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Minor league report: Vasquez moving up?


Minor league report: Vasquez moving up?
The Cubs may have a new closer in the making, the Yankees may have a starter in the making and the Angels do have a starter in the making.

HOT

Daniel McCutchen, P, Yankees - McCutchen struck out 10, walked none and threw a five-hit shutout for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre on Saturday. He has a 45:9 K:BB over 59 innings at Triple-A, but has given up eight home runs and has a too-low GO:AO of 0.71. Nevertheless, he could get a shot at the Yankee rotation sometime soon.

Jose Ceda, P, Cubs - Since his promotion from High-A in mid-June, Ceda has been used solely in relief - most recently as the closer - after being mostly a starter. He's been dominant: an 18:3 K:BB over 12 innings, a .200 BAA and a fastball clocked at 98 mph.

Madison Bumgarner, P, Giants - Bumgarner struck out five and walked one over five innings on Friday for Low-A Augusta. He's 6-0/0.91 with a 91:15 K:BB ratio over 81 1/3 innings with three home runs and a BAA of .222. He turns 19 on August 1, which is undoubtedly the reason the Giants have him stashed at Low-A.

Kila Kaaihue, 1B, Royals - Kaaihue was 3-for-5 on Saturday for Double-A Northwest Arkansas and is hitting .424 with four home runs over his last 10 games. He hit .400 in May but dropped off to .250 in June. On the year, he is at .295/.446/.594 with 20 home runs and an off-the-charts K:BB of 32:60. All of his numbers are considerably better than last year's at lower levels, so he should be moving up through Royals' system at some point.

Josh Tomlin, P, Indians - Tomlin struck out six, walked none and gave up seven hits over 6 1/3 innings Thursday for High-A Kinston. He has a 40:2 K:BB ratio over his last 46 innings there. He has not walked anyone over his last 24 innings. The Indians are in last place in the AL Central and have the fourth-worst record in baseball.

Jack Egbert, P, White Sox - Egbert struck out nine, walked one and gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings Friday for Triple-A Charlotte. Over his seven appearances in June and July, Egbert has a K:BB of 41:9 in 41 innings. He has, however, given up six home runs as well. His groundball ratio has dropped each month, while his home-run ratio has increased. In Friday's game, he gave up no home runs and got nine groundball outs and only two in the air. Egbert continues to keep himself in the running for major league innings should the White Sox need a starter, though the rising number of home runs is undoubtedly a concern.

Rudy Darrow, P, Tigers - Darrow has a 4.41 GO:AO and a .210 BAA through 43 1/3 relief innings at Low-A West Michigan through Sunday. He's also given up just one home run and has a 37:14 K:BB. Why the Tigers are keeping the 24-year-old at Low-A with these numbers is a little odd.

Charlie Zink, P, Red Sox - Zink threw a two-hit shutout for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday. He struck out eight and walked two. The two hits were singles, and he threw 62 of 93 pitches for strikes. He has a 2.42 ERA and a .199 BAA on the year. He is a good bet to see some time in Boston given the recent pitching woes.

Jordan Walden, P, Angels - Walden gave up one earned run over seven innings while striking out three and walking one Thursday for Low-A Cedar Rapids. He's having a great year: a .208 BAA, a 2.28 GO:AO and a 74:28 K:BB over 92 2/3 innings with three home runs. He is headed to the majors; it's just a matter of when.

Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers - Andrus went 2-for-4 with three steals on Sunday for Double-A Frisco. He's hitting .436 over his last 10 games and hit .309 in June with a 12:7 K:BB over 68 innings. He has 30 stolen bases on the year and has gotten steadily better in just about all offensive categories.

Henry Sosa, P, Giants - Sosa struck out five and walked one over five innings for High-A San Jose on Sunday. He gave up seven hits and three earned runs. He has a 45:11 K:BB ratio over 43 2/3 innings thus far, with four home runs, a BAA of .245 and a GO:AO of 0.69 - his only weak spot at this point, though in his defense, sometimes GO:AO ratios in the low minors have more to do with the fielders than the pitchers.

Jonathan Kibler, P, Tigers - Kibler struck out three, walked two and gave up five hits over six innings for Low-A West Michigan. His allowed no earned runs in consecutive outings. Over his last 10 starts, he has posted a 55:17 K:BB and a 1.62 ERA. His year-to-date BAA is .179, he has compiled a 1.92 GO:AO and has a 74:19 K:BB over 91 2/3 innings with three home runs. Plus, he's a lefty, so he has a very high ceiling and should be moving up soon.

Jon Niese, P, Mets - Niese had an excellent June for Double-A Binghamton. Over five starts, he posted a .223 BAA, a 2.05 GO:AO, a 27:11 K:BB over 32 innings and no home runs. On the year, he has walked a few too many, but other than that, his numbers are solid: a .240 BAA, 1.58 GO:AO and three home runs over 91 2/3 innings. The lefty is poised to advance.

NOT

Derrick Robinson, OF, Royals - Robinson went 1-for-5 on Sunday for High-A Wilmington. He is hitting .195 over his last 10 games and was only .187/.252/.242 in June. He has walked only 23 times in 323 at-bats, and with no home runs to his credit, he really needs to get on base more - his YTD OBP is .295. While he has 42 steals, he is less likely to get on and more likely to get thrown out as he moves up.

Julio Pimentel, P, Royals - Pimentel "improved" in June after a horrendous May at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. His ERA dropped from 8.04 over six starts to 5.61 over five. His BAA went down from .315 to .311, and his home run rate dropped from six over 31 1/3 innings to three over 25 2/3. He will not be advancing to Triple-A this year at this rate.

Gerardo Parra, OF, Diamondbacks - Parra went 0-for-3 on Monday for Double-A Mobile. He's hitting .135 over his last 10 games and .243/.305/.357 in the 31 games since his promotion. He has not transitioned well: all of his numbers are down from his High-A performance earlier in the year.

Brooks Brown, P, Diamondbacks - Brown turned it around a little bit at Double-A Mobile in his six June starts. His BAA came in at .268, a far cry from his batting practice BAA of .330 in May. His strikeout rate went up a little, but his walk rate did not come down, so he needs a major overhaul at this point if he hopes to see significant and meaningful innings in the majors anytime soon.

Somewhere in Between

Wilson Ramos, C, Twins - Ramos finished June with a 20:10 K:BB ratio over 85 at-bats for High-A Fort Myers. This was a major turnaround from his May number - 23:1 over 105 at-bats. Surprise, surprise, his average went up as well, from .257 to .282, though his home runs dropped from seven to zero. When young hitters make the adjustment from impatience to patience, there is often a noticeable power drop-off. The better ones then add the power after they have internalized the plate discipline. We'll see if it happens with Ramos.

Joe Savery, P, Phillies - Savery struck out six and walked two over 6 2/3 innings on Tuesday for High-A Lakeland. He gave up four hits and no earned runs. This and his prior walkless outing over six innings may be a turning point. However, he had back-to-back BAAs of .333 in May and June. His strikeout rate dropped significantly in June, and his groundball rate, which had been one of his saving graces, is dropping. He may be running the risk of having to spend more time than originally anticipated at High-A.

Pete Kozma, SS, Cardinals - Kozma went 0-for-4 on Sunday for Low-A Quad Cities. After a poor May, he bounced back in June with a line of .284/.379/.338. His year-to-date OBP is a respectable .355, so if he can steer away from whatever was bothering him in May, he should be fine. For Kozma, the OBP will be the key number moving forward, as he has no other real offensive attraction, other than a little speed, which becomes less of an asset if he is not getting on.

Virgil Vasquez, P, Tigers - Vasquez struck out five and walked none over seven innings on Friday for Triple-A Toledo. He had his best month of the year in June, posting a .196 BAA and a 28:9 K:BB over 41 1/3 innings. Holding him back is a low GO:AO - 0.92 - and a penchant for giving up home runs - 15 over 94 2/3 innings.

Daniel Cortes, P, Royals - Cortes walked four and gave up four hits over five innings on Sunday for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He stepped up his strikeout rate in June, but everything else went south: he posted a 0.44 GO:AO, gave up five home runs over 30 1/3 innings and compiled a .283 BAA. On the year, he is walking too many and the GO:AO is too low.

Article first appeared 7/8/08


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: July 9, 2008

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