Fringe Average: Episode 3
Jason Parks & Mike Ferrin, drink beer, talk baseball, and then talk baseball and drink beer.
Effectively Wild Episode 184: Brett Gardner Makes an Adjustment
Ben and Sam discuss Brett Gardner's new approach at the plate, and how hitters adjust to pitchers.
Ben and Sam discuss Brett Gardner's new approach at the plate, and how hitters adjust to pitchers.
Games of Wednesday, April 17
Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson is showing added thump in the early going.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Timothy Berry, LHP, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 11 K; Berry uses a three-pitch mix (fastball/curveball/changeup), and all three of the offerings could be solid-average; 21 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched.
Position Prospect of the Day: Joc Pederson, CF, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, K; Pederson has always a knack for making loud contact, and he has started 2013 with a power surge that will become critical if he must slide to a corner; .308/.327/.712 in 52 at-bats this season.
Other notable prospect performances from April 17:
- Javier Baez, SS, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 3-6, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, K; With one of the fastest bats in the minors, Baez should be right up there with Oscar Taveras in terms of prospects with the highest fantasy upside. Once he starts to slow the game down, watch out: Of his 12 hits, eight have gone for extra-bases.
- Corey Dickerson, LF, Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs): 4-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, K; Though he’s stuck in left field, Dickerson has a potential solid-average hit tool and gap power; .422/.449/.711 in 45 at-bats.
- Edwin Escobar, LHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K; Escobar’s fastball sits in the low 90s, and he complements it with an effective changeup and a below-average curveball, keeping hitters off-balance and missing a lot of bats; 20 strikeouts in 14.2 Innings pitched this year.
- Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-3, 2 HR, 4 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB; Sure, Gallo has swing and miss in his game, but the power could be special; 10-for-49, 4 HR, 7 RBI, and 20 K.
- Joan Gregorio, RHP, Giants (Low-A Augusta): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K; The 6-foot-7 Gregorio has extreme length and pitches from a three-quarters slot. With a plus-velocity fastball and developing secondary offerings, he’s one to keep an eye on; 17.0 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 23 K thus far.
- Jesse Hahn, RHP, Rays (High-A Charlotte): 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K; after he was drafted in 2010, a spate of poor health (Tommy John surgery, broken foot) kept Hahn off the mound until 2012. Hahn’s fastball could be plus-plus, his curveball has plus potential, and his changeup is still developing. Once he shows scouts more of what he has, he could shoot up the rankings.
- Kyle Jensen, RF, Marlins (Double-A Jacksonville): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, K; Jensen has solid-average power to all fields, but his swing can get long and he’s a below-average runner. Defensively limited to a corner, Jensen will have to maximize his power to stay in the prospect conversation.
- Eric Jokisch, LHP, Cubs (Double-A Tennessee): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K; A fringy fastball, average curveball, and solid-average changeup give Jokisch a back-end starter ceiling; 18.0 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 17 K.
- Taylor Jordan, RHP, Nationals (High-A Potomac): 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K; Jordan’s fastball can work in the low 90s with life, his slider has a chance to be solid-average, and his changeup already usable. He had Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2011 season; 19.0 IP, 13 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 15 K.
- Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; Like many Pirates pitchers, Kingham has a big, strong frame with a steep plane to the plate. His fastball works in the low 90s with plenty of sink, and his changeup—on which he has good arm speed—projects to be solid-average. Kingham’s curveball, though, is still a work in progress.
- Gregory Polanco, CF, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 3-3, 2 BB, SB; Polanco has loud tools (easy 5 hit and power, 6 run), but is working to smooth out his hitting mechanics as he finds his way into the upper-tier of prospects; .327/.379/.442 in 52 at-bats.
- Robert Refsnyder, 2B, Yankees (Low-A Charleston): 3-4, 3B, 2 RBI; Refsynder, the 2012 College World Series hero, is making the move from the outfield back to second base. Sticking at the keystone could be important to his prospect stock, because the hit tool may only end up being average and Refsnyder has limited over-the-fence power; 20-for-54 with 4 2B, 3B, and 9 R thus far.
- Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates (Double-A Altoona): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K; Taillon’s curveball is an absolute hammer, his fastball is up to 97 with life, and his changeup is improving. Taillon and Gerrit Cole will be an impressive combination at the front of the Pirates rotation, and both could reach the big leagues in 2013; 18.0 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 7 BB, 20 K this season.
- Alex Wood, LHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K; after skipping High-A, Wood has excelled in his first three starts in Double-A. He throws from a low-three-quarters slot, using a fastball that can touch plus velocity with heavy sink and a potential-plus changeup that has good fade. Wood’s delivery and lack of a solid breaking ball gives most the impression that his meaningful innings will be out of the bullpen; 16 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 17 K.
- Brandon Workman, RHP, Red Sox (Double-A Portland: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K; With a four-pitch mix (fastball/slider/curveball/changeup), Workman relies on his fastball and slider to miss bats. Workman is an extremely hard worker and profiles best as a back-end starter who will eat up innings; 18.0 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 25 K thus far.
- Ismael Guillon, LHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 3.1 IP, 1 H, 4 ER, 9 BB, 5 K; Needless to say, command is a major question mark for Guillon.
- Roman Quinn, SS, Phillies (Low-A Lakewood): 0-3, BB, 3 K; Quinn has struggled to make contact thus far; 13-for-52 with 17 strikeouts.
- A.J. Schugel, RHP, Angels (Triple-A Salt Lake): 3.0 IP, 11 H, 9 ER, 1 BB, 3 K; did not miss the zone much, but found a lot of barrels.
- Jacob Turner, RHP, Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K; after being bypassed by Jose Fernandez, Turner, the main piece in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade, was sent to Triple-A to work on his mechanics.
April 18, 2013 2:28 AM
The Week In Albert Pujols Playing Through Pain
Albert Pujols is having a hard time running
In case you missed Albert Pujols getting thrown out at first to end the game last night, don't worry, it's not too late to catch him running the final few yards.
April 17, 2013 3:04 PM
Trot Times for April 16
The tater trots for April 16: David Wright's shots in majestic Coors Field, two speedy trots from Heyward and Gomez.
Jackie Robinson Day continued throughout the league on Tuesday, with many ballparks playing "Sweet Caroline" or other Boston staples in support of the city (the Brewers played the theme song from "Cheers", for example). It was a nice gesture from the league and the individual clubs.
April 17, 2013 2:08 PM
Hot Prospect Video: Lewis Brinson
Jason catches up with the Rangers' promising outfield prospect.
Few prospects have created more spring training and early-season buzz than the Texas Rangers’ Lewis Brinson. Selected 29th overall in last summer’s draft, Brinson entered pro ball with the dreaded “raw-athlete-who-lacks-instincts” tag. He quickly squashed that reputation with his debut performance in the rookie Arizona League, hitting .283/.345/.523 with 36 extra-base hits and 14 steals over 54 contests.
Brinson’s solid debut summer, coupled with his exciting potential skill set, made him the no. 6 prospect in the Texas system and no. 99 in baseball over the winter, according to Baseball Prospectus. If all goes according to plan, the center fielder could be jumping up both lists by next offseason.
Still 18 years old for a few more weeks, Brinson is currently playing with the Single-A Hickory Crawdads, getting his first taste of full-season ball. The early results have been decent, though with plenty of swing-and-miss; he’s 13-for-51 (.255) with a double, two home runs, four walks, and 21 strikeouts. He has also stolen four bases without being caught.
The two early round-trippers shouldn’t come as much of a surprise; Brinson carries well above-average raw power in his wiry 6-foot-3 frame. As the prospect matures on the field, he’s hoping for his body to follow suit. And in an effort to push that process forward, the Rangers have Brinson constantly eating.
Near the conclusion of spring training last month, I sat down with the South Florida native to discuss a number of topics, including his heavy eating habits, his nervy major-league spring training appearance, and the recent changes to his swing.
April 17, 2013 9:12 AM
"Rise of the Robot Umpires"
A new project promises to be one of the more entertaining baseball books in recent years.
We've all thought it. Heck, many of us have even said it. Watching the exploits of Eric Gregg, Phil Cuzzi, Jim Joyce, and so many others, it's hard not to believe it at least once. "We want robot umpires!"
April 17, 2013 7:56 AM
Games of Tuesday, April 16
With a strong showing in Double-A, Jesse Biddle is inching closer to the majors.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies (Double-A Reading): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K; Biddle employs a four-pitch mix that includes an average fastball, a curveball and changeup that have plus potential, and a usable slider. He profiles as a very good back-of-the-rotation starter with a number-three ceiling.
Position Prospect of the Day: Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (High-A Fort Myers): 2-3, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB; Though he offers elite raw power, Sano has some swing and miss involved in his game. Sano will work to better control the strike zone so that he can utilize his powerful swing on the correct pitches; .413/.472/.761 in 46 at-bats this season.
Other notable prospect performances from April 16:
- Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Low-A Hickory): 2-5, 2 2B, R, RBI, K; “The Legend” provides an easy plus defensive profile combined with plus-plus power and a hit tool that could be major-league average. Alfaro has jaw-dropping tools and star-level potential; 14-for-44, 5 2B, 9 R thus far.
- Stetson Allie, 1B, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 4-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI; Allie keeps producing at the plate, and he looks to be nearing a promotion to the Florida State League; 23-for-56, 4 2B, 6 HR, 18 RBI thus far.
- Jeff Ames, RHP, Rays (Low-A Bowling Green): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K; Ames throws two types of fastballs—two- and four-seam—as well as a potential plus slider, and a changeup that is still developing; 15.0 IP, 5H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 15 K thus far.
- Christian Bergman, RHP, Rockies (Double-A Tulsa): 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; With a four-pitch mix (fastball/curveball/cutter/changeup) and the ability to eat innings, Bergman profiles best as a back-rotation starter; 16.2 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 16 K thus far.
- Drake Britton, LHP, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; The owner of a plus-plus fastball and a fringe-average slider and changeup, Britton will look to continue developing his command of and confidence in his secondary offerings in 2013; 14 IP, 16 K, 3 BB thus far.
- Byron Buxton, CF, Twins (Low-A Cedar Rapids): 3-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI; Buxton has the tools—potential plus power and hit, elite run, easy plus glove—to become a superstar, and the second-overall selection in 2012 has not disappointed in 2013; 18-for-38, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 10 R, 9 RBI, 4 SB thus far.
- Mauricio Cabrera, RHP, Braves (Low-A Rome): 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K; Cabrera wields a big-time fastball that can touch plus-plus velocities, a potential plus changeup, and the ability to spin a curve that is still a work in progress.
- Nick Delmonico, 3B, Orioles (High-A Frederick): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, K; With a quick bat and present pull-side power, Delmonico has the offensive ability to stay squarely on the prospect radar despite his defensive question marks; .375/.512/./688 in 32 at-bats this season.
- Cameron Garfield, C, Brewers (High-A Brevard County): 2-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB; Garfield has plus raw power, but must answer questions about his ability to make contact and to stay behind the plate; 13-for-49, 4 2B, 3 HR, 12 K, 2 BB thus far.
- Sean Gilmartin, LHP, Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K; Gilmartin employs a three-pitch mix (fastball/slider/changeup) but does not have swing-and-miss stuff, so he will have to rely on inducing weak contact.
- J.R. Graham, RHP, Braves (Double-A Mississippi): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; Graham has a fastball that can touch plus-plus velocities and boasts plus sink, a potential plus slider, and a usable changeup, but his very-small frame has some scouts questioning whether he will be able to withstand the drain of a full season.
- T.J. House, LHP, Indians (Double-A Akron) 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K; Despite a three-pitch arsenal (fastball/slider/changeup) House has limited stuff. He does, however, have good pitchability, and could eventually eat innings at the back end of a major-league rotation.
- Trevor May, RHP, Twins (Double-A New Britain): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K; May offers swing-and-miss stuff—something that the Twins have lacked for a long time; 14.1 IP with 19 strikeouts to date.
- Justin Nicolino, LHP, Marlins (High-A Jupiter): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; Nicolino may not offer the stuff to generate an elite volume of whiffs, but he has excellent command and pitchability.
- Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers (Triple-A Round Rock): 3-5, 3B, HR, R, 3 RBI; With a well-rounded game, Profar will offer more value to his major-league team than (insert your fantasy team name here).
- Michael Ynoa, RHP, Athletics (Low-A Beloit): 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; Ynoa still has the stuff—plus fastball, potential plus curveball, work-in-progress changeup—that led the A’s to hand him a $4.25 million bonus.
- Humberto Arteaga, 2B/SS, Royals (Low-A Lexington): 0-4, 3 K; Arteaga offers an easy plus defensive profile, but still faces many questions at the plate; 7-for-46 with 11 K.
- Gary Brown, CF, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 0-5, 2 K; Brown, once a can’t-miss prospect, now profiles best as a fourth outfielder; 9-for-42 with nine strikeouts thus far.
- Justin Bloxom, 1B, Nationals (Double-A): 0-5, 5 K; Bloxom, a fringy prospect, had a very rough night at the dish.
- Jorge Lopez, RHP, Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin): 0.1 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 0 K; Not the kind of day you would ever want a pitching prospect to endure; 4.1 IP, 12 H, 14 ER, 4 HR allowed, 4 BB, 3 K thus far.
- Addison Russell, SS, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 0-4, 2 K; The 19-year-old Russell has struggled since drawing a challenge assignment from th A’s; 3-for-13 with 8 K.
April 17, 2013 3:27 AM