Posts Tagged ‘Josh Vitters’

The Z-Meter: 7/8/2009

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)
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)
 
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+)

As my commentary on today’s Z-meter, I’d like to pull out some stats that might sometimes get lost in the higgledy-piggledy lines I lay out here. There are some players that register as less-than-red-hot on casual examination, but are quietly doing their best at the one thing they are great at nonetheless. Here are some examples:

Kila Kaiihue – 63 walks. It’s nice to see a slugger who is willing to take the free base when it’s offered. And it seems to be offered quite frequently. Good eye, Kila!

Carlos Carrasco – 90 strikeouts. This poor guy is having an up-and-down season, despite blowing hitters away.

Pedro Alvarez – Since his promotion to AA, he’s hitting .200, but that includes three homers in 12 at bats.

Brad Brach – The meter’s designated closer has only walked seven batters in 37 late-innings appearances, which is why he’s at the 20 save plateau already this season.

Che-Hsuan Lin – His start was disastrous as he hit well below the Mendoza line. He’s inching his way back to average, and has somehow contributed 18 steals despite his early difficulty getting base hits.

Another “Don’t Panic” award goes to Maurico Robles, who has adjusted quickly to the Florida State League. His first start yielded a 16.87 ERA. His second, 6.00 with ten strikeouts. On Independence Day, he buckled down to pitch 6.2 innings with a sterling mark of 0.00. It’s going to be tough to continue that trend.

No good deed goes unpunished. After hitting over .300 in Frisco, Rangers prospect Justin Smoak got the callup to Oklahoma City, which belonged to current major-leaguer Nelson Cruz last year. Can Smoak replicate Cruz’s feat? Not soon. He’s currently hitting .077 since making the leap.

Shooter Hunt, he of the 10.70 ERA at Beloit, is down in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League on a “rehab assignment”. He’s currently 0-2  with ten walks at the kids’ table, so he might just be there for a while. If so, don’t expect him to hang around the meter much longer.

Zeke Spruill hasn’t won a game since late May, though he still sports a fairly decent 3.02 ERA. The kid’s not catching many breaks, though. He only gave up one earned run vs. Augusta, but that was enough to give him the loss. Yesterday, it was eight scoreless innings and a spotless ERA, which was only good for a no-decision.

In closing, I want to add one more player to the meter. I’m going to leave Stephen Strasburg in his honorary spot at the bottom of the meter, but I’m going to actually start tracking someone who’s picking up stats. In fact, I’m adding OMDQ’s hitting savant James McOwen, so we can continue to watch him even if his streak ends. We owe him that much.


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): 17 Games – 8 W – 4 L – 2.84 ERA – 37 BB – 80 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .264 – 51 R – 12 HR – 35 RBI – 63 BB – 0 SB – .480 SLG – .879 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .302 – 60 R – 3 HR – 28 RBI – 23 BB – 29 SB – .428 SLG – .782 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 17 Starts – 5 W – 8 L – 5.06 ERA – 33 BB – 93 K

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .317 – 44 R – 4 HR – 32 RBI – 29 BB – 14 SB – .447 SLG – .832 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Oklahoma City RedHawks (Rangers): .077 AVG – 2 R – 0 HR – 0 RBI – 3 BB – 0 SB – .077 SLG – .327 OPS


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): .262 AVG – 37 R – 8 HR – 41 RBI – 40 BB – 1 SB – .407 SLG – .764 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 16 Starts – 7 W – 6 L – 3.43 ERA – 32 BB – 80 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .266 AVG – 55 R – 14 HR – 55 RBI – 58 BB – 0 SB – .504 SLG – .900 OPS

 
Andrew Locke, OF – Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros): .324 AVG – 45 R – 11 HR – 76 RBI – 27 BB – 0 SB – .492 SLG – .863 OPS
 
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 9 Games – 8 Starts – 6 W – 1 L – 1.70 ERA – 15 BB – 43 K
 
 
Jeanmar Gomez, RHP – Akron Aeros (Indians): 12 Starts – 6 W – 2 L – 3.31 ERA – 18 BB – 58 K
 
 
Yonder Alonso, 1B (injured) – Carolina Mudcats (Reds): .246 AVG – 4 R – 1 HR – 8 RBI – 6 BB – 1 SB – .377 SLG – .686 OPS
 
Kyle Drabek, RHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 7 Games – 6 Starts – 5 W – 0 L – 2.70 ERA – 17 BB – 36 K
 
Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Altoona Curve (Pirates): .200 AVG – 8 R – 3 HR – 7 RBI – 1 BB – 0 SB – .444 SLG – .653 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): .237 AVG – 33 R – 14 HR – 37 RBI – 18 BB – 1 SB – .453 SLG – .744 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .263 AVG – 43 R – 8 HR – 44 RBI – 17 BB – 7 SB – .415 SLG – .717 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .260 AVG – 48 R – 4 HR – 32 RBI – 43 BB – 18 SB – .354 SLG – .717 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Daytona Cubs (Cubs): .194 AVG – 2 R – 0 HR – 3 RBI – 1 BB – 0 SB – .290 SLG – .509 OPS

Shooter Hunt (rehabbing in Gulf Coast League), RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): 7 Games – 5 Starts – 0 W – 1 L – 10.70 ERA – 33 BB – 18 K

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 – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Tigers): 3 Starts – 2 W – 1 L – 5.28 ERA – 6 BB – 17 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .283 AVG – 35 R – 4 HR – 44 RBI – 21 BB – 4 SB – .417 SLG – .753 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 15 Games – 14 Starts – 7 W – 4 L – 1 SV – 3.02 ERA – 14 BB – 67 K

Brad Brach, RHP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres): 37 Games – 0 Starts – 1.42 ERA – 3 W – 2 L – 20 SV – 7 BB – 53 K

James McOwen, RF – High Desert Mavericks (Mariners): .353 AVG – 45 R – 5 HR – 53 RBI – 25 BB – 5 SB – .504 SLG – .914 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 will join the Washington Nationals system any old day now. He remains here as an honorary member.


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

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The Z-Meter: 5/20/2009

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)
Mat Gamel: Nashville Sounds (AAA) to Milwaukee Brewers (MLB)

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

No movement so far this week. But some players have turned around slow starts in a big way this week. Omaha Royals slugger Kila Ka’aihue busted his slump big-time, going 8 for 15 and pushing his OPS over 1.000. Mets prospect Fernando Martinez hit .400 over his last five games and scored seven times.

Josh Vitters, at the Cubs’ A affiliate in Peoria, probably had the best week of all. He started off with a ridiculous showing in a double header against Quad Cities – he hit .333 in the top half, then 1.000 in the second. He blasted a home run in each of four games at Beloit to follow up, cobbling together a nice little .647 average over a six-day span, along with 9 runs and 8 RBIs.

That’s hot.


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): .292 AVG – 32 R – 1 HR – 13 RBI – 14 BB – 9 SB – .479 SLG – .838 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 8 Games – 4W – 1L – 3.10 ERA – 21 BB – 28 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .285 – 30 R – 7 HR – 23 RBI – 38 BB – 0 SB – .561 SLG – 1.006 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .273 – 29 R – 2 HR – 12 RBI – 11 BB – 18 SB – .360 SLG – .684 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 8 Starts – 0 W – 5 L – 6.31 ERA – 11 BB – 44 K

Ramiro Pena, SS – Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees: .263 – 7 R – 0 HR – 4 RBI – 4 BB – 1 SB – .333 SLG – .645 OPS

Matt Wieters, C – Norfolk Tides (Orioles): .282 AVG – 22 R – 4 HR – 21 RBI – 17 BB – 0 SB – .479 SLG – .849 OPS

Fernando Martinez, CF – Buffalo Bisons (Mets): .287 AVG – 20 R – 7 HR – 23 RBI – 11 BB – 2 SB – .552 SLG – .892 OPS

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .344 – 20 R – 0 HR – 14 RBI – 17 BB – 8 SB – .430 SLG – .855 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): 9 Games – 5 Starts – 2 W – 2 L – 2 SV – 1.82 ERA – 7 BB – 39 K

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .229 AVG – 17 R – 4 HR – 19 RBI – 17 BB – 0 SB – .382 SLG – .697 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 8 Starts – 3 W – 4 L – 3.77 ERA – 16 BB – 36 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .294 AVG – 24 R – 6 HR – 24 RBI – 25 BB – 0 SB – .539 SLG – .970 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .338 AVG – 22 R – 6 HR – 24 RBI – 29 BB – 0 SB – .534 SLG – .994 OPS
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 2 Start – 2 W – 0 L – .75 ERA – 3 BB – 11 K

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): .222 AVG – 8 R – 3 HR – 14 RBI – 8 BB – 0 SB – .378 SLG – .658 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .288 AVG – 25 R – 7 HR – 30 RBI – 7 BB – 2 SB – .496 SLG – .816 OPS

Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Lynchburg Hillcats (Pirates): .224 AVG – 20 R – 8 HR – 33 RBI – 24 BB – 0 SB – .433 SLG – .766 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .195 AVG – 18 R – 1 HR – 12 RBI – 16 BB – 5 SB – .265 SLG – .571 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): .371 AVG – 23 R – 7 HR – 21 RBI – 3 BB – 2 SB – .598 SLG – .998 OPS

Shooter Hunt, RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): 7 Games – 5 Starts – 0 W – 1 L – 10.70 ERA – 33 BB – 18 K

Collin Cowgill, OF – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .299 AVG – 31 R – 5 HR – 26 RBI – 18 BB – 5 SB – .507 SLG – .897 OPS

Mauricio Robles, P – West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers): 7 Starts – 3 W – 1 L – 2.63 ERA – 14 BB – 52 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .277 AVG – 15 R – 2 HR – 23 RBI – 8 BB – 1 SB – .400 SLG – .717 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 7 Games – 6 Starts – 6 W – 0 L – 1 SV – 1.91 ERA – 7 BB – 35 K


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

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 12 Starts – 12W – 0L – 1.34 ERA – 18 BB – 174 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.

The Z-Meter: 4/7/2009 – Hope Springs Anew

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: None

Nobody has accumulated stats yet, so this first edition of ’09 will just introduce you to the players and give you some idea of why they’re on this list. We’ll start keeping a weekly tally of stats and farm-system promotions next week.

Players new to the list are added in green. The rest are holdovers from last year. You’ll also notice that we’ve added the college line. Odds of this being used often are very small. But this year, we have a guy who’s really worth watching.


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): A mainstay on last year’s list, and very close to being called up for good.

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): Couldn’t quite keep pace with fellow Rays hurler David Price, but came pretty close.

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals: Great Hawaiian name, and plays for my hometown team. Can belt the ball, no doubt.

Mat Gamel, 3B – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): Got a couple of at-bats in Milwaukee last season, striking out once and knocking a double. Odds are, he’ll get a chance to try again, and soon.

Matt LaPorta, CF  – Columbus Clippers (Indians): Former teammate of meter-mates Gamel and Escobar, LaPorta was traded as part of the Sabathia deal. His numbers tailed off after that, but he’s still starting the season in Triple-A, so he’s not far from livin’ the dream at this point.

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): Escobar gets on base (.328 average) and then makes you pay (34 stolen bases). He did plenty of damage at Huntsville, so he gets to start in AAA with Gamel.

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): Added by Will because he throws big-time gas. As Will says “As far as I’m concerned, with the radar gun it’s triple digits or go home.”

Ramiro Pena, SS – Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees: The switch-hitting shortstop from Mexico was suggested by our bobblehead guru, Eric Marinbach.

Jordan Zimmermann, RHP – Syracuse Chiefs: An Extra P. choice, Zimmermann would like to join the man with the one-letter-shorter version of his last name in D.C. this season. How I kept Zimmermann off of the Z-meter this long, I’ll never know.


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): Jackson is the top prospect in the Yanks organization, according to Baseball America. He played well in spring training, even belting a grand slam, but there’s no room for him in the Bronx right now.

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): The lefty was flying up the meter last season until he got hurt, ending up playing in just 19 games all year long.

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): Being hailed as a god in Charm City, and was the top overall prospect of last year, an honor previously held by Jay “The Deal” Bruce. Hit well over .300 in a season split between A and AA. Expect to see him in Camden some time this year. 

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): This guy kind of embodies the frustration of playing for a championship-winning organization. He’s playing really well, but there’s no room above right now.

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): Started in center for the International side in the MLB Futures Game. I can’t currently figure out where he’s been assigned, but I’ll update his status as soon as I know.

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): My favorite fireballer from last season. Had the most wins of any pitcher in the minors, with a total of 18. Struck out 160 batters as well, so, you know… holy crap.

Daniel Bard, RHP – Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox): Another of Will’s heat-throwing selections. He went 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA for the Sea Dogs last season.

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): Started 2008 in the Dodgers organization before being swapped to the Indians as part of a deal for Casey Blake. Has been destroying the minors, once getting seven RBIs in a single game, and carrying a .999 OPS throughout the season.


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): Gac! has almost become a standard salutation between OMDQ and I. The man practices economy of name, and he doesn’t waste at-bats, either. Gac! hit 32 homers last year, and drove in 109 runs.

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): Moustakas struggled in the first half of his debut season, but grew steadily stronger and more disciplined in the second half. Ended up with 22 homers and a pile of doubles.

Madison Bumgarner, LHP – San Jose Giants (Giants): Bumgarner was added to the meter late last season, so we hardly got to know him before it was all over. He went 15-3 at Augusta as a rookie, with a 1.46 ERA, and will begin the season in A-Advanced as a result.

Michael Ynoa, RHP – not assigned yet (Athletics): OMDQ wanted to see the man of many names in our countdown. Given how highly sought-after the Dominican righty has been, he’s bound to make a splash.

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: MVP for the International side of the MLB Futures Game last season. My (Extra P’s) choice to add because he’s awesome, and because he’s playing close enough to my home for me to go see him.

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): Another Extra P. selection, Vitters had epic 25- and 15-game hitting streaks at short-season Boise before spending a very brief four-game stint at Peoria to end his first pro season. Hits for average and legs out some doubles.

Shooter Hunt, RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): Shooter’s here for a few reasons. One, he went to Virginia, as did the man I named this meter after, and I live in Charlottesville, so I watch Virginia often. Second, his name is Shooter Hunt, for god’s sake. That shit is like catnip to me.

Justin Smoak, 1B – Hickory Crawdads (Rangers): BA’s Prospect Handbook compares Smoak favorably to Mark Teixiera, and that’s good enough for us. He had a record-setting career at the University of South Carolina and was a teammate of Matt Wieters in high school.


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

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State:  Has shown 100+ on the radar gun, and was the only college player to make the Olympic team last year. He’ll clearly be a top pick when he declares, so OMDQ says “no shame in tracking his stats right now.” Consider it done.

7 GS – 6W – 0L – 1.49 ERA – 10 BB – 94 K


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