Around the Minors Returns! Week 15!!1!

July 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Manny Machado, fresh from the futures game! I bet KC BBQ is better than Bowie BBQ. I wonder what Keith Law thinks!

Despite losing 6 of 10, Norfolk is 2 games over 500, in second place in their division. Xavier Avery has struggled of late, OPSing 563 over his last 10 games, and perhaps of most concern is that he has only drawn 1 walk over his last 44 plate appearances. For the season, Xavery is slashing 263/363/404/766 with a K/BB of 71/39 in 270 at bats. His fellow 2008 draftee, LJ Hoes, has also dipped of late, with a 458 OPS over his last 10. For the season in AAA, the 22 y/o OF prospect is batting 290/354/409/763 with a K/BB of 29/18 in 186 at bats. There seems like a decent amount to like, but I'm not sure about his defense. Steve Johnson continues to find success as a Tide, and in 79.2 IP, he has a K/BB of 76/28 and a FIP of 3.51; he has an ERA of 1.50 against righties. Speaking of which, Miguel Socolovich has an ERA of 1.45 against righties, with a K/BB of 34/4 in 31 IP.

Bowie has played better of late, winning 7 of 10 and is 3 games over 500. Manny Machado has struggled over his last 10, OPSing 486. For the season however, the youngster is keeping his head above water, 250/337/397/734 with an encouraging K/BB of 65/42 in 360 at bats. I would hope to see him improve over the second half of the season, but still given the importance of age v competition, he is certainly performing respectably. Speaking of improving as the season progresses, Jonathan Schoop continues the long slog. Over his last 10 he is OPSing 684, and for the season his line sits at 244/303/392/695, with a K/BB of 75/26 in 360 at bats. It is compelling to compare him to Machado and while Machado has stronger peripherals, Schoop isn't doing too shabby, especially considering an OPS of 570 in April. On the flip side of the age v comp debate stands Ty Kelly, the switch hitting infielder who has been with the Baysox for a week and a half. Kelly turned 24 last week, but across 3 levels (mainly Frederick), he has put up the following line: 338/444/485/929. At this point I'm intrigued enough to want him to go the AFL. What do you think?

Tyler Townsend's tour through Oriole affiliates continues in Frederick. Hopefully he can finish his last month with the Baysox, though 2012 is getting close to another lost year with flashes of what could be. Speaking of Frederick, Johnny Ruettiger has also been promoted to the Baysox. He put up a very similar line in Frederick as he did in Salisbury, showing slightly decreased power in Frederick resulting in the OPS difference of 744 compared to 724. I'm not sure he did enough to warrant a promotion to Bowie, but certainly there are things that I don't know. Any of you Key watchers think it was a justified promotion?

More below the jump...

I want Brian Ward to be a prospect, primarily because I feel like a guy with a cannon for an arm could be a nice complement to SHJ, but he has not fared well since returning from his suspension; his OPS is 565 in 85 at bats. In case you have not heard, Bobby Bundy is done for the season with bone spurs. Hopefully it's not genetic. It is worth noting that his FIP wasn't nearly as ugly as his ERA, finishing at 4.34 in 80.2 IP with a K/BB of 64/35. I'm just not sure he misses enough bats in the minor leagues to be relevant in the major leagues. Lefty Mike Belfiore continues to sail along in the Baysox bullpen, and counting his time in the Texas League, in AA this year the 23 year old has a K/BB of 62/22 in 51.1 IP with an ERA of 2.63. He may have a future as a LOOGY. 22 y/o righty Mike Wright continues to be rudely greeted in the EL, as he sports an ERA of 5.64 in 22 innings with a K/BB of 15/4 since being promoted from Frederick. Clay Schrader has also gotten hit hard in AA, with a K/BB of 4/10 (!) in a mere 7.1 IP, and an ERA of 4.91. The ERA doesn't mean much, but the BB/9 is a bit concerning...

33 games into the second half, the Keys are only 2 games out of first place, which is still good for last place. As PBRme pointed out in QTM last weekend, there really isn't a lot in Frederick. Trent Mummey is OPSing 834 over his last 10, and for the season is up to 248/345/372/717 with a K/BB of 27/31 in 218 at bats. You really have to like that ratio, and he continues to show some signs after his horrific start with a 507 OPS in April. Still though, he is 23 and still in A ball. For reasons not entirely clear to me, after OPSing 631 in Aberdeen, Rod Bernadina was promoted to Frederick. He is almost 20, and while the right handed Curacao native did pretty well in the GCL last year, Frederick is far from the GCL. Dylan Bundy is awesome. But you know this already. His K/BB in Frederick is 48/13 in 42.1 IP. 21 y/o lefty Tim Berry has not performed too poorly as a Key, with a K/BB of 34/12 in 42.2 IP and a FIP of 3.51.

32 games into their second half, the Shorebirds are in last place, 5.5 out of first. Nicky Delmonico has had a nice little stretch over his last 10, OPSing 822 and raising his line for the season to 248/349/401/750 with a K/BB of 70/43 in 319 at bats. The 20 y/o lefty needs to find a position though. Glynn Davis (hon!) has had a better 10 games, OPSIng 883, and for the season the 20 year old is hitting 260/340/312/661. Even with his SB/CS ratio of 28/8, I just have a hard time getting too excited about a kid with an ISO of 052 in the South Atlantic League. Brenden Webb is the new Ty Kelly, in that he is putting up some strong numbers, but at 22 is a bit old for the SALLY. 254/419/464/883 with a K/BB of 94/75 in 276 at bats. Zachary Davies has a FIP of 4.62 and a K/BB of 64/33 in 86.1 IP. Sometimes I think I'm higher on him than I have reason to be. 19 y/o lefty Eduardo Rodriguez has a FIP of 3.84 and a K/BB of 56/21 in 78 IP. He threw 48 innings last year...when do you shut him down?

The iBirds are also in last place, though compared to last year, losing 23 of their first 37 can only be described as robust. 18 games into his pro career, Christian Walker has been as hoped, slashing 328/416/493/908, with a K/BB of 12/8 in 67 at bats. He almost feels like a first base prospect, so he may be an alien. Though he has cooled off of late, 21 y/o Torsten Boss is hitting 270/391/423/814, with a K/BB of 26/16 in 111 at bats. Looks like his adjustment to wood bats is moving along better this time around. 22 y/o SS Joel Hutter is playing decently so far, 295/363/375/738. Juan Guzman has been the best iBird pitcher to date. The 21 y/o right-handed Dominican has a K/BB of 32/10 in 32 IP and an ERA of 1.41. As you may have guessed from their record, it hasn't been a banner season for the Aberdeen hurlers...

The GCL Orioles are also in last place. True rebels, the DSL Orioles are 2 games out of last. More on these guys soon, though it is worth noting that these kids are essentially high schoolers. I'm still trying to figure out how to attempt to speak intelligently given that statistics don't mean much. Perhaps Aaron Neville can sign a song about it.

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