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8/20 Minor League Wrap-Up

- A lot of DSLers draw walks at a heavy clip, but one guy with a truly uncanny walk rate is the curiously named Rudy van Heydoorn. After a puke-worthy 194/288/313 season last year, the 19 year old returned with a newfound ability to work the count, currently sporting a healthy 18.7% walk rate and having cut his K rate from 28.5% during that dismal 2007 to 19.8% this year. With 3 walks yesterday, he upped his season total to 42 in 193 ABs, which over a full 162 games would be well over 120. He's 13 for his last 31 ABs, with 14 walks vs only 7 K's. Five of those 13 hits were XBHs, and he drew multiple walks in 5 of those 10 games.

The DSL mantra is that you don't get off the island with a walk, and 38.5% of his plate appearances end at the plate... but he's also added power, with 7 home runs in the dead-ball DSL over 151 AB to go with 5 doubles. It's not huge power but it's enough to possibly make him interesting enough to bring to the mainland. He may have a very European looking name, but Rudy's profile at the plate, so far, looks a lot like Brad Wilkerson... not that he's anywhere close to replicating Wilkerson's performance in the bigs, but that's the impression that I get from looking at a bunch of integers on a spreadsheet.

- After putting up good numbers in the VSL last season, I was surprised that Mexican hurler Jose Rios started 2008 in the Pulaski bullpen. After a spot start yesterday in which he threw 6 strong innings, walked 2 and struck out 8, I was curious why an otherwise effective pitcher was bullpenned.

Turns out he wasn't as effective as he seemed. In 2007, he ran an average-ish 16.1% K rate with an okay-ish 8.6% walk rate. As one would expect, in the PMs pen, his K rate improved in 2008 (26.5%), which tends to happen when you can throw max effort to a few batters instead of having to face a lineup twice and being expected to take a team into the 6th. His walk rate came down slightly (7.4%) and his groundball rate remained similar (54% to 57% last year). Being an unknown quantity as a starter and facing a meh Greeneville lineup (team .688 OPS, 3rd worst in the App League) gave him an edge yesterday. If he started every five days, he probably would remain reasonably effective but wouldn't come across as much more than what Kyle Haas or Taylor Lewis gives the PMs every 5 days. Those guys are just bikes in the prospect peloton, and the org made the choice to develop Rios in the pen.

It's not a huge difference, and if anything, he likely fits into the Alfredo Venegas category of productive swingman that's a breakthrough or two from becoming a prospect.

- The Aquasox got absolutely owned by Salem-Keizer Volcanoes pitching. Starter Andrew Reichard struck out 11 Aquasox over his 5 innings, strikeout reliever Michael Eifel added 4 more in the 6th and 7th, lefthander Eric Neitz added another, and four of Justin Fitzgerald's five outs were strikeouts.

That's 20 strikeouts over the 10 innings it took to complete this game, and it's a minor miracle that Luis Nuñez managed to drive in a run in the bottom 5th given how pwned the Aquasox lineup was yesterday. This could have easily been a 1-0 shutout. Nuñez and Anthony Phillips were the only Aquasox hitters who didn't strike out. Ryan Royster tried on a Golden Sombrero, and three Aquasox netted themselves a hat trick: Nate Tenbrink, Brandon Fromm (Fromm even got lifted in the 9th, saving him from joining Royster in the Sombrero fitting room) and Jharmidy De Jesus.

Looks like home plate umpire Javier Cantu got a lot of practice with his right jab calling all those punch-outs, as the Aquasox also struck out a lot of batters, a bullpen relay combining for 15 K, a total of 35 strikeouts in all. THIRTY FIVE. And the vast majority of them were swinging strikeouts, though no word on how big Cantu's strike zone was. The game, even with 1 hour and 18 minutes in rain delays, took 3 hours and 10 minutes despite extra innings.

Thirty five strikeouts in one game. Only four Aquasox have more than 35 K on the season: reliever Eddy Fernandez, reliever Matt Renfree, Doug Salinas and team strikeout leader Walter Suriel.

Everett reached base 6 times in this game, and stole 3 bases. They certainly did everything they could to get anything they could.

- After his 3rd straight multi-hit game, Jamie McOwen is 7 for his last 13. Only one hit, however, was an XBH (a double on Tuesday against Lancaster). He's been making a lot of impact in August, where he's running a 289/372/408 line despite only 5 XBH, with help from 10 walks, tied with April for the most he's had in any month. With speed-assisted doubles/triples power to the 23 year old Florida International grad's hitting, his key need to develop as a hitter will be to draw more walks and get on base to use his speed (26 SBs in 37 tries this season). Work the count, Jamie. Don't be Juan Pierre. You don't want to be Juan Pierre when you wear that jersey.

- Well, they certainly paint him in a different light than I "do", but PHAT ANDY 22 is the subject of a feature in the Tacoma Weekly.

Just for you, JI, because I know you'll love this paragraph:

Baldwin is a real fan of as well as a participant in sports. "I grew up liking all sports, but I never had anybody I wanted to model myself after in any sport. I liked the Giants and Barry Bonds and the Vikings were the only NFL team I followed." He also loves Brett Favre and said it would have been "fantastic" if the former Packers’ quarterback had wound up his career in Minnesota.
We also learn that he's under contract through next year, and will probably reprise his epic phatness in Tacoma in 2009.

Unfortunately, he did not have a good outing in PGE Park last night against Portland. PHAT ANDY 22 gave up 5 runs over 7 frames, and the Rainiers eventually lost in extra frames when Hubertime gave up a walkoff bomb to Paul McAnulty.

Stats below the jump....

Dominican: DSL Phillies 9, DSL Mariners 2
DSLMs: 41-23... DSL Phils: 32-30

Gregorio Aquino: 4 IP, 5 H, (3 R) 2 ER, walk, 4 K (13 app, 3 GS, 7.04 ERA, 23 IP, 1 HR, 19/25 BB/K)
Anthony Fernandez: 4 IP, 3 H, (6 R) 1 ER, 3 walks, K, 2 wild pitches (16 app, 6 GS, 3.93 ERA, 50.1 IP, 27/41 BB/K)
Angel Zapata: 1-6, RBI, K (230/300/242)
Rudy van Heydoorn: 1-1, 3 walks (265/459/437)
Augusto Marte: 2-4, R, walk, K (126/268/214)
Rey Lebron: 1-5, triple, RBI, 3 K (192/282/240)

Rk-AZL: The AZLMs had Wednesday off. 8 games left.

Rk+: Pulaski 4, Greeneville 3
PMs: 37-24... GRE: 26-35
(League: 263/333/391... 4.19 ERA)

Jose Rios: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 walks, 8 K, hit batter (14 app, 3 GS, 3.27 ERA, 44 IP, 2 HR, 14/50 BB/K)
Andres Esquibel: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER (15 app, 2.59 ERA, 31.1 IP, 2 HR, 5/19 BB/K)
Blake Nation: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, walk, K, wild pitch (17 app, 3.00 ERA, 21 IP, 1 HR, 8/22 BB/K)
Dwight Britton: 1-3, R, RBI, walk (265/311/420)
Gabriel Noriega: 2-4, K, SB (237/263/298)
Tommy Johnson: 2-4, K (364/402/464)
Jacob Shaffer: 3-3, R, 2 RBI, walk, SBs #9 & 10 (229/316/300)

A-: Salem-Keizer 2, Everett 1, 10 innings
EVE: 27-35... S-K: 33-29
(League: 256/346/375... 4.23 ERA)

Kenn Kasparek: 3 IP, 1 H, 7 K (8 GS, 4.88 ERA, 27.2 IP, 2 HR, 15/34 BB/K)
Christian Staehely: 2 IP, 1 H, walk, 3 K, hit batter (16 app, 4.20 ERA, 30 IP, 1 HR, 20/25 BB/K)
Eddy Fernandez: 1.1 IP, 3 H, K (24 app, 3.99 ERA, 29.1 IP, 2 HR, 11/36 BB/K)
Matt Renfree: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 K (21 app, 2.36 ERA, 42 IP, 2 HR, 14/43 BB/K)
Philip Hann: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K (18 app, 4.55 ERA, 27.2 IP, 1 HR, 10/19 BB/K)
Luis Nuñez: 2-4, 2 doubles, RBI, SB #13 (297/314/389)
rest of Aquasox: 1-28, 2 walks, 20 K

A: The T-Rats had Wednesday off. 12 games left.

A+: High Desert 7, Visalia 2
Mavs: 22-37... Oaks: 25-33
(League: 273/341/413... 4.53 ERA)

Ricky Orta: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 walks, 4 K, wild pitch (13 GS +7, 5.68 ERA, 63.1 IP, 14 HR, 24/63 BB/K)
Michael Wagner: 1.2 IP, 1 H, walk, K, hit batter (48 app, 4.64 ERA, 64 IP, 3 HR, 18/50 BB/K)
Bryan Harris: 1.2 IP, 2 H, walk (38 app, 6.52 ERA, 48.1 IP, 13 HR, 10/30 BB/K)
Nick Hill: 1.1 IP, 2 H, (1 R) 0 ER, walk (32 app, 4.67 ERA, 88.2 IP, 10 HR, 31/65 BB/K)
Aaron Cotter: 1 IP, K (50 app, 3.47 ERA, 62.1 IP, 6 HR, 15/59 BB/K)
Jamie McOwen: 3-4, R, 2 RBI, K (266/327/399)
Chris Minaker: 2-4, R, K (296/326/431)
Travis Scott: 2-4, double, 2 run HR, 2 R (275/343/463)
Geraldo Valentin: 2-4, double, R, RBI (256/287/356)
James Davenport: 2-3, 2 doubles, 2 R, RBI (324/347/465)

AA: West Tenn 9, Mobile 3
WTN: 25-32... MOB: 26-31
(League: 264/342/401... 4.21 ERA)

Gaby Hernandez: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER (HR), 3 walks, 5 K, hit batter (8 GS, 5.44 ERA, 46.1 IP, 6 HR, 14/34 BB/K)
Jason Kershner: one out (7 app, 4.76 ERA, 11.1 IP, 5/7 BB/K)
Marwin Vega: 2 IP (44 app, 4.87 ERA, 64.2 IP, 3 HR, 42/47 BB/K)
Roman Martinez: 1 IP (33 app, 5.17 ERA, 38.1 IP, 4 HR, 18/28 BB/K)
Brent Johnson: 1-3, 2 RBI (296/384/460)
Erick Monzon: 2-4, R, SB (219/296/297)
Johan Limonta: 2-4, double, 2 R, 2 RBI, walk (309/381/536)
Mike Wilson: 2-5, 3 run HR, 4 RBI, K (280/388/559)
Adam Moore: 2-4, R, walk, K (312/390/492)
Matt Mangini: 1-3, R, sac fly RBI, walk, K (203/249/252)
Mark Kiger: 2-5, double, 2 R, K (211/345/270)

AAA: Portland 8, Tacoma 5, 11 innings
TAC: 69-62... POR: 68-63
(League: 277/347/443... 4.82 ERA)

Andrew Baldwin: 7 IP, 7 H, 5 ER (HR), walk, 6 K, 2 hit batters (20 GS +8, 4.86 ERA, 133.1 IP, 11 HR, 37/75 BB/K)
Jorge Sosa: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 walks, 2 K (27 app, 3.96 ERA, 36.1 IP, 5 HR, 21/36 BB/K)
Jon Huber: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER (HR), 2 K, hit batter (47 app, 6.54 ERA, 64.2 IP, 6 HR, 21/49 BB/K)
Prentice Redman: 2-5, solo HR, 2 R, walk (305/379/541)
Luis Valbuena: 1-3, double, R, 2 walks (251/342/329)
Victor Diaz: 3-6, double, RBI, 2 K (280/364/524)
Craig Wilson: 1-5, 2 RBI, 3 K (260/376/473)
Kevin Howard: 1-4, RBI, 2 walks, 2 K (252/349/395)
Luis Oliveros: 2-5, K (277/309/385)

PHAT ANDY 22: Uh oh, Mister Wrap-Up's breaking the rules
Phatman got shelled, but he's still taking you to school...

Once upon a time
The Phatman busted rhymes
He walked into the PDX and laid it on the line
I shot shit with the Weekly
I didn't do it meekly
But then the Beavers stepped in and smacked me around obliquely
My suck pitch wasn't working
My offspeed kept on shirking
Portland smacked it all around... their hitters walked off smirking
My ego isn't shattered
Cause this ain't all that matters
I'll do my crossword puzzles and come back and own some batters
You can't keep Phatman down
He's the phattest arm around
And I'll keep owning batters all across the Puget Sound

Justin Huber: Except for our's
PHAT ANDY: [hurls fastball]
Justin Huber: [gets plunked]
Justin Huber: [falls down]
Justin Huber: ughhhh
Justin Huber: ... i... is that for sucking and "hating on the Phatman"?
PHAT ANDY: Naw, I just like plunking you, white boy.
Justin Huber: Damn.
Matt Antonelli: [points] HAHA
Matt Antonelli: [gets plunked]
Matt Antonelli: [whimpers, falls down, incapacitated]
PHAT ANDY: Now him... THAT's for sucking and hating on the Phatman.

1st: Groundball, flyball, flyball, pop up
2nd: Flyball, line drive, walk, line drive, flyball, flyball (HR), strikeout (called)
3rd: Pop up, strikeout (swing), groundball
4th: Groundball, flyball, hit batter, strikeout (swing)
5th: Strikeout (called), groundball, strikeout (called), groundball
6th: Line drive, hit batter, flyball, pop up, flyball
7th: Strikeout (swing), flyball, flyball, groundball

Groundballs: 6
Flyballs: 10
Line Drives: 3
Pop Ups: 3
Walks: 1 (plus 2 hit batters)
Strikeouts: 6