Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Samardzija’

Samardzija’s Stuff is Muy Picante

Cubs Carlos ZambranoThe Northwest Indiana Times reported that our old Z-Meter chum Jeff Samardzija – former Notre Dame football star and a short-term Bus Leaguer before his callup to the Cubs last year – has shored up his standing with the team by appearing in the Mexican Fall League.

Samardzija was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts with a club known as Mexicali (which makes me think of that corn with the peppers and pimentos in it), which was apparently enough to earn him a long look as a contender for the Cubs’ rotation in 2010.

“He threw well,” [Cubs GM Jim] Hendry said of Samardzija at the GM meetings Tuesday. “His command of his fastball was better. His secondary pitches were better. His command in the strike zone was better — not just throwing strikes, but location in the zone was much better. The slider got better. The (split-fingered fastball) obviously, he got back on track with a little better strike zone command of that, too.”

[Samardzija impresses Cubs’ brass with play in Mexico]

This is all very interesting news, but this article never told me what I really wanted to know. Considering how much difficulty American announcers have had with Shark’s family name, it would make my day to hear the Spanish interpretation. I’m guessing something in the neighborhood of “Samaryee-yah!!!!”

Odds are, he won’t be back in Mexico any time soon, so we’ll just have to guess.

The Z-Meter: 7/30/2008

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.

Promoted:

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)
Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, Albuquerque (AAA) to Marlins (MLB)
Joe Koshansky, 1B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Rockies (MLB)
Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Iowa (AAA) to Chicago Cubs (MLB)

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

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Tennessee (AA) to Iowa (AAA)
Luke Montz, C, Harrisburg (AA) to Columbus (AAA)
Wade Davis, RHP, Montgomery (AA) to Durham (AAA)
Kila Kaaihue, 1B, Northwest Arkansas (AA) to Omaha (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading Phillies (AA)
David Price, LHP, Vero Beach (A) to Montgomery (AA)
Matt Weiters, C, Frederick Keys (A) to Bowie Baysox (AA)
Lars Anderson, 1B, Lancaster JetHawks (A) to Portland SeaDogs (AA)

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

Ian Gac, 1B, Clinton (A) to Bakersfield (Advanced A)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Asheville (A) to Modesto (Advanced A)

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

Whew! Now we’re talking. Jeff Samardzija bought his first-class ticket out of the Z-meter by notching two saves (so far) for the NL-Central leading Chicago Cubs, who are trying to figure out who should close in the absence of Kerry Wood. I’m replacing him with Futures Game pitcher Trevor Cahill, who is 6-1 for the Midland, TX affiliate of the Oakland As. I also decided to replace Jacob McGee with Tulsa speed merchant Dexter Fowler so I didn’t have to pay royalties to Rays Index. We’ve still got plenty of their fantastic pitching prospects in the rotation.

The other promotion was hot-hitting Kila Kaaihue from Northwest Arkansas to Omaha. Think the Royals like the look of the Hawaiian’s 26 homers in double-A? I wouldn’t be surprised if KC doesn’t call him up for the annual push to get out of the AL Central basement.

In general, when a player gets called up to the bigs from now on, he’ll be replaced with someone in A or AA on the meter. That way, we can start getting a look at guys who might still be here for next year’s edition, instead of those who will be in the majors in September.

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): .276 – 56R – 9HR – 40RBI – 26SB – 50BB – .404 SLG – .769 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .255 – 60R – 6HR – 52RBI – 37BB – 2SB – .398 SLG – .740 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF (injured) – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .249 – 56R – 11HR – 36RBI – 15SB – 49BB – .395 SLG – .741 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .349 – 91R – 37HR – 96RBI – 24SB – 56BB – .729 SLG – 1.171 OPS

Luke Montz, C – Columbus Clippers (Nationals): .181 – 4R – 0HR – 10RBI – 4BB – 0SB – .236 SLG – .460 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 2GS – 2W – 0L – 2.08 ERA – 6BB – 12K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals (Royals): stats reset with promotion


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

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .295 – 64R – 9HR – 57RBI – 53BB – 15SB – .448 SLG – .823 OPS

Dexter Fowler, OF – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): .337 – 86R – 9HR – 61RBI – 61BB – 20SB – .514 SLG – .944 OPS

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .262 – 56R – 12HR – 38RBI – 45BB – 17SB – .456 SLG – .814 OPS

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .291 – 60R – 2HR – 45RBI – 26BB – 41SB – .352 SLG – .700 OPS

Trevor Cahill, RHP – Midland RockHounds (Oakland): 6GS – 6W – 1L – 2.19 ERA – 19BB – 33K

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .258 – 57R – 16HR – 63RBI – 46BB – 1SB – .456 SLG – .808 OPS

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

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): .326 – 16R – 5HR – 21RBI – 18BB – 0SB – .547 SLG – .981 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .192 – 3R – 0HR – 1RBI – 3BB – 0SB – .231 SLG – .507 OPS

Matt LaPorta, CF – Akron Aeros (Indians): .277 – 60R – 21HR – 73RBI – 48BB – 2SB – .534 SLG – .915 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .360 – 82R – 16HR – 84RBI – 40BB – 5SB – .588 SLG – 1.005 OPS

David Price, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 7GS – 5W – 0L – 2.20 ERA – 12BB – 38K

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .292 – 37R – 5HR – 25RBI – 14BB – 5SB – .420 SLG – .752 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .334 – 76R – 7HR – 61RBI – 22BB – 25SB – .437 SLG – .802 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): .291 – 15R – 6HR – 23RBI – 12BB – 0SB – .496 SLG – .866 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): 6GS – 5W – 1L – 2.23 ERA – 7BB – 36K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 20GS – 6W – 6L – 2.83 ERA – 29BB – 60K

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .258 – 55R – 15HR – 49RBI – 32BB – 5SB – .435 SLG – .757 OPS


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

Shark Week!

Who knew that the Discovery Channel cared as much about Jeff “Shark” Samardzija’s call-up to the Cubs as we do? Of course, he did help the long-suffering Cubbies grab first place in the NL Central outright, which is a pretty big deal.

[ChicagoSports.com]

Now Pitching For The Chicago Cubs…

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, baseball fans.  Jeff Samardzija is a Chicago Cub.

Well, maybe “all” is a bit of an overstatement.  For some reason, though, I get the feeling that Extra P is really excited about this latest development in The Shark’s career.  (Darnit, I just remembered that his nickname is Shark.  Samardzija’s, not Extra P’s.  That and Greg Norman’s success at the British Open last weekend should have been the perfect recipe for an opening line about it being “a good week for sharks” or something equally lame.  Oh well, not going back to change it now.  You’ll just have to deal with my usual lameness.)

Samardzija, who was drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2006 draft, was called up to replace Kerry Wood and his blistered finger on the roster.  Although used primarily as a starter in the minor leagues, he could make his major league debut out of the bullpen as early as this afternoon against the Florida Marlins.

Video: A Little Chatter from Samardzija

The Z-Meter: 7/16/2008

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.

Promoted:

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)
Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, Albuquerque (AAA) to Marlins (MLB)
Joe Koshansky, 1B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Rockies (MLB)

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

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Tennessee (AA) to Iowa (AAA)
Luke Montz, C, Harrisburg (AA) to Columbus (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading Phillies (AA)
David Price, LHP, Vero Beach (A) to Montgomery (AA)
Matt Weiters, C, Frederick Keys (A) to Bowie Baysox (AA)
Lars Anderson, 1B, Lancaster JetHawks (A) to Portland SeaDogs (AA)

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

Ian Gac, 1B, Clinton (A) to Bakersfield (Advanced A)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Asheville (A) to Modesto (Advanced A)

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

Injuries and All-Star breaks have slowed down the Z-Meter this week. Four prospects haven’t picked up stats due to ouchies, and several others are taking breaks to play in league All-Star games, or the Futures Game. Still, some continue to amaze. Pitchers David Price and Jhoulys Chacin make this look easy, mowing down batters before and after promotions as if nothing had changed. Jeff Samardzija, on the other hand, struggled a bit in AA, but is making a great case for himself in Iowa. Biscuit Wade Davis has had a sub 2.00-ERA in his last couple of games, so he gets a red line as well.

Matt LaPorta seems to be playing even better since he moved from Huntsville to Akron. Simply amazing.

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): .282 – 51R – 8HR – 34RBI – 24SB – 46BB – .405 SLG – .776 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .263 – 49R – 5HR – 43RBI – 34BB – 2SB – .405 SLG – .755 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF (Injured) – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .249 – 55R – 11HR – 36RBI – 13SB – 49BB – .401 SLG – .752 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .339 – 77R – 26HR – 74RBI – 20SB – 53BB – .671 SLG – 1.112 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, RHP – Iowa Cubs (Cubs): 5GS – 3W – 1L – 3.45 – 15BB – 31K

Luke Montz, C – Columbus Clippers (Nationals): .244 – 3R – 0HR – 7RBI – 2BB – 0SB – .341 SLG – .621 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): .308 – 51R – 23HR – 65RBI – 65BB – 3SB – .616 SLG – 1.068 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .282 – 55R – 8HR – 54RBI – 47BB – 14SB – .433 SLG – .793 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP (injured) – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 15GS – 6W – 4L – 3.94 ERA – 37BB – 65K

Cameron Maybin, CF (injured) – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .265 – 55R – 12HR – 38RBI – 43BB – 17SB – .461 SLG – .818 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 19GS – 9W – 6L – 3.85 ERA – 42BB – 81K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .297 – 52R – 1HR – 38RBI – 22BB – 35SB – .353 SLG – .707 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .267 – 47R – 14HR – 57RBI – 31BB – 1SB – .459 SLG – .800 OPS

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

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): .344 – 10R – 3HR – 9RBI – 8BB – 0SB – .578 SLG – .995 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): Stats reset with promotion

Matt LaPorta, CF – Akron Aeros (Indians): .292 – 58R – 21HR – 70RBI – 45BB – 2SB – .575 SLG – .976 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .375 – 77R – 15HR – 81RBI – 39BB – 5SB – .612 SLG – 1.045 OPS

David Price, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 4GS – 4W – 0L – 1.38 ERA – 10BB – 22K

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .294 – 32R – 4HR – 21RBI – 13BB – 5SB – .421 SLG – .758 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .337 – 71R – 7HR – 58RBI – 25BB – 25SB – .444 SLG – .811 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): .299 – 9R – 1HR – 11RBI – 8BB – 0SB – .403 SLG – .775 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): 3GS – 3W – 0L – 0.86 ERA – 4BB – 17K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 18GS – 5W – 6L – 2.97 ERA – 26BB – 53K

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .244 – 40R – 12HR – 42RBI – 26BB – 5SB – .405 SLG – .711 OPS


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

The Z-Meter: 7/10/2008

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.

Promoted:

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)
Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, Albuquerque (AAA) to Marlins (MLB)
Joe Koshansky, 1B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Rockies (MLB)

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

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Tennessee (AA) to Iowa (AAA)
Luke Montz, C, Harrisburg (AA) to Columbus (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading (AA)
David Price, LHP, Vero Beach (A) to Montgomery (AA)
Matt Weiters, C, Frederick Keys (A) to Bowie Baysox (AA)

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

Ian Gac, 1B, Clinton (A) to Bakersfield (Advanced A)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Asheville (A) to Modesto (Advanced A)

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

Trading season officially began this week, as Huntsville Stars star Matt LaPorta was shipped out in a trade that landed C.C. Sabathia in Milwaukee. Fortunately, my man Joe Koshansky moved up to the bigs and is taking the place of an injured Todd Helton, which made room for another Huntsville hitter, shortstop Alcides “Matt” Escobar. As you can see, Alcides is super-hot as well, and belongs here.

On the other hand, as of this writing, Matt LaPorta had yet to take any cuts as an Akron Aero, as a thunderstorm swept through on the night of his expected debut. We’ll keep an eye out for his Cleveland-era stats.

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 – 51R – 8HR – 33RBI – 24SB – 42BB – .413 SLG – .785 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .251 – 45R – 5HR – 40 RBI – 32BB – 1SB – .393 SLG – .735 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .249 – 55R – 11HR – 36RBI – 13SB – 49BB – .401 SLG – .752 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .343 – 76R – 26HR – 73RBI – 18SB – 51BB – .689 SLG – 1.132 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, RHP – Iowa Cubs (Cubs): 3GS – 2W – 1L – 3.93 – 11BB – 15K

Luke Montz, C – Columbus Clippers (Nationals): .286 – 2R – 0HR – 7RBI – 2BB – 0SB – .429 SLG – .776 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): .305 – 46R – 22HR – 58RBI – 60BB – 3SB – .622 SLG – 1.070 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .274 – 54R – 8HR – 52RBI – 44BB – 14SB – .433 SLG – .785 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP (injured) – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 15GS – 6W – 4L – 3.94 ERA – 37BB – 65K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .265 – 55R – 12HR – 38RBI – 43BB – 17SB – .461 SLG – .818 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 18GS – 8W – 6L – 3.98 ERA – 40BB – 75K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .295 – 50R – 1HR – 37RBI – 22BB – 31SB – .351 SLG – .706 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .272 – 44R – 13HR – 50RBI – 30BB – 1SB – .463 SLG – .811 OPS

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

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): .342 – 8R – 2HR – 4RBI – 7BB – 0SB – .579 SLG – 1.023 OPS

Matt LaPorta, CF – Akron Aeros (Indians): .288 – 56R – 20HR – 66RBI – 45BB – 2SB – .576 SLG – .978 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Hunts ville Stars (Brewers): .372 – 71R – 15HR – 76RBI – 38BB – 5SB – .612 SLG – 1.044 OPS

David Price, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 3GS – 3W – 0L – 1.42 ERA – 7BB – 18K

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .299 – 30R – 4HR – 21RBI – 10BB – 3SB – .431 SLG – .766 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .327 – 64R – 7HR – 55RBI – 20BB – 22SB – .440 SLG – .797 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): .320 – 5R – 1HR – 9RBI – 1BB – 0SB – .440 SLG – .773 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .319 – 54R – 12HR – 46RBI – 45BB – 0SB – .516 SLG – .928 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): 2GS – 2W – 0L – 0.64 ERA – 1BB – 11K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 17GS – 5W – 6L – 2.60 ERA – 24BB – 49K

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .244 – 40R – 12HR – 42RBI – 26BB – 5SB – .405 SLG – .711 OPS


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

The Z-Meter: 7/1/2008

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.

Promoted:

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)
Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, Albuquerque (AAA) to Marlins (MLB)
Joe Koshansky, 1B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Rockies (MLB)

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

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Tennessee (AA) to Iowa (AAA)
Luke Montz, C, Harrisburg (AA) to Columbus (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading (AA)
David Price, LHP, Vero Beach (A) to Montgomery (AA)
Matt Weiters, C, Frederick Keys (A) to Bowie Baysox (AA)

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

Ian Gac, 1B, Clinton (A) to Bakersfield (Advanced A)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Asheville (A) to Modesto (Advanced A)

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

Since we’ll all be traveling and BBQing during the upcoming long weekend, I’m just going to go ahead and post the Z-meter early, and hopefully just take the time to update it on Saturday or Sunday to keep us all current.

The dam broke this week. Several players who had been playing well for long stretches got their marching orders. Jeff Samardzija moved up from AA to AAA, as did Catcher Luke Montz. Matt Weiters and David Price made the move from A to double-A. Ian Gac and Jhoulys Chacin parlayed hot first halves in low A into second seasons in high A.

Samardzija is the strangest mover of all. He has lost far more games than he has won. He doesn’t strike a lot of guys out. And yet he advances easily. If anyone has a theory or, better yet, inside info on the improbable rise of The Shark, let me know.

**Update** Here’s an exchange that took place in Paul Sullivan’s Mailbag regarding Shark:

Paul, why did the Cubs promote Jeff Samardzija to Triple-A rather than Donald Veal? Veal has much better numbers at Double-A. Is it the large contract given to Samardzija, or do the Cubs think he has a higher MLB upside? –Randy, Denver

The Cubs say Samardzija earned the promotion due to his recent success in Double-A, and he’s pitched well at Iowa in his first couple of starts. I would imagine they’re getting him ready to come up as a right-handed reliever for the stretch run, and since they gave him a $10 million contract, they probably figure they need to start getting their money’s worth, starting this year. Lots of pressure on Samardzija? Of course. But I think he dealt with a little bit of that on Saturday afternoons in South Bend, so he should be able to handle it.

[ChicagoSports.com]

So, you know… he might not be ready, but we paid him a lot of money, so here goes!

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): .281 – 47R – 8HR – 33RBI – 21SB – 35BB – .415 SLG – .777 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .252 – 41R – 5HR – 36 RBI – 24BB – 1SB – .395 SLG – .730 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .253 – 53R – 11HR – 36RBI – 12SB – 48BB – .410 SLG – .765 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .352 – 71R – 24HR – 69RBI – 18SB – 47BB – .705 SLG – 1.157 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, RHP – Iowa Cubs (Cubs): 2GS – 1W – 1L – 3.00 – 8BB – 9K

Luke Montz, C – Columbus Clippers (Nationals): .000 – 1R – 0HR – 0RBI – 1BB – 0SB – .000 SLG – .125 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): .281 – 36R – 18HR – 48RBI – 54BB – 3SB – .567 SLG – .999 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .2874 – 47R – 7HR – 46RBI – 41BB – 13SB – .428 SLG – .783 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP (injured) – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 15GS – 6W – 4L – 3.94 ERA – 37BB – 65K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .266 – 54R – 12HR – 36RBI – 42BB – 16SB – .472 SLG – .833 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 17GS – 7W – 6L – 4.14 ERA – 39BB – 69K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .279 – 45R – 1HR – 31RBI – 19BB – 26SB – .337 SLG – .676 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .273 – 40R – 11HR – 45RBI – 30BB – 1SB – .458 SLG – .816 OPS

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

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): .214 – 4R – 0HR – 2RBI – 2BB – 0SB – .286 SLG – .598 OPS

Matt LaPorta, CF – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .294 – 52R – 19HR – 63RBI – 41BB – 2SB – .592 SLG – .999 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .379 – 69R – 15HR – 70RBI – 37BB – 5SB – .636 SLG – 1.078 OPS

David Price, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 1GS – 1W – 0L – 3.00 ERA – 4BB – 7K

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .299 – 23R – 4HR – 19RBI – 8BB – 0SB – .443 SLG – .778 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): .438 – 4R – 1HR – 4RBI – 0BB – 1SB – .750 SLG – 1.152 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .304 – 45R – 8HR – 37RBI – 41BB – 0SB – .474 SLG – .877 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): 1GS – 1W – 0L – 0.00 ERA – 1BB – 8K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 15GS – 4W – 6L – 2.73 ERA – 20BB – 46K

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .242 – 39R – 12HR – 41RBI – 21BB – 4SB – .414 SLG – .712 OPS


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

The Z-Meter: 6/26/2008

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.

Promoted:

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)
Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, Albuquerque (AAA) to Marlins (MLB)

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

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Tennessee (AA) to Iowa (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading (AA)
David Price, LHP, Vero Beach (A) to Montgomery (AA)
Matt Weiters, C, Frederick Keys (A) to Bowie Baysox (AA)

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

Ian Gac, 1B, Clinton (A) to Bakersfield (Advanced A)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Ashevills (A) to Modesto (Advanced A)

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

Not a huge amount of movement this week. In the “What’s a guy gotta do?” category, we have Nelson Cruz, tearin’ it UP in Oklahoma, but being completely ignored by the droopy Rangers. Wonder why they don’t win much? Catchers Luke Montz and Matt Wieters are showing pop all over the place, but haven’t budged a rung yet. Jhoulys Chacin is closing in on one-damn-hundred strikeouts in A-is-for-Asheville, and seems to be destined to stay there for a while.

OMDQ informs me that one of my guys, De La Cruz, has been sent back to the Marlins, so I’m adding in Matt Tuiasosopo. This is one of those “irrational sense of whimsy” picks, made simply because his father was an NFL defensive lineman, his brother Marques made the pros as a backup QB for the Raiders and Jets, and his brother Zach is an NFL fullback. Full props to Matt for being the black sheep of the family.

Breaking news! Jeff Samardzija is up in triple-A, despite a poor BB/K ratio. Guess the Cubs see something they like. Or else the Notre Dame Mafia is greasing the wheels. I don’t know.

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): .283 – 45R – 8HR – 31RBI – 21SB – 33BB – .423 SLG – .786 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .252 – 38R – 4HR – 32 RBI – 21BB – 1SB – .387 SLG – .719 OPS

Joe Koshansky, 1B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .297 – 49R – 18HR – 33BB – 76RBI – 1SB – .616 SLG – .989 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .249 – 49R – 11HR – 35RBI – 10SB – 45BB – .411 SLG – .761 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .357 – 67R – 23HR – 67RBI – 17SB – 45BB – .714 SLG – 1.172 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, RHP – Iowa Cubs (Cubs): 1GS – 0W – 1L – 4.50 – 2BB – 5K


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): .284 – 35R – 17HR – 47RBI – 50BB – 3SB – .567 SLG – .998 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .280 – 45R – 7HR – 45RBI – 40BB – 12SB – .439 SLG – .805 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 15GS – 6W – 4L – 3.94 ERA – 37BB – 65K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .270 – 51R – 12HR – 35RBI – 39BB – 14SB – .485 SLG – .849 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 16GS – 7W – 5L – 3.96 ERA – 38BB – 62K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .277 – 40R – 1HR – 29RBI – 17BB – 24SB – .335 SLG – .669 OPS

Luke Montz, C – Harrisburg Senators (Nationals): .304 – 30R – 14HR – 53RBI – 29BB – 0SB – .578 SLG – .966 OPS

Travis Snider, RF – New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays): .273 – 36R – 10HR – 42RBI – 28BB – 0SB – .463 SLG – .823 OPS

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

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): reset stats with promotion

Matt LaPorta, CF – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .294 – 50R – 19HR – 59RBI – 39BB – 1SB – .603 SLG – 1.011 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .371 – 65R – 15HR – 66RBI – 33BB – 5SB – .632 SLG – 1.064 OPS

David Price, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): Reset stats with promotion

Fernando Martinez, CF (on rehab assignment) – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .400 – 0R – 0HR – 0RBI – 0SB – .400 SLG – .900 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): reset stats following promotion.

Lars Anderson, 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .304 – 40R – 8HR – 37RBI – 35BB – 0SB – .479 SLG – .871 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): Reset stats with promotion

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 14GS – 3W – 6L – 2.96 ERA – 20BB – 44K

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .239 – 36R – 10HR – 37RBI – 18BB – 4SB – .401 SLG – .694 OPS


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

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.

Promoted:

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.