Friday, August 3, 2012

Minor League Breakdown: The Pitching Prospects

Overall state of the farm

Especially the lower minor leagues keep on rolling. The affiliates below A+ combined for 19 wins and only 10 losses over the last 8 days.

 OPS-CH and ERA-CH stands for the OPS and ERA change since the last minor league breakdown. Overall ERA and OPS are from ALL affiliates (including DSL, VSL and short season ball affiliates)

Prospects stats overview

As nearly all pitchers in the Rays minor league system have taken the hill this season, I'm going to look at the leaders in a specific stat every week. This week: Strikeout-percentage (K%). As always, you can find links to the descriptions of the stats I use at the bottom of each post. Here is the leaderboard (min 10 IP):
  1. Brandon Gomes ... 33.8 %
  2. Ryan Garton ... 32.7 %
  3. Chris Rearick ... 31.1 %
  4. Dane De la Rosa ... 30.8 %
  5. Kirby Yates ... 30.3 %
  6. Scott Shuman ... 29.6 %
  7. Blake Snell ... 28.6 % (best starting pitcher)
  8. Kevin Brandt ... 28.1 %
  9. Jason Wilson ... 27.9 %
  10. Jordan Harrison and Austin Hubbard ... 27.5 %
Only starters (min. 50% of performances are starts):
  1. Blake Snell ... 28.6 % (7th overall)
  2. Chris Archer ... 26.9 % (13th overall)
  3. Oscar Armenta ... 26.6 % (14th overall)
  4. Alex Torres (13 GS/24 G) ... 25.0 % (20th)
  5. C.J. Riefenhauser (14 GS of 23 G) ... 24.8 % (21st)
  6. Alex Colome ... 24 % (25th)
I've removed all stat-lines with less than 5 IP in order to keep the length of the table from becoming way too long for a post.

The following lists are no prospect rankings. They just show which players have been hot/cold and/or show positive/negative trends over the last 2-4 weeks.

Prospects on the rise
  1. Kevin Brandt ... Driven by a mind-blowing performance on the 20th of July (4 IP, 9 K), he has been excellent as of late. Keep in mind that he is a bit old for rookie-ball, though.
  2. Frank De los Santos ... He is excellent since his promotion to Durham: 19 IP, 1.40 ERA, 8.84 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 2.01 FIP.
  3. Jesse Hahn ... The long anticipated pro-debut of '10 draftee Jesse Hahn has been better than expected. If you cross out the one really bad outing he had (June 24th), his stat line looks as follows: 23 IP, 18 H, 6 ER (2.35 ERA), 8 BB, 22 K.
  4. Dylan Floro ... The pitching staff is the main reason for the excellent season the Renegades have and Floro is a big part of it. Last 12.2 IP: 2.25 FIP, 6.4 K/9, 1.4 BB/9.
  5. Jeff Ames ... Even more Renegades pitching: 19 IP, 2.59 FIP, 8.8 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 in his last 4 starts. 29 IP, 2.61 FIP on the season.
  6. Alex Keudell ... Like Kevin Brandt, he is a bit old for Princeton, but dominating. His last 9 IP: 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K.
  7. Alex Colome ... He received his well deserved promotion to AAA. His last 5 starts in AA may have helped with that: 35.1 IP, 1.27 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 8.4 K/9, 3.8 BB/9.
  8. Nolan Gannon ... After 14 IP, he still has to give up an earned run. The strikeout-rate could be higher, though. Nevertheless, an encouraging start to his pro career. 
  9. Parker Markel ... His last 3 starts: 18.1 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 17 K. The strikeouts are coming around.
  10. Dane De la Rosa ... The hottest pitcher in the Bulls pen: The last 6.1 IP: 3 H, 4 BB, 12 K.
  11. Honorable mentions:  Josh Lueke, Edgar Quinonez, Theron Geith, Brandon Gomes, Jordan Harrison, Taylor Guerrieri, Carlos Cedeno, Jorge Rodriguez, Kirby Yates, Dane De la Rosa, Blake Snell, Roberto Gomez
Prospects to be falling
  1. Matt Spann ... Since the 5th of July: 24 IP, 5.25 ERA, 4.78 FIP and only 2.2 K/9!
  2. Romulo Sanchez ... He is falling way down on the reliever depth chart with a FIP and ERA higher than 10 (!!) over his last 9.2 IP. The strikeout-rate is very alarming, too, with only 3.7 K/9.
  3. C.J. Riefenhauser ... I'm very surprised by his promotion to AA. I could see it going along with a permanent move to the pen. He has been way too hitable in July (last 32.2 IP, 46 H !!)
  4. Enny Romero ... I repeat my comment from two weeks ago: "Is he ever going to find the strike-zone?"
  5. Charlie Cononie ... See Enny Romero.
  6. Alex Torres ... See Charlie Cononie. 
  7. Albert Suarez ... He is back to not striking anybody out. 2.7 K/9 over his last 26.1 IP. The FIP was unimpressive as well: 5.22 FIP. 
  8. Others: Kris Carlson, Chris Andujar, Eliazer Suero, Damion Carroll, William Gabay
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:


  1. Hudson Valley are the Renegades not the Hot Rods!!!

    1. Thank you. Fixed. I should double-check my writing.

  2. I went to the GCL game yesterday and had my first chance to see Ramsey, Carroll (6th round), Gannon (4th round) and Pelchy pitch.

    Carroll was by far the most impressive, consistent 92 with the fastball and 72 on his breaking ball, both of which he threw for strikes.

    Gannon pitched himself into and out of trouble, triple/double to first two batters, then retired the side in order. In his second inning the he loaded the bases with no outs (two walks) and only gave up one run on a sac fly sandwiched around two K's.

    Pelchy had a brutal inning, some close pitches called balls, a couple misplays, and hung some breaking balls high in the zone. In his next inning he was much better, so maybe just not warmed up enough when he came in the game.

    The Rays had a 7-1 lead at one point, hit the ball well early on. Natera with a 2-run HR and threw out a runner at the plate. Impressive prospect. Stiles with a couple more hits and an RBI, Duran had a couple hits including a ninth inning single.

    O's come to Pt Charlotte today...

  3. Floethe and Gomez should be somewhere! Floethe 23 innings last 4 starts 12 hits 2 er 17 k 7 bb - Gomez 9 inn 4 hits no runs 10 k's??

    1. I could've added 10-15 more names to the honorable mentions section.

      Regarding Floethe: His FIP since 5th of July (3.75, 44th in the system) and 18th of July (3.81, 47th in the system) - which are the two time frames I was looking at - are very good, but too high for the hot-list. His K/9 rate (6.3 in that time frames) is lower than of the others, too. Nevertheless, he has an excellent season and was close.

      Regarding Gomez: He should have made the honorable mentions. I missed him. Added him now.

    2. ... adding onto that: Gomez has had the 11th lowest FIP (min 8 IP) since the 5th of July in the system.

    3. Thanks for explanation. I just have a hard time understanding FIP and all the other new evaluation techniques. I always looked at Win/Loses, ERA, WHIP, and BB/K ratio. But being from the old school I need to wake up and understand the new generation of baseball fans.

  4. Oh my god your so annoying ANON 9:36. You say this everytime he post this message. He has given them credit over and over. I mean everyone whines all the time. The whine when they give the same PROSPECT over and over attention then he trys to mix it up and put new guys up each week and people whin about that. FLOETHE is GOOD I agree with you, I am sure Burgi agrees with you we GET IT he is good and yes he prob does deserve a promotion hopefully he will get it. Same gomez he is good too. We agree!

    1. This is my first time posting. I live in BG and have followed this team for 4 years and I am excited about this pitching staff. I looked at the info above and felt these 2 boys were slighted. Markel deserves the pat on the back for his last 4-5 starts. But these 2 boys have been nails all year and they have not gotten alot of love on this site. I did not think that was whining just looking at Stats.

  5. WE would take these two in B.G. but I believe they are doing their work for HDV.

    Dylan Floro ... The pitching staff is the main reason for the excellent season the Hot Rods have and Floro is a big part of it. Last 12.2 IP: 2.25 FIP, 6.4 K/9, 1.4 BB/9.
    Jeff Ames ... Even more Hot Rods pitching: 19 IP, 2.59 FIP, 8.8 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 in his last 4 starts. 29 IP, 2.61 FIP on the season.

  6. Floro is nasty! His sinker is like a hard back up 88-90 slider! Ames seems to have it together this year, great arm. Both would help BG but there's no room at the Inn...looks like they are keeping that staff intact. Barring injuries or a release. Next year will be interesting.

  7. Of all the criteria in statistical analysis. What is the most telling or best indicator for a prospect? Does it depend on which level A-AAA. I just want to understand the breakdown. Being green across is a good thing???

    1. In every category green is a good thing.

      Generally, you can't say that one criteria tells you how good a prospect is. I'm sorting them by FIP, but that doesn't mean that the best prospects are at the top.

      For pitchers, I do like K% and K/9. An indicator for that is, that the top 6 starting pitchers by K% (as seen above) mostly are highly regarded prospects according to the industry.

  8. Great work BurGi, really like the new K% leaderboard. Question: Are the leaders based on the whole season or by affiliate, for example I'm looking at Chris Rearick. Since he was promoted he has 2 entries on the big chart. Is the K% leaderboard just for his time in Charlotte?

    Speaking of Rearick, what a year, and a lefty too. If he were just a few years younger I might change my opinion of relievers as prospects. :)

    1. For all of us relievers.. thanks for the vote of confidence in us. Some of us do a pretty good job and get the job done that we are asked to do. We work in very high leverage situations with the game on the line. I would say that relievers are definately prospects too. Why wouldn't they be?

    2. The Rearick comment was referring to a discussion a few months back about top prospects lists. I had said then that I never include RPs on my list any more. Not that they aren't prospects, but after factoring in how much they pitch vs how much a starter does and how likely they are to make it to MLB, that they just aren't Top 30 unless they are already at AAA. Here is what I said then about the likelihood of making it to MLB based on the history of RPs in the Rays org part, it's kind of taken out of context, but you can see what I meant:

      It's true for me at least, and by design. The Rays just haven't had RPs come up through the system as relievers. I've been burnt too many times on them. Satow, Quate, Shuman, Fleming, Yates, Hinkle, Garcia, Medlock, Frontz, Reid, Risser, Boggan, Southern, DeBarr, and on and on. It just never works out, regret it every time.
      You would think given there are more RPs on a major league roster than any other position and the Rays are so great at developing pitchers that they would have a bullpen full of homegrown relievers. But there are 3, McGee, Davis and Howell (who came from KC) and all 3 were long-time starters. Howell and Davis were MLB starters when converted, and McGee was in AAA.

      So based on history I just don't see guys who are already relievers in A and A+ ever making it into the Rays bullpen.

      People pointed out that it wasn't fair to judge current players based on what other players have done in the past. Which is true of course, it was a blanket statement about all the current relievers. But part of the idea of the top 30 list is to name the guys most likely to contribute to the Rays some day. To do that I think past history of (not) developing RPs is a relevant factor. So I didn't include any RPs in my last list based in part on history.

    3. @Doug's first comment: It was supposed to be on the whole season. I forgot about combining Rearick's AA and A+ stats.

  9. Alex Torres to the DL. Didn't we just talk about that a couple of days ago? Didn't take long.

  10. Don't think we'll see a call-up real soon from BG to fill the opening in the Charlotte rotation from the CJR promotion. Rotation is projected to be Romero on Saturday, Mateo on Sunday, off day on Monday, and RH Eliazer Suero on Tuesday. Tuesday would have been CJR's turn. Surprised they didn't just skip it and go with Lara on Tuesday.

  11. Can Charlotte be contracted? What a cruel trick to promote Glaesmann to Charlotte and then send Mahtook and Dietrich to Montgomery. But seriously, why is Seitzer still in BG? OPS over 800 and 22 yrs old with Malm very capable at 1B! Must BG hoard all the riches? What about us fans in South FL?
    Also, Querecuto tearing it up. 1000 plus OPS in last 10 gms I believe. Would hate to see him left behind in BG next yr.

    1. Querecuto is really doing excellent as of late and I also would have loved to see Seitzer getting a promotion.

      Nevertheless, the Charlotte comment is nonsense. MiL affiliates do have fluctuating results year in, year out. Just look at the record in Charlotte 2 years ago (80:59). Next year, they will receive all of Bowling Greens excellent prospect group. It will be a very fun season to watch. Good times are ahead, Paul.

    2. You will see better and better teams with the new draft. I am a long suffering Hudson Valley fan and this year with the change Wow. a playoff ticket might be in order, Never had one in my hand. Chin up , they are headed you way sooner rather than later.

  12. Next year,BG could have Taylor Guerrieri, Blake Snell and Jeff Ames in the rotation. Better stock up on big cardboard K's!