Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Down on the Farm: 5/27/2013

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies stomped the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 9-0:

Gary Brown- 2 for 5, SB(5).  BA= .216.
Roger Kieschnick(RF)- 2 for 3, 2 2B, BB.  BA= .315.
Johnny Monell(1B)- 1 for 2, 2 BB.  BA= .261.
Jackson Williams(C)- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .213.
Shane Loux(RHP)- 9 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 4.09.

Gary Brown is showing some signs of life as he now has a 5 game hit streak in which he has 8 hits in 22 AB with 2 BB's and just 3 K's.  If Shane Loux had pitched this game in his last start, he might be pitching for the Giants tonight instead of Mike Kickham.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels soared over the Altoona Curve 13-2:

Jarrett Parker(RF)- 1 for 5, 3B, BB, SB(6).  BA= .264.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 3 for 6, HR(3).  BA= .324.
Mark Minicozzi(1B)- 4 for 6.  BA= .347.
Ryan Lollis(CF)- 3 for 5, Sac.  BA= .287.
Javier Herrera(LF)- 1 for 2, 2 BB, SB(13).  BA= .288.
Andrew Susac(C(- 1 for 3, 2 BB.  BA= .267.
Travious Relaford(SS)- 2 for 5.  BA= .262.
Fabio Castillo(RHP)- 4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 3.34.

Travious Relaford continues to stay afloat in AA ball after spending most of last year in rookie ball and starting out this year in low A.  Fabio Castillo has another interesting K line.

High A  Bakersfield Blaze outlasted the San Jose Giants 11-9 in 14 innings:

Chris Lofton(CF)- 3 for 5, HR(1), 3 BB.  BA= .284.
Brock Bond(3B)- 1 for 5, 3 BB, SB(2).  BA= .233.
Jeff Arnold(C)- 3 for 6, HR(9), BB.  BA= .286.
Bobby Haney(SS)- 2 for 5, 2B, BB.  BA= .252.
John Polonius(2B)- 1 for 4, SF, 2 Sac.  BA= .161.
Ty Blach(LHP)- 5 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.73.
Cody Hall(RHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.16.

Hiccup for Ty Blach.  Jeff Arnold continues to impress with the bat.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets blanked the Hickory Crawdads 4-0:

Matt Duffy(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .300.
Mitch Delfino(3B)- 2 for 3, HBP, SB(3).  BA= .251.
Rafael Rodriguez(LF)- 3 for 4, HR(3).  BA= .221.
Chris Stratton(RHP)- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 3.13.
Steven Okert(LHP)- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.82.

That's more like it from Stratton and Okert!  RafRod is hitting .273/.324/.455 over his last 10.  Can he keep it going?


  1. I was looking into Brown's 2013 season so far and the thing that was very different was that he was striking out a lot more than he did in the past, but what you note he has done is a return to his prior career contact rate, so perhaps he has turned things around.

    One thing that is clear is that he has greatly improved in the past 5 games over what he was doing in the prior 20 games or so, he was totally lost with regards to the strikezone during that time prior. So that is encouraging.

    I think Kickham would have still gotten the assignment, he had been pitching pretty well recently.

    Good comeback for Stratton, he had been struggling recently.

    1. It is good to see Brownie's name in the highlights again. It is weird that he has had such trouble adjusting to AAA. I have always wondered if players are facing the same guys year to year who are also moving up levels with them. I am concerned about how few SBs he has this year. He's been thrown out almost half the time. I assume the low numbers are also from his difficulty getting on base.

  2. About Stratton and Agosta, I think it is really hard to dominate, when you are expected to dominate. You throw 7 shut-out innings and you meet the expectations.
    I know the bar should be high for a Division 1 player. However, there should be something above the bar, too. It is not fair to challenge these guys to sneak between the ceiling and the bar you set for them. They should be promoted but I don't know how. We don't have anyone to has essentially graduated from San Jose, yet.

    1. Believe me, if an organization thinks their first round draft pick can pitch at a certain level, they will find a way to make it happen. They get priority over everybody else. Stratton and Agosta are in Augusta because that is where the Giants think they belong. In at least Stratton's case, that is somewhat unusual for a first round draft pick out of a D1 college. That's all I'm saying. I am in no way calling Stratton or Agosta busts or giving up on them. I am simply pointing out that they are pitching at a low level for where they were drafted and their college records.

    2. DrB., My comments were not against you. We have a big bunch of pitchers who are around the same level in their development, which is hard to manage.

    3. The question is, when they were drafted, did the Giants think they would be where they are pitching now?

      What happened, beyond that 'it's hard to predict' fact of life?

    4. Hard to say. The Giants have taken a decidedly more conservative approach to prospect promotion since they decided that they might have rushed Brandon Belt a little too much. Still, I think you have to expect a D1 college first round draftee to play their first full season no lower than High A ball.

  3. Drb - what are your expectations for high draft picks like Stratton & Agosta, who were pitchers drafted from College D1 Programs in terms of when they will make their MLB debuts? How much minor league seasoning should they need?

    Interested to hear everyone's thoughts on Kickham..


    1. I like Kickham. I was not too impressed with his first season in Augusta, but he did well enough that I put him on my radar. His good performance last season in AA sealed the deal, I liked him, but he's one of those prospects who will need to prove it at every level, for me. And he did well in AAA so far so I'm encouraged for his MLB prospects.

      I have seen everything from middle rotation guy to back of rotation starter mentioned as his potential. I think that he can be better than a bottom of rotation guy, but that he still has work to do in order to get to middle rotation potential. Luckily, the Giants are not really looking for a middle starter right now, if he can be better than a bottom rotation guy, he can add value to the team. I think he can do at least that, now that he's got his first start out of the way.

      I've been viewing him as our potential replacement for Zito in the rotation. Him and Surkamp, between the two of them, probably can do it, but I do like Surkamp more, but after TJS, he has to return to his prior performance for me to continue liking him more. I think Kickham can get to 4-ish BB/9 and a K/9 of around 7, at least initially, which would put him roughly around what Zito can do right now. His MLE for 2012 has him at 4.00 ERA, 4.6 BB/9, 6.9 K/9, but his walk rate seems elevated that season, for some reason, as he was lower before and after.

      That plus his ability to keep batted balls on the ground could give him a nice journeyman type of career, at minimum, like Correia has carved out. With his velocity in the 91-94 range, though, he could be better than what Zito has been doing for us. And getting that in the back of any rotation is great, that will win us a lot of games.

      Few teams carry three lefties in the starting rotation, so should Kickham and Surkamp develop as hoped, one or both could become trade bait, depending on team needs.