Minor League Recap: July 21-July 27

The Norfolk Tides are the talk of baseball!

Ok, they aren’t really, but the exclamation points make you think they are. Actually, going 15-3 over an 18 game stretch is pretty impressive, and that hot streak has now brought them up to 8 games below .500, 7.5 games behind the division leading Durham Bulls. Wait, 8 games BELOW .500? After going 15-3 over their last 18 games? Yeah, they’re not a good team. Considering they’re 10 games out of the wild card as well, I’d hold off on printing those playoff tickets.

In “you can stop panicking” news, Dylan Bundy threw 6 scoreless innings last week to bring his ERA at Frederick DOWN to 6.11. He gave up 3 hits and walked to in his outing, but he only struck out one batter (if that actually made you panic more, then…sorry).

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 6-1 (W-L), 44 RS, 29 RA

Bowie (AA): 2-5, 24 RS, 33 RA

Frederick (High-A): 3-4, 31 RS, 35 RA

The Good:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): SS Ivan De Jesus – 8/23 (H/AB), 2 2B’s, 1 HR, 3 BB’s, 7 SO’s

De Jesus struck out more than I’d like last week, but made up for it with his walks and extra base hits. This was actually a pretty difficult decision. No one really had one those WEEKS, but everyone on the Tides hit pretty well. Good job team!

Bowie (AA): OF Mike Yastrzemski – 9/28, 2 2B’s, 1 3B, 3 BB’s, 4 SO’s

Yastrzemski does it again! He’s been a quick mover all year (started out the season in Low-A Delmarva) and he’s making the big jump from High-A to AA look fairly easy with a .333/.400/.511 triple slash line in his first 11 games. He’s had a great year so far, but that doesn’t make him an impact prospect yet. He was looked at in the Baseball Prospectus 10 Pack (subscription required) yesterday and despite the outstanding makeup and baseball IQ, BP’s Tucker Blair sees his ceiling as a 4th outfielder or second division starter.

Frederick (High-A): 3B Jason Esposito – 10/26, 1 2B, 4 HR’s, 2 BB’s, 4 SO’s

Have yourself a week Jason Esposito. The Frederick third baseman has certainly been showcased on the wrong end of this list this year, s it’s nice to see the former second round pick turn things around. His 4 home runs more than doubled his season total (which now stands at 7) and he even threw in 2 walks to boot!

Pitchers

Norfolk (AAA): RHP Brock Huntzinger – 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 SO’s, 0 BB’s

When your team goes 6-1 in a week, you’re going to have a lot of good pitching performances. I even considered Tyler Wilson with the added bonus that he just joined twitter.

Huntzinger’s line from last week speaks for itself though, and not even Tyler Wilson joining twitter could trump it.

Bowie (AA): RHP Zach Davies – 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 7 SO’s, 1 BB

Several good outings this week (including an Eduardo Rodriguez bounce back), but Davies continues to put in solid outing after solid outing. Since a rough start against New Hampshire on June 11, Davies has only allowed 9 runs in 44 IP, with all 9 runs being scored in 3 of his 7 starts.

Frederick (High-A): RHP Brady Wager – 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 4 SO’s, 1 BB’s

No one on the Keys’ pitching staff really stood out this week, and even the high strikeout guys seemed to issue almost just as many walks. Maybe I devalue walks too much, but I have trouble saying someone pitched well if they walk almost a batter an inning, even if he struck out that many or more. In fact, the entire staff in Frederick only struck out 5 more batters than they walked last week (40/35). Oh yeah, back to Wager. Only one of his runs was earned.

The Bad:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): OF Dariel Alvarez – 6/25, 0 BB’s, 4 SO’s

Alvarez didn’t necessarily have a bad week, but everyone else was better. His brief time in AAA isn’t going great so far, as he currently sports the rarely seen batting average higher than OBP triple slash line. Considering that he hardly takes a walk, it could be around for a while.

Bowie (AA): C Michael Ohlman – 4/23, 1 2B, 0 BB’s, 4 SO’s

As a pre-season top 10 organizational prospect, I don’t WANT to give Ohlman this dubious award every week, but I feel like he’s not giving me a choice in the matter. On average there about 12-14 players who get enough at-bats each week to get considered. All he has to do is be better than 1 of them.

Frederick (High-A): OF Lucas Herbst – 1/10, 0 BB’s, 5 SO’s

Ten at-bats is a sample size in a week to give a good job/bad job to someone, but I’ve done it before, so why not do it again. There were a couple of worthy candidates, but striking out in half of your AB’s will usually get my attention.

Pitchers

Norfolk (AAA): LHP Clay Rapada – 1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 1 SO, 2 BB’s, 1 HR

When you’re team goes 6-1 during the week and you pitch this badly, it really sticks out. Unsurprisingly, all of the 6 runs Rapada gave up came during the team’s only loss last week.

Bowie (AA): RHP Mychal Givens – 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 SO’s, 4 BB’s

Walking more batters than you strike out will kill you. Not literally, of course.

Frederick (High-A): RHP Branden Kline – 0.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 1 SO, 1 BB

Only 3 of those 6 runs Kline gave up were earned, which makes puts his ERA for the week at 40.91. Kline was sent down to short season Aberdeen after the start and I’m not sure why. He has had a couple of rough starts since the beginning of June, but not all of them were bad. This is all I could find on twitter, but it only tells us what we already know, which is that was a BAD outing.

Transactions

Date Transaction
7/21/14 C Steve Clevenger optioned to AAA
7/21/14 RHP Tyler Wilson (AAA) activated from inactive list
7/21/14 RHP Bud Norris recalled to MLB
7/21/14 INF Sharlon Schoop (AA) activated from DL
7/21/14 LHP Ashur Tolliver (AA) placed on 7-day DL
7/21/14 RHP Steven Hensley (AA) activated from inactive list
7/21/14 RHP Sebastian Vader promoted to High-A
7/21/14 RHP Mark Blackmar promoted to High-A
7/22/14 RHP Miguel Gonzalez recalled to MLB
7/22/14 RHP Preston Guilmet optioned to AAA
7/22/14 OF Chih-Hsien Chiang demoted to High-A
7/22/14 OF John Ruettiger demoted to High-A
7/22/14 OF Glynn Davis promoted to AA
7/22/14 OF Michael Burgess promoted to AA
7/23/14 RHP Suk-min Yoon (AAA) placed on 7-day DL
7/23/14 RHP Steve Johnson (AAA) activated from DL
7/23/14 LHP Kelvin De La Cruz (AAA) placed on 7-day DL
7/24/14 INF Jimmy Paredes assigned to AAA
7/25/14 C David Freitas demoted to AA
7/25/14 C Zane Chavez (AA) placed on 7-day DL
7/26/14 RHP Sebastian Vader promoted to High-A
7/26/14 RHP Branden Kline demoted to Short Season
7/27/14 INF Buck Britton demoted to AA

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