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ATM: Is there a playoff team in the minors?

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 26:  "we had good times and we had bad times, but we had times." (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 26: "we had good times and we had bad times, but we had times." (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Norfolk stands at 63-63 on this August day. I can't think of anything bad that's ever happened to a team with a 63-63 record. Xavier Avery's free fall continues unabated. In the second half of the season 29 games with the Tides, he is batting 189. For the season, his slash line stands as follows: 244/329/329/370/699 with a K/BB of 97/41 in 349 at bats. He's 22, so it's not the end of the world, but it feels like his stock is going the wrong way.

On the flip side stands LJ Hoes. Hoes has had a real nice 67 AAA games, and for the season, his slash line is 322/395/410/805, with an OPS of 871 over his last 10. His K/BB ratio is at 37/29 in 261 at bats. I still wonder about his defense. Speaking of defense, do you hear that pulse from Ryan Adams? Over his last 10, his OPS is 905. It has certainly been a lost season for the second baseman, which is a shame because had he been healthy you would have to think injuries to Roberts and Andino would have resulted in a promotion for the Louisianan. For the year though: 216/316/351/667, with a K/BB of 46/23 in 171 at bats. Interesting to see if he takes the initiative and heads to the Dominican for the winter.

Brian Matusz has been demoted to the bullpen. Since his most recent demotion, he has an ERA of 4.09 and a K/BB of 28/12 in 44 IP. I'm not sure that he is missing enough bats or really doing enough positive. He really needs to finish the season strong though. He might be another one who would be well served in the Dominican. Jake Arrieta has been getting lit up over his last 2 starts, and for the season, over six starts for Norfolk, has an ERA of 5.74 in 31.1 IP with a K/BB of 23/19. On the plus side his FIP is only 4.75. Apropos of nothing at all, 34 people have stood in the batters box as a Tide this season. 41 people have pitched for the Tides. There have been 75 different players on their team this season.

Bowie continues to surge, and stands in second place 7 games over 500 after winning 7 of its last 10. I think Kevin Gregg would be a real shot in the arm for the Baysox. Jonathan Schoop has hit a bump in the road over his last 10, but for the season is slashing 246/316/390/706, with a K/BB of 87/38 in 423 at bats. I am really looking forward to seeing what he can do in the AFL. Ty Kelly is OPSing 819 over his last 10, but he still hasn't found his power in Bowie, slashing 293/360/343/703 in a mere 27 games as a Baysox. He is just over 24, so a little long in the tooth to be considered much of a prospect, but still his year has been a real pleasant surprise. What do you think of him?

Dylan Bundy is now a member of the Baysox, in case you missed it. He made his AA debut and had a pedestrian 3/3 K/BB in 5.1 IP. Sometimes I have to remind myself he's 19. If you are in the Bowie area, you should definitely be sure to see him this season! His K/BB is 106/22 in 89.2 IP across 3 levels this season. I am so glad that he exists. Speaking of befuddling K/BB ratios, Clayton Schrader's K/BB in AA is a perplexing 9/19 in 16 IP. So he should probably stay in AA for a while, maybe longer. 24 y/o lefty Jason Gurka has had an easier AA adjustment, with a K/BB of 17/7 in 14.2 IP, with an ERA of 3.68. In an almost worthless SSS in AA, he seems to be posting some reverse splits, so that is curious, or at least is potentially curious. Mike Belfiore continues to be an interesting character in the Bowie bullpen, with a K/BB of 71/24 in 59 AA innings this season, with an ERA of 2.59. Mike Wright had a tough start this week, giving up 4 earnies in 5 IP. For the season, his ERA stands at 5.08 for the Baysox, with a K/BB of 32/11 across 44.1 IP.

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Frederick is a game under 500 in the second half, and that is good for a game out of first. Trent Mummey hasn't played in a week. His OPS is 664 for the season. Still believe? Johnny Ruettiger has struggled since returning to Fredneck, going 5-32 without an extra base hit. For the season, his K/BB is 32/35 in 227 at bats, with a slash line of 264/367/317/685. I'm really perplexed as to why Tyler Townsend is not back in AA after his scorching start. Of course, his 25 games back in Frederick haven't screamed promotion either, and for the season is now batting 242/311/326/638 in Frederick. His ISO in Bowie before the injury was 184. Brenden Webb is now in Frederick. For the season as a Shorebird, Webb finished with the following line: 251/422/457/878, with a K/BB of 108/87 in 311 at bats. Do you consider him a prospect?

Now that Dylan Bundy is a Baysox, Tim Berry is probably the best pitching prospect in Frederick. Arguably the nicest surprise of the 2012 campaign, the 21 y/o lefty has had some success across the SALLY and the Carolina League this season, but definitely had his best start of the season Wednesday night. For the season as a Key, he has a 57/14 K/BB in 66 IP with an ERA of 4.09. I am really looking forward to tracking him over the next few starts and in 2013.

Delmarva is in last in the second half in their division. Glynn Davis is back as a Shorebird, and continues to show his speed but limited power. His OPS in his last 10 SALLY games stands at 521, and for the season his line is 252/342/304/647. Nicky Delmonico hasn't played since August 1. Just turned 20, Rod Bernadina has been a Shorebird for 14 games, and is batting 313/377/354/732 with a K/BB of 8/2 in 48 at bats. He doesn't seem completely overwhelmed, so it will be interesting to see how he performs in Salisbury next year. On the mound, Zachary Davies continues to be the most interesting one to me, as the 2011 bonus baby carries a 3.81 ERA in 104 IP and a K/BB of 79/41. Eduardo Rodriguez had another strong start, and the 19 y/o Venezuelan lefty has a K/BB of 67/25 in 93 IP with an ERA of 3.29. Juan Guzman hasn't pitched in a week and a half.

Aberdeen rests comfortably in 3rd in their division, 11 games out of second, six and a half out of last. Torsten Boss continues to hold his own in the NY Penn League, and through 49 games is up to 263/374/429/802 with a K/BB of 39/25 in 175 at bats. All star Joel Hutter is hitting 299/354/379/734 with a K/BB of 19/14 in 174 at bats. Christian Walker hasn't played in 2 weeks. Kevin Gausman has thrown 6 scoreless innings, striking out 5 with a K/BB of 5/0.

The GCL Orioles are 24-27, in 3rd place in their division. The DSL Birds are 33-29, 4th in their division.