Dunedin (A-Advanced) to New Hampshire (AA)

Josh Vitters, 3B, Boise (Short A) to Peoria (A)

Oh glorious day, caloo, callay! (Sorry, I have a five-year-old, must be too much Dr. Seuss) Both Jay Bruce and Clayton Kershaw cashed in their golden tickets this week, so we’re sending up the Z-meter a couple days early in celebration. Time to find someone new to fixate on – I plan to obsess over Ian Stewart now, personally.

I’m adding a couple of statistical marvels from the minor-league ranks to take the place of our two stalwarts who have gone on to their reward. Nelson Cruz has a ridiculous .705 slugging average for Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers), and Jhoulys Chacin is mowing down batters for the Asheville Tourists (Rockies), with eight wins and just one loss (check out his ridiculous strikeout numbers below). Welcome, fellas.

UPDATE: Reader Will, a minor-league road tripper extraordinaire, has been lobbying for the inclusion of Chase Headley, and he’s right, the Beav needs to be here. Added.

Let’s see who else is hot this week:

The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, and ready for the call that will change their lives.

Chase Headley, LF – Portland Beavers (San Diego): .301 – 38R – 9HR – 27RBI – 0SB – 19BB – .524 SLG – .888 OPS

Homer Bailey, RHP – Louisville Bats (Reds): 11GS – 4W – 4L – 4.05 ERA – 29BB – 54K

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .304 – 35R – 7HR – 24RBI – 17SB – .480 SLG – .869 OPS

Carlos Gonzalez, RF – Sacramento River Cats (Athletics): .292 – 20R – 4HR – 24RBI – 1SB – .435 SLG – .778 OPS

Ian Stewart, 3B (Reserve List) – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .281 – 43R – 12HR – 43RBI – 6SB – .614 SLG – .988 OPS

Joe Koshansky, 1B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .298 – 33R – 10HR – 44RBI – 0SB – .569 SLG – .948 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .197 – 31R – 7HR – 19RBI – 6SB – .332 SLG – .629 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .338 – 42R – 14HR – 40RBI – 14SB – .688 SLG – 1.142 OPS

These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but are more likely to get promoted to the top of this meter first.

Justin Masterson, RHP – Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox): 8GS – 1W – 3L – 4.23 ERA – 16BB – 37K

Fernando Martinez, CF (injured) – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .280 – 19R – 3HR – 16RBI – 3SB – .408 SLG – .721 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 10GS – 5W – 2L – 3.59 ERA – 23BB – 51K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .247 – 34R – 7HR – 17RBI – 13SB – .416 SLG – .775 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 11GS – 5W – 3L – 3.17 ERA – 25BB – 48K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .268 – 31R – 0HR – 19RBI – 12BB – 19SB – .316 SLG – .638 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, P – Tennessee Smokies (Cubs): 11GS – 3W – 5L – 5.76 ERA – 33BB – 32K

Luke Montz, C – Harrisburg Senators (Nationals): .347 – 19R – 9HR – 37RBI – 16BB – 0SB – .636 SLG – 1.055 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .248 – 21R – 8HR – 29RBI – 0SB – .473 SLG – .830 OPS

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 6GS – 2W – 2L – 4.09 ERA – 19BB – 26K

Matt LaPorta, CF – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .285 – 39R – 13HR – 46RBI – 1SB – .575 SLG – .967 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .383 – 49R – 11HR – 44RBI – 3SB – .659 SLG – 1.102 OPS

These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Clinton LumberKings (Rangers): .329 – 36R – 14HR – 40RBI – 29BB – 1SB – .677 SLG – 1.131 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B (injured) – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .277 – 28R – 7HR – 23RBI – 0SB – .484 SLG – .867 OPS

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 11GS – 3W – 5L – 2.48 ERA – 14BB – 35K

Matt Wieters, C – Frederick Keys (Orioles): .346 – 35R – 12HR – 32RBI – 25BB – 1SB – .615 SLG – 1.051 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .254 – 21R – 7HR – 24RBI – 3SB – .429 SLG – .732 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Asheville Tourists (Rockies): 11 GS – 8W – 1L – 1.64 ERA – 21BB – 73K

Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and my own irrational sense of whimsy.

13 responses to this post.

  1. Nice to meet the new guys. Plus I’m always happy to learn a new name. Jhoulys? I like it.

    I still say Headley deserves inclusion here (but I promise I’ll let it go after this). He started out dismally at Portland, but now he’s up to .302/9/26 and the OPS will be above .900 any day. And San Diego su-uh-uh-ucks. They’ll be bringing him up soon.


  2. You’re right about Headley, of course. I guess I’m guilty of assuming that he won’t be around long, so why add him?


  3. I think it’s fairly clear that Ian Gac is my new man-crush, but Travis Snider is probably going to get a lot more attention from me in the next few months.

    Comments like that make me wonder what the hell kind of site we’re running here.


  4. There’s a very good article in the Post-Dispatch about Rasmus and his current struggles, if you’re interested. Here’s the link


  5. Great article, Bruce. Thanks for passing it along. I wrote about it today.


  6. Re: Headley, according to this article it could be a while before we get to see him in a Padres uni. They’re worried about his arbitration clock, and Kevin Towers is poor-mouthing.


  7. I’m sold, Will. He’s in there.


  8. Caloo, callay!

    Masterson is on Pawtucket now, after his spot start (and 1st major-league win) for Boston.


  9. Oh, shoot. You already wrote about Masterson. I’ll go stand in the corner.


  10. No shame here. The boy is yo-yoing so much, I can’t keep track. I had him in the wrong place twice before I figured it out.


  11. By the way, it’s nice to see that the Rocks are trying Ian Stewart at second base. Three games now without an error (and he’s started hitting too). I’m guessing he’ll be a little rough on the pivot, but it’s cool that he might have a job.

    And seriously, his nickname should be Boogie, if it isn’t already — after the Led Zeppelin song “Boogie with Stu” (a jam with legendary boogie-woogie piano player Ian Stuart, a frequent Stone). Seriously. I mean it.


  12. […] ERA and 160 strikeouts in 177.2 innings for Modesto and Asheville.  His performance earned him a coveted spot on the Z-Meter last May, and he hasn’t left since.  Well, until now, but this is like graduation day, […]


  13. […] ERA and 160 strikeouts in 177.2 innings for Modesto and Asheville.  His performance earned him a coveted spot on the Z-Meter last May, and he hasn’t left since.  Well, until now, but this is like graduation day, […]


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