Monday, December 22, 2008

Looking at Our Hitters: 2008 Vero Beach Devil Rays (A+)

Vero Beach Devil RaysThe next team in our look at batters-by-level from last year is the Vero Beach Devil Rays (high-A ball, which will be the Charlotte County Stone Crabs in 2009). First, here are the definitions of the stats used from the StatCorner Glossary:

PA: Plate Appearances. This is how much they hit.

wOBA: "wOBA or weighted on base average is a statistic developed by and used with the permission of Tom Tango. In a nutshell, wOBA uses linear weights on certain batting events to come up with a metric that is more statistically sound than OPS and is scaled onto an OBP scale. According to Tango "An average hitter is around 0.340 or so, a great hitter is 0.400 or higher, and a poor hitter would be under 0.300." This is how well they hit.

bRAA: "Stands for batting runs above average. It is computed by taking the hitter's RV/PA (Run value per PA above average = (wOBA for player - wOBA for league) / 1.15.) and multiplying by the number of plate appearances he has had that season." This is how much 'value' they added (or cost) their team based on the quality and quantity of their hitting.

Vero Beach Devil Rays (A+)
Hall, J.T.24.6A+253.38111.2
Matulia, John22.3A+331.3423.3
Jennings, Desmond22.1A+102.3622.8
Powell, Pedro24.6A+153.3512.8
Ashley, Nevin24.3A+385.3300.3
Royster, Ryan22.3A+462.323-2.5
Stewart, Quinn25.3A+150.300-3.8
Fields, Matthew23.4A+530.319-5.0
Gimenez, Hector26.2A+152.272-7.5
Walton, Neil24.8A+296.293-9.5
Groce, Garrett25.6A+403.301-10.1
Suarez, Cesar25.3A+512.296-14.9
Callender, Joey25.0A+301.258-18.5

Comments: Hall (drafted in the 41st round in 2004) played well and was sent to the Arizona Fall League, but was too old for high-A ball and didn't do as well after being promoted to AA. Matulia (10th round in 2005) has decent on-base skills (.343 OBP) but little power (.357 SLG). Jennings (10th round 2006) is one of our top position prospects and will receive a full write-up here soon, staying healthy next year is the key. Powell (18th round in 2003 by Pittsburgh) is a speedy CF (29 SB in 84 G), but again, too old for high-A. Ashley (6th round 2006) gets a bit of a pass on age and production since he's a catcher. He gets on (.348 OBP) but has little power (.315 SLG).

Royster is still young but was a disappointment last year after an '07 in low-A where he put up a .329/.380/.601 line and was named the Class A Offensive Player of the Year and a Baseball America Low Class A All-Star. Stewart (non-drafted free agent signed on 5/29/06) struggled after a promotion from Columbus and at his age is minor league filler. Fields (44th round in 2004) didn't impress but will get another chance next year. Gimenez is a minor league free agent, Walton (16th round in 2005) actually hit better after a promotion to AA, and Groce (41st round in 2005) was released and is a free agent. Suarez (signed as a minor league free agent on 6/3/05) and Callender (21st round in 2006) were not impressive but should fill slots somewhere in '09.

Notes: Age is as of today. Hitters are listed by level, so some appear in other posts. I only included those who had many plate appearances or are high profile (top prospect, ex-prospect, in the news lately). StatCorner only covers down to full-season A ball, so no Hudson Valley, Princeton, DSL or VSL players are included in these summaries.

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