Results tagged ‘ Jarrod Parker ’
It’s nothing new to rave about young pitching, but watching the Division Series this year, I couldn’t help but be struck, not just by how many young pitchers are on playoff rosters, but by the important roles they’ve been giving. The results may be uneven, but it’s amazing how often teams are putting the ball in the hands of some fairly inexperienced hurlers, confident that they are the best options at the time.
By now, I’ve written enough about Matt Moore to be the official spokesman of his fan club. But he’s Exhibit A, right? A top prospect who started in Double-A, got a September callup and not only won Game 1 of the ALDS, but threw three more relief innings in Game 4. Of course, he wasn’t alone on that Tampa staff. Jeremy Hellickson, the potential AL Rookie of the Year, started Game 4.
Game 5 between the Yankees and Tigers is tonight. New York’s best (only?) option: Ivan Nova, the right-hander who might give Hellickson a pretty good contest in ROY voting. Mind you, this is a guy who got sent down earlier this year. He’s been nothing short of sensational since his return, of course, and won Game 1 once it resumed post-suspension.
In last night’s Brewers-Diamondbacks game, Arizona brought Jarrod Parker into the game in the sixth inning with a 7-3 lead. Yes, he gave up two hits, a walk and a run, but the fact Parker is even on the postseason roster is somewhat amazing. He is, after all, in his first season following Tommy John surgery. After shaking off the rust in the first half, he was tremendous in the second, helping Mobile win the Double-A Southern League title. He got a late September callup and appeared in one game, a very solid start. With his relief outing in Game 4, that brings his career total of games out of the bullpen to… let’s see here… one.
There’s more… Bryan Shaw joins Parker in that Arizona bullpen with 33 Major League games under his belt and has been perfect in three NLDS appearances. Rookie Al Albuquerque has become an important part of the Tigers bullpen and appeared in two games against the Yankees.
Obviously, I think it’s fantastic and a further sign of where the game is these days. Even the teams with deep pockets have to rely on young pitching, developing their own.
Meanwhile, in Panama…
After dropping their first game, Team USA has won two in a row against Chinese Taipei and Japan. Through three games, few have been more impressive than Pirates middle infield prospect Jordy Mercer, who’s now 5-for-12 with three extra-base hits and five RBIs.
Our friends from the Top 50, Brett Jackson and Travis d’Arnaud, continue to do well (the team is hitting .309 overall). Jackson is 4-for-12 and d’Arnaud is 3-for-8 with three doubles. A somewhat forgotten prospect, A.J Pollock of the Diamondbacks, is 3-for-9 with a homer.
And, finally, the AFL. There was more offense yesterday, shockingly. There’s now been 76 runs scored in five total games. That’s 15.2 runs per game, if you’re keeping score at home. As friend and colleague Kevin Goldstein pointed out via Twitter (@Kevin_Goldstein) recently, the AFL averaged 5.8 runs per game in 2010. So, to summarize: They are a tad ahead of pace so far this year.
I know, I know. My last Top 50 update came back on June 13 and I can only offer my humblest apologies. Since that time, the Top 50 list has changed quite a bit, with several players leaving the ranks thanks to their graduation (read: losing rookie status) to the big leagues.
And there are even more changes in store. The Team Top 10s have already been reshuffled in many instances, with players moving up in ranking due to their impressive performances (Example: Brad Peacock now at No. 2 on the Nationals’ Top 10 list). And while there are many new names on the overall Top 50 to check out (the point I’m trying to make is that Prospect Watch is something that should be checked often), there’s a re-ranking of that still to come. So keep an eye out for that.
For now, though, lets work with the 50 we’ve got and give an update on how they’re doing, starting with the pitchers.
Pitcher of the last little while: I figured just looking at a week wouldn’t be fair. A number on this list — Drew Pomeranz, Matt Moore, Tyler Skaggs and Martin Perez (boy, it’s been a good stretch for lefties, hasn’t it?) — have earned promotions recently and pitched well (taking nothing away from Shelby Miller and Jake Odorizzi, who were promoted a little further back). But I’ll give the nod to Tommy John surgery survivor Jarrod Parker. It’s looking the rust has been shaken off at this point. The Diamondbacks prospect has been outstanding lately, looking much more like his old self while Arizona monitors his innings. In his last five starts — all in July — he’s given up one earned run or less. He’s given up just 18 hits in his 26 innings this month for a .196 batting average against. After walking 33 batters in 61 first-half innings, he’s given up just 11 free passes in 31 IP since the break.
And now, the hitters:
Again, many promotions throughout the list. But I’ve got to applaud the work of Dee Gordon. Gordon got a call up to Los Angeles and got sent down after 22 games there. Rather than sulk, though, he has flat out raked in Triple-A. In 16 July games, the speedy shortstop has hit .408/.440/.563. That’s 29-for-71 for those of you scoring at home. He’s also gone 8-for-9 in stolen base attempts, making him a nifty 30-for-34 for the year.
Hope everyone had a good weekend. Me and Mrs. B3 caught Duplicity over the weekend. Fun flick, nothing earth-shattering, but entertaining…
On to the task at hand, today’s Game of the Day:
This is the first game of a doubleheader between the Southern League teams, so we’re talking a seven-inning affair here, but this could be a dandy. Both of these pitchers have been highlighted here in my recent Game of the Day efforts. Last time I mentioned Poreda, it was to preview a great matchup in which the 2007 first-rounder beat Bryan Augenstein in a 2-0 pitchers duel. Hensley came up in my discussion about guys who had yet to give up an earned run. (Don’t you love bloggers who link to their own previous posts?).
Hensley was the Mariners’ fourth-round pick in the 2008 draft out of Elon University in North Carolina. He made his first four outings this year with Clinton in the Midwest League, where he threw 17 2/3 innings without giving up an earned run (he’s given up four unearned runs). Tonight’s start is a double-jump for the right-hander, going from A ball up to Double-A without a stop in the California League. We’ll see how he fares in his Double-A debut.
It got me thinking about other guys who have been promoted thus far in the 2009 season. I know it’s early, but there have been some interesting prospects who have already been bumped up. Here’s a selection and, as always, feel free to chime in with other candidates:
Jarrod Parker, RHP, Diamondbacks: Our No. 18 prospect made the California League look easy, allowing just two earned runs over 19 innings, so the D-backs moved him up. His first Double-A start on Saturday in Jacksonville, was a little rougher as the 20-year-old gave up 8 hits and three earned runs (four total) over 4 1/3 IP. He did only walk one while striking out five.
Lance Lynn, RHP, Cardinals: The Cardinals’ supplemental first-round pick out of University of Mississippi last June has kind of flown under the radar, but maybe he shouldn’t. After five outings in the Florida State League, the right-hander just made his Double-A debut on Monday morning and the Texas League didn’t seem to bother him, as he fired five shutout innings.
Adrian Cardenas, SS/2B, A’s: After hitting .372 over 19 games with Double-A Midland, the infielder who came to the A’s late last year in the Joe Blanton trade with the Phillies got bumped up to Triple-A Sacramento as the A’s made a number of roster moves across a few levels. He made his PCL debut on Friday and has played in two games. While he’s gone just 1-for-7 thus far, he has driven in three runs. He’s playing both middle infield positions, so he’s ready whenever there’s a need in either spot in Oakland.
Peter Kozma, SS, Cardinals: Kozma was the Cards’ top pick in the 2007 draft and he had a solid, but unspectalar, first full season. He broke out of the gates well in the pitching-friendly FSL this year, hitting .315 over 18 games, to earn a bump up to Double-A Springfield with Lynn. He’s gone 1-for-6 over his first two games.
Hector Ambriz, RHP, Diamondbacks: Arizona’s fifth-rounder in 2006 out of UCLA, Ambriz had an up-and-down 2008 with Double-A Mobile. But he pitched well, in a relief role, in the Arizona Fall League (he even blogged for us) and it’s carried over so far this season. He went back to Mobile and quickly showed he was ready for a new challenge, with a 2.17 ERA over five starts. In 29 IP, he gave up just 18 hits (.180 BAA) and struck out 32 vs. only 6 walks. He got the promotion to Triple-A Reno after his Friday start (seven innings of shutout ball), so he should make his PCL debut some time later this week.