PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 18: Mike Belfiore would probably strike me out (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Norfolk has won 8 of 10 and is surging into second place. Xavier Avery has been playing better of late, with an OPS of 899 over his last 10 but has struck out 16 times in 39 at bats over those last 10 games. For the season he is slashing 268/372/411/783. It's a respectable OPS in a big ball park. With some decent speed and an acceptable ISO, should be be cutting his teeth in the majors? LJ Hoes has been tearing it up of late, with a 1041 OPS over his last 10, and for the season in Norfolk is slashing 295/346/421/767 with a K/BB of 11/7 in 95 at bats. It's interesting to see his K and BB rates go down as he has progressed to AAA this season. Is he a guy you would be comfortable the Orioles trading? Given his limited defensive capabilities, I'm not sure what his ceiling is. Allegedly "raw" players can be hard to accurately know what you have sometimes. Well, EME really threw some cold water on my enthusiasm for a one Chris Tillman, noting that he has but one quality start in his last 4 outings. It's a worthy point, as we all get tunnel vision sometimes. You still have to really like his K/BB of 93/30 in 89.1 IP this season, with an even more impressive 66/15 over 59.1 IP (last 10 starts - again though, averaging less than 6 IP per start). Still though, his FIP for the season stands at 3.00. Hopefully he could be a B-average pitcher. High Tides: Miguel Socolovich has been murder on righties: 30/2 K/BB in 25.2 IP with an ERA of 0.70. Who wouldn't like to see him v. AROD in September? Speaking of guys strong versus right-handers, Steve Johnson has a 1.49 ERA v righties in 36.1 IP with a K/BB of 36/9. Maybe he could be a useful reliever? For the season his line is strong, 60/22 K/BB in 60.2 IP, with a FIP of 3.47. In case you were wondering, Josh Bell has posted the following line in Arizona: 173/232/269/501 with a K/BB of 14/4 in 129 at bats. For him, it's good to see the K% go down so much. But it doesn't looks like he's an answer to any question.
Bowie has won 7 of 10 and resides in 4th place. Manny Machado responds to some concerns by OPSing 1186 over his last 10, and for the season his slash line is 260/341/408/749 with a K/BB of 53/31 in 277 at bats. Looks good for the 19 year old, though he does turn 20 on July 6. Something tells me dan o'hare is sending him some bushmills. Speaking of the Irish, Jonathan Schoop also has been tearing it up of late, with a 976 OPS over his last 10, and for the season is at 248/305/368/673 with a K/BB of 54/16 in 258 at bats. The low walk rate is concerning, but he is something like the 4th youngest player in the EL. Tyler Townsend has been spotted in the GCL. Hopefully he will back with the Baysox soon. In case you have forgotten, his slash line this year: 247/337/521/858 in 73 at bats. He is a pretty obvious candidate for the AFL this year IMO. (Interesting to start thinking about as well, maybe this is where Bundy goes? Of course, I'd also like to see Trent Mummey go there due to his injured 2012 campaign.) Brian Ward has cooled off lately, and after 12 games, his OPS is 587. Clay Schrader has been promoted to the Bowie, and he finished with the following lines in Frederick: 51/27 K/BB in 35 IP with an ERA of 1.29 and a GB/FB ratio of 0.46. Bobby Bundy's underwhelming 2012 season in AA continues, and for the season he has a K/BB of 55/29 in 73.1 IP covering 14 starts, with a FIP of 4.16. Mike Belfiore has struggled with his walks since coming over in the Josh Bell deal, as evidence by a K/BB of 20/12 in 20.1 IP in Bowie. His AA numbers for the year are stronger, 48/17 K/BB in 39.1 IP with a GB/FB ratio of 0.72. In six innings as a Baysox, his K/BB is 8/1 IP.
More after the jump!
Frederick is 3-4 to start the second half of their season. Johnny Ruettiger has been slumping of late with a 443 OPS over his last 10, and and for the season in the Carolina League is batting 245/339/292/630. In essentially the same amount of at bats as Delmarva, this represents a hundred point drop in OPS, though he continues to show strong BB percentages but limited power. Trent Mummey cannot stay on the field, and when he does he has been something of a disappointment, and for season in 127 at bats (!), his slash line is 205/297/291/588 with a K/BB of 16/15. Dylan Bundy seems mortal in the Carolina League, and for the season as a Key, the 19 year old has a K/BB of 25/8 in 23.2 IP with an ERA of 3.42 and GB/FB ratio of 0.83. For the season he has thrown 53.2 IP. As we begin the second half of the season, I guess what I wonder is how many innings does the organization want him to throw, and does his not-complete-and-utter-dominance tell us that he should finish the season in Frederick? Following his worst performance of the year, Kyle Simon had arguably his best start of the season, going 6.2 scoreless. He does not seem to miss enough bats, as his K/BB of 49/21 in 72.2 IP would demonstrate, but he does have that strong GB/FB ratio of 2.55. So far he seems to have some reverse splits, so it will be interesting to monitor over time.
The Shorebirds are 0-6 in the second half, and have now lost 9 in a row. Don't cry for me Dylan Bundy, I'm already dead. Nicky Delmonico has suffered a knee injury, on top of struggling since the ASB (3 for 20 with 6 Ks and a double). Still though the soon to be 20 year old has put up a strong season in A ball (254/351/402/754). Despite his last 3 hits being doubles, Glynn Davis has OPS'ed 483 over his last 10 and for the season his line is 252/338/306/644 with a K/BB of 56/33 in 258 at bats. Connor Narron continues to exist on prospect radars, as he has an OPS of 686 over his last 10 games (and for the season, oddly). For the year: 236/308/378/686 with a K/BB of 55/20 in 225 at bats. With a strong background of recognizing balls and strikes, is the 142 ISO enough? Gabriel Lino has been better offensively of late, and for the season the 19 year old Venezuelan is batting 216/279/342/620 with a K/BB of 64/15 in 199 at bats. I've decided to stop talking about Jason Esposito and Parker Bridwell. Hopefully my disrespecting them will lead to a revitalization. 19 y/o righty Zachary Davies carries a 4.00 ERA in 63 IP with a K/BB of 48/26. You would like to see better K/9 numbers, but I'm willing to give the 19 y/o former bonus baby a break because the Supersuckers are from his hometown. Eduardo Rodriguez struggled this week but for the season has a K/BB of 37/19 in 52 IP with a GB/FB ratio of 1.44 with an ERA of 3.29.
Shortseason spotlight: Because it is hard to make sense of short season numbers, I thought I would highlight a few guys and see how they are doing:
Rod Bernadina: Rod is a 19 y/o Curacao native righthanded hitter on the iBirds. He demonstrated solid BB% last year. So far in Bowie, he has struggled after a handful of games, with a 564 OPS after 10 games.
Torsten Boss: Bossman has been OPSing 920 in his first 10 games as an iBird. The wrap on him (that I have read at least) was his pedestrian numbers with the wood bat. So the 4 extra base hits in 31 at bats is a sight for sore eyes.
Who are some of the guys you are following in short season ball?