Rangers righthander Joe Wieland got to Bakersfield last year in July, but his introduction to high Class A was a rocky one.
He allowed seven runs in his first start, six runs in his second outing, and by the end of the month he had already given up 30 runs in 33 innings. Wieland finished 2010 with a flourish, though, posting a 1.73 ERA in 26 inning with 28 strikeouts and four walks.
Back in high Class A at the Rangers' new Carolina League affiliate in Myrtle Beach, Wieland has built upon that strong finish, with his best start of the year coming yesterday. The 21-year-old struck out 13 of the 21 batters he faced in six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk in Potomac.
Wieland has been able to spot his fastball well and mix in a plus curveball to put batters away, which is why his numbers have sparkled to the tune of a 2.03 ERA and a 41-3 K-BB mark in 31 innings for the Pelicans. On a team that leads the Carolina League in ERA and strikeouts, Wieland has been the biggest standout so far in a rotation full of prospects playing well, including Robbie Erlin, Barret Loux and Robbie Ross.
• Since the Blue Jays drafted Tyler Pastornicky out of high school in the fifth round of the 2008 draft, he's never slugged more than .400 at any level. Until yesterday he hadn't hit a home run for the Braves' Double-A Mississippi affiliate, the organization he joined last year in the trade that sent Yunel Escobar to Toronto.
Pastornicky, 21, went deep in both games of the Braves' doubleheader in Chattanooga, finishing his day 5-for-9 with a double. Both home runs came against hard-throwing Dodgers prospects Kenley Jansen and Josh Lindblom. Pastornicky has a flat swing so power won't be a major part of his game, but he's a solid all-around player who puts the ball in play, runs well and plays good defense up the middle.
• Chattanooga did get a strong pitching performance from Rubby de la Rosa, who struck out seven, walked one and allowed three hits in six shutout innings. The Dodgers' 22-year-old righthander has hit 100 mph this year and sits consistently in the mid-90s, with the ability to regularly hit 97-98 at any point in the game. He's struck out 36 in 27 1/3 innings and has a 2.63 ERA, but he's still trying to find a reliable secondary pitch to complement one of the best fastballs in baseball.
• Rays lefthander Matt Moore whiffed nine of the 20 Double-A Carolina batters he faced yesterday, allowing one run on two hits and a pair of walks through five innings in one of his best outings of the year. Moore, 21, has been off to his typically inconsistent start, but he was mostly overpowering Mudcats hitters yesterday was a 91-94 mph fastball that touched 96 while mixing in an effective changeup as well.
• With Jenrry Mejia's timetable likely pushed back to 2013 because of looming Tommy John surgery, Matt Harvey has become the Mets' best pitching prospect. The 2010 first-round pick limited high Class A Bradenton to one hit and two walks in 6 1/3 shutout innings, and his nine strikeouts jumped his total to 39 in 32 2/3 innings. It was the fifth time in six starts that Harvey hasn't allowed an earned run, dropping his ERA to 1.10 for St. Lucie.
• Astros Triple-A righthander Jordan Lyles did something yesterday he hadn't done in his previous two starts—allow a run to score. Still, it was just two runs in six innings, and he struck out a season-high nine with just two walks (though he did hit two other batters as well). The Astros can afford to be patient with their 20-year-old top prospect, but he already has a 3.55 ERA in 33 innings in a hitter-friendly league.
• The Royals have built the best pieces of their farm system through the draft, where they've found arms like Mike Montgomery, Danny Duffy and John Lamb. While Zack Greinke made his first start for Milwaukee yesterday, the Royals got to watch the key arm they got in return for Greinke—righthander Jake Odorizzi—dominate yet again for high Class A Wilmington. Odorizzi struck out eight and walked in in six innings, allowing two runs to bring his ERA to 2.42 with a 38-5 K-BB mark in 26 innings. Sure, the Blue Rocks play in a pitcher-friendly ballpark, but that's not why hitters haven't had success against Odorizzi, who's struck out 37 percent of the hitters he's faced so far.
• The best tool that Orioles No. 4 prospect L.J. Hoes has is supposed to be his bat, but coming into yesterday's game at high Class A Winston-Salem, Hoes was hitting just .222/.276/.367. His numbers started to climb up yesterday thanks to a clean 5-for-5 game with a double. It was the fifth multi-hit game in the last eight games for the 21-year-old second baseman.
• It's never a good sign for a hitter when all of his slash stats start with the number two, but that was the case last year for Tigers shortstop Gustavo Nunez, who hit .222/.263/.281 in 128 games for high Class A Lakeland. At 23, Nunez is a bit old in his return to the Florida State League, but at least his offensive game has taken a step forward. Yesterday he went 5-for-6, the fourth time in the last five games in which he's at at least two hits, raising his season line to .363/.411/.559 in 24 games.
• Up one level, Tigers Double-A righthander Lester Oliveros struck out six of the eight batters he faced in two scoreless innings of relief. Oliveros can run his two-seam fastball into the low 90s, but he can reach into the mid-90s with his four-seamer to put batters away, which he's done plenty of this year. Oliveros, 22, lowered his ERA to 0.56 in 16 innings, and with 27 strikeouts, he's now whiffed nearly half of the 59 hitters he's faced.
• Obligatory Mike Trout update: The Angels' 19-year-old center fielder had his second straight three-hit game for Double-A Arkansas, bringing his season line to .316/.379/.557 in 21 games.
• Wil Myers' name hasn't been in the Daily Dish as much as it was last year, as the Royals' 20-year-old right fielder has missed time for Double-A Northwest Arkansas due to a bruised knee. Though he's played just 14 games, Myers collected his third three-hit game of the season yesterday, raising his averages to .283/.328/.434 with the Naturals.
• Up in Triple-A, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has been taking advantage of a series in Albuquerque, where he has three straight multi-hit games and extended his hitting streak to eight games by going 3-for-5 with a walk. The 21-year-old phenom is hitting .439/.525/.582 in 26 games, leading the minors in average and on-base. That's a dangerous combination for a guy who also just happens to have 70 raw power.
• The Padres are scrambling for solutions to fix one of baseball's worst lineups. Their first basemen have a major league-worst .478 OPS thanks to a collective .165/.214/.264 line, a woeful output that can't be explained away by spacious Petco Park. Help might be on the way soon with Anthony Rizzo, who went 2-for-4 with a double and hit his ninth home run of the year yesterday for Triple-A Tucson. Rizzo, 21, is hitting 402/.458/.757 in 26 games and also playing good defense at first base. The Padres are in no rush to start his service clock, but as soon as they call him up, he might immediately become the team's best hitter.
• Aside from a nasty outfield collision that sent low Class A outfielders Donavan Tate and Everett Williams to the disabled list, Padres' hitting prospects have been raking early in the 2011 season. One of those players is high Class A Lake Elsinore third baseman Edinson Rincon, who went 3-for-4 yesterday and his hitting .350/.400/.490 through 26 games. Rincon went through his first extended period of struggles last year in low Class A Fort Wayne, but it's his potential to hit for average and power that make him a prospect. He's already made seven errors this year and likely will eventually move to an outfield corner or first base, so the hot start is a welcome sign for a player whose bat will have to carry him.
• Diamondbacks top prospect Jarrod Parker has struggled to regain his pre-Tommy John surgery control—he walked five in six innings yesterday—but the numbers won't really mean much at this point. One number the Diamondbacks have to like is 45, which is the number of strikeouts that Tyler Skaggs has racked up to rank first in the minors. Skaggs, 19, struck out five and allowed two hits in six innings yesterday, leaving after allowing one run, which was unearned. The high Class A Visalia lefty lowered his ERA to 3.94 in 32 innings, and while he has walked 17 batters, his one free pass yesterday was a season low.
• Twins righthander Adrian Salcedo allowed one run and posted an 8-0 K-BB mark yesterday for low Class A Beloit, lowering his ERA to 2.43 in 29 2/3 innings. Salcedo, 20, has solid stuff and pounds the strike zone, as he walked one or fewer batters for the fourth time in five starts.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog