I thought it would be useful to establish a league context for the statistical profile of our new AA starter, so let's do that real quick:
Southern League Average:
American League Average:
Travis Chick, Translated to AL:
Based strictly on the numbers, we're able to infer two things from this: (1) while Chick misses some bats, his strikeout rate is inflated by having pitched in a league with 18% more strikeouts than the AL, and (2) he's got a serious home run problem, which I suppose makes sense given his flyball tendencies (1.05 GB/FB ratio). It's not a new issue, either; he allowed 17 longballs last year between two Southern League teams, and the year before he allowed 15 in A-ball. He's repeating AA, and while his walks and strikeouts are better, he's still getting torched for home runs by hitters who really don't have that much power, and that's a bad sign.
...he also has shaky mechanics, at least at the end, with a short stride, a terrible lead glove, and an early, high release that is almost certainly what causes him to pitch up in the zone and give up so many fly balls. Just using that one picture, it's pretty easy to see why he runs into trouble with walks and home runs.
Thanks to having a job, I don't have enough time to organize this into the kind of post I'd like, so I'll just end it with this - while I have no qualms with giving Chick a shot at starting in AA, since he's only 22 years old and all, his two-pitch repertoire (fastball/slider) and statistical profile just scream "future reliever." How good of a reliever he turns out to be is up in the air, and the fact that we got anything at all in return for Eddie Guardado is cause for celebration, but Chick isn't about to set the Texas League on fire out of the San Antonio rotation. Like so many other C/C+ arms in the organization, he's potentially useful as a bullpen guy two or three years down the road, and that's it.