Archive for August 23rd, 2009

The Z-Meter 8/23/2009 – Long Time, No See Edition

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)
Mat Gamel: Nashville Sounds (AAA) to Milwaukee Brewers (MLB)
Fernando Martinez: Buffalo Bisons (AAA) to New York Mets (MLB)
Matt Wieters: Norfolk Tides (AAA) to Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
Antonio Bastardo: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA) to Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
Andrew McCutchen: Indianapolis Indians (AAA) to Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
 
Jhoulys Chacin: Tulsa Drillers (AA) to Colorado Rockies (MLB)
Alcides Escobar: Nashville Sounds (AAA) to Houston Astros (MLB)
 
Antonio Bastardo: Reading Phillies (AA) to Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)
Justin Smoak: Frisco Rough Riders (AA) to Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA)

Madison Bumgarner: San Jose Giants (A) to Connecticut Defenders (AA)
Yonder Alonso: Sarasota Reds (A) to Carolina Mudcats (AA)
Pedro Alvarez: Lynchburg Hillcats (A) to Altoona Curve (AA)

Mauricio Robles: West Michigan Whitecaps (A) to Lakeland Flying Tigers (A+)
Josh Vitters: Peoria Chiefs (A) to Daytona Cubs (A+)

From the “What took you so long?” files, Alcides Escobar has finally been called up to the Brewers. He’s hitting .318 in the seven games he’s played so far, and has a stolen base and four runs.

Carlos Carrasco is in the black, literally and figuratively. After a horrible start at Lehigh, he was traded to the Columbus Clippers, and that has made all the difference, it seems. He has won all four of his starts, posted a 3.45 ERA (vs. the 5.18 he had when he left the Phillies Pharm), and continued to strike people out. Good on ya, Carlos!

 Mauricio Robles posted an ERA of 135.0 in his second game with the High Desert Mavericks, in just 1/3 of an inning. He’s really settled down since, allowing just one earned run in the past 19 innings, and none at all in his last two wins. Nice recovery, Mau.

The new guy is double-A slugger Deik Scram. I picked him because of his great name and stats, but then I started wondering where one gets such a great name. I peeked at the “Hometown” line on his MiLB player page, and saw that he’s from Arkansas City, KS. Hey! That’s ten miles from where my mom lives! And if you think th ename Deik Scram is funny, you’ll love this little fact: residents of the area pronounce it Ar-Kansas City. Yep.


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

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 25 Games – 10 W – 7 L – 3.34 ERA – 59 BB – 129 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .265 – 76 R – 17 HR – 54 RBI – 90 BB – 0 SB – .457 SLG – .867 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Columbus Clippers (Indians): 24 Starts – 10 W – 9 L – 4.83 ERA – 43 BB – 139 K

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .304 – 61 R – 4 HR – 55 RBI – 40 BB – 22 SB – .416 SLG – .781 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Oklahoma City RedHawks (Rangers): .239 AVG – 20 R – 3 HR – 21 RBI – 28 BB – 0 SB – .356 SLG – .710 OPS

Travis Wood, RHP – Louisville Bats (Reds): 5 Games – 3 W – 1 L – 2.93 ERA – 14 BB – 16 K


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

 

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .239 AVG – 45 R – 8 HR – 49 RBI – 54 BB – 1 SB – .357 SLG – .690 OPS

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .286 AVG – 79 R – 20 HR – 86 RBI – 79 BB – 1 SB – .525 SLG – .934 OPS

 
Andrew Locke, OF – Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros): .335 AVG – 77 R – 19 HR – 103 RBI – 43 BB – 2 SB – .525 SLG – .909 OPS
 
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 17 Games – 8 W – 1 L – 2.05 ERA – 28 BB – 66 K
 Jeanmar Gomez, RHP – Akron Aeros (Indians): 19 Starts – 10 W – 3 L – 3.06 ERA – 34 BB – 97 K
  
Kyle Drabek, RHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 14 Games – 8 W – 2 L – 3.39 ERA – 29 BB – 69 K
 
Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Altoona Curve (Pirates): .333 AVG – 34 R – 10 HR – 32 RBI – 24 BB – 1 SB – .571 SLG – .976 OPS
 
Eddy Martinez-Esteve, OF – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): .301 AVG – 53 R – 7 HR – 60 RBI – 44 BB – 1 SB – .432 SLG – .804 OPS
 
Deik Scram, OF – Erie SeaWolves (Tigers): .259 AVG – 68 R – 18 HR – 66 RBI – 56 BB – 9 SB – .495 SLG – .844 OPS
 

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): .241 AVG – 49 R – 18 HR – 46 RBI – 28 BB – 1 SB – .453 SLG – .751 OPS

Yonder Alonso, 1B – Sarasota Reds (Reds): .303 AVG – 21 R – 7 HR – 38 RBI – 24 BB – 0 SB – .497 SLG – .880 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .253 AVG – 61 R – 14 HR – 77 RBI – 27 BB – 8 SB – .418 SLG – .714 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .263 AVG – 69 R – 7 HR – 53 RBI – 60 BB – 23 SB – .370 SLG – .724 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Daytona Cubs (Cubs): .237 AVG – 14 R – 2 HR – 15 RBI – 3 BB – 1 SB – .345 SLG – .604 OPS

Collin Cowgill, OF (injured) – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .277 AVG – 39 R – 6 HR – 36 RBI – 29 BB – 11 SB – .445 SLG – .819 OPS

Mauricio Robles, P – High Desert Mavericks (Mariners): 4 Games – 1 W – 1 L – 4.05 ERA – 12 BB – 13 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .281 AVG – 53 R – 5 HR – 61 RBI – 32 BB – 10 SB – .408 SLG – .743 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 18 Games – 8 W – 5 L – 1 SV – 3.06 ERA – 21 BB – 85 K

Brad Brach, RHP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres): 56 Games – 1.36 ERA – 3 W – 3 L – 31 SV – 11 BB – 78 K

Jamie McOwen, RF – High Desert Mavericks (Mariners): .336 AVG – 70 R – 7 HR – 74 RBI – 37 BB – 11 SB – .475 SLG – .867 OPS


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

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 14 Starts – 13 W – 1 L – 1.32 ERA – 19 BB – 195 K

Strasburg was the #1 pick in the college draft this season, and has signed with the Washington Nationals.


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

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The No-Hitters Keep Coming

August has been a good month for minor league no-hitters – there have been approximately 412 so far (that might be a slight exaggeration), with three more added to the list on Saturday.

In the Arizona League, three Athletics pitchers combined to hold the Angels hitless – payback, perhaps, for August 14, when the Angels did the same to the A’s.  There was only one problem: the Angels won both games.

Hector Garcia started and went five innings, striking out five and walking two.  One of those walks came in the fifth, to the leadoff batter, who advanced to second on a passed ball, to third on a groundout, and to home on another groundout.

After Christopher Mederos pitched two perfect innings, Daniel Tenholder got the call.  He pitched a perfect eighth, but in the ninth, two consecutive errors and an intentional walk loaded the bases with nobody out.  The end was anticlimactic: a walk-off walk to Randal Grichuk.  So I guess, technically, it was an eight inning no-hitter.

The outcome of the Northwest League game between Salem-Keizer and Everett was a bit more traditional.  Three Volcanoes pitchers combined for the no-hitter, but these guys managed to win the game, 8-0.  Craig Westcott went the first five, striking out six and walking two to run his overall record to 6-0 between two levels (he also has 51 strikeouts in 33.1 innings), before turning things over to Brandon Graves and Wilber Bucardo for the last twelve outs.

The finest performance of the day was turned in by Erie’s Thad Weber.  Weber went the full nine innings against Akron, striking out ten without walking a batter.  Only a third inning error and an eighth inning hit batsman stood in the way of a perfect game.  His teammates made it easy for him, scoring seven runs in the fourth en route to a 16-0 drubbing of the visiting Aeros.

Timber Rattlers Closing In On Attendance Record

Heading into today’s game against Cedar Rapids, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are close to breaking an attendance record that has stood since 1996:

On Saturday night, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers attendance was 5,256 to give them a cumulative attendance of 233,393.

The current single season attendance record for the Appleton baseball franchise of 233,797 was set in 1996, the second year of Fox Cities Stadium. That record will be surpassed on Sunday.

The team is giving quite a package to the 405th person through the gates today, including a Timber Rattlers jersey, a bat autographed by the Timber Rattlers, tickets to a 2009 Milwaukee Brewers game, on-field recognition and a first pitch before Sunday’s game, a $200 Timber Rattlers Gift Card, and a VIP suite for a Timber Rattlers game in 2010 with a $200 credit for food.

Your Random Rasmus Brothers Update

Because I wait excitedly for the Rasmus Brothers to perform on the same day, I assume that you do too. Here are the results from yesterday:

Colby: 1-4, HR, BB
Cory: 2.2 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 3 SO

Colby’s hit wasn’t a walk-off this time, but he “wins” this round because Cory had a bad day. The fourteen inning no-hit streak? Gone in the first inning. Both brothers’ teams eventually won, however – the Cardinals topped the Padres, 7-0, and Danville came from behind to beat Greeneville, 5-4, in ten innings.

The Mexican League Finals Are Underway

The finals of the Mexican League playoffs got underway last night, with the Saraperos de Saltillo topping the Tigres de Quintana Roo, 7-6. El Tigres led 6-2 after four and a half before el Saraperos scored five in the bottom half. The big hit came off the bat of Jesus Cota, who hit a two-out, three-run homer to put the home team in the lead.

El Saraperos have not won the league championship since 1980, finishing as runners-up three times since. El Tigres are vying for “Team of the Decade” status, with three titles and two second-place finishes to their credit.

The best-of-seven will run through at least Wednesday and possibly as long as next Sunday. The schedule is below.

Game Two: Sunday, August 23
Game Three: Tuesday, August 25
Game Four: Wednesday, August 26
Game Five (if necessary): Thursday, August 27
Game Six (if necessary): Friday, August 28
Game Seven (if necessary): Sunday, August 30