High A Dish: Hellickson, Cahill On Fire

Righthanders Trevor Cahill and Jeremy Hellickson put the finishing touches on their dominant April performances, while Indians outfielder Nick Weglarz continues to walk at a furious pace.

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE

Prospect Of The Day

On any given day, there’s a good chance you might find one of the members of the Stockton (Athletics) rotation in this section. The Ports rotation took a hit when righthander Henry Rodriguez was promoted to Double-A Midland, but Rodriguez may have company there before long if Trevor Cahill continues his dominance of Cal League hitters.

In seven innings at Rancho Cucamonga (Angels), Cahill struck out 12 and walked none, allowing one run (unearned) on five hits. Cahill has been nearly unhittable through five starts, posting a 39-5 K-BB ratio (he’s also hit five batters) with a 1.80 ERA in 30 innings.

Prospect Nuggets

In 397 games coming into the 2008 season, Giants catcher Pablo Sandoval had 11 career home runs. In 18 games with San Jose, Sandoval already has seven homers, including one last night in a 2-for-4 performance at home against Inland Empire. Sandoval, 21 is now .434/.482/.882 on the season, leading the league in batting average and slugging average and ranking second in on-base percentage . . .  Sandoval’s teammate, 19-year-old righthander Tim Alderson, is adjusting well to the Cal League in his first season out of high school. The 2007 first-rounder had six strikeouts and one walk in six innings, allowing three runs to put his season ERA at 2.67 . . . Stockton first baseman Sean Doolittle went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles to bring his season line up to .344/.406/.677 . . . Lancaster (Red Sox) right fielder Josh Reddick had a nice day at the plate (2-for-3) but a bad night on the basepaths (caught stealing second base and picked off first base). Meanwhile, Lancaster first baseman Lars Anderson walked the walk last night, draw three bases on balls in an 0-for-1 night, bringing him up to 15 walks in 22 games.

What To Watch For Today

Bakersfield (Rangers) lefty Kasey Kiker makes his second start of the season today at High Desert.

CAROLINA LEAGUE

Prospect Of The Day
Frederick (Orioles) righthander Brandon Erbe continues to see his stock rise after allowing one run in six innings with six strikeouts and three walks against Potomac. Erbe, 20, has a 2.73 ERA and a 27-5 K-BB ratio in 27 2/3 innings.

Erbe struggled with his control last season (62 walks in 119 1/3 innings), but the stuff was always there (mid-90s fastball, above-average breaking ball), so it looks like Erbe may be taking the next step in his maturation as a pitching prospect.

Prospect Nuggets

If you haven’t seen the stats on Kinston (Indians) DH Nick Weglarz, it’s worth checking them out. Through 18 games, Weglarz’s batting and slugging averages are a pedestrian .255 and .382, respectively. Yet despite the mediocre batting average, Weglarz leads the league in  OBP at .487 thanks to a 23-12 BB-K ratio. His 23 walks are a league-high, as Weglarz’s 1-for-2, two-walk performance yesterday was his ninth multi-walk game of the season . . . Potomac (Nationals) first baseman Chris Marrero went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks yesterday to bring his line up to .211/.302/.382 through 76 at-bats.

What To Watch For Today
Frederick (Orioles) righthander Pedro Beato had a relatively disappointing 2007 season and hasn’t been great this year either. He was good in his last outing against Wilmington (Royals)—five innings, five strikeouts, one walk, one run—and he goes against Wilmington again today.

FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE

Prospect Of The Day
You could make the case that the prospect having the best start to the 2008 minor league season has been Rays righthander Jeremy Hellickson.

With lefthander David Price out injured, Hellickson has stepped into the spotlight for Vero Beach. Hellickson struck out 11 through six innings yesterday at Brevard County (Brewers), walking none and allowing just one run. The performance brings Hellickson’s K-BB ratio up to 41-2 through 29 innings with a microscopic 0.93 ERA. And remember: at this point last season, Hellickson had only made one regular-season start.

Prospect Nuggets
Honorable mention for Prospect Of The Day goes to Clearwater (Phillies) lefty Antonio Bastardo, who continues to overmatch FSL hitters. The 22-year-old allowed just two hits through eight shutout innings, finishing with 13 strikeouts and one walk. Bastardo now has a 47-10 K-BB ratio through 30 2/3 innings with a 1.17 ERA . . . Sarasota (Reds) center fielder Drew Stubbs has performed well in April, hitting .333/.416/.506 in 87 at-bats. He went 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. He stole his 13th base of the season and has yet to be caught . . . Teammate Juan Francisco went 2-for-6 with two doubles, his ninth and tenth doubles of the season . . . Lakeland (Tigers) lit up Fort Myers (Twins) righthander Deolis Guerra for eight runs (seven earned) in five innings. Guerra finished with four strikeouts and a walk . . . Lakeland catcher James Skelton doesn’t have an extra-base hit yet, but he’s drawing plenty of walks to put his line at .292/.424/.292 through 14 games after yesterday’s 2-for-3, one-walk performance . . . Jupiter first baseman Logan Morrison went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and five RBIs at home against Daytona (Cubs) . . .

What To Watch For Today
Fort Myers (Twins) lefthander Tyler Robertson had been good (2.79 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings) but a bit wild (nine walks) so far this season. He pitches tonight at Lakeland.

Minors | #Daily Dish

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