Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Down on the Farm: 8/5/2013

AAA  Fresno Grizzlies blanked the Albuquerque Isotopes 2-0:

Juan Perez(CF-RF)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .313.
Francisco Peguero(RF-LF)- 2 for 4.  BA= .313.
Mike Kickham(LHP)- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 4.78.

Second strong start in a row for Kickham, although again, not dominant from a K standpoint.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels were idle.

High A  Visalia Rawhide outhit the San Jose Giants 10-6:

Brock Bond(DH)- 2 for 5, HR(3).  BA= .257.
Bobby Haney(2B)- 1 for 3, HR(3), BB.  BA= .245.
Matt Duffy(SS)- 1 for 4, 2B, BB.  BA= .345.
Kyle Crick(RHP)- 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 1.78.
Jeff Soptic(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 6.61.

Not a great start by Crick, but not nearly as bad as I was afraid of when I saw the score.  This is the second appearance in a row where Soptic has struck out the side while not allowing a BB.  Unfortunately in the previous game, he allowed 4 hits including a GS HR!  Overall, he has 36 K's in 32.2 IP with a strong GB ratio, but he has also allowed 26 BB's.  He continues to be a high ceiling guy who should blossom if he can get his BB's under control.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets beat the Rome Braves 7-4:

Shawn Payne(LF)- 2 for 4, HR(2), 2 BB.  BA= .360.
Mitch Delfino(3B)- 2 for 5.  BA= .256.
Ben Turner(C)- 3 for 5, SB(2).  BA= .259.
Travious Relaford(SS)- 2 for 5.  BA= .217.
Alberto Robles(2B)- 4 for 5.  BA= .299.
Joe Biagini(RHP)- 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.65.
Jorge Bucardo(RHP)- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 1.07.
Stephen Johnson(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, Save(5).  ERA= 4.50.

Take out a month of May when he hit just .202 and Delfino has had a strong season.  Hopefully he finishes strong and takes that on to a higher level next season.  Ben Turner is hitting .324 over his last 10 games.  Bucardo has been lights out, but why is he pitching in low A ball?  Johnson has 5 scoreless appearances in a row with a 2.25 ERA over his last 10 appearances.

Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes were idle.

Rookie AZL  Giants smashed the Padres 16-1:

Rando Moreno(2B)- 2 for 6, 2B.  BA= .359.
Christian Arroyo(SS)- 3 for 4, 2B, BB, HBP.  BA= .292.
Jonathan Jones(1B)- 1 for 5, HR(4), BB.  BA= .206.
John Riley(C)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .167.
Cristian Paulino(CF)- 2 for 2, 2B, HBP.  BA= .343.
Craig Massoni(RF)- 1 for 2, 2B, BB, 2 HBP.  BA= .303.
Donald Snelton(LHP)- 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K's.  ERA= 1.33.
Dylan Brooks(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 9.00.
Nick Jones(LHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.86.

Giants are dominating the AZL with one of the younger teams they've fielded down there in recent memory.

DSL  Giants were idle.


  1. I know Crick is the darling of most evaluators of SF pitching propsects becasue of his fastball but, becasue of his continued wildness woes, I might just have to rank both Escobar and Balackburn above him until he can prove it's a solveable problem without effecting his velocity..And I love the way Escobar and Blackburn pitch! A few ticks down from Crick but the stuff is just as good..More importantly, so great to have all three!!! Plus the others..

    Snelten has had a good first year...Where does his velocity sit? Anybody know?


    1. DJ Snelten sits low 90s and can touch 95. (Source: BA) His secondary pitches are erratic. You can't teach 6'7 and you can't teach 95. I love this pick, especially when half of MLB is playing draft games to go chase bonus baby HS guys and drafting dregs all around him. Oh, and you can't teach left handedness. Ho ho ho. His arm action may make developing a breaking ball tough. He has a slider, and a bit of a curve. He has some extremely long arms and has worked on his change which is his out pitch. One thing I found out researching him is he went to sports psychologists to work on his control. I bet another reason he slipped is teams though reliever all the way, but the Giants are trying the bump.

    2. While I agree about ranking Escobar and Blackburn over Crick (I love that control of the strike zone!), I would note that BA said that the Giants said that Crick has more movement, more "stuff" than Cain did when he was coming up. If he can learn to trust his stuff - Cain fought against that early on, but as he learned to trust it, his K/9 has gone up during his career - he could be similar (not to get hopes up, but that's the way I see it). And developing a Cain would, to me, be much better than developing the next Wheeler.

      I would also note (more BA but probably was written up elsewhere too) that Crick is still a mere babe in terms of pitching, this is only his third full season as a pitcher, so part of that wildness is him getting enough reps so that his pitching motion moves from learning to muscle memory. This was illustrated last season, as the Giants changed his mechanics around wholesale, he had 56 BB and 90 K's in 81.1 IP in his first 17 starts, then 11 walks and 38 K's in 31.2 IP (6.2 BB/9 and 10.0 K/9, 1.61 K/BB vs. 3.1 BB/9 and 10.8 K/9, 3.45 K/BB).

      What has hampered him this season is that he missed two months of the season and since it was so early in the season that he was shut down, he could have been struggling with it from the start, so I would cut those early games out of his seasonal stats for analysis. His stats since coming back is still wild, but much better: 5.0 BB/9, 12.4 K/9, and 2.48 K/BB.

      And that is where we just have to trust baseball analytics, sabermetrics, when the studies say that while walks are bad, as long as his strikeouts are high enough to have a good K/BB ratio (over 2 is good, over 2.4 ideally) then he will be effectively wild and a good pitcher, much like Dirty was for us.

      What I concluded from studying this is that you can't just look at BB/9 when it is high and conclude that's necessarily a bad or worse pitcher. Because if the ratio is high enough, remember that each additional three strikeouts means roughly one less hit given up (.300 BABIP norm in majors; .326 BABIP in CAL this season). High strikeouts just naturally leads to lower H/9, and he actually better than that, he has a 6.8 H/9 (CAL average is 9.2 H/9). So while his BB/9 is high, his WHIP is good, as the league average is 1.412 and his is 1.382. That is a key thing to observe as he rises, that even if his BB/9 might be high, as long as his strikeouts are high so that his K/BB ratio is high and his WHIP is low, and that will help me be OK with his high BB/9.

    3. Good stuff OGC..My "ranking" are more of a reflection of what I think about Escobar and Blackburn rather than problems with Crick,. ..I like what they have accomplished, their talent and what they still can at basically the same age as Crick...I understand that Crick's ceiling is higher and that he will probably be able to pitch very effectivley 9as you discuss) even when a little "wild"....but there's still the incertianty that we could end up seeing another John D'Aquisto!!!!


    4. Ah, Johnny D! Or Mark Grant, Mike Remlinger, and others with speed to burn but couldn't do it as a starter in the majors.

      Yes, as I noted, I like Escobar's and Blackburn's great command and control of their pitches, and hence agree with you on ranking above Crick. I just wanted to share some thoughts on Crick so that others who might think I think less of Crick because of my ranking, see that I see a lot that I like about Crick, and like you, it is more about how good Escobar and Blackburn is in my eyes, than any failing of Crick.

      I should have also noted that I am more conservative with regards to high potential prospects like Crick, as I'm familiar with the high failure rate for reaching such highs, so I think the world of him, but cautious of valuing his potential so highly until he starts proving out at higher levels, since he is doing well but not great in the lower levels.

  2. Crick has done very well to pitch around trouble this year, but come on kid, throw strikes! If only we could transplant the rookie league team to AAA.... Actually, all of the lower affiliates have been very successful this season. How many of the kids from the AZL will be held for the NWL next year? Definitely a lot of talent to go around, but certainly not enough room in Richmond.

    I'm thinking Vander Tuig may start next year in SJ, with guys like Snelten and Chase Johnson in the Augusta rotation. Either way, lots of intriguing arms all through the system next season, with AA being the class of the org.

    1. Whoops, end of the first paragraph was supposed to read "not enough room in Augusta."

  3. Seems like Giants signed Ted Lilly. Do you think this is a good sign?

    1. I would never discount the Giants ability to find production out of a dumpster five, but Lilly has made Zito look like a fireballer by camparison for several years now. I'm just not sure there is much to work with there.

    2. Looks like the deal is now dead: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/06/giants-sign-dodgers-castoff-ted-lilly/?ocid=Yahoo&partner=ya5nbcs

      Lilly has been good enough in recent years that he would have been worth a flier, he had shoulder surgery last season then been on the DL three times this season as well, but he had a very nice first start this season, before his body started failing him again this season. Apparently it was his x-rays that turned them off from pursuing more hotly.

    3. Oh, I knew I had done some analysis, thought I lost this. Here it is...

      Lilly is coming off shoulder surgery last September. He is also coming off 3 different stints on the DL since the season started, looking at the games he has actually started. Apparently it was issues with his neck that put the damper in the signing. The first link I saw on Yahoo, the info made it look like the Giants and Lilly could not come to an agreement on when his MLB return date is, but all the subsequent ones clearly made it known that the Giants turned him down due to his neck issues.

      Too bad for Lilly, he was apparently a Giants fan when he was younger and been wanting to join the team, he'll never get to speak softly but carry a big stick for the Giants.

      He actually had a good start in his first 2013 start. And he had a nice start to his season in 2012, before the injury shut him down for the season. And assuming that last start was bad because of his injury, while he only had 5.6 K/9, he had a 2.8 BB/9 for an OK 2.0 K/BB.

      So I think there was enough hope to trigger the tire kicking that the Giants did. And given his interest, he probably contacted the team to convey his interest. It could have just been him needing more time to recover from the shoulder surgery from last year to build up stamina. But once they got a look at his medical file and saw his neck issues, if he's having neck problems, oy, no way he can pitch consistently until that is healed. Maybe next season?

  4. Report from Visalia: Kyle was definitely having issues with his control, but they were close misses, not extreme wildness. He walked one batter in the 1st, which didn't hurt him. He then walked 2 batters in a row in the second and called out the manager, who was examining the pitching rubber with the umpire. The head groundskeeper was then called. It looked like there was a hole or some loose dirt right next to the rubber. The groundskeeper brought out some supplies and corrected the mound to the Visitors' satisfaction. Kyle then walked the next batter and the crowd was hooting and hollering at him. He gave up a run on a ground out and then escaped the inning without surrendering any more runs. He walked one more batter in the fourth. The Rawhide scored on a couple of hits in that inning. He walked the lead off batter in the 5th, but got out of the inning with the help of a double play. He left with a 6-3 lead, which quickly evaporated with Luis Rojas on the mound. Matt Duffy made an error on a possible double play ball which would have ended the inning. Later there were misplays by Cavan and Haney which were probably errors, but the hometown scorer called hits. All of Kyle's strikeouts were on swings and misses. He appears to have a bit more stuff than Blackburn and I can see why he is rated higher. One of the issues with the relief pitching for San Jose is that there are no lefties in the pen. Bandilla is on the DL. There were 3 or 4 left handed batters in a row for the Rawhide and a lefty in the pen was needed. Don't see why there are so many journey men relievers in San Jose (aka Luis Rojas, Danny Sandbrink, Chris Marlowe - all of whom are already 24 years old, or will be this year) Why not bring up Okert or McVay from Augusta?


    1. I regard Crick as a prospect in a top tier of one in the Giants system and there is a fairly big gap to #2.

  5. Crick never pitched until his senior year of high school. A lot of guys who are his age or even a few years older have considerably higher walk rates than he does, despite the fact that they have been pitching all their lives. So you really have to keep Crick's control issues in perspective.

    1. Exactly Anon (Get a handle already!) - and lookie here... California League managers vote him the best pitching prospect in the league. Bam! I like seeing what the managers think as opposed to the pundits.

    2. I should have made it clearer in my comment above, this is why this is only his third year pitching, that he didn't pitch full-time until he was a HS senior. BA's comment implied that Crick might have pitched, but not full-time, until he hit 95 MPH before his senior year.

      Still, control issues are control issues, and thus is an area of worry.

      Shankbone, a handle might out the person as a regular on an alternative Giants site.

      I like seeing votes like that from opposing managers, also showing up on BA's Top 20 prospects in a league in the post-season rankings that they do.

    3. Not sure why being "outed" as a poster on a different site would be a problem.

    4. Posting is way more fun when you can place opinions to handles. The trolling anons are pretty easy to recognize, and the good ones need to step up!

    5. Perhaps they are a regular on MCC and like being part of that crowd, but like the discussion that you have here, which might touch on things not discussed over there, but his/her buddies maybe don't care for our attitude about MCC, and like a high school, might razz or shun someone coming here. Or maybe the person has had a bad on-line relationship with someone here, don't want to get into it with that person here, but do want to contribute. Admittedly, just guesses.

      Yeah, it would be nice if they step up and ID themselves, but apparently they have their reasons. Why indeed would they not ID themselves otherwise? What do they have to hide, besides their good comments?

    6. We accept constructive comments from anyone and will hit the button on anyone looking for trouble regardless of ID. We prefer if people have some identity that gives context to their comments, but it is not required.

  6. On the subject of managers' voting, I see that the NL managers voted Bochy the best in the league. I have not looked at McC to see the various expressions of disgust, incredulity, and face-palming there; but I was more simply pleased to read about this honor.

    1. Bochy is a very good manager. Nobody is perfect. Ditto for Sabes in the GM chair.

    2. Exactly DrB. And managers understand that often it is not for lack of performance on the part of the manager that their players are underperforming or that an injury killed that manager's chances to do something in any particular season.

      That said, 2011 would have seemed to be a better year for the managers to vote that for Bochy, the team was competitive (and good) in the aftermath of the loss of Posey, in fact, I think they had a better record for a while, before the Beltran trade seemed to domino the team out of playoff contention.

      Injuries has really kicked the Giants in the gut this season, so maybe they were rewarding him for how well he did until the injuries came, the team was 23-15 even though the starting pitching was crap overall and Posey and Pagan weren't hitting the way they can. Or maybe it is belated recognition to reflect his two world championships in the last three years.

      Yeah, MCC, MLB.com, Giants Extra, Splash, they are all probably spewing a lot of vitriol after this announcement.