How Are They Doing So Far? Part 2


Today, I’ll continue looking at the prospects I reviewed during the offseason, and how they are progressing to this point. All statistics are through Monday’s games.

AA

Mike Stanton (FLA): 28 games, .340/.481/.854, 15 HR, 33 RBI, 28 R, 1 SB, 28 walks, 32 strikeouts

Stanton has torn up AA, and is currently leading the minor leagues in homeruns. There has been talk that with some of the outfielders in the Majors struggling, that Stanton will be called up as soon as the Super-2 date passes. Clearly, he has nothing else to prove at AA even at this point. I wrote in January that I thought he wouldn’t be up until mid-2011, but with ownership expecting this team to compete, Stanton is probably going to be up very soon. And he’ll be some fun to see when that happens.

Michael Pineda (SEA): 6 starts, 32 1/3 IP, 2-0, 2.23 ERA, 1.175 WHIP, 40 strikeouts, 9 walks

I reviewed Pineda mostly because I thought that he was interesting, as he put up very good statistics for a pitcher in the extremely hitter-friendly California League. Now in the Southern League, those numbers appear to not be a fluke. I wrote that I thought he would be up late in 2011 or to start 2012 most likely, and I think that’s probably still right. The Mariners have a lot of reasonably good pitching between Pineda and the Majors, and they can wait to allow him to develop. Remember he’s only 21 years old this season.

Christian Friedrich (COL): 3 starts, 16 IP, 0-1, 2.81 ERA, 1.188 WHIP, 16 strikeouts, 4 walks

Friedrich picked up right where he left off at the end of last season, and is striking out a batter per inning with excellent control. Of concern is the fact that he has missed time this season, having a stint on the 7-day DL with left elbow soreness. Since he throws left handed, this could be of real concern long-term. His last start was on April 19th, almost a month ago now.

Martin Perez (TEX): 6 starts, 25 2/3 IP, 1-0, 2.45 ERA, 1.442 WHIP, 29 strikeouts, 15 walks

The strikeouts remain excellent, but the spike in walks is a bit worrisome to me. I think he should be able to improve on that and return to the form he has shown at previous stops. The Rangers appear committed to him being a part of their starting rotation long term, which bodes well for them. I thought back in January he wouldn’t be up until late 2011 at the soonest, and I think that’s probably still his timetable.

Domonic Brown (PHI): 25 games, .333/.388/.632, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 17 R, 3 SB, 9 walks, 20 strikeouts

Widely assumed to be the replacement should Jayson Werth leave via free agency after this season, Brown has hit very well so far at AA. He spent part of last season at AA, so I could see him getting a promotion to AAA by around the All-Star break. A very solid prospect, and most of his numbers are within range of his career norms to this point.

Kyle Drabek (TOR): 7 starts, 40 IP, 4-3, 3.60 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 41 strikeouts, 21 walks

Drabek has pitched fairly well to this point, but the walks are a concern. He had previously been posting strikeout-to-walk rates of around 3, but is just under 2 so far this season. The Blue Jays will give him lots of time to develop, as they have an excessive amount of pitching at the Major League level, to the point of having starters who can’t seem to break into the rotation. I think he will probably more likely be up with the team in 2012 than 2011 at this point.

Brett Lawrie (MIL): 31 games, .256/.329/.416, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 19 R, 6 SB, 13 walks, 42 strikeouts

I have been a bit surprised by the performance of Lawrie. The speed appears to be legitimate, and I think that he could end up being a 20-20 2B in the Majors someday. The plate discipline remains a bit of a challenge, but if he can improve that somewhat I could see him getting a late-season promotion to AAA. Realistically, they should leave him in AA until he shows some of that in my opinion.

Chris Withrow (LAD): 6 starts, 27 2/3 IP, 1-2, 7.48 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 24 strikeouts, 15 walks

Withrow has not been particularly good to this point, and the control really seems to be showing as a huge problem. He’s never been a particularly accurate pitcher, generally posting strikeout-to-walk rates of around 2. He’s going to need to improve on that before being considered for a promotion. I would have to think that he is going to spend the entire 2010 season at AA, and if doesn’t show improvement in his control could possibly start 2011 there as well.

Casey Kelly (BOS): 6 starts, 20 2/3 IP, 0-2, 3.48 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 21 strikeouts, 7 walks

Kelly seems to be taking to the change to pitching only, striking out a batter per inning. I think that the Red Sox leave him down at AA all season, letting him further refine his excellent skill set. I wrote that I thought he wouldn’t be up until 2012 midseason, and unless there becomes a need in the rotation, I think that will remain true. They have all 5 starters under team control until at least then: Lackey (2014), Beckett (2014), Matsuzaka (2012), Lester(2013), and Buchholz (2014) all under contract or control until then.

Yonder Alonso (CIN): 29 games, .271/.397/.417, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 19 R, 4 SB, 19 walks, 16 strikeouts

Alonso has been splitting his time between 1B and LF for the Reds AA team, and I have to imagine that at a certain point he’ll stop playing 1B entirely. The Reds have Joey Votto holding down that position in the Majors, and unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon. He’s hit well to this point, and I think he may end up getting promoted to AAA at some point during the season. The Reds have shown that they are not averse to promoting someone to the Majors if they think they are ready to contribute (Mike Leake), so when Alonso is ready, the Reds will move him up.

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