Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Minor League Breakdown: The Hitting Prospects

It's time for the 2nd breakdown of the minor league hitting prospects as most prospects have had at least 70 PA's. Even Josh Sale was allowed to participate in full-season ball. And while he is the Rays minor league leader according to OPS and wOBA, please keep in mind that it only have been 10 PA's.

Overall state of the farm

After an above average start into the season of our MiL hitters as a group (lead by Tyler Goeddel, Henry Wrigley and Brandon Guyer), their performance level dimished a bit and stabilized at an overall .687 OPS over the last two weeks. Better pitching performances, however, have at least ended the End-of-April drought of our upper level clubs in Durham and Montgomery. The hitting prospects as a group, however, are still ranked favourably to their pitching colleagues at every level.

OPS-CH and ERA-CH stands for the OPS and ERA change since the last minor league breakdown.

Prospects stats overview

It's the same thing every year. Lots of prospects who might have flown under the radar surprise with excellent performances, while others who seem to be destined for a breakout struggle. That's the nature of human beings and that is also the fun of athletic competition. With Kyeong Kang, Henry Wrigley and Cole Figueroa three lesser mentioned prospects have shown the top performances in the Rays minor league system. While repeating and being overage prospects for their respective level (Figueroa has already been promoted to AAA; the other two should follow within a month or two), their performances have to be credited. On the other side, lots of the top hitting prospects struggle (e.g.: Mikie Mahtook, Tim Beckham and Hak-Yu Lee; Lee is slowly coming back with a .751 OPS over his last 71 PA's, however). 
Here is the data:
 
(click on the image for a better view)

Prospects on the rise
  1. Kyeong Kang ... In his last 53 PA's he has hit for a .562 wOBA and a 1.315 OPS. And while he's repeating in Montgomery, he shows very impressive power (already 8 HR vs. 11 HR all of last season and 26 HR in nearly 400 minor league games before this season). 
  2. Jeff Malm ... Of the bunch of early drafted position players over the last three years, he is performing best, so far. While being older than fellow Hot Rods prospects Tyler Goeddel or Drew Vettleson, he is showing more consistency and power.
  3. James Rice ... A hot streak over the last 35 PA's (1.066 OPS, .479 wOBA) makes him one of the lone bright spots (next ot Alejandro Segovia and Mayobanex Acosta) in an otherwise injury-ridden (Ashley, Chirinos, Bailey) and badly performing (Thomas, Vogt) catching system.

Prospects to be falling
  1. Tim Beckham ... The Rays starting shortstop position could've been his as soon as by the end of this season. The suspension, however, in addition to mediocre performances is more than one step back for him. What a horrible day that was for the Rays!
  2. Jake Hager ... The move to Bowling Green was an aggressive one, and looking at the performance level so far, might it have been too aggressive? On a positive note: He is not striking out all that often (10.7%).
  3. Todd Glaesmann ... After excellent performances in Australia over the off-season, I was very much looking forward to see what he can do in Port Charlotte. However, firstly he was not promoted and secondly his bat has gone flat over the last weeks (56 PA's, .495 OPS, .221 wOBA). Maybe his injury is still holding him back?  
  4. Mikie Mahtook ... There was much more to be expected out of him. The main question: Where is the power?

Glossary

All of the stats provided above are excluding the stats from the previous day. I preferrably use FanGraphs as source for the stats. Click on each stat for its explanation:

25 comments:

  1. Great stuff as always BurGi. Question: are they supposed to appear separately for each team they play for? See Figuearoa and Upton.

    Bortnick and Lee tops in speed score.

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  2. Thx Doug. Yes, it's supposed to be like that. I'd also like to look at the differences between the level of play, especially when the season goes on.

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  3. why does Durham enjoy having four catchers on the roster??? and miranda should be grabbin some pine meat!

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    1. As of right now they only have 2 catchers on their roster (Albernaz, Vogt) with Ashley on the DL and Gimenez in the bigs.

      Agree on Miranda (despite SSS with 90 PA's). He even plays worse now (last 35 PA's: .542 OPS) than at the beginning of the season (first 55 PA's: .586 OPS). Maybe the Rays release him when Matsui reports to AAA?

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    2. Or, hopefully, Wrigley. I was never on the Wrigley bandwagon until this season....now, I think they're just treating him as an organiztional player. Give him the promotion, NOW, TB. Deserves a shot.

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    3. Definitely want to see Wrigley in AAA as soon as possible. I think we could use Leslie Anderson's bat off of the bench or the Rays as well.

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  4. I'll begin this comment by saying I'm not a Wrigley fan or a hater, I just look at the data and try to draw reasonable conclusions. I believe Wrigley has earned a shot at AAA. I also believe the time he has spent at AA will be to his advantage. Many of the contributors and commentors on this site throw around terms like "older" and "over age", and claim that TB doesn't promote quickly enough. Well, by this measure, Wrigley should have been released already. This would have been a shame as he has proven to be a "late bloomer" which we would never have known had you guys been in charge. Slow and steady progress, with longer stints at each level, can be a good thing, and Wrigley has accumulated more than a season's worth of time at A, A+ and AA. In contract, look at Vogt. He flew threw the system, only accumulating a full season at A+. Comparing his numbers at AA and below to his numbers at AAA/MLB, the differences are striking - .302 BA/.364 OBP/.813 OPS vs. .241 BA/.273 OBP/.678 OPS. Maybe he could have used a little "seasoning" himself. Bottom line - if Wrigley is promoted, he could do well given his steady, and to some too slow, progression through the system.

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  5. I heard Kes Carter was moved down to XST with his injury. Is that true? Can anyone verify that?

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  6. Haven't heard anything on Carter. Wouldn't be surprised if they let him play some games before activating him. When they do it might be the end for Caminero.

    Did see two releases today: RHP Richard De Los Santos, was on Montgomery DL all year, and catcher Adrian Bravo-Carmona, an NDFA they just signed a month ago.

    Gonna miss RDLS, Rays picked him up 12/13/04 in AAA Rule 5 draft. Think he was the longest tenured Rays minor leaguer. Brignac was drafted in June of 2004 and he's back in the minors, but he's been in the majors for a long time too, so I don't think he counts. After that the longest in the minors (mostly at least) are the guys from the 2006 draft, Cobb, Reid, O'Malley, Kang, Thomas, Ashley and Estrada.

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  7. I think when they activate Kiermaier it will be he end of Lyerly.

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  8. I, too, saw that Richard was released. I am going to miss his smile and his kind words for everyone. He is a genuinely, classy guy. I wish him the best life has to offer. Wouldn't it be nice if some team picked him up?

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  9. Morrison moved to Biscuits and Wrigley moved to Durham

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  10. When is Nommenson going to be ready?

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  11. Were Morrison and Wrigley moved tonight...or are you suggesting it should happen? That's exciting news.

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    1. They were moved. Wrigley to AAA and Morrison to AA. I'm excited to see how they'll do.

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    2. Durham could use a RH bat, O'Malley is a switch hitter and Albernaz is the only other person on the roster who hits righty. Pretty odd.

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  12. Wrigley is about to shake things up in NC. Dont let him sit, play him while hes smashing the ball

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  13. Did Matt Rice change his name to James or is there a catcher in the Rays' system about whom I am unaware?

    As for Carter, I am headed over there tomorrow, will check to see if Carter is around.

    For those who care, O'Connor has been playing DH and had a HR the other day. Also I believe I saw him taking some infield practice one day too.

    And Matsui has brought quite a throng of media, mostly Japanese but several from local areas were here also. Obviously he has a great swing, but his running (knees) is going to be the big question.

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  14. Nommenson??? Anything on him

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  15. I bet a million dollars that Lyerly want get a chance to play even with the morrison move. They seriously just string him along. They need to just release him they are never going to give him a chance.

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  16. Bunch of crap that Lyerly is not in right field Friday,he has major league defensive skills and triple a batting and baserunning talent,poor kid has never had the chance to prove it !!!What a shame.

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  17. Very well said anonymous on may 10....totally agree...now if you look at Wrigleys and figgys age in AAA they appear to be young compared to other AAA rosters ? Can one of you stat guys publish and average age spread sheet for the AAA rosters.

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    1. For the whole International League the average age of pitchers is 27.5, for position players it's 27.3. The Bulls roster is 27.4.

      You can see the league ages for every team in the Rays org on the depth chart page, it's at the bottom of each team.

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  18. Anyone have any extended spring training reports on Brandon Martin

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