Posts Tagged ‘Louisville Bats’

The Z-Meter: 7/27/2009; Jhoulys Ascendant!

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.


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)
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 Brian reported earlier, Jhoulys Chacin has been called up from AA Tulsa to the big club in Colorado. As happy as I am to see one of my favorite Bus Leaguers move up, I have to question the way it was done. The Rox have just taken a young guy from the smothering heat and humidity of Oklahoma directly to the dry altitude of Denver. Had Jhoulys been able to make a couple of starts in AAA Colorado Springs, he might be a little better prepared for the way his ball is going to move, or, as the case will most certainly be, not move.

But to hell with that stinkin’ thinkin’. Go get ’em, Jhoulys!

In other news, I’ve officially given up on Shooter Hunt. The balls-out amusing name was not enough to save him when his rehab stint in the Gulf Coast League turned into a further demonstration of how he just can’t pitch. 0-4 with an ERA over 9.00 is more than I can take. He’s gone.

So, welcome two new members. Eddy Martinez-Esteve, who has the triple-bonus of 1) a lengthy, hyphenated last name that stretches across his entire jersey like a rainbow 2) I saw him play in college when FSU won the ACC tournament in Salem, VA and 3) is actually pretty damn good. Also, Travis Wood, who maintained a 1.21 ERA with 103 Ks with the Carolina Mudcats, which earned him a post-break promotion to AAA Louisville. Travis, you’re our first L’ville Bat since “The Deal”, so be gentle with us.

Welcome aboard, fellas.

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): 20 Games – 8 W – 6 L – 3.22 ERA – 47 BB – 103 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .264 – 60 R – 13 HR – 41 RBI – 77 BB – 0 SB – .466 SLG – .869 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .304 – 67 R – 3 HR – 31 RBI – 26 BB – 35 SB – .418 SLG – .772 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 20 Starts – 6 W – 9 L – 5.18 ERA – 38 BB – 112 K

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .313 – 47 R – 4 HR – 39 RBI – 33 BB – 17 SB – .432 SLG – .807 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Oklahoma City RedHawks (Rangers): .171 AVG – 9 R – 1 HR – 8 RBI – 10 BB – 0 SB – .244 SLG – .510 OPS

Travis Wood, RHP – Louisville Bats (Reds): 1 Game – 0 W – 0 L – 1.35 ERA – 4 BB – 5 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): .259 AVG – 43 R – 8 HR – 47 RBI – 46 BB – 1 SB – .390 SLG – .739 OPS

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .272 AVG – 64 R – 19 HR – 69 RBI – 63 BB – 0 SB – .534 SLG – .930 OPS

Andrew Locke, OF – Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros): .324 AVG – 58 R – 13 HR – 86 RBI – 34 BB – 1 SB – .489 SLG – .863 OPS
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 12 Games – 7 W – 1 L – 1.74 ERA – 20 BB – 52 K
 Jeanmar Gomez, RHP – Akron Aeros (Indians): 15 Starts – 7 W – 3 L – 3.54 ERA – 27 BB – 71 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): 9 Games – 6 W – 1 L – 3.12 ERA – 19 BB – 44 K
Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Altoona Curve (Pirates): .283 AVG – 18 R – 6 HR – 17 RBI – 7 BB – 0 SB – .525 SLG – .849 OPS
Eddy Martinez-Esteve, OF – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): .300 AVG – 43 R – 4 HR – 41 RBI – 32 BB – 1 SB – .418 SLG – .783 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): .234 AVG – 49 R – 16 HR – 43 RBI – 24 BB – 1 SB – .447 SLG – .738 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .247 AVG – 52 R – 11 HR – 61 RBI – 20 BB – 8 SB – .409 SLG – .693 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .266 AVG – 59 R – 6 HR – 45 RBI – 48 BB – 19 SB – .371 SLG – .727 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Daytona Cubs (Cubs): .227 AVG – 8 R – 0 HR – 10 RBI – 2 BB – 1 SB – .307 SLG – .560 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 – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Tigers): 7 Starts – 4 W – 2 L – 3.60 ERA – 14 BB – 40 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .278 AVG – 40 R – 5 HR – 54 RBI – 27 BB – 7 SB – .408 SLG – .744 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): 45 Games – 1.17 ERA – 3 W – 2 L – 26 SV – 9 BB – 64 K

Jamie McOwen, RF – High Desert Mavericks (Mariners): .335 AVG – 54 R – 6 HR – 58 RBI – 30 BB – 7 SB – .485 SLG – .878 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.


Vote for Your AAA All-Stars!

Do you attend a lot of triple-A games? Can you keep track of the players as they yo-yo from the majors to the Bus Leagues? Do you just like putting dots inside of circles? Then this is for you:

Vote for the Triple-A All Star Team

Because of all of the call-ups, AAA doesn’t figure much in the Z-meter. But just in case it helps, here are the 6/19/08 stats on the guys I track:

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

MiLB also provides a handy pop-up stats comparison chart to help us out, but I like to vote for the funniest name if I don’t know all of the players. The All-Star Game is being held in Louisville, so I’m sure the Bats are sorry their two top prospects won’t be with them to share in the slightly diminished glory.

I’m Happy…No, I’m Sad…No, I’m Happy…No, I’m –

In two weeks, I was planning to make the two hour trip down to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to see the Red Sox take on the Louisville Bats.  Though I’m a Red Sox fan and would welcome the chance to see youngsters like Clay Buchholz and Justin Masterson for a far more reasonable price than a trip to Fenway, this trip wasn’t about them.  This trip was to be my best chance to see The Deal, Jay Bruce, the number one baseball playing prospect in the world, in action.

Alas, the Reds were not on my side.  The team announced today that Bruce will be recalled from Louisville in time for Tuesday’s game against the Pirates.  He had been crushing International League pitching, posting a .364 batting average, 10 homeruns and 37 runs batted in this season. 

Where Bruce will play when he arrives in Cincinnati is still up in the air.  I always thought he projected as a centerfielder in the majors, but apparently the good folks in the Reds front office do not share that assessment and see him as a long term solution at one of the corner outfield slots.  Problem is, those positions are currently occupied by Ken Griffey, Jr., who won’t be going anywhere at least until he hits his 600th career homerun (and probably not even then – he would need to approve any trade), and Adam Dunn, who is working on a fifth consecutive 40-homer season.  So, if The Deal is gonna see any playing time, any at all, it will probably be in center…provided he can unseat the Hall of Fame-bound duo of Corey Patterson and Ryan Freel.

I hadn’t realized this previously, but the Reds have some serious potential in the next couple of years.  A lineup featuring Bruce, Dunn, Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips?  A rotation featuring Aaron Harang, Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, and Homer Bailey?  Careful, Reds fans – brighter days might be on the horizon.

And you know what?  All is not lost – Clay Buchholz is still on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket…

Jay Bruce is The Deal

The internet is a fickle place.

As of this posting, our request for a new nickname for superstud Jay Bruce has been our most popular entry to date, snagging over 3,000 views. Of those, the post garnered 42 comments (at least eight of those came from me or OMDQ) and about 12 proposed nicknames. We narrowed that down to five finalists and put up a poll, which has picked up…. 9 votes in three days. The returns be diminishing, and rapidly.

So, we’re calling it.

Fellow blogger TheNaturalMevs from Diamond Hoggers wins the Revised & Edited Baseball Field Guide for his inspired choice “The Deal”. We’re all convinced that Jay is the realest deal we’re going to see this season, so we can’t wait to see him in the majors.

Congratulations, Mevs! Thanks to everyone who participated. We’ll figure out a way to do this again sometime soon.

Now get out there and take in a little baseball with your Memorial Day festivities!

Spotlight on AAA Ball – 5/2/2008

Five games with the Nashville Sounds (Brewers). You’d think Mike Cameron had been sentenced to a decade of hard labor, the way he talks. []

Check this out: Wolf Blitzer loves AAA Ball. Especially the Buffalo Bisons (Indians). Interview courtesy of our old friend Ted Bauer, who wrote the late, great blog A Price Above Bip Roberts. [ESPN the]

Oh, I do love these kooky administrative bets. The GMs of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies) have wagered their professional services on the outcome of the season series, which spans 16 games this year. Of course, it’s not GM abilities that will be required from the losing exec, but bat boy duties. This just got a wholllle lot more interesting. [SWB Yankees]

Paul Janish, a shortstop for the Louisville Bats (Reds) broke out of a slump in a big way, going 4-4 with six RBIs and just missing the cycle on an official scorer’s decision that took away a triple. See, we CAN write about the Bats without mentioning Jay Bruce or Homer Bailey (oops). []

The Salt Lake Bees (Angels) have won 92% of their games to start this season. The subsequent callups of SS Brandon Wood and 3B Matt Brown might slow their roll, though. []

That’s it for AAA news. I’ll be attending a West Virginia Power (Brewers) vs. Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles) game this weekend, so look for photos to grace the A-ball news on Monday.

Spotlight on AAA Ball – 4/17/2008

The International League is celebrating 125 years of baseball this season. The 2008 class of the IL Hall of Fame will be the first to receive a statuette called “Curtain Call”, meant to honor the contributions made by HOF-worthy players. I think it’s kind of cool – like the baseball version of an Oscar. []

Hey, Look! Jeff Weaver’s back! And he’s going to be a Nashville Sound (Brewers)! I don’t know if you remember the guy who tried to sell Weaver on ebay. I am not shitting you when I say that guy was in my fantasy baseball league at work. Oh, how we laughed. Weaver Returns [] Weaver sold on eBay [SmartMarks]

As we track prospects, we hear a lot about the Louisville Bats (Reds), with their dynamic duo of Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey lighting up the minors and waiting for their turn in the bigs. Those guys are interesting enough, but I also like to hear about the strivers who hang on for years and do anything to keep playing. Here’s one such story, about a Kentucky native who left the U.S. to play ball in Japan, and now he’s back home. [Louisville Courier-Journal]

Take in a Columbus Clippers (Nationals) game on April 25th, and you’ll get a free baby tree in celebration of Arbor Day. That’s pretty cool. []

Things might not ever be like they used to be in New Orleans, but this photo spread from the N.O. Zephyrs definitely gives a ray of hope that there are still good times to be had in the Big Easy [Zephyrs Photo Gallery]

That’ll close out another week of updates from around the minors. We’ll be back with A-ball on Monday.

Is Jay Bruce Gonna Go Bats To Start The Season?

Last fall, Eric and I spent some time on here talking up Jay Bruce, the 20-year-old Cincinnati Reds prospect who lit up three minor league levels in 2007 (26 homeruns, 89 runs batted in, .319 batting average, .962 OPS, 46 doubles in 133 games).  In the early stages of spring training this year, Bruce seemed to have the inside track on Cincinnati’s centerfield job, but that might have changed with today’s news that the team has signed Corey Patterson to a minor league deal:

Patterson will join Norris Hopper, Ryan Freel and top prospect Jay Bruce to battle for the vacant starting spot in center.

The Patterson signing could put a dent in Bruce’s chances. The 20-year-old is currently day-to-day with a mildly strained left quadriceps muscle.

“It just adds to the competition we have,” Krivsky said. “It’s a chance to compete, that’s all. There are no guarantees for either one.”

Mildly strained or not, my (largely uneducated) guess is that Bruce’s quad lands him in Triple-A Louisville to start the season, if only because it will give Dusty Baker an excuse to utilize a veteran player with whom he already has some familiarity.

The closest International League team to me is Pawtucket, which originally had me excited because the Bats and PawSox play a four-game series in mid-April.  Unfortunately, it’s @ Louisville, so even if Bruce begins the season in the minors, I probably won’t have a chance to see him play. 

Pair of veterans added to camp (

Jay Bruce on Video

OMDQ and I have been talking a lot about Jay Bruce recently, because he has been anointed as the best Bus Leaguer around by a couple of influential publications. I thought I’d hit YouTube and find the Zapruder film on the guy before he blows up in Cincy next year.

First, here he is a couple of years ago in Dayton A ball. I admit I used this video just so you could get a look at the funky black wall in center, and the dragon-infested scoreboard.

And this one from the current season, in which he whacks a home run at AAA Louisville

What strikes me about the second video is the almost stiff upright posture of Bruce’s stance, which doesn’t appear to be very powerful until he flicks his wrists and begins to trot around the bases. Wow.

For more about Jay Bruce and the other top prospects for 2008, check out this top 25 list from our amigo Matthew Whipps at The Diamond Cutter.

From Minor to Major

On my other blog I have been tracking rookie hitters all season long, and I finally got a chance to do my statistical analysis. Since most of these guys spent at least part of this season in the minors, it’s fair game.

R. Braun MIL 113 451 91 146 26 6 34 97 15 29 112 .324 .634
A. Gordon KC 151 543 60 134 36 4 15 60 14 41 137 .247 .411
J. Hamilton CIN 90 298 52 87 17 2 19 47 3 33 65 .292 .554
A. Iwamura TB 123 491 82 140 21 10 7 34 12 58 114 .285 .411
K. Kouzmanoff SD 145 484 57 133 30 2 18 74 1 32 94 .275 .457
D. Pedroia BOS 139 520 86 165 39 1 8 50 7 47 42 .317 .442
H. Pence HOU 108 456 57 147 30 9 17 69 11 26 95 .322 .539
T. Tulowitzki COL 155 609 104 177 33 5 24 99 7 57 130 .291 .479
C.B. Young AZ 148 569 85 135 29 3 32 68 27 43 141 .237 .467
D. Young TB 162 645 65 186 38 0 13 93 10 26 127 .288 .408
R. Willits LAA 136 430 74 126 20 1 0 34 27 69 83 .293 .344

Those who spent time in the minors in 2007 are:

Ryan J. Braun – 34 games with the Nashville Sounds
Josh Hamilton – 11 games with the Louisville Bats
Hunter Pence – 25 games with the Round Rock Express

Those just happen to be three of the top hitters in the National League.

The rest were in AAA last year, so the memory is still fresh for player and fan alike. Good luck to these stellar players!