The Z-Meter: 5/10/2009

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.

Promoted:

Jordan Zimmermann: Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) to Washington Nationals (MLB)
Matt LaPorta: Columbus Clippers (AAA) to Cleveland Indians (MLB)
Daniel Bard: Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) to Boston Red Sox (MLB)

Madison Bumgarner: San Jose Giants (A) to Connecticut Defenders (AA)

Daniel Bard is humming the theme song to The Jeffersons today “Well I’m movin’ on uup! To the east side! To a dee-lux apartment! In the sky-hi-hi!” His line on this here meter had been astounding, and the 29 Ks in 16 innings was probably the stat that sealed the deal. Bard will set up for Papelbon, and the Sox will kick more ass.

To replace him, I grabbed a guy who has a bright future. Tim Beckham is a shortstop with the Rays organization, which has been absolutely stellar at finding the right players in the draft, and developing them quickly. Well, except for Elijah Dukes. We’ll let that one slide.

Good news arrived for the stellar Madison Bumgarner as well. His 3-1 start, 1.48 ERA, and 23 Ks with the San Jose Giants earned him a cross-country trip to the double-A Connecticut Defenders. This especially interests me, since the Defenders have been purchased by a Richmond-based group who are looking to move the team into my backyard. The only remaining hurdle is MiLB’s insistence that Richmond build a new ballpark instead of re-using the recently vacated Richmond Braves facility. The old concrete whale has been deemed “unsuitable” for long-term operations by the league office. Still, I’d go there next season for sure if all the cards fall into place, just to see Bumgarner pitch.

For a strange stat line, check out Josh Vitters. In 103 at-bats, he’s drawn TWO walks. Two!?! I’d bark about his plate discipline if it weren’t for the fact that he’s hitting .311 and has an OPS over .800, but that is still an astonishing figure to me. Che-Hsuan Lin is stinking it up over in Salem, which bums me out because I wanted to see the guy who was the MVP of the Futures game last year. All is not lost, however. Fellow Sox prospect Ryan Kalish is looking pretty good hitting in the same park.


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

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .257 AVG – 25 R – 1 HR – 9 RBI – 12 BB – 5 SB – .451 SLG – .779 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays):  6 Games – 3W – 1L – 3.49 ERA – 17 BB – 21 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .227 – 19 R – 3 HR – 13 RBI – 29 BB – 0 SB – .401 SLG – .817 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .343 AVG – 23 R – 8 HR – 31 RBI – 18 BB – 0 SB – .685 SLG – 1.113 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .262 – 19 R – 2 HR – 8 RBI – 6 BB – 14 SB – .349 SLG – .650 OPS

Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 6 Starts – 0 W – 3 L – 5.46 ERA – 4 BB – 34 K

Ramiro Pena, SS – Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees: .279 – 4 R – 0 HR – 4 RBI – 4 BB – 1 SB – .302 SLG – .643 OPS

Matt Wieters, C – Norfolk Tides (Orioles): .301 AVG – 14 R – 1 HR – 12 RBI – 15 BB – 0 SB – .422 SLG – .826 OPS

Fernando Martinez, CF – Buffalo Bisons (Mets): .278 AVG – 12 R – 3 HR – 17 RBI – 7 BB – 0 SB – .509 SLG – .834 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .360 – 17 R – 0 HR – 13 RBI – 11 BB – 7 SB – .440 SLG – .870 OPS


These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but may get promoted to AAA first.

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 7 Games – 3 Starts – 2 W – 1 L – 2 SV – 2.20 ERA – 4 BB – 22 K

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .236 AVG – 13 R – 2 HR – 15 RBI – 9 BB – 0 SB – .368 SLG – .661 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 6 Starts – 2 W – 3 L – 3.94 ERA – 11 BB – 24 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .267 AVG – 20 R – 6 HR – 22 RBI – 20 BB – 0 SB – .535 SLG – .939 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .349 AVG – 18 R – 5 HR – 20 RBI – 22 BB – 0 SB – .547 SLG – 1.013 OPS
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): Stats reset following promotion.

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

Ian Gac, 1B – Bakersfield Blaze (Rangers): .213 AVG – 6 R – 1 HR – 12 RBI – 7 BB – 0 SB – .313 SLG – .582 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .278 AVG – 21 R – 4 HR – 21 RBI – 7 BB – 1 SB – .454 SLG – .773 OPS

Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Lynchburg Hillcats (Pirates): .214 AVG – 16 R – 6 HR – 25 RBI – 19 BB – 0 SB – .417 SLG – .745 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .153 AVG – 12 R – 0 HR – 5 RBI – 11 BB – 3 SB – .188 SLG – .448 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): .311 AVG – 14 R – 3 HR – 12 RBI – 2 BB – 1 SB – .456 SLG – .802 OPS

Shooter Hunt, RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): 6 Games – 0 W – 1 L – 10.34 ERA – 30 BB – 15 K

Collin Cowgill, OF – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .296 AVG – 25 R – 5 HR – 25 RBI – 13 BB – 4 SB – .522 SLG – .898 OPS

Mauricio Robles, P – West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers): 6 Starts – 2 W – 1 L – 2.56 ERA – 13 BB – 47 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .307 AVG – 12 R – 2 HR – 22 RBI – 4 BB – 0 SB – .446 SLG – .776 OPS


NCAA: Only used if a prospect in college shows really, truly, immensely, hugely inescapable potential.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 11 Starts – 11W – 0L – 1.24 ERA – 17 BB – 164 K

Visit SDSU’s Strasburg Central for more.


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

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