Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Down on the Farm: 8/20/2013

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies trumped the Reno Aces 4-2:

Gary Brown(CF)- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .234.
Ehire Adrianza(SS)- 1 for 3, SF.  BA= .317.
Eric Surkamp(LHP)- 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.75.
Jake Dunning(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's, Save(1).  ERA= 1.42.

Surkamp runs his AAA record to 6-1.  5'th QS in a row, although the peripherals were not great in this one.

AA  Game 1  Harrisburg Senators edged out the Richmond Flying Squirrels 3-2:

Joe Panik(SS-2B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .264.
Angel Villalona(1B)- 2 for 3, 2B, HR(7).  BA= .245.

Angel V's bat had been quiet for awhile.

AA Game 2  Harrisburg Senators beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-1:

Nothing to see here.

High A  San Jose Giants pounded the Stockton Ports 13-2:

Chris Lofton(CF)- 3 for 6.  BA= .252.
Brock Bond(DH)- 2 for 5, 2 2B.  BA= .246.
Mac Williamson(RF)- 1 for 3, HR(21), 2 BB.  BA= .279.
Bobby Haney(SS)- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .252.
Myles Schroder(3B)- 3 for 5, 3B.  BA= .261.
Adalberto Mejia(LHP)- 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 3.44.

Mac keeps it going.  This was one of Mejia's better games from a K/BB standpoint.  Matt Duffy is on the 7 day DL for some reason.

Low A  Lexington Legends topped the Augusta Greenjackets 6-3:

Chuckie Jones(RF)- 2 for 4.  BA= .239.
Andrew Cain(CF)- 2 for 3, 2B, HR(8).  BA= .240.
Martin Agosta(RHP)- 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 1.97.
Tyler Mizenko(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 2.98.

Chuckie Jones continues his good second half hitting.  Kind of an ugly line for Agosta.  Mizenko comes off the 7 day DL with a successful inning.

Short Season  Vancouver Canadians outlasted the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 2-1 in 11 innings:

Blake Miller(3B)- 2 for 5.  BA= .352.
John Polonius(SS)- 2 for 4, SB(5).  BA= .241.
Chris Johnson(RHP)- 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 10/2.  ERA= 2.28.
Armando Paniagua(RHP)- 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 2.67.

Has Blake Miller played 3B before?

Rookie AZL  Giants smacked the Cubs 6-4:

Angel Pagan(CF)- 2 for 4, 3B.  BA= .286.
Christian Arroyo(SS)- 2 for 4, 3B, BB.  BA= .319.
Craig Massoni(RF)- 3 for 5, 2B.  BA= .287.
Dylan Brooks(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 3.00.

I guess if Pagan's hammy held up while he ran out a triple, then he's about good to go.  Very tough to not be irrationally exuberant about Arroyo.  Massoni is 21 years old and a college draftee so he's bit advanced for this level.  He did come out of a smaller D1 program.  All you can ask of a player is for him to do well in whatever circumstances he finds himself in.  We'll see where he is assigned next year and how he performs.  I really liked his college numbers.  I am cautiously encouraged by Dylan Brooks' performance in his first pro experience.

DSL  Game was suspended in the 5'th inning with the Giants leading 3-2:

Gustavo Cabrera(CF)- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .238.

I am pretty happy with Gustavo's pro debut too.


  1. Surkamp continues his run of great starts and Dunning continues pitching lights out...There is zero reason these two should not be in SF for the entire month of September and getting plenty of chances/auditions..

    The Flying Squirrels as a team have come to halt, losing 4 in a row and weak everywhere after they were making a sprint to the POS..

    ANybody know if TY BLACH is injured? He hasn't started for awhile.....

    And spot on about ARROYO..Guess the Giants knew a little something that the other experts blowhards didn't......His aqverage is impressives (over .300) but damn if he isn't SECOND in the the entire league in RBIs and FIFTH in OPS....Now, that is a debut! makes the other good initial years of Massoni, Ryder and others look pedestrian..


    1. I believe they're limiting Blach's innings so he can pitch in the playoffs. It's like they have a seven man rotation or something.

    2. Well the rap on Arroyo is that his ceiling may be limited, but I was looking at some comps on middle infielders of similar size and numbers at his age and there are some that are pretty darn good, Nomar Garciaparra and Ryne Sandberg just for starters. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, but I am excited about the Giants apparent philosophy of finding guys with great hit tools with the corollary looking for guys with great K/BB's.

    3. Matt Duffy has a tight hammy, right leg. It tightened the weekend of the 10th, then a team day off that Monday, with and extra rest day for him that Tuesday.

      Back in the game on Wednesday, it pulled while legging out a sharp liner to 1B in his first AB against that Modesto flamethrower, 1st rounder Jon Gray. They pulled him on the spot and shut him down to play it safe, for an unknown length of time.

      I was there and asked around...

  2. Cabrera's batting line don't seem impressive: .236/.372/.320/.692 (age 17)

    Until you look at the batting line for the DSL: .236/.330/.318/.648 (pitchers average age 18.8 YO)

    I had not been happy about his performance until now.

    Yeah, Angel missed 8 days in the middle of August, did anyone find out yet why he was out?

    Lastly, yes, hard not to be irrationally excited by Arroyo:

    Arroyo: .319/.383/.494/.876, 82% contact rate, 0.62 BB/K, 43% XBH, age 18 season
    AZL LG: .257/.337/.366/.703, 75% contact rate, 0.43 BB/K, 28% XBH, avg pitchers age of 20.3, avg hitters age of 19.6

    1. Gustavo has hit progressively better as the season has progressed. Look at his August splits and his pre/post All-Star splits.

  3. For someone who had been out of baseball for a couple of years, you would expect an initial adjustment period. So, you like to see Angel get better as the season progresses, though that is mitigated by the conditioning factor of not having played a whole season for a while. Furthermore, he is playing in a higher league after starting the season at San Jose...more adjustment period. Additionally, he apparently had an injury issue a little while back.

    Overall, it has been a good re-start for him. How much can we expect? Perhaps we will know more mid-2014.

    1. Angel hits the ball hard and I love his swing. He just needs to make contact more often and maybe be a little more selective at the plate although he has made progress with that since I saw him back in 2009 with SJ.

  4. FYI on Kickham:

    "Mike Kickham had four solid starts for the Grizzlies before being recalled, giving up just four total runs. What’s changed? “It’s just working on command of my fastball,” Kickham said. “That makes it easier to throw my changeup, and those things go hand in hand.”

    Kickham’s strikeout numbers have been down a bit, but he’s gone six innings in each of his last four starts and at least 6 2/3 in three of them. He said he watched guys up here and saw them getting early outs with fastballs, so he tried to pound the zone in Fresno. "

  5. OK, I am Sorry DrB and all, but I just had to jump the gun...

    This afteroon, Augusta is tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the 9th and a game they very well might lose.....BUT..Here is why I just had to post

    KENDRY FLORES' line through 8 IP

    Kendry Flores 8IP 5H 1R 1ER 0BB 15K --Forget Stratton and Agosta!!!!1

    Too bad the other pitcher (Binford) is just as young and good (see his stats)...

    The last time FLores had a shutout going into the 9th, they let him go out there and he gave up 2 runs to lose the game..hope history doesn't repeat


    1. I'm not sure why everyone is dinging Stratton.
      There was an article by where it was saying the reason Stratton is more hittable is that he was working on controlling his fastball. He was pitching the fastball significantly more than his other pitches Stratton even threw it in off speed counts. As a result he was more hittable. Recently he's gotten better control and is now pitching with the rest of his arsenal. If you take a peak, you'll see that his era has significantly gone down. Sure he's given up way more hits and has a lower era than Agosta but he's struck out more and has an identical record.
      Not ready to give up on Chris Stratton yet.

      Flores has really caught my attention and I marvel yet again at the Giants' ability to find good pitching!


    2. Oh, Flores has been my favorite Giants pitching prospect for awhile now. Not necessarily the best, but my favorite. I LOVE what he has done this year with Augusta and he seems to be only getting better as the season goes on. Yes!!!!

      Nobody is giving up on Stratton. Just a point of concern that a first round draft pick out of a major D1 program would be placed in low A ball and then not dominate. If he is working on specific things and the Giants wanted him to do it in a less stressful environment, that is a perfectly valid explanation. We'll he takes what he has learned and breaks out with it next year.

    3. Wow. That's those are pretty insane numbers from Flores. Augusta has been red hot the last month, and that pitching staff has been the catalyst. I honestly don't think there's going to be a huge dropoff in pitching talent next season in San Jose. That's more of a complement to Augusta's staff than a knock on San Jose. The Giants have a SERIOUS arms race going on this summer. Every night, a new name leads the headlines!

    4. J - That's great to hear on Stratton....My little "ding" up above has little to do with Stratton but was mainly becuase i love seeing later round draftees or FA's like Flores hit it big..Hopefully...BOTH Stratton and FLores will...And Agosta ..And all the arms in SJ...And Escobar...

      BTW, Augusta won the game as Buchardo, ??? and Johnson continued the dominant pitching..


    5. Its just tough when the guys bracketing Stratton are doing better - Wacha zooming up, and Lucas Sims looking quite good as well. Hope he continues to develop, it seems like he's going back to basics - the fastball - before continuing work on his secondary pitches, which are advanced.

      Love Flores as well, its always fun to see a guy come back from a bad year gangbusters.

  6. J, that's good to hear.

    That's a reason why one has to be very careful interpreting numbers.

    1. @drBgiantsfan, covechatter, and whoever else I'm missing. Sorry it seems as if my responses dont get posted when I type from my computer.
      Yeah I dunno it irks me a little when I hear the likes of BA and baseball prospectus dinging Stratton. Haha needed to get out my feelings.

      The Giants are banking on Stratton gaining control this season and getting enough dominance to leap frog levels next season.

      They have a major surplus of potentially impactful arms coming in the next 2-3 years. Should they try and turn some of it into quality bats? We'll see.

      I've enjoyed seeing this year's San Jose starters: Crick, Blackburn, Blach, Meija, and Escobar.
      I can't wait to see next years crop; Flores, Stratton, Agosta, and Gregorio.

      Here's the Stratton article if you want to read it. id=55715632&fext=.jsp$vkey=news milb&sid=milb


    2. I've been unable to access this link, says it is in maintence, but I've been able to get to the rest of MiLB though, but could not locate the article.

    3. @ogc
      Yeah I tested it later and found it didn't work.
      Just go on the main site, search "Stratton" and a bunch of articles will pop up

      Choose the one that talked about him going eight innings.


    4. OK, maybe I'm using the wrong search box. When I plug Stratton into the box up top, I get his face and name popping up, and when I click on that, I get his player profile...

      Oh, I see, that's where I failed, I was suppose to click search. Thanks for the tip, found the article!

      I would also recommend reading the linked article in the above link, to others, it continues that topic thread for his season, that of fastball control.

      Also found this one:

      He talked briefly about how he needed to learn to use his fastball more consistently, and discussed his approach in college vs. the pros now, which was interesting.

      Altogether, and please correct me if I'm wrong, it sounds like he's the 4 pitch pitcher we all thought he was, but he wasn't controlling or using his fastball the way a pro starter needs to in the majors, to be consistently successful. So the first part of the season was spent with him working on his fastball control to basically hit the corner away from the batter consistently and confidently. It seems - my interpretation - that in college he was able to fool batters easily with his secondary pitches and with straight heat, and so his fastball command and control was never developed as fully as others are. Probably a result of his being a reliever until his last college season when he was converted into a starter. This deficiency was remedied earlier in this season, with his focus on throwing more fastballs, no matter what the count was.

      Key words quoted from Koach Kline, "You always have to have one pitch in one spot you can go to that won't be hit hard, will get soft contact," which gets to our discussion here before about Giants pitchers focusing on inducing soft contact. That fits in with the Fangraphs research that found that Giants pitchers were good at avoiding giving up homers: with the Giants team philosophy that they teach their pitchers is to induce soft contact, that's going to lead to less homers per the 10% HR/FB mean that sabers use.

      I would also recommend watching the two video interviews in the link I provided above. Stratton taught Agosta his changeup, and they have been good sounding boards for each other, sharing ideas. Interviewer forgot about Wheeler when noting Lincecum was last first round drafted pitcher though.

    5. @ogc
      Glad u found it! Hmmm very interesting and thanks for the extra readings!