Thursday, August 8, 2013

Minor League Roundup - August 7th Edition

The Good
Sean Nolin – New Hampshire (Double A)
6 IP – 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 13 K

After being rushed to the majors in May, Nolin was completely overmatched and failed to get out of the 2nd inning.  Since going back down he’s been fairly up and down.  This was especially evidenced in his last 3 starts (from July 20th to August 1st), and the 3 starts before that (from July 3rd to July 15th).  In that first group of starts, he posted a K% of 32%, and a BB% of 5%, and didn’t give up a single earned run.  In his 3 most recent starts (before Wednesday) he posted an ERA of 6.60, and both his K% & BB% had cratered (to 22% & 13% respectively). 
So while its incredibly positive to see Sean Nolin having an outstanding start on Wednesday (debatably the best start of his minor league career), the key for him before I’m confident giving him the call to the majors is having him gain consistency, and post this type of dominance from start to start.
I don’t want to let that type of a preface over shadow just how good Nolin was.  He was absolutely outstanding. 

Dan Jansen – GCL (Low Rookie)
3/4 – 1 2B, 1 BB

As a 16th round pick, hitting .227 in his professional debut, Dan Jansen wouldn’t be the typical player who would be making an appearance in this roundup.  However, when we had Baseball Prospectus’ Chris King on the podcast three weeks ago, he mentioned Jansen as someone who had piqued his interest, so he jumped onto my radar.

Up til this point, Jansen had one skill that had jumped off the page, which was the 13 walks in his 21 games.  So while he had a .227 batting average, his On Base % was a shocking 130 points higher at .354.  On Wednesday, Jansen’s 3 for 4 performance spiked his batting average 30 points, and his double was just his 3rd extra base hit.  Regardless, its certainly a nice step, which hopefully he can keep going.

Miguel Castro – DSL (Dominican Summer League)
5 IP – 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K

Castro is one of the mysterious prospects plying his trade in the Dominican Republic.  Since they aren’t in the US, its tough to get scouting reports on them, and hence it’ll be rare for them to make an appearance here.  Its quite possible that Mr. Castro is a nobody, but his 6’5 frame, and his 32.6 K% has certainly jumped out to me.  Castro was lights out Wednesday with a K% over 45, and not walking a single batter.  He’s as far away as any prospect can be, but he’s in the back of my mind.

Deiferson Barreto – DSL (Dominican Summer League)
5/9 – 1 3B, 1 SB, 1 CS, 2 Errors

Yet another player in the Dominican Summer League, and this time Deiferson Barreto is getting most of his interest because of his last name.  Deiferson’s younger brother is Franklin Barreto, who was the #1 international prospect last summer, and who has done great in his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League.  Given that Deiferson is 18 and still hasn’t left the island, that a red flag, however his .328/.425/.409 does give me hope.  Seeing him go 5 for 9 in a double header is exciting, and I’m assuming we’ll see him get to the GCL next year (which could lead to a very rude awakening).

An interesting fact about Barreto, is that he has been hit by 11 pitches this season (good for 2nd in the DSL).  I have no point in bringing this up.  Its just something interesting I noticed.

The Bad
Aaron Sanchez – Dunedin (High Single A)
0.1 IP – 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K

When Jays top prospect Aaron Sanchez went just 1 inning on July 14th I didn’t think anything of it.  When Sanchez failed to get out of the 1st inning 3 starts later, on July 28th it piqued my interest, but still wasn’t overly concerned.  However, when Sanchez gets lifted after a third of an inning today, two starts later I’m finally raising alarm bells.  The reports out of Dunedin are that Sanchez is struggling with a blister, and if that’s the case then my concern isn’t anything of note.  However, given the Blue Jays track record regarding pitcher injuries, and also given that Sanchez has already been shut down with “shoulder fatigue” during June, I’m on red alert.

While the Jays have a decently strong farm system, the remaining jewel in that system is Sanchez (after the other high ceiling prospects were traded this off season).  If he were to go down with an injury (especially after losing Roberto Osuna last week), I don’t think it could be overstated how bad a development that would be for this team in the long run.

For now, lets not get start lighting the torches.  Until we get more information lets just set our alert status to Orange.

AJ Jimenez – New Hampshire (Double A)
0/3 – 1 BB, 1 K

Over the past 2 weeks (surrounding being named to the Futures Game roster), catcher AJ Jimenez has been mired in a dreadful slump, and that continued Wednesday night.  Prior to the 19th of July, Jimenez had been hitting great since coming back from off-season Tommy John surgery, posting an impressive .342/.377/.459 line.  Since then however every part of his game has completely fallen apart, failing to make consistent contact (which will be his offensive calling card should he ever make the majors), and also only putting up 1 extra base hit.  In the days surrounding the All-Star break I was starting to beat the drum for Jimenez to get a call to the big leagues as a try out for next season, but his .175/.226/.210 line has certainly splashed water over any buzz he had regarding a call up.

DJ Davis – Bluefield (High Rookie)
0/5 – 1 K

Davis has been hitting well in the past week (hitting .294/.333/.470 over his past 6 games), after going through an extended slump.  Still seeing him go 0 for 5 isn’t positive. 

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