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Triple A Newsbeat

Friday, October 04, 2019

Giants prospects Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos could start 2020 in Triple-A

SAN FRANCISCO—Mike Yastrzemski was a hell of a find, and the Giants feel good about what they saw from Tyler Beede, Logan Webb, Tyler Rogers and others late in the year. But as they try and build a contender, the best developments in 2019 came at much lower levels.

For the first time in a decade, the Giants have a group of high-end prospects coming through the system, and a couple could arrive as early as next year. Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos finished the season in Double-A, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said on this week’s Giants Insider Podcast that both will enter spring training with “the opportunity but not with a guarantee of starting the season in Triple-A.”

Being in Sacramento in April would put Bart, a 22-year-old catcher, and Ramos, a 20-year-old outfielder, in position to debut next season.

“They’re going to have to earn that (promotion to Triple-A) and then we’ll see where things go from there,” Zaidi said. “One thing that we really wanted to emphasize and create a culture of this year was you earn your way through the system and there’s no fixed timetables. Guys will be moved on merit and be given opportunities. That’s true for guys that might be perceived as org guys and it’s also true for the top prospects.

Something to watch for, particularly for those of us lucky enough to live in a AAA city.

 

QLE Posted: October 04, 2019 at 01:09 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, heliot ramos, joey bart, prospects, triple a

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

From 319 transactions to No. 1 overall: Sacramento River Cats win third Triple-A championship

The first game was on April 4, in West Sacramento, under a cloudy sky with a first-pitch temperature of 63 degrees.

The final game arrived after marathon of season: 146 games, 319 player transactions, road trips near and far and a fair share of seasonal twists and turns.

It was Tuesday night in Memphis, game-time temperature a sticky and humid 96 degrees.

This is Minor League Baseball, where series survival is equally as vital as attrition, with followers needing updated rosters to keep track of it all.

The story of a championship season- of interest for those interested in the minor leagues.

 

QLE Posted: September 18, 2019 at 12:21 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: champions, minor leagues, sacramento, triple a

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Triple-A homers increased by nearly 60% this season thanks to the juiced baseball

Minor league broadcaster and writer Tim Hagerty tweeted last night that the now-concluded Triple-A season absolutely shattered its all-time home run record. Last year there were 3,652 homers in the top minor league. This year: 5,749. The only significant difference between this year and last year: the introduction of the major league ball to the minors.

As Jayson Stark of The Athletic notes this morning, that number includes a 59 percent increase in homers in the Pacific Coast League over last year and a 57 percent increase in the International League.  Stark talks with a baseball executive who tells him that, from a development perspective, the PCL has now become essentially useless, and they are sending prospects to Double-A instead because the juiced ball is preventing clubs from accurately assessing players.

Something I can testify to from firsthand witnessing- and probably will have more data on in the next couple of days.

 

QLE Posted: September 04, 2019 at 12:29 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: home run derby, home run spike, juiced baseballs, triple a

Monday, May 27, 2019

Giants must alter evaluation approach due to changes in minor leagues

SAN FRANCISCO—Andrew Suarez looked up during one of his minor league starts earlier this year, saw that the Sacramento River Cats were down five runs, and thought, “We can still win this.”

The thought process wasn’t simply about being optimistic. It was about being realistic in the Pacific Coast League.

The league has always been offense-crazy, but this season has seen new levels of production. The PCL started using MLB balls and lineups have taken off in a league where altitude was already an issue for pitchers. Teams are averaging 5.62 runs per game and an OPS of .816, and the league-wide ERA is 5.29.

“It’s a little bit like playing in Coors Field everywhere you go,” Suarez said.

A reminder of why having offensive explosions in AAA isn’t necessarily a good idea.

 


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Triple-A Game features 33 runs, cycle, four-homer game from Yasmany Tomás

The Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) and Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) played a wild one on Monday. The game featured 33 runs on 39 hits and 16 walks with 10 homers. Four of those homers were hit by Yasmany Tomás. Matt Szczur hit for the cycle while Kevin Cron knocked in six runs and hit a pair of homers, giving him 21 on the season. Reno won 25-8, by the way.

The Triple-A hitting boom of this season, epitomized in one game.

 

QLE Posted: May 21, 2019 at 04:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hitting for the cycle, home run derby, matt szczur, triple a, yasmany tomas

Monday, May 13, 2019

Triple-A batters smashing it since MLB ball is put into play

Balls are flying out of Triple-A ballparks like never before, coinciding with a switch in baseballs to the major league model.

The El Paso Chihuahuas have hit 89 home runs in their first 37 games — the most in professional baseball and more than half the 142 they slugged in 139 games last season. The Rochester Red Wings and Lehigh Valley IronPigs combined for 15 homers in a game last month. Overall, 26 of the 30 teams in the Pacific Coast League and International League are on pace to exceed their 2018 totals, most by a wide margin.

Not coincidentally, this is the first year Triple-A has played with the same ball used in the majors. The big league ball is said to be harder, more tightly wound at its core and with slightly lower seams, all of which make it more aerodynamic than the ball used at the Double-A level and lower and previously in Triple-A.

Bigger offensive numbers were expected when Major League Baseball requested the highest level of the minor leagues switch to balls to more closely align with conditions in the big leagues.

So, how long before we get a revival of Home Run Derby?

QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: home run spike, juiced baseballs, triple a

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Even when Tim Tebow is hitting .131, his Triple-A team is drawing fans in droves

We are now a month into Tim Tebow’s Triple-A career, and it’s pretty hard to overstate how horrifically the former football player is performing.

Through 26 games for the Syracuse Mets this year, Tebow is hitting .131/.198/.179 with zero home runs and a 37 percent strikeout rate. He currently has only 11 hits on the season, 12 if you count the time he accidentally kicked his first-base coach in the groin. After saying in February that an MLB call-up was his goal for the season, the 31-year-old outfielder currently ranks last in the entire Triple-A level in OPS (.376) and wRC+ (-4).

Those latter two numbers are on pace to be the worst marks the Triple-A season has seen in the last decade, per Fangraphs. And, keep in mind, Tebow plays a bat-first position at left-field and won’t be making the majors through his fielding or baserunning.

If there’s player who has earned the crown of “Worst Player in Triple-A” this year, Tebow is the runaway leader right now. That hasn’t stopped fans from coming out in droves to see the Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL first-round draft pick.

I suspect that this is telling of something, but would that I knew what it was….


Friday, April 19, 2019

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals

There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

So, does this mean they all ought to be put in a humidor?

 

QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:41 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs, triple a

 

 

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