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8/11 Minor League Wrap-Up

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- Baseball Reference's stats for the Arizona Summer League are now live! We see that the AZLMs and their 5.02 runs per game are below average (5.56), they have hit the fewest doubles in the league (52) and are tied for the 2nd fewest XBHs (84 total).

Pitching-wise, their team 5.27 ERA is worst in the league, and their 6.12 runs allowed are 3rd most, though this means their 43 unearned runs ties them for 2nd fewest with the AZL Rangers. Their .621 defensive efficiency and 76 team errors have them in the middle of the pack. Combining the 2nd half with the 1st half, they have the 2nd worst record in the league at 16-25 (one game under Pythag, incidentally).

All that said, struggles are likely from the same culprit as usual: youth. Their average team age of 19.8 years makes them the 2nd youngest team in the AZL (where the average age is almost 20 on the dot) behind the AZL Brewers (B-R mistakenly lists the hitters average age as 15.9: this is likely either a typo or a bad calculation, and is probably in the low 19's). Give these kids a year or two of chops and they're probably playing better, making their pitches, hitting more consistently and for more power, etc.

- I was digging for information on Leury "Latin Campaneris" Bonilla, who just returned from a long injury layoff, DH'd for the AZLMs and had 2 hits. While searching on Yahoo, Yahoo likes to give auto-suggestions as you type, to anticipate what you might be looking for, and along with Leury Bonilla's name, it auto-suggested "Leury body disease". The latter reveals nothing more than a bunch of diabetes research from some doctor named Leury. As for Leury Bonilla himself, I can't recall what his injury was and neither a general nor a news search turned up any info... but here he is, and he's got a few weeks to get his chops back and maybe get back to High Desert before season's end.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for disease research by Dr. BJ Leury, there's plenty of information out there!

- After a scoreless 7th and 8th, Pulaski reliever Stephen Penney tried to give away a 7-0 lead in the 9th, but got as far as 7-4 before getting the hook for the curiously effective (and curiously named) Blake Nation, who got the final out to seal the win.

Though Penney was among the PMs mentioned a couple days ago with an impressive K/BB. Along with his resultingly tiny walk rate (1.1%), he's running a 61% groundball rate, which belies his .410 BABIP. A relatively low K rate (13.1%) means a lot of balls get put into play, and something tells me that many of the non-groundballs were getting hit hard. To Penney's credit, his K rate has improved each month, from 6.3% in June to 13.0% in July to 18.2% so far in a busy August. His BABIP has correspondingly fallen, from a laughable .500 in June to a not-as-laughable .405 in July to a lesser-laughable .370 so far in August, while his GB rate spiked to 69% in July and has hovered so far at 58% this month. His rate stats are mostly similar between home and the road, except for a .486 BABIP on the road (to .349 at home) that given the 20 inning sample size is probably the product of variance.

In the 9th inning meltdown yesterday, Penney surrendered three straight doubles, and 5 of the 6 balls hitters put in play were in the air (one was a line drive). The groundball was a double down the line. Not sure how much the defense played a role in teh extra bases, but that many flyballs isn't good... and isn't typical of Penney. I'm inclined to call the meltdown just white noise in what has been a steadily improving year for the relief prospect, though he's got a ways to go before being little more than the relief pitching love child of Sean White and Carlos Silva.

- Blake Nation, meanwhile, obviously walks more batters than Penney (8.9%) but runs a high K rate as well (23.8%) and a strong groundball rate (69%). His groundball rate has actually gotten stronger over the season, as it ran 61% in June but has improved to a steady 73% in both July and August. We're only talking about a 19.1 inning sample size, but safe to say that if App League hitters can get a piece of Nation's pitches, they're probably going to hit them on the ground... and this is a league where guys can put up some power numbers and offense. If he can keep it up and stay healthy, Blake Nation's going to become a serious topic in the prospect conversation in the next year or two, and not just because of his name.

- Harping on the pitching in this otherwise ordinary Pulaski game, Nick Czyz allowed only one hit over 6 frames, and has had an excellent start to his career in Pulaski. The lefthander's 23.0% K rate and 57% groundball rate looks promising, though his walks have spiked to 11.9% in August, he's only running a 3% HR/FB rate, and his BABIP has hovered in the .300-.320 range since July, so he's averted some bad fortune, which has helped his numbers.

- Brett Lorin, being used on a limited scale the rest of the season to protect the team's investment, pitched into the 4th inning of what was eventually a 6-5 loss before leaving with two outs in the 4th. All of the damage he allowed, two runs, came on back to back sac flies in the 4th, after blowing away the side with K's in the 3rd.

1st: Line drive, groundball, flyball
2nd: Flyball, walk, groundball
3rd: Strikeout, strikeout, strikeout
4th: Walk, flyball, flyball, flyball, groundball

Lorin has walked 11% of batters he's faced in Wisconsin, though has struck out 25.7% of them. His 48% GB rate is respectable, though his .391 BABIP isn't encouraging. I don't have LD rates available so I can't immediately confirm if this is purely negative variance or if he's getting tattooed too often.

- There isn't much else I can say about Brandon Morrow's start last night aside from what Matthew noted in his write-up. I'll just add that Brandon has other pitches, so he should probably use them.

Stats below the jump....

Dominican: DSL Mariners 11, DSL Roidinals 3
DSLMs: 38-20... Los Roids: 23-33
(League: 237/339/321... 3.72 ERA)

Felix Bautista: 3 IP, 5 H, (3 R) 2 ER (HR), 5 K, wild pitch, hit batter (17 app, 8 GS, 72 IP, 4 HR, 11/77 BB/K)
Jose Perdomo: 6 IP, 3 H, walk, 5 K, wild pitch (17 app, 6 GS, 3.55 ERA, 50.2 IP, 1 HR, 10/33 BB/K)
Ameilis Carvajal: 2-3, R, 2 walks, K, SB #10 (267/401/404)
Rudy van Heydoorn: 2-2, 3 run HR, 2 R, 2 walks (257/427/434)
Axel Wel: 1-5, double, 3 RBI, 2 K (287/378/361)
Hassiel Jimenez: 2-5, RBI, K (275/392/359)
Bertin Sanon: 2-3, 3 R, walk (232/362/358)
Janelfry Zorrilla: 2-5, 2 R, SB (171/244/216)

Rk-AZL: Cubs 8, Mariners 2
AZLMs: 7-6... AZL Cubs: 7-6
(League: 265/349/377... 4.46 ERA)

Brandon Maurer: 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER (HR), walk, K (5 app, 2 GS, 3.65 ERA, 12.1 IP, 1 HR, 4/11 BB/K)
Randy Castillo: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 walks, K (9 app, 5.74 ERA, 15.2 IP, 8/9 BB/K)
Jeroen de Haas: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, K, balk, hit batter
Nick Love: 1 IP, 2 H, K (10 app, 10.13 ERA, 18.2 IP, 5/12 BB/K)
Leury Bonilla: 2-4, K
Joel Mendez: 2-4, triple, RBI, K (293/314/354)
Terry Serrano: 1-3, triple, R (245/284/358)

Rk+: Pulaski 7, Bluefield 4
PMs: 33-20... BLU: 24-28
(League: 264/335/392... 4.23 ERA)

Nick Czyz: 6 IP, 1 H, 2 walks, 5 K (8 GS +4, 3.65 ERA, 49.1 IP, 2 HR, 17/48 BB/K)
Stephen Penney: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 K (12 app, 7.20 ERA, 20 IP, 1/13 BB/K)
Blake Nation: one out (15 app, 2.79 ERA, 19.1 IP, 1 HR, 7/20 BB/K)
Dwight Britton: 1-4, double, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K (247/286/400)
Deybis Benitez: 2-4, double, R, 2 RBI, K (301/377/495)
Mario Martinez: 2-4, double, RBI (328/357/484)
Jose Rivero: 1-4, solo HR (270/348/404)
Guy Welsh: 1-3, double, RBI, walk (330/432/485)

A-: Yakima 7, Everett 3
EVE: 24-30... YAK: 18-36
(League: 255/345/372... 4.21 ERA)

Aaron Brown: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, walk, 2 K, 2 wild pitches, hit batter (8 GS +4, 5.57 ERA, 42 IP, 1 HR, 32/30 BB/K)
Christian Staehely: 2 IP, 5 H, (3 R) 0 ER, 2 K, wild pitch (14 app, 4.05 ERA, 26.2 IP, 1 HR, 19/19 BB/K)
Mark Pettis: 2 IP, 2 H, (1 R) 0 ER, walk, 3 K (15 app, 2.96 ERA, 24.1 IP, 18/23 BB/K)
Anthony Phillips: 1-5, solo HR, 2 K (223/308/340)
Manny Pimentel: 2-5, R (230/344/309)
rest of Aquasox lineup: 5-24, 6 walks, 5 K

A: Kane County 6, Wisconsin 5
WIS: 15-35... KC: 22-27
(League: 253/323/373... 3.70 ERA)

Brett Lorin: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 walks, 3 K (6 GS, 3.81 ERA, 26 IP, 1 HR, 12/28 BB/K)
Jose Jimenez: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER (HR), K
Jose Escalona: 2.2 IP, 1 H, walk, 3 K (30 app, 4.66 ERA, 36.2 IP, 5 HR, 19/38 BB/K)
Keith Meyer: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K (37 app, 4.85 ERA, 55.2 IP, 4 HR, 26/56 BB/K)
Denny Almonte: 1-4, double, R, RBI (261/317/443)
Edilio Colina: 3-4, double, R, K (294/351/381)
Alex Liddi: 1-4, R, RBI, 2 K (228/293/334)
Israel Nuñez: 1-4, RBI, K (215/266/278)

A+: Lake Elsinore 4, High Desert 2
Mavs: 21-29... Lake: 25-25
(League: 274/342/412... 4.56 ERA)

Alfredo Venegas: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 K (12 GS +9, 4.90 ERA, 90 IP, 8 HR, 26/80 BB/K)
Steve Uhlmansiek: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 4 walks, 2 K (30 app, 4.53 ERA, 47.2 IP, 4 HR, 26/37 BB/K)
Aaron Cotter: 1 IP, 2 H, (2 R) 1 ER, K, wild pitch (46 app, 3.36 ERA, 59 IP, 5 HR, 15/55 BB/K)
Nick Hill: 1 IP (28 app, 10 GS, 4.73 ERA, 83.2 IP, 10 HR, 28/63 BB/K)
Carlos Triunfel: 1-3, RBI (286/339/415)
Joe Simokaitis: 2-4 (261/320/414)
Gavin Dickey: 1-3, solo HR, K (245/292/337)

AA: The DIAMOND JAXX had Monday off.

AAA: Tucson 9, Tacoma 4
TAC: 64-58... TUC: 54-68
(League: 276/347/443... 4.84 ERA)

Brandon Morrow: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, 2 K
Denny Stark: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 K
Jorge Sosa: one out, 5 H, 5 ER, walk (23 app, 4.66 ERA, 29 IP, 5 HR, 15/31 BB/K)
Jared Wells: two outs, K, wild pitch (45 app, 6.33 ERA, 48.1 IP, 4 HR, 29/45 BB/K)
Rich Dorman: 1 IP, 1 H (5 GS +2, 4.56 ERA, 25.2 IP, 3 HR, 4/23 BB/K)
Prentice Redman: 2-5, 2 doubles, 4 RBI, 2 K (304/378/540)
Matt Tuiasosopo: 1-5, double, 2 K (270/354/431)
Shawn Garrett: 1-4, double, K (296/325/441)