Posts Tagged ‘top prospects’

The Z-Meter 4/17/2008

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.

Last week, I thought it was cute to call this by the long-ass name of the Zimmerman-o-meter. Now I don’t, so it’s the Z-meter from now on. One of our prospects, Evan Longoria, was called up to the bigs over the weekend, despite a truly terrible first week in AAA. So I guess it’s worth noting that there’s not always a direct correlation between stats and call-ups – if a guy has the skills and the big club has an opening, he’ll get the call. Nonetheless, for our purposes, if a prospect’s line is in red, he’s en fuego and bucking for a promotion.

Promoted: Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

I’ve added Diamondbacks prospect Max Scherzer to the list this week following a reader’s suggestion. Scherzer has an interesting line. He’s pitched two games, allowed no earned runs, mowed down 18 batters, and yet has not figured in a win or a loss yet. That sounds like a story worth investigating.

I also took out Pedro Powell, who I mostly liked for his speed, and because he’s damn near a midget. He only had three at-bats, which offended even my irrational sense of whimsy. Instead, I went homer on you and put in Luke Hochevar, who is headed for the Royals some day soon.

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

Jay Bruce, CF – Louisville Bats (Reds): .294 – 7R – 2HR – 7RBI – 3SB – .471 SLG – .778 OPS

Homer Bailey, RHP – Louisville Bats (Reds): 3GS – 2W – 1L – 1.42 ERA – 3BB – 13K

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .240 – 10R – 3HR – 8RBI – 1SB – .480 SLG – .836 OPS

Carlos Gonzalez, RF – Sacramento River Cats (Athletics): .326 – 7R – 2HR – 5RBI – 0SB – .500 SLG – .892 OPS

Ian Stewart, 3B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .288 – 11R – 3HR – 13RBI – 2SB – .558 SLG – .935 OPS

Joe Koshansky, 1B – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies): .289 – 10R – 3HR – 8RBI – 0SB – .644 SLG – 1.083 OPS

Colby Rasmus, OF – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .179 – 7R – 1HR – 4RBI – 2SB – .250 SLG – .538 OPS

Max Scherzer, RHP – Tucson Sidewinders (Diamondbacks): 2GS – 0W – 0L – 0.00 ERA – 2BB – 18K

Luke Hochevar, RHP – Omaha Royals (Royals): 3GS – 1W – 1L – 2.60 ERA – 6BB – 12 K

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.

Clayton Kershaw, LHP – Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers): 3GS – 0W – 3L – 2.57 ERA – 6BB – 18K

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .214 – 9R – 1HR – 4RBI – 1SB – .339 SLG – .613 OPS

Jacob McGee, LHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 3GS – 1W – 1L – 2.77 ERA – 7BB – 16K

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .317 – 7R – 2HR – 4RBI – 3SB – .512 SLG – .984 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Lancaster JetHawks (Red Sox): .286 – 12R – 3HR – 9RBI – 0SB – .551 SLG – .926 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Montgomery Biscuits (Rays): 3GS – 2W – 0L – 3.38 ERA – 5BB – 10K

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .308 – 5R – 0HR – 6RBI – 3BB – 2SB – .365 SLG – .723 OPS

Jeff Samardzija, P – Tennessee Smokies (Cubs): 3GS – 2W – 0L – 1.59 ERA – 5BB – 8K

These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

David Price, LHP – (Rays): No 2008 Stats

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Tigers (Detroit): 3GS – 1W – 2L – 0.64 ERA – 4BB – 12K

Travis Snider, RF – Dunedin Blue Jays (Blue Jays): .283 – 11R – 3HR – 5RBI – 1SB – .565 SLG – .892 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Boise Hawks (Cubs): No 2008 Stats

Matt Wieters, C – Frederick Keys (Orioles): .500 – 8R – 3HR – 8RBI – 10BB – 1SB – .917 SLG – 1.545 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .194 – 3R – 0HR – 1RBI – 0SB – .194 SLG – .451 OPS

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

Pitchers’ Duel Impacts Z-Meter Standings

In a rare bit of kismet, two of the starting pitchers we are following on their journey through the Bus Leagues met in Kodak, Tennessee last night. Southpaw Clayton Kershaw drew the road start for the Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers), as they faced the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs), and righty Jeff Samardzija.

Samardzija became known to U.S. sports fans as a wide reciever at Notre Dame, but his minor-league career has been working in his favor so far. In last night’s head-to-head matchup with Kershaw, the less-heralded Cubs prospect took home the win in a hard-fought pitchers’ duel. The 2-0 score probably reflects a slight differential in seasoning, as Kershaw, 20, gave up the two runs in the first inning before settling in. Samardzija, 23, acknowledged that his mental approach to the game has matured.

“I was throwing the sinker early and often in the count,” said the former Notre Dame All-American wide receiver. “I had good command and worked in some of my other pitches as the game went on.”

“I have a little different approach this year,” he said. “I don’t mind letting the hitters hit the ball. You got to have confidence in the guys behind you.”


By not trying to strike every batter out, Samardzija was able to pitch into the seventh inning, which has been a rarity in his career so far.

Kershaw did get the best of the matchup in one area, however, striking out eight batters. Samardzija was victimized twice at the plate.