Archive for June 19th, 2008


It’s official: Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker are dead to me.

Hardcore fans of Bus Leagues will recall that up until a few weeks ago, I planned to make a pilgrimmage to the Holy Land of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to see the Louisville Bats take on the Pawtucket Red Sox.  Louisville was, at the time, home to a pair of guys I wanted to see up close and person: outfielder Jay Bruce, the official man-crush of this blog, and Homer Bailey, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. 

As the story goes, Bruce was called up two weeks before said trip, Bailey about a week later.  Just like that, there was no reason to go to Pawtucket (aside from the chance to see Clay Buchholz or Daisuke Matsuzaka in action).

I can accept that they were called up to The Show.  That’s the reality of minor league baseball, and it’s a good one.  It’s hard to be upset when a young man’s dreams come true.  But when one of those young men is returned to the minors just two weeks later, soon after the Bats left town, that makes me mad (even if his 0-3 record and 8.76 ERA necessitated such a move).  You hear that, Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker?  I’m mad, and it’s your fault.  Grrrrr!

And to make matters worse, you know what the corresponding move was?  Outfielder Norris Hopper was activated from the disabled list.  Good for Norris, he’s probably anxious to get back on the field and play ball.  But you know what this means, don’t you?  (Attention: you are now entering the land of wild conjecture and illogical opinions.  Do not, repeat, DO NOT, take any of this seriously.  Unless I turn out to be right, in which case you are free to regard me as a God).  This means that Reds management is paving the way to rid itself of our hero, the incomparable Mr. Bruce.

The timing has never been better: after a mind numbingly amazing start, Bruce is currently mired in a dreadful 1-for-18 slump, which proves that he doesn’t yet belong at the major league level.  (Damn rookies.)  Clearly, Hopper’s reactivation is a signal that The Deal will soon rejoin Bailey in Louisville, or worse, relegated to fourth outfielder status.  (Yes, I know Norris Hopper has only appeared in 15 games this season, none since mid-April.)  I’m onto you, Baker.  I’m onto you. 

Be strong, Jay.


The Z-meter 6/19/2008

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)
Homer Bailey, RHP, Louisville (AAA) to Cincinnati Reds (MLB)
Ian Stewart, 3B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Colorado Rockies (MLB)
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Sacramento (AAA) to Oakland (MLB)
Chase Headley, 3B, Portland (AAA) to San Diego (MLB)

Justin Masterson, RHP, Portland (AA) to Boston (MLB)

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)

Chase Headley was so good he just had to go on up to San Diego, where he started 0 for 4, but will no doubt do his duty before it’s all over. In his place is Eulogio De La Cruz, a 24-year-old hurler for the wonderfully-named Albuquerque Isotopes.

Most of our pitchers are in the midsummer doldrums, pitching decently, but without figuring in wins or losses for the most part. Elvis Andrus has been an offensive disappointment for most of the season, but I do feel his speed is worthy of note – he has stolen 24 bases so far this season. Future Pirate Andrew McCutchen is another speed merchant who scores more runs than he drives in. Austin Jackson has proven to be a brilliant addition to this list, as he went on an insane tear, hitting four home runs in as many games.

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.

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .286 – 43R – 8HR – 28RBI – 20SB – 31BB – .436 SLG – .804 OPS

Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP – Albuquerque Isotopes (Marlins): 13GS – 8W – 3L – 3.72 ERA – 25BB – 60K

Joe Koshansky, 1B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .296 – 43R – 15HR – 30BB – 66RBI – 0SB – .601 SLG – .976 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .247 – 44R – 10HR – 33RBI – 9SB – 40 BB –  .402 SLG – .743 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .348 – 60R – 21HR – 57RBI – 15SB – 41BB – .704 SLG – 1.156 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.

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals): .277 – 30R – 15HR – 44RBI – 42BB – 1SB – .548 SLG – .965 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .283 – 40R – 7HR – 45RBI – 33BB – 10SB  – .449 SLG – .809 OPS

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

Jacob McGee, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 14GS – 6W – 3L – 3.81 ERA – 34BB – 65K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .257 – 47R – 12HR – 31RBI – 37BB – 13SB – .478 SLG – .833 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 14GS – 6W – 4L – 3.47 ERA – 29BB – 58K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .269 – 36R – 1HR – 25RBI – 15BB – 24SB – .324 SLG – .652 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, P – Tennessee Smokies (Cubs): 15GS – 3W – 5L – 5.09 ERA – 39BB – 42K

Luke Montz, C – Harrisburg Senators (Nationals): .298 – 27R – 13HR – 48RBI – 24BB – 0SB – .573 SLG – .950 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .281 – 34R – 10HR – 40RBI – 26BB – 0SB – .484 SLG – .855 OPS

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 9GS – 2W – 3L – 3.11 ERA – 29BB – 39K

Matt LaPorta, CF – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .295 – 50R – 19HR – 58RBI – 38BB – 1SB – .610 SLG – 1.021 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .372 – 61R – 14HR – 62RBI – 32BB – 5SB – .635 SLG – 1.070 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): .306 – 46R – 17HR – 52RBI – 33BB – 1SB – .594 SLG – 1.002 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .314 – 38R – 8HR – 36RBI – 34BB – 0SB – .502 SLG – .906 OPS

David Price, LHP – Vero Beach Devil Rays (Rays): 5GS – 3W – 0L – 1.27 ERA – 5BB – 30K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 13GS – 3W – 6L – 2.94 ERA – 19BB – 41K

Matt Wieters, C – Frederick Keys (Orioles): .348 – 46R – 14HR – 38RBI – 41BB – 1SB – .581 SLG – 1.032 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .228 – 31R – 9HR – 31RBI – 17BB – 4SB – .386 SLG – .671 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Asheville Tourists (Rockies): 14 GS – 10W – 1L – 2.10 ERA – 26BB – 84K

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