Posts Tagged ‘Sarasota Reds’

The Z-Meter: 5/27/2009 – Two For the Show

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: Reading Phillies (AA) to Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)

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

Odds are, I’ll find out that someone else got promoted this week, too, which will invalidate my “clever” title for this post. But I am going to wilfully ignore any such occurrence.

Two fast climbers on the Z-meter have reached the desired pinnacle – a ticket to the show. As OMDQ informed us earlier today, Fernando Martinez, who is not even old enough to drink legally in this country, has been brought up to the Mets to fill some injury holes. Matt Wieters, through sheer dint of his prowess, is making it to the show as a catcher, after just a touch more than one season in the minors. A hearty Bus Leagues welcome to them both!

We’ll be adding Jeanmar Gomez of the perfect game to fill one hole in the meter. Since OMDQ already wrote about him, all you need to do is follow the link to learn more. My other choice is 26-year-old outfielder Andrew Locke, who has been belting it for the Corpus Christi Hooks in double-A. He’s not exactly undergoing a meteoric rise to the top, but he’s definitely getting very hot, and may be worth a look from the Astros if he can keep it up.

Ah, yes. Here’s where the screw-up has occurred. There’s usually at least one like this, so I was waiting to find it. I had Ramiro Pena on the meter, despite the fact that he’s spent pretty much all season playing in New Yankee Stadium instead of Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Pretty big difference there (goes to show just how diligently I avoid following the Yanks). So he’s off the meter, and Yonder Alonso is on. Mostly because he’s good, but also because I can’t, under any circumstances, resist a power-hitter named Yonder. When your given name is also a good description of where you can hit ’em, you’re a Bus Leagues kind of guy.

Antonio Bastardo also went up a notch, pitching his way from Reading to Lehigh Valley. He’s shown skeelz as a starter and a reliever this season, so his promotion could lead to a future debut for the Phillies in either slot. The kid got a no-decision in six innings, and ended up with a 4.5 ERA after his first triple-A start. The good news is, he only issued 2 walks and notched a pretty stunning 11 Ks in that interval, so he’s definitely got the stuff to bring home some Ws.

For a look at Strasburg, check out televised coverage of the College World Series over the next few weeks.


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): .282 AVG – 35 R – 2 HR – 16 RBI – 15 BB – 9 SB – .459 SLG – .803 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 9 Games – 5W – 1L – 2.66 ERA – 23 BB – 30 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .277 – 31 R – 8 HR – 25 RBI – 43 BB – 0 SB – .539 SLG – .978 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .287 – 34 R – 2 HR – 14 RBI – 12 BB – 21 SB – .388 SLG – .722 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 9 Starts – 0 W – 6 L – 5.81 ERA – 13 BB – 52 K

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .358 – 23 R – 0 HR – 19 RBI – 19 BB – 8 SB – .446 SLG – .888 OPS

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 1 Games – 1 Starts – 0 W – 0 L – 0 SV – 4.50 ERA – 2 BB – 11 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): .228 AVG – 22 R – 6 HR – 25 RBI – 22 BB – 0 SB – .409 SLG – .739 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 9 Starts – 3 W – 4 L – 3.49 ERA – 19 BB – 43 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .303 AVG – 29 R – 7 HR – 28 RBI – 30 BB – 0 SB – .549 SLG – .985 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .324 AVG – 26 R – 6 HR – 25 RBI – 31 BB – 0 SB – .500 SLG – .943 OPS
 
Andrew Locke, OF – Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros): .358 AVG – 25 R – 9 HR – 48 RBI – 14 BB – 0 SB – .593 SLG – .993 OPS
 
 
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 3 Games – 2 Starts – 3 W – 0 L – .50 ERA – 4 BB – 21 K
 
Jeanmar Gomez, RHP – Akron Aeros (Indians): 5 Starts – 4 W – 1 L – 1.29 ERA – 3 BB – 30 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 – 9 R – 4 HR – 16 RBI – 8 BB – 0 SB – .404 SLG – .679 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .293 AVG – 29 R – 7 HR – 35 RBI – 9 BB – 2 SB – .488 SLG – .815 OPS

Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Lynchburg Hillcats (Pirates): .234 AVG – 21 R – 9 HR – 37 RBI – 26 BB – 0 SB – .449 SLG – .784 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .211 AVG – 22 R – 1 HR – 13 RBI – 20 BB – 7 SB – .293 SLG – .614 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): .359 AVG – 28 R – 11 HR – 28 RBI – 4 BB – 2 SB – .628 SLG – 1.016 OPS

Shooter Hunt (7-day Disabled List), 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): .278 AVG – 33 R – 5 HR – 29 RBI – 19 BB – 6 SB – .463 SLG – .831 OPS

Mauricio Robles, P – West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers): 9 Starts – 4 W – 2 L – 3.24 ERA – 18 BB – 67 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .305 AVG – 18 R – 2 HR – 24 RBI – 12 BB – 1 SB – .422 SLG – .775 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 9 Games – 8 Starts – 6 W – 2 L – 1 SV – 2.83 ERA – 8 BB – 42 K

Yonder Alonso, 1B – Sarasota Reds (Reds): .289 AVG – 19 R – 6 HR – 35 RBI – 19 BB – 0 SB – .493 SLG – .858 OPS


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

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 13 Starts – 13 W – 0L – 1.24 ERA – 19 BB – 180 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.

Meet Jay Bruce, Give Him a Nickname, Win a Book

If there’s one thing I know about our readership, it is that you-all are very, very curious about Jay Bruce. As central HQ for Jay Bruce worship on the web, we’ve decided to help you out. This feature will tell you everything we can glean from the vast wine-dark seas of Internetia, so we can all anticipate what the pundits will be talking about when Jay is inevitably called up within the next week or two.

Name: Jay Bruce

Hometown: Beaumont, TX

Birthdate: April 3, 1987

High School: West Brook High (2nd team HS All-American)

Parent Club: Cincinnati Reds

Position: Outfielder

Uniform Number: 32

Draft: Jay was the 12th pick in the 2005 First-year player draft. He was in good company, as that draft also netted current MLB stars Justin Upton, Troy Tulowitzki, and Ryans Braun and Zimmerman. He signed his minor-league contract on December 5th of that same year, but managed to get in 54 games of Rookie ball, split between the Gulf Coast League Reds and the Billings Mustangs.

2006 brought the first full season of Minor League action for Bruce, as he logged 117 games with the Dayton Dragons, considered to be one of the top minor-league ventures in the nation. The then-nineteen-year-old put up strong stats, batting .291, plating 69 runs and 80 RBIS, and swiping 19 bags. He flashed a little bit of power, belting 16 round-trippers and legging out 42 doubles.

That performance landed him in A+, to start 2007 with the Sarasota Reds of the Florida State League. In 67 games there, he hit .325 with a balanced 49 runs and RBIs, and thus began what we like to call “The Great Leap Forward”. Bruce nabbed a cup of coffee with the AA Chattanooga Lookouts (a mere 16 games) before trotting on up to Lousville and the triple-A (almost) big time, courtesy of his stellar 1057 OPS.

Lousiville has been Bruce’s home since then, despite a spring training look-see that left nobody doubting that the kid could play in the bigs. But thanks to that silly money-grubbing salary arbitration dance, he sits in Louisville until the equation tilts in his (and the fan’s) favor. He is currently hitting .352 with seven homers and an equal number of stolen bases. His OPS is 991.

Now for the trickiest question we get. “When will Jay Bruce be called up?”. Obviously, we don’t know. The parent club is in the NL Central cellar with a .452 win percentage. It’s still early, and they’re only 6.5 games out of first right now. The Reds’ outfield is full of players who are old, ineffective, or sometimes manage to be both. There have been Ken Griffey, Jr. trade rumors, and some would happily see Cory Patterson and his .235 average swap places with Bruce outright. One thing’s for sure. If Bruce has to spend another whole year in the minors, we might as well remove the rocks from Dusty Baker’s head and insert a nice flower arrangement to pretty the place up.

With all of that said, there’s just one more order of business to take care of before we send our boy off to The Show. He needs a good nickname. Simply having two first names is not enough. We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comment field. We’ll form a panel of me, OMDQ, and a couple of our baseball-loving blogger friends, and choose the best one. The best nicknamer will win a copy of the Baseball Field Guide, which I reviewed recently. It’s a great in-depth illustrated guide to the complete rules of the game from Da Capo Press.

Fire away!