M's Add Four
One of the most important dates in the minor league baseball year... eh, you know, it's probably not that exciting but I still look forward to it.
The official press release is up
. As others have already reported, Jeff Harris was signed away by the Indians and Bohn was claimed by the Braves, but two others have gone down as well, as RHP Travis Chick was outrighted to the minors and RHP Jorge Campillo was designated for assignment. Chick managed to survive in San Antonio, as he should have given the park conditions, but the number of walks he allowed was simply unacceptable and he needs to tone them down a bit. I see him as being somewhat similar to Jon Huber when he came into the system, relatively young, live arm, but hasn't quite displayed the kind of success you want out of a starting prospect. Campillo is sent packing again after his impressive return from Tommy John surgery, but given his age and his arsenal, the M's may have made the right decision in protecting a younger guy and leaving Baek and others to duel it out for the five spot, as they have age on their side. On the other hand, Campillo vs Pineiro, hmm... For now, guys like Jimenez and Dobbs have dodged the axe, but they could fall later.
The M's have protected four players, IF Michael Garciaparra, 1B Bryan Lahair, OF Mike Wilson, and LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith. All four were eligible for being picked up in the rule 5 last year. Take that as you will, but I'm pretty sure that the new CBA means that a bunch of the other guys don't need to be added just yet.Garciaparra
, 23, was the M's first pick, 36th overall in 2001, and those who have known me to talk about that draft will be pleased to know I'm leaving it at that. Mini G is one of two examples of the athlete learning baseball skills in this round of additions. He didn't stick at shortstop, but he's a capable enough at second and isn't likely to embarass himself too much at any other position around the infield. Offensively, he has the ability to put the ball in play, doesn't strike out much, and poses a legitimate on-base threat in both walks and HBPs. The downside is two-fold. For one thing, he does not hit for power, with just 22% of his hits going for extra-bases, the same percentage you see from Hustlin' Willie B. The other thing is his overall health. He's played above one hundred games once, and has averaged seventy-seven per year over the past three. The injuries tend to have a fluky quality to them and haven't been recurring or the result of poor conditioning. The best hope you can have for him is basically Bloomquist with a few more walks, but at the cost of awesome baserunning skills and the Port Orchard factor.Lahair
, now 24, is one of the best draft-and-follow additions the M's have made if he doesn't take the top title itself. He's a big guy, with power that might project to even more than his twenty-two Cal League home runs last year indicated, but there was a .300 point disparity in his OPS against lefties versus his OPS against right-handers in San Antonio this year. He managed to cut the gap to .250 in Tacoma, and runs created had him as one of best players on both teams, but some questions remain as to whether he's a platoon hitter. Some don't like him at first because they don't know if he has the classic power, but he could pass in left if you're lacking better options. He still hasn't quite reached his potential yet, but he did scale back the Ks and the double plays he grounded into this year. At worst, he's all right in a platoon.Wilson
, 23, has two profiles at Baseball Cube, the former containing '02 through '05 and this one
covering '06. Wilson was signed away from a college football commitment, and for a number of years, public opinion was that he might've been better off staying with it. He put up numbers that were okay, but not great, and there were questions for a while about his conditioning practices. He gave up switch-hitting a few years back, and displayed enough potential last year in Wisconsin to indicate that his showing this year might be legitimate. His K's took a jump this year once he hit Wolff Stadium, and his batting eye overall took a little step back, but he is a good on-base threat and can hit the ball with authority. The numbers have him as a better hitter right now than Lahair, but time will tell.Rowland-Smith
, 23, could be considered another success of the M's Australian scouting efforts even if he isn't quite in the same tier as Snelling and Blackley pre-injury (post-injury, still TBD). The Twins liked him enough to Rule 5 him and see if he could make their '05 squad, but he didn't show quite enough and came back to the M's, going down soon after with an elbow thing. He was missing in action from the World Baseball Classic clear into June this year, but if I ever heard a reason for it, that's escaped my active memory. He uses a fastball, a curve, and a change, but unlike most of his fellow lefties, his FB actually has some zip to it and his name hasn't come up yet in the discussion of "best change-up" in the system, to my knowledge. I don't think there's been any sort of final decision on his role, they've been going back and forth for years, but RRS has always struck out batters, and as a lefty if good stuff, that makes him an interesting commodity.
Speaking of lefties with live stuff who manage to strike out batters, Troy Cate has been added to the Cardinals' 40-man
. Nice to see him back in orgnized ball, and succeeding so quickly.
Of the guys left off, there really isn't too much to say. Craig James is probably the most notable of the bunch, and while I like James, his walks were unusually high this year and he has the injury history working against him. I don't think he's running any risk to be picked anyway, but next year he might be in the discussion again.
Winter League Stats (11/19/06)
Arizona Fall League (FINAL)
2B Michael Garciaparra: 19 G, 79 ABs, 13 R, 27 H, 4 2B, HR, 13 RBI, 13/1 K/BB, 2 SB, .342/.388/.430
RHP Craig James: 10 G, 0-0, 3.60 ERA in 10.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R (4 ER), 7/6 K/BB, HB
RHP Stephen Kahn: 9 G, 0-0, 8.64 ERA in 8.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R (8 ER), 7/8 K/BB, HB
LHP Bobby Livingston: 6 G (6 GS), 1-3, 10.45 ERA in 20.2 IP, 37 H (2 HR), 25 R (24 ER), 17/3 K/BB, 4 HB
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith: 12 G, 0-1, 5.40 ERA in 15.0 IP, 19 H, 10 R (9 ER), 16/8 K/BB, HB
3B Matt Tuiasosopo: 21 G, 78 ABs, 9 R, 13 H, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, 22/6 K/BB, .167/.235/.205
OF Mike Wilson: 20 G, 74 ABs, 10 R, 18 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 27/13 K/BB, SB, .243/.356/.419Dominican Winter League
RHP Julio Mateo: 1 G, 0-1, 9.00 ERA in 1.0 IP, 2 H, R (ER), 1/0 K/BB
RHP Rafael Soriano: 1 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA in 1.0 IP, H, 1/0 K/BBHawaiian Winter League
LHP David Asher: 8 G (4 GS), 1-1, 4.57 ERA in 21.2 IP, 28 H (2 HR), 12 R (11 ER), 15/12 K/BB, HB
OF Sebastien Boucher: 23 G, 73 ABs, 15 R, 11 H, 2 2B, 3 3B, 3 RBI, 21/11 K/BB, 2 SB, 2 CS, 3 HBP, .151/.287/.260
C Jeff Clement: 19 G, 46 ABs, 3 R, 8 H, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 12/0 K/BB, HBP, .174/.191/.261
1B Reed Eastley: 23 G, 73 ABs, 4 R, 14 H, 2B, 8 RBI, 18/7 K/BB, 2 HBP, SB, .192/.277/.205
RHP Joe Woerman: 15 G, 3-0, 3.63 ERA in 22.1 IP, 17 H, 9 R (9 ER), 24/16 K/BB, HB, 2 WPIBAF Intercontinental Cup (FINAL)
IF Yung-chi Chen: 9 G, 36 ABs, 7 R, 17 H, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 9 RBI, 3/2 K/BB, SB, 3 HBP, .472/.537/.694
3B Alex Liddi: 9 G, 35 ABs, 4 R, 8 H, 3 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, CS, 9/1 K/BB, .229/.350/.371
OF Kalian Sams: 4 G, 5 ABs, 2 R, 3 H, 3B, 4 RBI, 0/0 K/BB, .600/1.000/.600Mexican Pacific League
RHP Jorge Campillo: 6 G (6 GS), 2-2, 3.71 ERA in 34.0 IP, 26 H (5 HR), 17 R (14 ER), 29/5 K/BB, 4 WP
1B Bryan LaHair: 19 G, 64 ABs, 11 R, 15 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 16/13 K/BB, CS, .234/.359/.359Venezuelan Winter League
RHP Nibaldo Acosta: 2 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA in 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2/0 K/BB
OF Wladimir Balentien: 21 G, 81 AB, 14 R, 27 H, 5 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 22/9 K/BB, 2 SB, CS, .333/.396/.691
RHP Yorman Bazardo: 9 G, 1-0, S, 1.32 ERA in 13.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R (2 ER), 8/3 K/BB, 2 WP, HB
RHP Cibney Bello: 3 G, 0-0, 4.15 ERA in 4.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2/4 K/BB, WP
RHP Ivan Blanco: 9 G, 1-1, 3.00 ERA in 15.0 IP, 10 H (2 HR), 10 R (5 ER), 14/8 K/BB
RHP Rich Dorman: 7 G (6 GS), 1-2, 3.44 ERA in 34.0 IP, 33 H, 13 R (13 ER), 28/14 K/BB, WP
LHP Jose Escalona: 7 G, 1-0, 5.40 ERA in 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2/3 K/BB, 3 WP
RHP Emiliano Fruto: 13 G, 1-1, 5 S, 3.07 ERA in 14.2 IP, 18 H, 7 R (5 ER), 18/7 K/BB
IF Jesus Guzman: 9 G, 14 ABs, H, RBI, 6/3 K/BB, CS, .071/.235/.071
RHP Jeff Harris: 5 G (5 GS), 2-1, 3.14 ERA in 28.2 IP, 22 H (3 HR), 10 R (10 ER), 12/5 K/BB, 2 WP, 3 HB
LHP Cesar Jimenez: 1 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA in 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0/0 K/BB
IF Jose Lopez: 11 G, 45 ABs, 7 R, 14 H, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 5/2 K/BB, 2 HBP, .311/.367/.400
IF Oswaldo Navarro: 18 G, 62 ABs, 4 R, 17 H, 2 2B, 7 RBI, 7/4 K/BB, CS, HBP, .274/.328/.306
1B Jon Nelson: 7 G, 25 ABs, 2 R, 4 H, 2B, 2 RBI, 6/3 K/BB, SB, .160/.276/.200
C Luis Oliveros: 5 G, 11 ABs, 2 R, 3 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2/0 K/BB, .273/.273/.818
C Guillermo Quiroz: 10 G, 26 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2B, HR, RBI, 4/4 K/BB, .269/.367/.423
New this week, we have stats from the Dominican Winter League. One inning for Rafael Soriano! Woooo! One innning for Julio Mateo! Meh!
And so, the AFL fades from view for another year or so. Kahn and RRS made minor improvements in the last few days, Mini G had a double and a home run to finally lift his SLG over his OBP, and Tui had his standard one hit per six at-bats. Ouch.
The HBL will end in a few days as well. As bad as the M's showing has been there, their team has pretty much locked up a playoff spot, so I may have that to recap next week. Clement had his first double this week, but he's still yet to take a walk. Asher lowered his ERA, but did so while giving up a bunch of hits and walks. It's kind of sad when the top ten in ERA for the league has two guys over 5.60 rounding it out. Woerman picked up another win, his third on the season, and that has him tied for third in the league.
The Intercontinental Cup is over too. All I can say about that is, wow, Yung-chi Chen...
Campillo got roughed up in his one start in the MPL. Still no signs of Lahair...
That brings us to the LVBP. Cesar Jimenez made his debut this week, though rumors have been going around for a while that he won't be starting as he usually does down there. I also noticed an Eduardo Perez down there for the hitters, but... the M's bought out his option, from what I remember, they haven't resigned him yet, there are actually TWO Eduardo Perezs down there (one of them Eduardo A. Perez, the same middle initial as the M's one), most of the LVBP sites don't keep an updated roster on hand, and Perez is from Puerto Rico anyway. Eh, I'll post something if the M's re-sign him. Jose Lopez and Balentien have come back down to earth (as much as Wlad can while still maintaining a OPS of over 1.000), Dorman and Harris struggled a little, well, pretty much everyone who was hot has cooled off a little and everything is tending back towards where one would expect the numbers to be. Bazardo's still keeping pace though. It depends on what role they decide for him (survey says reliever), but he could contribute next year.