Results tagged ‘ Brewers ’
We get a regular report emailed to us when something happens with one of the 600 players on Prospect Watch in pro ball — Top 100 or team Top 20. It helps us know when we need to update the information on there.
Obviously, we can’t update a player’s blurb with every DL move, saving it for the more serious injuries, big promotions, etc. We’ve been having a discussion about what to do with the information otherwise. There’s no clear place to put it, but it’s also good information we’d like to share with everyone. So, for the time being, I’m going to try and post it here whenever possible. Maybe it’ll be a weekly item (Transaction Tuesday — I always do like alliteration). Here’s some of the most recent goings on with the top prospects in the game. I’m focusing on the Minor League ones, figuring most see when guys get called up to the big leagues.
Jake Petricka, RHP, White Sox — Promoted from Winston-Salem (Class A Adv) to Birmingham (AA). No. 5 on White Sox’s Top 20
Nestor Molina, RHP, White Sox — Promoted from Birmingham (AA) to Charlotte (AAA). No. 2 on White Sox’s Top 20.
Stephen Pryor, RHP, Mariners — Promoted from Jackson (AA) to Tacoma (AAA). No. 9 on Mariners’ Top 20.
Joe Benson, OF, Twins — Demoted from Rochester (AAA) to New Britain (AA). No. 5 on Twins’ Top 20.
That’s just a smattering… Over the course of the week, there’s much more and I’ll start compiling them and providing more info… If people have ideas or suggestions for this, please fire away.
There are certain terms used by baseball people I love. They are simple, yet say so much.
The first is when someone is called a “real baseball player.” It’s a true compliment, reserved for a player who plays the game the right way, understands the nuances of the game, does the little things, plays all-out. I think you get the picture. There might be an underlying inference that players who are “real baseball players” don’t have the biggest tools in the world. They may not have the tremendous raw power, blazing speed or rocket arm — for these guys, the sum is greater than each of the parts (or something like that). It’s not mutually exclusive. You’ll occasionally get a toolsy “baseball player” and they invariably will be superstars. But a “real baseball player” is kind of the baseball equivalent of a gym rat in basketball.
Another term is “professional hitter.” Again, there’s an undercurrent of a negative of sorts. A “professional hitter” might not be the most athletic guy in the world, but he can really swing the bat. He often might fit the “bad body, good bat” description. Think Matt Stairs, perhaps the quintessential professional hitter. Dave Magadan is another good example from the past. Greg Dobbs might be a member of this club now.
This is the term that I couldn’t help but think of when I was looking at the box score for the Peoria Javelinas from Monday’s game. Now, there are a lot of very good hitters in the AFL — they are scoring 13 runs per game thus far and there are two teams hitting well over .300. Peoria isn’t one of them, though the Javs are hitting .294.
It’s more the profile of a few hitters on that team that struck me as potential “professional hitter” types. Now, some might be more than that when all is said and done. Just because they fit the “bad body, good bat” description right now, they could be such a good hitter that they surpass the expectations for a professional hitter. If a guy becomes an every-day player, hitting in the middle of a lineup and competing for batting or RBI titles, then they kind of move past that label.
That being said, there are several guys on Peoria’s roster who could qualify as, at the very least, PFPs. That’s Professional Hitter Prospects. Understanding that they could evolve into more than that, here are the candidates:
Matt Adams, 1B, Cardinals: There’s no question this guy can hit. He’s got a career line of .316/.365/.552 and hit .300 with 32 homers and 101 RBIs in the Texas League in 2011. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he’s only been a first baseman in his career. If that Pujols guy doesn’t stay in St. Louis, Adams could stay at first. If Pujols returns — and I think he will — the Cardinals think Adams might be more athletic than people give him credit for and that he could be OK in an outfield corner. We’ll see on that, but that bat should be in the St. Louis lineup soon.
Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres: Gyorko slipped into the second round probably because of his size (5-10, 195 pounds) and the fact that because of his size, he didn’t “profile” at a given position. The Padres nabbed him in the second round (they love professional hitters) and he’s been just fine at third base, thank you very much. He also made it to Double-A in his first full season and helped San Antonio win the Texas League championship. Oh, and he hit a combined .333/.400/.552 in 2011, with 25 homers and 114 RBIs, so it might be a mistake to typecast him just yet.
Jaff Decker, OF, Padres: He’s another one who scouts weren’t sure what to do with when he was coming out of the Arizona high school ranks in 2008 (He’s 5-10, 190 pounds). The Padres took him in the supplemental first round in 2008 and when he hit .299/.442/.514 in his first full season (Fort Wayne won a title), it looked like it was a good call. Decker’s struggled a bit since then, with injuries in 2010 and last year with making consistent contact, but he’s got some considerable skills. He still drew over 100 walks in 2011 while hitting 19 homers and driving in 92 runs, all while playing in the Texas League at age 21. Sure, he struck out 142 times, but he’s young and has such tremendous plate discipline that he shouldn’t be dismissed. A .273/.411/.475 career line at his age and level is not too shabby.
Logan Schafer, OF, Brewers: He might be a bit more athletic — 33 steals in the last two seasons — than some others, but his skill set at the plate seems to fit. He, too, has had some injury issues, missing nearly all of 2010 and playing in just 99 games this past season, but when he’s on the field, he hits, as his .301 career average states. He’s got a .363 OBP, too, yet has slugged just .427, perhaps putting him more in the Dave Magadan division of professional hitters.
I’m here in Charleston, West Virginia, for the opening game of the South Atlantic League playoffs between the Lake County Captains and the West Virginia Power. the Captains (Indians organization) won the first half title of the Northern Division, while West Virginia taking the second-half crown.
Things didn’t start off so well for the home team as the Captains jumped out to a 7-0 lead through five as West Virginia’s pitchers had a wee bit of trouble finding the strike zone … or finding too much of it. Things looked bleak, even for Toastman. A great moment: Lake County’s No. 9 hitter, Juan Valdes, awaits on deck for his turn at-bat. For those of you not familiar, Toastman sits near the visiting on-deck circle and basically ridees that player mercilessly. Valdes’ particular crime was that this was his third tour in the South Atlantic League and he was reminded just how well Toastman knew him. Valdes responded by hitting a three-run homer in the third inning. After he crossed home plate, he pointed right at Toastman, which, to his credit, drew a smile from the Power’s biggest fan.
To the Power’s credit, they didn’t give up. Lake County starter Joey Mahalic came out after five shutout innings and West Virginia jumped all over the Captains bullpen for four runs in the sixth. Still a long way to go with the way this thing is going, but at least we have a ballgame now…
By the way, we’re all over the playoffs for the next couple of weeks. Kevin Czerwinski’s covering the IL’s Pawtucket-Scranton series and he’s been blogging about it. And Lisa Winston will be checking out some Florida State Leauge action this weekend and then on to the Texas League. So be sure to check out got milb? for her thoughts when the time comes.
Of course, we’ll have lots of stories and multimedia on MiLB.com as well. Already, Kevin C’s written a story on Pawtucket starter Adam Mills and I’ve contributed a feature on Lake County reliever Rob Bryson, who went from the Brewers organization to the Indians, and thus from West Virginia to Lake County, in the C.C. Sabathia trade. This is his first trip back to Appalachian Power Park since the trade.