Monday, June 22, 2009

Around the Bases - Weekend Recap

The Phillies' Kyle Drabek has recovered from Tommy John surgery and is making up for lost time

22yo Rangers’ left-hander, Derek Holland, has had his struggles at times this season, but Saturday night wasn't one of them, as he went 7 innings, allowing 1 run on hits and a walk, while fanning 5.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that Dodgers’ lefty, Clayton Kershaw, is still a mere 21yo. Kershaw still struggles with control from time to time, like the third inning in last night’s game, but he worked out of it and pitched 7 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 5. Kershaw now has a string of nearly 13 scoreless innings.

Justin Smoak made his injury return last night in the opener of the Arizona League and pronounced himself healthy with a 3 AB, 2 Homeruns and a walk, performance.

I am sure Michael Bowden of the Red Sox is frustrated with being blocked right now, but Friday night’s 1 inning, 5 hit, 3 walk, 6 ER performance means that since May 23rd, he has a 7.40 ERA and a 1.808 WHIP.

24yo Padres Infield prospect, Lance Zawdzki, isn’t exactly a high-upside guy, but he is doing all that he can to grab people’s attention. Zawdzki reached base 11 times this weekend, in 15 ABs and now has a .927 OPS on the season.

19yo Dodger right-hander, Ethan Martin, has nearly limitless upside, but things aren’t going well for him at the moment. Martin allowed 7 of the 11 batters he faced Friday night to reach base—3 hits and 4 walks, and now has a 7.92 ERA, 2.120 WHIP and a 22:23 K:BB ratio since May 18th.

24yo Padres’ 2B prospect, Matt Antonelli, has had an up and down career since being a first round pick in 2006, and this season has been far more down than up, but on Sunday night Antonelli made 5 trips to the plate and had a single, a double, a triple and a walk to show for it.

If you have been paying attention at all, then this comes as no shocker…Phillies’ right-hander Kyle Drabek has completely recovered from his 2007 Tommy John surgery. Friday’s 8 inning shutout performance, allowing just 4 hits while fanning 5, leaves him with a 2.36 ERA for the year.

Lost in the depth that is the Rangers system, 21yo Marcus Lemon is trying to regain some traction as a legitimate prospect this year. Helped by a 9 for 14 performance over the weekend, Lemon has is Texas League OPS up to .743 on the season.

Bud Norris continues to make this writer ask why he isn’t pitching in the Astros rotation? After Saturday’s 8 inning shutout performance in which he allowed 3 hits and walked 4 while fanning 10, Norris’ ERA sits at 2.11 on the season--in the PCL.

23yo, Luis Valbuena, a player who has always been more interesting to the statheads than the scouts, continues to show that someone needs to give him a chance at a full-time Major league gig. A 3 home run, 6 for 14, weekend leaves the diminutive Valbuena with a .748 OPS in a little more than 100 ABs.

Making his Southern League debut Saturday, his third level of the season, 22yo Dan Hudson, of the White Sox, continued to make believers. Hudson went 7 scoreless frames, allowing 2 hits and a walk.

We are still not convinced that 25yo Justin Maxwell will ever be more than a 4A type of prospect, but his 5 for 10 weekend, which included a double, a triple and a home run, did bump his OPS above .800 on the season.

We, at Diamond Futures, continue to be impressed with 19yo Alexander Perez, of the Indians, and look at him as one of the pitching prospects with the most helium so far this season. On Saturday, Perez tossed 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, while fanning 9, and now has a 2.89 ERA on the year.

22yo Dodger’s prospect, Kyle Russell, remains one of the most difficult prospects to get a handle on this year. A 5 for 11 weekend in which all 5 hits went for extra bases (4 doubles and a home run), puts Russell’s OPS at .945 for the year…But…he is old for his competition and he has now fanned 90 times in 260 At Bats.

Despite lacking good raw ‘stuff’ and a true out pitch, 23yo Tiger’s left-hander, Luke French, looks like he is going to have a big league career. French tossed 8 innings of 1-run ball on Sunday, allowing 4 hits while walking 10, and now has a 3.01 ERA. French’s season rated as the 7th best in the International League, in our just completed mid-year performance evaluations.

Negative offense performances of the weekend: Diamondback’s newly signed Matt Davidson made his debut with an 0 for 8, 4 K, performance; J.P. Arencibia continues his all or nothing ways, going 1 for 12 with 6 Ks; and we remain less enthusiastic about Drew Stubbs than others, after his 0 for 13 with 4 Ks weekend.

However, we do remain relatively high on 20yo, Rays’ right-hander, Nick Barnese, who threw 7 scoreless innings of 1-hit ball yesterday, while fanning 6; and 18yo Astros’ right-hander Jordan Lyles who fanned 11 in 6 scoreless innings of 2-hit ball. Through 4 starts, Barnese has a 1.59 ERA and Lyles has now fanned 98 in 78 IP.

23yo Reds’ prospect, Brandon Waring, continued to try to improve his ‘fringy’ prospect status with a 7 for 15 weekend performance that included a double, a walk, and 2 home runs.

Despite, his original desires, don’t expect Casey Kelly to switch over to SS when the Carolina League season resumes later this week. After a 6 scoreless inning, 1-hit, performance, in which he allowed 3 runners and fanned 5, Kelly has a 1.64 ERA through 77 innings, and is clearly a better pitching prospect than SS.

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