Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Weekly Carolina League News and Notes

Comings and Goings
  • Luis Robert was promoted to AA Birmingham.  It was quite a 19 stretch for Robert to begin the season.  He hit .453/.512/1.432 with 8 homers and 8 steals.

  • Steele Walker, the White Sox 2nd round out of University of Oklahoma was promoted to Winston Salem from Kannapolis to replace Robert.  Walker was hitting .365/.437/ 1.018 in 20 games with the Intimidators.
Steele Walker

  • Kyle Kubat (SP) was also promoted to AA Birmingham from Winston Salem.  The 26 years old got off to a great start for the Dash in 22 innings, he had allowed only 11 hits with 19 strikeouts.  
  • The Pelicans placed Bryan Hudson (SP) and DJ Wilson (CF) on the 7 day injured list with an undisclosed injuries.
  • The Wood Ducks placed AJ Alexy (SP) on the 7 day injured list with an undisclosed injury.
  • JC Rooney (P) and Blake Perkins (CF) were promoted to AA Northwest Arkansas.
  • Alec Hansen (P) was promoted from Winston Salem to AA Birmingham.  Hansen is working his way back from his disastrous 2018 season with 1 or 2 inning outings.  He had struck out 21 batters in 12.2 innings allowing 7 walks.
  • Braden Webb (SP) was demoted from AA Biloxi to Carolina.  Webb was a top 15 Brewers prospect pre-season by MLB, Prospect Live and Fangraphs.  However, he walked 15 batters in 15 innings to begin the season.
Braden Webb

  • Eli Morgan (SP) was finally promoted to AA Akron. Morgan's performance in 99 innings at Lynchburg in 2018 was typically enough to earn a promotion but he was back at Lynchburg to begin the season.  In 33.2 innings, Morgan only allowed 19 hits with 40 strikeouts and 7 earned runs and 5 walks.   
  • Mason McCoy was promoted from Frederick to AA Bowie.  He had an impressive start to the season in Frederick, hitting .379/.416/.925 and leading the Carolina League with 44 hits.  McCoy is 24 years old and was the Orioles 6th round pick in th 2017 draft out of Iowa.
Potential Call Ups to the Carolina League

Last week we looked at potential call up to Carolina League for teams in the Northern Division last week.  This week it is the Southern League.

Down East Wood Ducks

Sam Huff (C) is leading the minor leagues in homers with 14 in 27 games. He has also thrown off 13 out of 22 base stealers in 2019.  Huff was the Rangers 7th round pick in 2016 and is 21 years old.  Here is what I wrote about Huff for the Wood Ducks preview.

Shares his name with a very tough old football player.  Huff skipped Spokane and went from the AZL in 2017 to Hickory in 2018.  He has good power (18 homers), but has some holes in his swing ( 140 strikeouts in 118 games).  Huff is interesting if he sticks at catcher.  He threw out 29% of base stealers in Hickory.

Sam Huff

Hans Crouse (SP) is 20 years old and was the Rangers 2nd round in 2017 and has had a nice start to the season with Hickory.  In 5 starts, Crouse has pitched 24.1 with 27 strikeouts, 18 hits and only 3 walks.  Here is what I wrote about Crouse for the Wood Ducks preview.

Crouse is a promising right hander that is one of the few Rangers pitching prospects that have avoided Tommy John surgery.  Crouse is a hard thrower with top the rotation upside.
Hans Crouse
Carolina Mudcats

Aaron Ashby (SP) Has had a couple of really good starts and a few not so good starts.  Overall in 22.2 innings, he has allowed 15 hits, 14 walks and has 31 strikeouts.  Ashby will be 21 later this month.  Here is what I wrote about Ashby in the Mudcats team preview.

Ashby got off to a promising start to his pro career.  After getting his feet wet in Helena, Ashby started 7 games for Wisconsin in the Midwest League striking out 47 in 37 innings and not giving up more than two earned runs in any of the starts.  As a JUCO in 2018, Ashby struck out 156 in 74 innings.  The lefty has an outstanding curveball. 
Aaron Ashby

Adam Hill (SP) Similar to Ashby, Hill has been up and down for the Timber Rattlers.  In 21.1 innings, Hill has allowed 19 hits, 11 walks and 21 strikeouts. Here is what I wrote about Hill in the Mudcats preview.

Hill was picked by the Mets in the 4th round of the 2018 draft, 15 picks before Aaron Ashby.  The right handed Hill was a SEC starting pitcher for the South Carolina Gamecocks.  He got off fast start in college in 2018 with two 14 strikeout games, but struggled with control the remainder of the season walking 55 in 83 innings.  Hill is an interesting prospect who the Brewers got from the the new Mets front office which has been aggressive in trading for major league depth.  Tall pitchers like Hill can struggle with mechanics which leads to control issues, but if he figures it out, he can be a mid rotation starter. In 2018 after the college season, the Mets eased Hill into pro ball with short outings in the New York Penn league.
Adam Hill

Brice Turang (SS) was the Brewers first pick in 2018 out of high school.  He will not be 20 in November.  Turang has gotten off to a nice start hitting .293/.412/.793.  Most impressive in the 19 walks to 21 strikeouts and only 3 errors.
Brice Turang
Winston Salem Dash

Konnor Pilkington like Blaine Knight is an SEC pitcher that is probably too advanced for the Sally League. He has had four excellent starts and one not so good start.  Pilkington was the White Sox 3rd round pick in the 2018 draft and turns 22 in September.  In 33.1 innings, Pilkington has allowed 15 hits, with 11 walks to go with 42 strikeouts.  Here is what I wrote about Pilkington in the Dash team preview.

Pilkington is a big strong left handed pitcher who had success in college in the SEC. Like Alec Hansen, Pilkington was much better as a Sophomore than a Junior. He also reportedly was throwing up to the mid nineties at a Sophomore and only in the low nineties as a Junior. The White Sox took it easy with Pilkington after the college season, pitching mostly two inning starts in the Pioneer League.
Konnor Pilkington

Jonathan Stiever is another college pitcher from the 2018 draft.  He went in the 5th round out of Indiana.  Stiever is not as big or as talented as Pilkington.  He had a rough first start but has seemingly gotten better each start.  In 31 innings, Stiever has 35 strikeouts and has allowed 33 hits and 8 walks.
Jonathan Stiever

Fayetteville Woodpeckers

Brett Conine is no relation to former Major Leaguer, Jeff Conine.  He was the Astros 11th round pick in the 2018 draft out of Cal St Fullerton and is 22 years old.  In 5 appearances (4 starts), Conine has pitched 28 innings with 34 strikeouts, allowing only 16 hits and 2 walks which comes out to a 0.64 WHIP.
Brett Conine

Nivaldo Rodriguez has put up some impressive stats the last couple year in short season ball and continued his success in his first year in full season ball.  Rodriguez turned 22 in April.  In  starts he has pitched 27 innings, allowing 4 earned runs, 19 hits and 3 walks.  He has struck out 33.
Nivaldo Rodriguez

Austin Hansen was the Astros 8th round pick out of Oklahoma and will be 23 in August.  In 5 starts, the righthanded, Hansen has pitched 25 innings with 32 strikeouts, allowing only 11 hits, 11 walks and only 4 earned runs.
Austin Hansen

Luis Garcia is not to be confused with the Nats or Phillies prospect with the same name.  Garcia is a 22 year old that is back at Quad City after a good season in 2018.  Garcia has pitched 23 innings, allowing 14 hits and 7 walks with 32 strikeouts.
Luis Garcia

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Riley Thompson is a 2018 11th round draft pick out of Louisville.  In  starts, the righthander has thrown 24 innings allowing 21 hits, 4 earned runs and 7 walks while striking out 24.  Thompson will be 23 in July.
Riley Thompson

The rest of the Cubs prospects in South Bend are probably a year away from being promoted to Myrtle Beach.  This includes Brailyn Maquez (P), Cole Roederer (CF)and Nelson Velazquez (LF).  

Pitching Summary

This is through May 6th. There are a few isolated games not included because the pitch count was unavailable affecting Blake Battenfield (4-17), Kyle Johnson (4-21) and Malvin Pena (4-20 and 5-1).
Pitcher Team Pitches Per Out K% - BB% BABIP
Michael Baumann Frederick 6.13 37.70% 0.395
Parker Mushinski Fayetteville 5.66 31.40% 0.333
Eli Morgan Lynchburg 5.02 28.70% 0.219
Dylan File Carolina 5.08 26.10% 0.368
Yohan Ramirez Fayetteville 5.77 23.20% 0.205
Chad Donato Fayetteville 5.71 22.10% 0.358
Kutter Crawford Salem 6.02 19.70% 0.324
Noah Zavolas Carolina 4.85 18.40% 0.337
DL Hall Frederick 6.82 18.40% 0.41
Nick Gallagher Lynchburg 5.29 17.90% 0.192
Cristian Javier Fayetteville 5.88 17.30% 0.228
Noah Bremer Down East 5.29 16.50% 0.304
Brady Singer Wilmington 5.23 16.30% 0.308
Malvin Pena Potomac 6.32 16.30% 0.362
Tyler Phillips Down East 4.22 16.20% 0.239
Adam Scott Lynchburg 5.99 15.80% 0.384
Bryan Mata Salem 5.34 15.60% 0.241
Jackson Kowar Wilmington 5.76 15.30% 0.299
Enoli Paredes Fayetteville 5.98 14.50% 0.171
Daniel Lynch Wilmington 5.62 14.40% 0.355
Cameron Bishop Frederick 5.74 14.30% 0.369
Javier Assad Myrtle Beach 5.67 14.30% 0.343
Nelson Hernandez Carolina 5.55 12.10% 0.333
Cody Sedlock Frederick 4.73 11.50% 0.159
Blake Battenfield Winston Salem 5.21 11.40% 0.275
Justin Garza Lynchburg 5.67 10.60% 0.315
Jason Bahr Down East 5.03 10.00% 0.226
Kyle Johnston Potomac 6.33 7.90% 0.347
Enmanuel De Jesus Salem 5.72 5.90% 0.282
Paul Richan Myrtle Beach 5.89 5.80% 0.35
Daniel Gonzalez Winston Salem 4.95 5.80% 0.342
Juan Hillman Lynchburg 5.14 5.70% 0.343
Reid Anderson Down East 5.34 2.90% 0.155
Daniel Tillo Wilmington 5.04 0.00% 0.287
Brenan Hanifee Frederick 5.28 -1.00% 0.318

Young Bucks
Here is our weekly look at how the six highly ranked non-college position prospects that are moving up from full season A to the Carolina League are progressing. Bubba Thompson has been hurt.  Miguel Amaya has been the most successful although he is still hitting under .200. As we discussed, this is a very difficult transition.

Players Team AB Hit Walks Strikeouts OPS
Bubba Thompson Down East 40 6 3 11 0.409
Tristen Lutz Carolina 89 18 6 35 0.586
Nick Pratto Wilmington  102 20 10 43 0.442
MJ Melendez Wilmington  77 13 16 38 0.597
Miguel Amaya Myrtle Beach 87 17 16 22 0.747
Seuly Matias Wilmington  97 15 14 50 0.66
Oscar Gonzalez is now up to 116 at bats without walking.  Last year he walked 12 times in 462 at bats.

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