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5/15 Minor League Wrap-Up

Hey, so I got my internet back.  Turns out my cable/internet splitter is shot, so per the tech over the phone, I plugged my wire direct into my modem, and it worked!  So here I am.  (EDIT:  Yeah you didn't see this until now, so I ran out of time AGAIN, but hey.  I'll look to get back on schedule starting next week.)

Curiousity struck, so I perused Baseball Reference, which now has minor league stats, and I discovered that they have fielding numbers for every player!  So, with the standard caveat that defensive stats like Range are flawed/limited, nonetheless I went about compiling the Midwest League to see where the T-Rats regulars stood defensively.

- The T-Rats' .647 DER (Defensive Efficiency: percentage of balls in play turned into outs) has them firmly in the MWL peloton.  League DER, as you'd expect from A-ballers, is .649.  (For comparison, average MLB DER is around .690-.700).  League leaders are Clinton at .680, West Michigan at .677 and Cedar Rapids at .676.  Bottom enders are Fort Wayne at .624 and Quad Cities at .625.

- Average range by position wasn't available, so I had to manually compile to get a good idea of where players stood.

- Edilio Colina's range at 2B (5.10) is pretty good.  Alex Liddi at 2.58 is okay at 3B.  Juan Diaz's 3.74 at SS is terrible.  The outfield without Daniel Carroll is meh: Calvin Beamon at LF is alright (1.50), Maximo Mendez (1.51) is terrible in CF and Joe Dunigan (1.86) is decent in RF.  Carroll, when healthy, is among the best CFs in the league.

Other notes:

- The T-Rats allow the 4th fewest runs/game at 3.91.  League average is 4.26.  Kane County's 3.64 R/G is the best in the MWL while South Bend's 5.00 is the worst.

- However, the T-Rats 3.31 runs scored per game is the worst in the league.  Clinton is far and away the best at 6.00 per.  The only other team with more than 5 per is West Michigan at 5.06.

- The T-Rats are also bottom in the league at team HR, with 8.  EIGHT.  They are the only team in the MWL with a single digit team-HR total.


- Average MWL K/BB is 2.40.  Average K/9 is 7.91.  (To compare, the AL K/9 average is 6.27)  Keep this in mind when monitoring K/BB lines for T-Rats pitching.  It's pretty easy to rack up a solid ratio against 19-23 year old kids who are still learning patience and pitch recognition.  For example, Juan Ramirez has an excellent 10.69 K/9.  But keep in mind that MWL hitters strike out quite a bit regardless of who they're facing.  If these hitters were more patient, he'd still strike out a lot of guys, but it'd probably be more like around 8+ per 9.  And his 2.60 K/BB, which in MLB would be pretty solid, is just a bit above average in the MWL.  This is not to say Juan Ramirez isn't awesome, because he is... just to keep in perspective what environment his numbers are being put up in, and to remind you to mentally 'league adjust' a player's numbers when reading into them.

- Despite having missed serious time from a broken hand that is still healing, Daniel Carroll is still 6th in the MWL in stolen bases with 10.

Doing that took a lot of time, so I'll leave it at that for now and take a look at other levels later.

On to the wrap-up!

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Astros 5, VSL Mariners 4

Kervin Montbrum:  2.2 IP, 7 H, (5 R) 4 ER, 2 walks, 2 K
Mayckol Guaipe:  3 IP, 2 H, walk, 4 K
Gerardo Esparza:  3.1 IP, 1 H, 4 K
Roberto Velasquez:  2-5, double, R, RBI
Rigoberto Rangel:  2-5, R, 2 RBI
Jetsy Extrano:  2-3, RBI
Cesar Del Rio:  1-4, double, R, K
Franklin Diaz:  1-4, double, K

The VSL Astros jumped all over Kervin Montbrum, building a 5-0 lead on him before he got run in the 3rd, and not even with a 4 run bottom 3rd could the VSLM's overcome the gap.

A:  Wisconsin 7, Burlington 2
WIS:  17-19... BUR:  15-23

Juan Ramirez:  7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, walk, 3 K, hit batter (7 GS, 3.98 ERA, 40.2 IP, 0 HR, 13/43 BB/K)
Jacob Wild:  1 IP (8 app, 2.51 ERA, 14.1 IP, 0 HR, 5/13 BB/K)
Robert Harmon:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, K (9 app, 3 GS, 11.93 ERA, 14.1 IP, 2 HR, 12/14 BB/K)
Juan Diaz:  2-4, triple, R, RBI, K (266/328/339)
Edilio Colina:  1-4, double, R, RBI (306/361/408)
Gavin Dickey:  2-4, R, K, SB (373/408/507)
Calvin Beamon:  1-3, R, RBI, K, SB (231/300/324)
Joe Dunigan:  1-4, RBI, 2 K (245/325/455)
Blake Ochoa:  1-4, RBI (255/321/314)

Dave Lough (246/325/336) tripled in the 1st off Juan Ramirez, letting up a score on a (Not That) Jason Taylor (215/371/388) single to cash in the Bees' first run, but Ramirez got out of it easily.

The T-Rats backed him up in the bottom 1st, unloading out of the gate on Edward Cegarra (7 GS, 2.44 ERA, 48 IP, 3 HR, 4/49 BB/K).  Maximo Mendez led off with a single, Juan Diaz tripled him in to tie it at 1, and Edilio Colina doubled HIM in to make it 2-1 T-Rats.  Gavin Dickey singled Colina to 3rd, and Calvin Beamon's sac fly made it 3-1.  That was the 1st out of the inning.  Forutnately for Cegarra, the T-Rats struggle at the plate, and they finished quietly after that.

From there, Ramirez cruised.  His only other damage allowed came in the 7th, after he plunked Jason Taylor, Taylor swiped 2nd and 3rd and scored on a cheap sac fly.  By then, the T-Rats had added two more runs and led 5-2.  The 7th would be Ramirez's final inning.

Groundballs:  11 (plus 1 bunt)
Flyballs:  6
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  one laughable bunt attempt
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  3

The T-Rats piled two more on in the 8th against reliever Yensi Lopez (11 app, 4.80 ERA, 15 IP, 1 HR, 7/16 BB/K).  Edilio Colina led off by grounding to 3rd and getting on after Jason Taylor muffed it.  Gavin Dickey did fly out into a 7-3 double play thanks to BAD BASERUNNING by Colina, but Calvin Beamon bunted to get on, Alex Liddi singled him to 3rd and Joe Dunigan smoked a grounder to 1st and watched Lopez drop the 3-1 relay (though accounts indicate he had it beat out anyway) to cash in both runners and make it 7-2.

A+:  High Desert 4, Bakersfield 1
Mavs:  18-23... Blaze:  25-16

Kyle Parker:  7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 walks, 3 K (9 GS, 3.29 ERA, 52 IP, 2 HR, 17/48 BB/K)
Michael Wagner:  1.1 IP, 1 H, 4 K, wild pitch (16 app, 3.43 ERA, 21 IP, 0 HR, 4/19 BB/K)
Shawn Kelley:  two outs, walk (4 ap, 2.2 IP, 0 ER, walk, K)
Matt Mangini:  1-4, R, RBI (250/369/379)
Carlos Peguero:  1-4, RBI, 2 K (283/301/434)
Kuo Hui Lo:  3-4, R, SB (216/267/331)
Jose Yepez:  2-4, double, K (237/281/305)

The Mavs immediately gave Kyle Parker some run support in the top 1st.  Jamie McOwen led off with a single up the middle- Leury "Latin Campaneris" Bonilla Watch: started at 1B, batted 2nd, and drew a walk to put runners at 1st and 2nd.  Matt Mangini snuck a grounder into RF to score McOwen, 1-0 Mavs, and put runners at the corners.  Carlos Peguero smoked a grounder into LF to cash in Bonilla and move Mangini to 3rd.  Oh by the way, there were no outs.

Chris Minaker FINALLY recorded an out- TWO of them, grounding into a 6-4-3 double play... though it scored Mangini to make it 3-0.

Shortly after, Kyle Parker took the mound for the first time.  The only trouble he had came in the 2nd, when two lined doubles cashed in a run, but big deal.  He did walk 4 batters, but the Blaze managed little else against Parker, who left after 7 with a 3-1 lead.

Groundballs:  9
Flyballs:  5
Line Drives:  3
Pop Ups:  4
Walks:  4
Strikeouts:  3

RED HOT Jose Yepez's double in the 9th with Kuo Hui Lo on set up a cheap run on an Ogui Diaz groundout that extended the lead to 4-1.

AA:  The DIAMOND JAXX had the day off.  They are home to face the Mobile BayBears (18-22).  Man, I wish I had more time to do some sort of preview, but I'm on lunch time without much time left.  I can tell you via a quick look at Baseball Reference that the BayBears average 4.57 runs per to West Tenn's 5.43 (which BTW is 2nd in the Southern League!).  The DIAMOND JAXX lead the Southern League in doubles, while Mobile's 125 walks at the plate are tied for 2nd fewest with Mississippi (Birmingham was the worst at 115).  The BayBears' 14 team steals are tied for fewest in the Southern League with Tennessee.

Their team 4.24 ERA is firmly in the peloton, with West Tenn's 3.97 3rd in the Southern League and, go figure, their pitching's 101 walks allowed is fewest in the Southern League.  The BayBears do not like walks.  Their .666 defensive efficiency is totally satanic right with West Tenn's .667 in the peloton.

With the weekend looming, I'll look to provide some more info on specific players tonight, or in tomorrow's wrap-up.

AAA:  Tucson 5, Tacoma 2
TAC:  21-18... TUC:  13-28

Sean White:  6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 walks, 2 K (8 GS, 5.08 ERA, 44.1 IP, 4 HR, 12/21 BB/K)
Jake Woods:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, walk, K (12 app, 4.87 ERA, 20.1 IP, 4 HR, 8/16 BB/K)
Scott Shoemaker:  2 IP, 3 walks, K (9 app, 1.72 ERA, 15.2 IP, 2 HR, 8/15 BB/K)
Victor Diaz:  2-4, 2 doubles, R, RBI, 2 K (319/415/495)
Shawn Garrett:  1-4, double, RBI (298/340/532)
Charlton Jimerson:  2-4, 2 K (275/290/440)

Doubles by Victor Diaz and Shawn Garrett scored a Rainiers run, but Sean White got lit up in the 3rd for 3 runs, a deficit from which the Rainiers did not recover.  Jamie D'Antona's 6th inning double set up another run on a groundout from a familiar face from last year: Jesus Merchan, the guy we got from the Phillies last year in return for Wife Vulture.  That 6th inning was Sean White's last.

Groundballs:  11
Flyballs:  2
Line Drives:  7
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  3
Strikeouts:  2

Mystic Tan gave the Sidewinders another run, and the Rainiers could not manage a rally.