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   1. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3853898)
Oh sure, right after I post my little Pedroia thread, you come through with this excellent piece and overshadow it. Sigh.

While Head didn’t develop as expected in his mid-teens (who does?)...


I did--how very disappointing it was.

On Miller, I thought the big change was that he doing a much longer warmup before games so that he'd get all his wildness out there. Or some such. Am I misremembering?
   2. Dan Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3853920)
From what I had read, Miller has starting throwing a simulated inning as part of his warmup routine now, which has corresponded with his newfound control in the last few weeks. Peter Abraham claims that the Sox are going to give Miller at least one start (against San Diego next week). I linked it in the CFPS thread since Miller came up there, but I'll link it here as well.
   3. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3853930)
My question about Miller is how rare these sorts of streaks are for him. Has he had 5-start periods like this one before, only to turn back into his old self?
   4. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3853932)
I also wonder what kind of effect this has on other pitchers in the org. Doubront has been awesome in AAA but is being passed over because of the out-clause. Bowden is again likely to be sent down in the roster crunch. Guess there's not much you can do, but it stinks for them.
   5. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3853939)
nothing about ryan lavarnway, a catcher in AA with an .870 OPS who's also throwing out 40% of attempted basestealers?


i'd think that'd at least warrant a mention.
   6. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:33 PM (#3853946)
It warrants a mention for sure. That's what the minor league threads are for. The intro just provides a (very well-written) jumping off point for one minor league topic.

Here's another: what do people think about Brandon Jacobs. He looks to me like a raw tools freak in that he was set to play running back in a D-1 program and is hitting .324/.391/.519 in Greenville. He's only 20 and it's his first taste of full-season ball. Can you guess what his big problem is? That's right, strikeouts. He's fanned 62 times in 210 AB--just about 30%.

There's no way he's going to be successful if he keeps that up. But is this just growing pains for a super-talented guy who is just now dedicating himself to baseball full-time? Or is it a fatal flaw?
   7. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#3853954)
re: Lavarnway - Just superficially the fact that he only has three passed balls is a good sign.

re: Jacobs - I'm not buying it. That's a big number of strikeouts at a low level and the Sox aren't exactly creating a great track record with these high K guys.

couple other players;

Jeremy Hazelbaker - I saw him last year at Greenville and while he was a bit on the old side for the league he gets on base and is every bit as fast as you would think. Plus, there is nothing like seeing a guy hit a 400+ foot home run on an opposite field line drive to get the ol' ticker pumping a bit.

Stolmy Pimentel - Anyone have any clue what's going on with him? Was he just promoted a bit too quickly? He is getting pounded pretty fiercely at Portland.
   8. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3853957)
Oh great, I guess that's the last we'll hear of Hazelbaker. :)
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 15, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3853962)
Well with Lackey back in the rotation I had to ruin someone.
   10. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 15, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#3853984)
Catcher throwout rates in the minors can be misleading - there are a lot of bad baserunning decisions.

Three things that I see in the minors that you don't see nearly as often in the majors:

1. Teams start runners almost every chance they get on 3-2 counts. (Lots of running on 3-1 counts as well.)
2. Teams almost always play the infield in when there is a non-force situation with a runner on third and fewer than two outs in the early innings.
3. Teams routinely trying to take the extra base on hits and fly balls to the outfield.

I see guys thrown out by 10-15 feet on a regular basis, usually at least one per game. I've seen managers send runners home when the fielder has the ball in his hand before the guy even reaches third - and it's not because the fielder has a bad arm, either.

-- MWE
   11. Darren Posted: June 15, 2011 at 04:26 PM (#3853986)
Any thoughts on Lavarnway specifically, Mike? How about Jacobs?
   12. Textbook Editor Posted: June 15, 2011 at 05:13 PM (#3854039)
Catcher throwout rates in the minors can be misleading - there are a lot of bad baserunning decisions.


You know, I never thought about this before, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks--I learned something today.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 16, 2011 at 11:37 AM (#3854653)
So, it's way too early to start even thinking about identifying prospects in the DSL based on stat-lines, but I can't help it.

Deiner Lopez is hitting 308/534/487 with three doubles and two triples out of twelve hits, and nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts. He plays shortstop and he just turned seventeen two weeks ago.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 17, 2011 at 01:04 PM (#3855644)
Looks like we'll get to see a couple prospects very soon. Andrew Miller is coming up to stay, and will be starting Monday. Going forward, Abraham reports that the plan is for Miller, Lackey, and Wakefield to split two rotation slots and one long relief slot. (Buchholz, who got pulled from the game early last night with a back injury, says he does not expect to have to go on the DL. If he does, though, that would also "solve" the problem.)

Abraham also reports that Jed Lowrie is likely headed for the DL - he felt his shoulder pop out of joint on a swing in the first inning last night. The Sox will call up Drew Sutton, but Yamaico Navarro was just activated in Pawtucket. I assume the Sox want to make sure Navarro's fully healthy before throwing him into the mix in the majors, but if Lowrie is out for longer than the minimum - which is almost certain, given that he's Jed Lowrie - then Navarro should be up in ten days or so.
   15. John DiFool2 Posted: June 17, 2011 at 04:17 PM (#3855798)
Hope that Navarro picks up where he left off before the injury-(1/5 last night, 2 K's).
   16. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 17, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3855843)
The Red Sox have some interesting choices to make next year with SS and RF. They have potential guys in the system who could take or at least share the position, but the Red Sox don't often put rookie position players in there that they don't have a lot of confidence in. Obviously a lot will depend on how Kalish/Reddick and Navarro do the rest of the season. Kalish and Reddick both being lefties makes it tough, though - I could see those guys getting traded if the Sox wanted to go after someone like Beltran or Heath Bell later in the season.
   17. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 17, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#3855849)
I think shortstop is going to be what we see now; Scutaro and/or Lowrie trying to buy another year for Iglesias to figure out the whole "hitting the baseball" thing.

Right field I think is very up in the air. I think the preference is Kalish or Reddick, with Kalish having the inside track. I expect one of those two to be dealt at the deadline for something. The problem is that Reddick is hitting about .230 and Kalish is dealing with a serious injury. If neither guy proves he is ready I think they'll pursue Beltran if they can get him on a three year deal. I think they are going to do everything they can to make it Kalish's job but if he misses the rest of the year that's just not feasible.
   18. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: June 17, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#3856080)
re: Lavarnway - Just superficially the fact that he only has three passed balls is a good sign.


To put it in some perspective, he has played more than half of his games at DH.
   19. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 17, 2011 at 07:48 PM (#3856129)
To put it in some perspective, he has played more than half of his games at DH.


I know, but 3 PB in 27 games caught would extrapolate out to 6 PB in 53 games (2010 total) and 7 PB in 66 games (2009). In those years he actually had 11 and 26 passed balls. I'm not saying he's Ivan Rodriguez but at least there appears to be some improvement.
   20. Xander Posted: July 06, 2011 at 04:26 AM (#3869740)
Chih-Hsien Chiang.

Deal with it.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2011 at 11:22 AM (#3869853)
Chiang and Lavarnway and Hassan and Head and Brentz just keep hitting. I'm expecting BABIP regression from Middlebrooks and (especially) Jacobs any day, but it hasn't happened yet. This has been a really fun minor league season, so far.

The other guy I'm watching is Raul Alcantara. He was a $500k bonus baby in 2009, the somewhat sparse SoxProspects profile suggests a very projectible kid, with a good build, an already good could get better fastball, a "power curve" and a change. He's been great in the GCL in three starts, allowing only two hits and three walks in 16 innings, striking out eleven.
   22. Mattbert Posted: July 07, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#3871009)
Brentz has been crushing the ball over the last week or so, and he talks like a guy with a pretty advanced idea of what he wants to do when gets in the box. Color me quietly optimistic.
   23. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 14, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3877745)
Sox have signed 2nd round pick William Jerez.

From Boston.com;

Jerez is the young man whose age has been questioned. He claims to be 19 but high school coaches in New York City believed he was older. As far as the Sox are concerned, that's not a major issue.
   24. Dan Posted: July 14, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3877774)
Keith Law rated Middlebrooks 42nd in his midseason Top 50 prospects list. Brentz was an honorable mention, so figure he'd be ~55.
   25. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: July 15, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#3878007)
Brentz has been killing it lately and has his OPS up over 1.000 in Salem. If he keeps this up for another couple weeks, I wouldn't mind seeing the Sox push him a little and promote him to Portland for the final month. I can't think of any significant prospects in the Theo administration who have gotten promoted twice in a season, but Brentz is already 22 and the Sally League was a pretty conservative assignment to start the season. AA would be a good test for him.
   26. Darren Posted: July 15, 2011 at 02:19 AM (#3878027)
Kalish has been forgotten already? :)

Middlebrooks is a surprising choice. He's got a nice BA and decent power, but he's done nothing to solve his K problem.

Speaking of guys with K problems, I'm getting more excited about Jacobs. His numbers are still nice and he's cut his K's as the year's gone on.
   27. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 15, 2011 at 02:54 AM (#3878041)
I can't think of any significant prospects in the Theo administration who have gotten promoted twice in a season


If you count MLB as a level both Ellsbury and Papelbon made the same AA-AAA-MLB journey in 2005 and 2007. Both spent meaningful time at all three levels.

Hansen did the same in 2005 though I think his wasn't a true "promotion" as it was "let's draft him with an eye toward using him in September/October." Jon Lester was actually in four different levels in 2007 including MLB but the two lower levels were rehab more than true assignments.

Looking through players I was surprised to see that Kevin Youkilis went A-Hi A-AA in 2002 (the Mike Port administration?). That was the year of his on base streak though wasn't it?

Hanley Ramirez went Rookie-Hi A-AA in 2004. There was a year in there where he went backwards after a failure to hustle incident and that may have been it.
   28. Dan Posted: July 15, 2011 at 03:20 AM (#3878054)
Middlebrooks is a surprising choice. He's got a nice BA and decent power, but he's done nothing to solve his K problem.


Middlebrooks has cut his K rate from 32.3% in 2008 to 28.8% in 2009 to 25.2% in 2010 to 22.8% this year while jumping up a level every season. It's still not great, but it's gotten to a level that won't preclude him from having success in the majors.

Personally I think Lavarnway is guy who is being skipped over here. He's raking in Pawtucket since his promotion and he's improved his defense enough to make it plausible that he might stick at catcher. Obviously he still might end up as a DH or 1B, but it now looks like he at least has a shot at catching in the majors.
   29. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: July 15, 2011 at 03:37 AM (#3878060)
Hanley and Lester don't really fit in there, but Ellsbury, Papelbon, and Youkilis are all good catches. Masterson also went AA-AAA-MLB in 2008. Clearly it's not as rare as I was remembering. More reason to think Brentz will get promoted, perhaps in a chain that includes Chiang going to Pawtucket and Jacobs to Salem.
   30. Darren Posted: July 16, 2011 at 03:15 AM (#3878812)
And what about Kalish?

Middlebrooks has cut his K rate from 32.3% in 2008 to 28.8% in 2009 to 25.2% in 2010 to 22.8% this year while jumping up a level every season. It's still not great, but it's gotten to a level that won't preclude him from having success in the majors.


I don't think it has and I think "still not great" is too kind. It was discussed here recently (somewhere) and the cutoff is something 22%. I'd personally think that a guy with a lot of walks would mitigate that, but that does not describe Middlebrooks at all. I would say he has to get that rate below 20% before he should be considered elite. Of course, Law is more of a scouting guy, I think, so he may be going off of that.

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