Monday, June 17, 2013

Down on the Farm: 6/16/2013

AAA  Salt Lake City Bees stung the Fresno Grizzlies 5-2:

Gary Brown(CF)- 2 for 4, HR(7).  BA= .233.
Boof Bonser(RHP)- 8 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 5.67.

Brown has a slash line of .405/.436/.838 over his last 10 games and he went just 1 for 8 in the first 2 games of that span.  He has 4 dingers in his last 7 games which has to be some sort of personal record for him.  It would be interesting to know if he made any adjustments at the beginning of this stretch.  Maybe watched the Ted Williams video?  Let's see how long this keeps up but very interesting indeed!

AA  Reading Phightin' Phils defeated the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-4:

Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 2 for 4, SB(7).  BA= .226.
Brett Krill(LF)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .295.
Drew Bowlin(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.23.

Now, if you are looking for a sleeper, Krill is somebody who I think fits the description.  Power has been a bit lacking but his BA's since turning pro are .304 for S-K, .288 for Augusta and .295 so far in AA Richmond.  You hit for that kind of BA in the EL and it's an accomplishment.

High A  San Jose Giants out hit the Visalia Rawhide 10-8:

John Polonius(SS)- 2 for 2, BB, HBP.  BA= .250.
Devin Harris(DH)- 3 for 3, 2 HR(16), BB, SF.  BA= .264.
Myles Schroder(1B)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .248.
Eliezer Zambrano(C)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .239.
Cody Hall(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 1.61.
Josh Osich(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(9).  ERA= 2.02.

Polonius has batted 2'nd 2 games in a row and has 5 hits in 7 AB.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets edged the Charleston River Dogs 2-1:

Andrew Cain(CF)- 2 for 4, 2 SB(11).  BA= .242.
Joey Rapp(1B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .225.
Mason McVay(LHP)- 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.04
Matthew Lujan(LHP)- 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 4.34.
Brandon Farley(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.40.

McVay got the start but only went 2 IP.  Maybe some kind of rehab thing as he was idle for 8 days?

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes topped the Hillsboro Hops 7-6:

Tyler Hollick(RF)- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .462.
Jonathan Jones(1B)- 1 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .167.
Sam Eberle(3B)- 3 for 4, 2B, HR(1).  BA= .273.
Gabriel Cornier(C)- 2 for 4.  BA= .400.
Jeremy Sy(SS)- 2 for 3, SB(1).  BA= .375.
Jose Reyes(RHP)- 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 0.00.

Tyler Hollick continues to tear it up.  Reyes had a 9.53 ERA in 6 early season starts for Augusta.  Hollick struggled early on for Augusta also.

DSL  White Sox beat the Giants 6-4:

Nicol Parra(DH, 18 yo)- 1 for 3, 2 BB, SB(2). BA= .077.
Jean Angomas(CF-RF, 17 yo)- 1 for 4, BB, SB(2).  BA= .250.
Nathanael Javier(3B, 17 yo)- 1 for 4, BB.  BA= .255.
Jose Morles(C, 18 yo)- 3 for 5.  BA= .368.
Shawn Gomez(RHP, 18 yo)- 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.38.


  1. There was this article on Gary Brown a couple of days ago on MILB. Its about how he became more coachable and changed his batting stance.

    1. Found it and a similar article in the Fresno Bee. Not too much info. Mainly that the coaches wanted him to be more upright in the batters box and shorten his stroke a bit, keep the bat in the zone longer.

    2. I've gone back and forth on Brown. The idea of him is nice. In other words, an above average defender in CF, nice hitter at the top of the lineup, and someone who steals bases at will.

      Unfortunately, he hasn't always (well, rarely) been that, and I wonder if he will. At this point, I'd almost rather see him boost his stats up so that he'd be useful in acquiring a pitcher. If he can continue inching toward a respectable BA and get a few more SBs, maybe his name atop our prospect list has some weight and we can use him as trade bait.


    3. The way I see it, Brown has been struggling with his new hitting mechanics for most of the season, until they clicked and became part of his muscle memory. A sign of this was that he was striking out at crazy rates previously, but once he started hitting, he only had 3 K's in 29 AB, an excellent 90% contact rate. Of course, it is only a 7 game stretch so we have to take it a day at a time, but he's hitting .483/.516/1.034/1.551 during this streak which is totally unlike any other stretch he has had all season.

      He has had 31 PA during this streak and according to Russell "Pizza Cutter" Carleton on BP and elsewhere, the strikeout rate (and therefore also contact rate, which is the opposite) stabilizes at 60 PA, meaning that once that many PA passes, he has shown the talent for striking out at that rate (85% is good, 90% is elite), which means that he's making good contact. For an example of what he can do when he makes good contact, look at his last year in college. So if he can keep this up for another 7 games, I think that shows that he has made the transition from learning to utilizing muscle memory. He won't hit this great forever, but it should mean that he's done learning his new batting mechanics and is back to his talent level.

      Last year, the light bulb lit up on June 13th, so it came earlier this season. From June 13 to the end of the season, he hit .318/.377/.455/.832.

      People have to remember that he's not a great prospect, he was borderline Top 100 a couple of seasons ago, per BP and BP. Prospects on the cusp will have ups and downs, heck, that's true for prospects in the Top 40-60 range, let alone 100. That's why he lasted until the 25th pick of the draft, the talent is there but enough holes exist that he will have some hurdles to jump to make it to the majors.

      So he has a few bumps in the road, that's no reason to get so down on him. His whole career, back to college, probably back to growing up, he would reach a new higher level and struggle there, like in college and Cape Cod league, but once he figured things out, he's elite. Same with A-ball, and while not elite in AA, he was darn good down the stretch. I'm still targeting him gaining starter status in 2014-2015, more likely later than sooner, due to this pattern of learning.

      Of course, he could still end up a AAAA prospect, but he's shown enough for me to give him a lot of rope. I'm just still hoping somebody can turn on the light regarding stealing bases, I wish we could have gotten Dave Roberts to stick around as a coach and teach our players, but Randy Winn got pretty good at the end of his career, so I'm hoping he will teach something to Brown during spring training when Winn is coaching.

    4. I know you really, really like Gary Brown. I do too, but that might be sugar coating it just a bit. The recent articles made it pretty clear he has been stubborn about changing his hitting mechanics and only recently abandoned a crouched stance for a more upright one. That does not sound like he's been "struggling with his new hitting mechanics for most of the season." It's more like he's been struggling to RESIST the new hitting mechanics and finally gave in when it was obvious he career was starting to be jeopardized.

    5. He's a cocky goofball. The Giants have given him rope and let him proceed. He has finally hit a wall. I really, really like Gary Brown as well. I do think he's stubborn, and that stance might be a big issue. Look at the athleticism and strength he flashes though - his floor is a 2 WAR 260/310/375 guy, with his defense in CF that is a valuable commodity. But if these changes can get implemented... You've really got something. I think its a worthwhile gamble.

    6. Yes, he's been battling suggested changes too, but that does not mean that he didn't change something to start the season as well. As you and others (including me) noted, this is an extreme hitters league, he should have come in hitting well, but he came in pretty cold and stayed cold for a long time. Can we agree that there was a mix of changes, some done early other implemented later, that finally started clicking for him in the last week or so?

      Yes, he is a cocky goofball. Hence Boras as his agent. I know Boras has his own team of advisors to help his clients, maybe he started out the season following Boras' advisors suggestions (got to drink the kool-aid, I would think, to be a client) but finally started listening to the Giants instructors recently, as DrB noted, when he saw his career stalling.

  2. Attended my third Flying Squirrel game of the year yesterday. After these games, all i can say is that I sure as heck hope that future help arrives from SJ and lower becasue there really isn't much.

    Highest hopes I might have would be for DUVALL..Went hitless yesterday, but stung the ball twices and everytime I have seen him, he has looked good in the field and at the plate. Adrianza looked smooth in the field and got a few hits yeterday but the other games looked pitiful at bat.

    Saw Oroprea for the first time yesterday. Was up against a tough Lefty. His swing looked nice to me and he crushed the ball his frst two ABs (a 2B and a Fly out) and came close to a well hit double down the line in his 3 AB before popping out....But it was a mixed day for him as he made a sloppy throwing error in a run down and Whiffed in the Big AB in the bottom of the 8th.

    Nobody else showed me much of anything yesterday. Susac looked kinda meh both at the plate and in the field (totally misjudging a pop up)

    I was a little disappointed in SNODGRASS. Obviously not a power pitcher. He looks the type to rely on control and location. He pitched better after the first inning but he rarely fools opposing hitter, doesn't seem to change speeds all that well/much and his breaking pitchers seemed limited. But he is a competitor who fought 6 innings....

    Wanted to see Herrera and Panik yesterday, but only got to see a PH from the latter-- a scorching liner turned itno a double play.


    1. I saw Snodgrass pitch last year and was similarly unimpressed. Back of rotation starter at best.

  3. It was a nice afternoon of baseball at Recreation Park as the Little Giants prevailed 10-8. It was a see-saw battle as the lead changed several times. Devin Harris hit 2 homeruns – the first solo shot in the 3rd inning was a laser beam to left that probably didn’t clear 20 feet above ground. His solo homerun in the 8th inning was to right center and added the cushion of an extra run. Harris could barely hit his way out of a paper bag last year and has clearly improved. However, he is 25 years old and in his second year in A+ ball. Mac Williamson is a similar player as far as size and speed and is more then 2 years younger. John Polonius was on base all 4 of his plate appearances – 2 singles (one a blooper to left and the other a line drive up the middle), a walk and a HBP. He was lifted in the 6th inning for Bobby Haney to pinch hit. Not sure if that was just to take advantage of a left handed batter against a right handed pitcher of if the HBP on John’s upper left arm started to bother him.

    A few comments on some of the players:

    Both Skyler Stromsmoe and Brock Bond played consistently this series and one wonders why. Skyler is 29 years old and is clearly an organizational player. Brock is 27 and barely batting over .200. Why are they in San Jose? It would seem that there have to be younger players who should be given a shot. The only reason I can think to justify their presence is to have a veteran presence for some of the younger players and to insure a first half division crown, which they accomplished.

    Shawn Payne didn’t show much, but just when I am about to write him off he makes a nice running catch in left field that looked relatively easy due to his speed. In the latter innings he hit a sacrifice fly to plate a run and also put down a nice bunt to move a runner along.

    Angel V did not play on Sunday and I understand he also didn’t play on Saturday. He looks to be in better baseball shape than he did back in April, but there is still some work to do defensively and I missed seeing his power.

    Kelvin Marte was most unimpressive – giving up 7 runs in 5 innings. The last 2 were unearned when Skyler failed to make a play on a ball hit to 3rd which would have been the 3rd out. The next batter hit a 2-run homerun.

    San Jose clearly has the back of their bullpen established with Cody Hall pitching the 7th, Bryce Bandilla the 8th and Josh Osich the 9th. The only one who made it interesting is Bryce, who walked 2 batters. Bryce is every bit of the 6’-4” and 235 pounds listed in the program. As he is in his windup and about to release the ball he throws his head back and to the left. It appears that he takes his eyes off the target just as he is letting go of the ball. Josh Osich made short work of the “Rally Crowd” at Recreation Park. They had their rally caps on, stuff was being tossed to the crowd and the chant of “Let’s Go Rawhide” was echoing about the park. However, 2 fly outs quieted the crowd and I took the opportunity to announce my presence with a couple of “Let’s Go Giants” shout outs. There was not much of a reaction from the crowd as Josh struck out the final batter. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


    1. Do you or anybody know what happened to Hunter Strickland who was the SJ Giant's light's out closerup until about 3-4 weeks ago?

      And it is inded a great day to spend a Sunday afternoon whether it be in Richmond or SJ. Love all the hijinks of Minor League Ball..


    2. Devin Harris' second shot was a looong one over the barn in right center. It was impressive. Also, interesting note: there were a few scouts on hand including Bob Gebhard. I went up and talked to him for a minute and everyone I walked by stopped me to ask who he was. Dbacks must be working on a trade or are getting ready to promote someone.

    3. The Giants seem to want to promote a winning environment for their best young prospects early in San Jose. That is why they often put more senior prospects there and that has raised the hackles of other teams in the Cal League, and resulted in a long series of championships in San Jose.

      Especially with their best young pitching prospects being here, they probably wanted better defensive and offensive support so that the pitchers can concentrate on learning to pitch, rather than struggle and change things even though they might be going well, but in order to make up for a poor offense.

      I wonder about AnVil, the Giants took him out for a few games earlier this season for no announced reason too, wonder what this is about. Could be that he pulled something, I think that was the injury that hampered him in his last full pro season.

      Looking deeper, Skyler Stromsmoe had been injured early on, played some in Richmond but very poorly, so he got put in San Jose to regain his stroke. Bond also seems to have been put down in San Jose due to injury issues to start the season, and he's never regained his stroke yet. But his eye is still there, he's walking and striking out both at good rates, so he appears to be suffering from a bout with the BABIP Gods taking away.

  4. Thanks for all the great eyewitness accounts, everybody!

    I'll see if AP agrees with me that at the very least, John Polonius sure looks good in a baseball uniform!

    1. He does look good in a baseball uniform. :) But then again so does Shawn Payne. John Polonius is the youngest position player on the Little Giants and is almost 2 1/2 years younger than Bobby Haney - so why isn't he playing more?