Minor League Notes: April 10-11

The pitchers have largely stolen the show the last couple of days.  Stellar pitching performances could be found at all levels of the minors on Tuesday and Wednesday.

South Atlantic League (Low-A)

  • Adam Conley- Conley, a second round selection of the Marlins in last June’s draft, was outstanding on Wednesday. The former Washington State Cougar went six strong, allowing one unearned run with eight strikeouts while walking just one batter.

  • Jose Campos- The Mariners inclusion of Campos in their trade for Jesus Montero has the potential to blow up in their face badly. He’s off to a blistering start for Low-A Charleston. He made his second start of the season on Wednesday and pitched five innings allowing one unearned run on zero hits, with two walks, and eight strikeouts. In two starts he has pitched 11 innings, allowing no earned runs, one hit, three walks while striking out 11.

  • Dylan Bundy- Bundy continues to beat babies in video games, I mean, he continues to dominate less advanced hitters than he should be facing. He pitched three more perfect innings on Wednesday, striking out six batters in the process. In six innings, he has yet to allow a base runner, and has struck out 12. That’s dominance.

  • Josh Bell- The Pirates surprised many by signing second round pick Josh Bell. Of course, it helped that they made him a record bonus offer. He has put together back-to-back solid showings going 2-5 with one double and one RBI on Tuesday, and 2-4 with two runs scored, his first pro home run, and 3 RBIs.

Midwest League (Low-A)

  • Jorge Bonifacio- Bonifacio is on a torrid run. He went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI on Tuesday, and followed that up with a 2-4 performance on Wednesday in which he hit a double and scored another run. Since starting the season with an 0-3 at the dish, he has wrapped out a pair of hits in each of the next five games.

  • Austin Hedges- If you wanted to nitpick Hedges play the last two days, you could point out that he struck out four times in nine plate appearances. Beyond that, he did just about everything you could ask for. He went 2-5 with a double, a home run, and five RBI’s on Tuesday, and he went 1-4 with another double on Wednesday.

  • Austin Wood- Wood had an excellent follow up start to his explosive season debut. He pitched five innings of hitless, two walk, scoreless baseball on Wednesday. He struck out five batters, bringing his total to 15 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched.

Florida State League (High-A)

  • Jimmy Nelson- Two starts into 2012, Nelson is proving capable of the challenge of moving up from Low-A. His final season line in 2011 wasn’t particularly impressive, but he finished the season strong and is carrying that over to this year. He pitched five innings on Wednesday, allowing one earned run (a solo home run), with eight strikeouts. It was his second five inning turn. In 10 innings, he has allowed two earned runs and struck out 14 batters. His control was sharper in his second start. He walked three in his first start, but walked just one in his second.

  • Jacob Realmuto- Catcher’s that can hit have immense fantasy value. Realmuto is raking. On Tuesday he went 2-4 with two walks and a home run. Wednesday, he went 2-5 with a run scored. In 24 plate appearances he is hitting .368/.500/.526.

California League (High-A)

  • C.J. Cron Jr- Cron Jr pummeled Lake Elsinore pitching on Tuesday going 5-5 with two runs, two doubles, one home run, and four RBIs. Wednesday wasn’t nearly as fruitful a game for Cron Jr as he went 0-4. One thing he didn’t do in either game was walk. He has yet to walk this year, and at some point, he’ll need to exhibit more patience or concerns about his plate discipline will likely surface.

  • George Springer- Springer’s bat is playing well thus far in the California League. He went 2-4 on Tuesday with a double, and followed it up with an 0-3 performance on Wednesday, but did reach base by walk.

  • Telvin Nash- Nash’s power has been on display in 2012. Tuesday was no exception. He went 2-4 with two home runs. He didn’t find the seats on Wednesday, but he went 1-4 and drove in his ninth and tenth runs of the year. Most importantly, though he struck out three times Wednesday, he has struck out just six times in 31 plate appearances.

  • Zach Lee- Lee didn’t produce a stat line that will produce oohs and aahs from onlookers, but he was solid facing a Lancaster lineup that featured a 3-4 of George Springer and Telvin Nash. He pitched five innings Tuesday surrendering two earned runs on six hits and one walk while striking out four.

  • Joe Panik- Panik is certainly commanding the strike zone and making a lot of contact. He has recorded a hit or walk in all seven games played this year, including a 2-5 one walk performance on Tuesday, and a 1-3 two walk performance on Wednesday. For the season, he has received 34 plate appearances, walking in seven, and striking out only two times. He is hitting .296/.441/.444.

  • Jarrett Parker- Parker may be striking out often, but the rest of his game has been very good. He 4-6 on Tuesday hitting a triple and a home run, and went 1-4 on Wednesday with another triple. In 33 plate appearances he has seven extra base hits, including three home runs. He has also struck out 12 times, resulting in a staggering strikeout rate of 36.4 percent.

  • David Holmberg- Holmberg shutdown the Nuts on Tuesday hurling seven innings, allowing one earned run on two hits with zero walks and nine strikeouts.

  • Tyler Matzek- He took the loss opposing Holmberg on Tuesday, but it was his second promising start of the year. He went five innings, allowing two earned runs. His three walks issued aren’t ideal, but his eight strikeouts were nice.

  • Billy Hamilton- Let the Hamilton stolen base watch begin. He stole two bases in a 2-5 performance on Tuesday. He is up to five steals on the season.

Texas League (Double-A)

  • A.J. Griffin- Griffin extended his scoreless innings pitched streak to 11 innings to start the year with six scoreless and hitless innings Tuesday. He struck out eight, the same number batters he struck out in his first start, and is now sporting an eight-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio two games into the 2012 season.

  • Drew Pomeranz- Pomeranz hurled four scoreless innings walking one and striking out four on Tuesday. He is scheduled to start for the Rockies on Sunday.

  • Engel Beltre- Beltre first reached Double-A in 2009, playing in four games. He has stalled out at the level, but perhaps this year is the one he breaks through and reaches Triple-A. He went 3-5 on Tuesday ripping two home runs. The home runs were his second and third of the season.

Southern League (Double-A)

  • Shawn Tolleson- It’s questionable as to whether Tolleson has the ceiling of a closer in the bigs, or whether he’ll ultimately fall short and pitch in a less prominent bullpen role. What’s not questionable are his results in his pro career. Tuesday was an extension of the norm for Tolleson. He worked a perfect ninth inning to preserve the lead for his team, and record the save. He struck out one batter.

  • James Paxton- Paxton wasn’t as sharp in his second start as his first, but he was plenty good pitching four and two-thirds innings allowing one run on four hits and one walk. He kept true to his scouting report missing plenty of bats, striking out seven.

  • Trey McNutt- McNutt had his second scoreless start on Wednesday. That’s not to say he has been brilliant. He pitched four innings, giving up two hits, walking three, and striking out five. In seven and two-thirds innings he has walked six batters.

  • Zeke Spruill- Spruill got good results in his turn Wednesday, but it was back to a pitch-to-contact approach. He pitched six innings, in which he allowed one earned run, but struck out just three batters. He’ll need to miss bats at a higher rate if he hopes to end up on fantasy gamers radars.

  • Scooter Gennett- Gennett appears to be settling in. On Tuesday he went 3-6 with a double and one run scored. On Wednesday, he went 1-4. He is 6-14 in his last three games, and hasn’t struck out in that time span.

  • Trevor Bauer- Bauer likely isn’t long for the minors. He was filthy on Tuesday striking out 11 batters in five and two-thirds scoreless innings. He wasn’t terribly efficient, walking four, and throwing 100 pitches in under six innings of work, though, and will need to tighten that up just a bit.

  • Matt Davidson- Davidson had back-to-back 2-4 games on Tuesday and Wednesday. All four hits were singles.

Eastern League (Double-A)

  • Aaron Hicks- It will take more than three good games in a row to confirm Hicks is turning a corner, but playing well is promising nonetheless. On Tuesday he went 2-4 with a home run, it was his second game in a row with a home run. He went 1-3 with a walk on Wednesday.

  • Drew Hutchison- Quirky stat line from Hutchison on Tuesday. He fired six scoreless innings allowing eight hits while walking one batter. However, he struck out no batters in the game.

  • Jiwan James- James was left off the Phillies 40 man roster, and thus, was unprotected for the Rule Five draft held last December. While he’s toolsy and intriguing, it’s easy to understand why he went unselected. James is a converted pitcher with under 300 games played as a full-time positional player. The early results hint he may be figuring things out a bit more. He went 2-4 on Tuesday and Wednesday (following a 2-4 game on Monday), hitting a home run in Tuesday’s contest. He is hitting .417/.423/.792 in 26 plate appearances with one walk and eight strikeouts.

Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)

  • Matt Adams- The onus is on Adams bat to carry him to the show and keep him there. He is doing his best to prove that won’t be a problem. On Tuesday he went 1-3 with a double and a walk, and went 2-4 with a pair of singles on Wednesday.

  • Eduardo Sanchez- Sanchez had a pair of forgettable relief appearances to start his 2012 season, but struck out the side in a perfect inning on Wednesday.

  • Martin Perez- Perez had more of a positive start than a spectacular one. He pitched five and two-thirds innings allowing three earned runs with two walks and five strikeouts. He kept the ball on the ground, and that is a skill that will help him greatly when he reaches the show and is tasked with pitching at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

  • Mike Trout- Trout is doing what blue chip prospects are supposed to do. He went 1-4 on Tuesday, and 2-6 with a triple on Wednesday.

  • Garrett Richards- Richards was in a battle for the fifth starter spot with Jerome Williams in the spring. While he has done nothing to lose the gig, it looks like Williams, who is out of options, is going to get the first shot at holding the job down. That hasn’t prevented Richards from pitching well in Triple-A, and that continued on Tuesday. He pitched six and one-third innings allowing one earned run while striking out eight.

  • Christian Friedrich- Friedrich is doing his best to resuscitate his prospect status. On Tuesday he helped his cause throwing seven and one-third ,two hit, one walk, six strikeout, scoreless innings.

  • Michael Taylor- Taylor is doing everything human possible to earn an extended look in the majors. On Tuesday he went 3-5 with two doubles and a walk, and on Wednesday he collected three more hits going 3-5 with three doubles. In 33 plate appearances he is hitting a scintillating .452/.486/.742.

  • Derek Norris- Norris is well known for his propensity to record one of baseballs three true outcomes which are hitting a home run, walking, or striking out. Norris is not, however, known for hitting for a high average. With multi-hit games on Tuesday and Wednesday, 3-6 on Tuesday and 2-4 on Wednesday, he is now hitting .393/.367/.857 on the year. Surprisingly, the usually patient Norris has yet to draw a walk.

  • Joe Weiland- Weiland pitched a brief, but solid, two innings on Tuesday. He didn’t allow any earned runs, and struck out four while walking one. Weiland’s next appearance in a game will come for the Padres.

  • Jarrod Parker- Parker had to deal with his fair share of base runners, 10 in total, in six innings of work on Wednesday. That said, only one of the base runners was the result of a walk, and he navigated around them allowing just two runs, one earned, with six strikeouts.

  • Casey Kelly- The scouting reports have long been good about Kelly. Wednesday’s start was a good indicator of why. He pitched six scoreless innings, but more notably, struck out nine. Kelly’s stuff has not resulted in the strikeout numbers one would expect, but in two starts this year he is up to 14 strikeouts in 12 innings. He’s also yet to walk a batter.

International League (Triple-A)

  • Will Middlebrooks- Middlebrooks played well on Tuesday and Wednesday. He went 2-4 on Tuesday with a home run and followed up with another hit going 1-4 on Wednesday.