Sorry I have been MIA for a while, life gets busy at this time of year for me and I have a lot of important things to catch up on. I’m getting married in less than a month and work has never been more busy for me.
Anyway, enough with the excuses. I will be continuing to try to keep up with my frequent BBDP updates going forward. One of the things I’ll be instituting this year is the “Who’s hot?” column. This will allow me to post every now and then about who is tearing it up in the minors. Here is the first of hopefully many articles.
Let’s start from Triple-A and work our way down. Here’s who’s hot so far for the Rail Riders:
Mark Montgomery – 6.1 IP, 6 K, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 H, 0.00 ERA. Word is his slider is back and his fastball velocity is better this year. If he keeps it up there’s no question he’ll see some time in the majors.
Danny Burawa – 6.2 IP, 12 K, 0 ER, 5 BB, 2 H, 0.00 ERA. He’s looking pretty dominant in Triple-A. Another good relief option with excellent stuff.
Preston Claiborne – 6.0 IP, 7 K, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 H, 1.50 ERA. Got demoted this year because his stuff just isn’t the same as last year so far. Hopefully he starts to recapture some of that so he becomes another option for a relief corps that could end up needing him.
Onto Trenton who has a couple of hot players of their own.
Gary Sanchez- Batting .318/.423/.500/.923 with a homerun and five doubles. With improved defense if he keeps this up he’s gonna have a monster year, excellent trade value and possibly contribute in the majors as soon as next year.
Kyle Roller – Hitting .273/.373/.773/1.106 with three homers and two doubles in just six games. Could be on his way to Triple-A soon if he keeps this up.
Zach Nuding – Already has 18.2 IP with 18 K and a 2.89 ERA with five walks and 12 hits. He’s always had good stuff so it will be interesting to see what kind of season he has.
Next up High-A Tampa, who has some surprising names and some expected ones. So far this team is living up to my prediction that they will be the most exciting on the farm.
Dante Bichette Jr.- 16/44 with six doubles, a homerun and 14 BB. His quad slash is an impressive .364/.508/.568/1.077. This is all you could hope for from this kid. He may not flash the power this year but he needs a year where he proves to himself and the organization that he can hit again. Eventually he’ll need power to move up but for now I’ll take it if he can just hit and get on base.
Angelo Gumbs- 18/56 with three doubles and two walks. He needs to start being more patient, but he is hitting .321 and after last season that’s a big deal for him. He’s one of the most athletic players in the entire organization, so a big year really vaults him back into the prospect discussion.
Peter O’Brien – 17/50 with four homers and four doubles. He’s hitting .340/.370/.660/1.030. He’s on a torrid pace. Greg Bird is right on pace to return soon, and when he does this is going to be some power hitting team. The only question for O’Brien is what position he will play, and if he can catch long term.
Eric Jagielo – 14/58 with four homers and two doubles. His quad slash is .240/.302/.483/.784. He has flashed the power so far, and this coming from a guy who completely skipped Charleston. He’s an advanced hitter and as long as he can stick at third base he will be on the fast track to the majors. He’ll just have to raise his average and OBP a bit to really kick things into gear.
Manny Banuelos – There has been surprisingly little fanfare with his return, but he has performed really well despite that. He has only been throwing three inning games so far, so it looks like he’s on the Jose Campos plan from last season. In nine innings so far, he has 11 K to just four hits and a walk. The stuff is pretty close to back, so there’s no reason he shouldn’t have a big year.
Dietrich Enns – Another lefty, Enns is a guy who really emerged last season with improved stuff. He has nine innings so far with seven strikeouts and has let up five hits and four walks. With so many high ceiling arms in the system this year, he takes a bit of a back seat, but he has some real long term potential.
Rafael DePaula – 14.1 IP, 19 K, 2.51 ERA so far on the season. Looks poised to start the same way he did for Charleston last year. The key for him will be finishing the season the same way, and not tiring out.
Last but not least we have Charleston.
John Murphy – Of the three shortstops on this team, he is the most unheralded. Despite that, he has done nothing but hit for Charleston so far this season. He is hitting .355/.394/.452/.846 with three doubles and three stolen bases so far. He’s already a solid defender so hopefully for him this earns him some more time. Besides that he has been playing some other positions from time to time, including third and outfield.
Mike Ford – Before the start of the season, Ford was pretty unheard of. He has already made a name for himself with the way he has swung the bat so far though. He is hitting .347/.421/.510/.931 with two doubles and two homeruns. He’s got decent power as he has already shown. He made the team over Bubba Jones so there may be more to him than we know so far.
Aaron Judge – Had his first extra-base hit of the season the other day, a homerun, but has done an excellent job at getting on base. He has a .298 average with a .441 OBP and already has 12 walks on the season. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing more power from this kid.
Abiatal Avelino – This kid is a dynamic player. He’s an excellent fielder and is hitting .306/.404/.388/.791 with seven stolen bases already. He’s only going to get better too.
Rookie Davis – 15.2 innings, 10 K, 12 H, 4 walks, and a 2.30 ERA. He’s getting guys out and showing why the RiverDogs picked him to pitch opening day. He’s a guy who could be on some lists by the end of the year.
Caleb Smith – Nine innings, seven strikeouts, 2.00 ERA. Another lefty in the system with great stuff. Gallegos and Lail are also at this level and will likely make some noise before the season is over.
Luis Severino – This is no surprise but he has already shown to be pretty dominant at this level as one of the younger players in the league. He has 11 K in just 8.1 IP, and a 3.24 ERA. I expect big things from him this year.