Top Batting Performances Over The Weekend, June 15-17

Presented here are the top 10 runs created tallies for position players from weekend series, June 15-17. Players must appear in the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

Ronny Rodriguez CLE Carolina Carolina HiA 12 8 1 2 0 0 0 0 6.4
Gary Sanchez NYY Charleston S Atlantic LoA 12 7 0 0 2 1 3 0 5.4
Alex Castellanos LAD Albuquerque Pac Coast AAA 13 7 2 1 1 1 1 0 5.2
Xander Bogaerts BOS Salem Carolina HiA 10 6 0 0 1 1 3 1 5.0
Francisco Peguero SF Fresno Pac Coast AAA 14 7 1 1 1 0 2 0 4.8
Miles Head OAK Stockton California HiA 9 5 1 0 3 0 4 0 4.8
Jake Lemmerman LAD Chattanooga Southern AA 10 6 1 0 0 3 1 0 4.7
Xavier Avery* BAL Norfolk Int'l AAA 8 4 1 0 0 5 1 3 4.7
Kole Calhoun* LAA Salt Lake Pac Coast AAA 12 6 1 1 1 1 3 0 4.6
Kyle Russell* LAD Chattanooga Southern AA 13 6 1 0 2 1 3 0 4.6
*Bats lefthanded. #Switch-hitter.
Chart considers only players who appear in 2012 BA Prospect Handbook

• The Indians divide shortstop responsibilities between Ronny Rodriguez and Tony Wolters with their high Class A Carolina club, and while Wolters may be the better long-term prospect, it's Rodriguez who has made the biggest initial splash in the Carolina League with his bat. He's hitting .275/.309/.424 with five homers in 236 at-bats, though his walk-to-strikeout ratio (8-to-44) should not be viewed as the firmest foundation possible.

• Low Class A Charleston catcher Gary Sanchez has improved his play on both sides of the ball as he repeats the South Atlantic League—or at least that's what the numbers indicate. He's batting .313/.361/.545 with 12 homers through 233 at-bats, ranking third in the SAL in homers and fifth in slugging, and his OPS at this moment (.906) is nearly 90 points higher than his season-ending figure last year. Just as importantly, Sanchez has dramatically reduced his rate of passed balls per game. Last year he allowed 26 in 60 games behind the plate, while though the first half this year he's accrued just five in 44 games.

• The Dodgers tried Alex Castellanos on the outfield corners in Los Angeles following Matt Kemp's trip to the disabled list, but he started just twice in left and twice in right, batting 3-for-21 (.174) with a triple and seven strikeouts. Castellanos hasn't let a demotion back to Triple-A get him down, as he's gone 9-for-25 (.360) with six extra-base hits (including two homers, both on the road in Iowa) in six games since rejoining Albuquerque. He also returned to playing second base with the Isotopes, and if he can convince the Dodgers of his proficiency there he could make for a nifty utility player.

• Orioles outfield prospects Xavier Avery has hit just .242 (15-for-62) with a pair of doubles since his demotion to Triple-A Norfolk in late May, but beneath the surface one can progress in motion. The 22-year-old Avery has gone 6-for-7 in stolen bases and drawn 13 walks against 13 strikeouts in 20 games, good for a .385 on-base percentage. The Tides also shift him to left field on occasion so that Avery can prepare for life in Baltimore as a leadoff-hitting left fielder.   

• Much like Castellanos and Avery above, Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun has taken his demotion to Triple-A in stride. He's gone 10-for-24 (.417) with five extra-base hits in six games since returning to Salt Lake. He went 3-for-12 and started three games for the Angels.

Top Performance By A Prospect-Eligible Player Outside His Team's Top 30

Mariners third baseman Ronny Morla walloped 36 extra-base hits (including 17 home runs) in 62 Appalachian League games in 2010, muscling his way onto the prospect map. He ceded ground last season when he hit .170 in a month at low Class A and didn't do much to repair his stock following a demotion to the short-season Northwest League (.712 OPS, four homers). Afforded another chance with Clinton of the Midwest League this season, Morla has revived his career prospects by batting .298/.330/.517 with five homers through 178 at-bats. He ranks third in the league in slugging following a weekend barrage that included three doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBIs as part of a 7-for-11 showing at the plate.

Rough Stretch

Low Class A Asheville shortstop Trevor Story went 0-for-12 with six whiffs on a road swing through Lexington this weekend, dropping his road batting line to .217/.302/.365 through 115 at-bats. The 19-year-old Rockies prospect ranks fifth in the South Atlantic League with 31 extra-base hits.


The Bill James-devised runs created metric (Wikipedia entry explains ’02 version) rewards batters for avoiding outs and reaching base safely (on-base percentage) and for accumulating total bases (slugging percentage), two factors that correlate strongly with run scoring, and for obvious reasons.