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April 20, 2005

Minor League Notes: 4/19/05
by Fabian

Note: Park Factors are courtesy of Baseball Prospectus 2005 and “they are actually adjustments for teams, based on their own mix of home and road parks…relative to the league”. Numbers in parentheses are hitters’ totals in the respective category at this point of the season and counted across levels. A pitcher’s line consists of IP-H-R-ER-BB-SO-HR.

AAA Columbus (International League):

Park Factor:
Record: 9-4

Robinson Cano
continued to demolish IL pitching tonight. To put his start in perspective, after going 2 for 5 with a double (5) tonight, his SLG is actually going to go down. Regardless, Cano is doing a spectacular job of erasing doubts surrounding his power. The only thing I can complain about is the lack of walks as only 1 of his 4 walks thus far was not intentional.

Ramon Ramirez had a solid start curtailed by control problems. The diminutive RHP went 5-4-1-1-3-5-1. Ramirez’s final line would have been much better had it not been for the issues he ran into in the 6th inning where he walked a batter, gave up a double, and walked another batter leading to an early exit.

AA Trenton (Eastern League):
Park Factor: .986

The Trenton Thunder had an offensive outburst tonight on their way to amassing 11 runs and 10 hits. Unfortunately, Prospects Row was not really a part of that. Melky Cabrera’s recent troubles gave him the night off, prohibiting him from the festivities, while Eric Duncan continued to scuffle. Duncan, at the least, had a couple hard hit balls tonight, but still no results, as he would go 0 for 5 with a strikeout (7). Duncan’s offensive ineptitude even seems to have begun affecting him in the field as his flawless fielding early on is no longer existent, the 3B made an error to give him 4 overall and 3 in his last two games. Bronson Sardinha was the lone offensive prospect bright spot. Sardinha was 1 for 2 and gathered two walks, clearly responding to my earlier post. Bronson also made a fielding error (2), but we’ll overlook that for now.

Matt DeSalvo is a pitcher often noted as lacking in big time raw “stuff”; in other words, his fastball isn’t THAT fast. As a result, he is the type of pitcher that relies on having a deep repertoire and being able to place those pitches. Tonight, Matt DeSalvo could not place his pitches and the result was ugly. DeSalvo went 3.1-9-5-4-4-1-0 for his worst start of the year.

A+ Tampa (Florida State League):
Park Factor:

Tampa won a pitching duel 3-2 tonight and as would be expected, the offensive prospects played almost no real role in the game. Hector Made was 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts (9), Rudy Guillen was 0 for 4 with 1 strikeout (12), and Erold Andrus had the best day by going 1 for 4 with 1 strikeout (7). On the one hand, it IS the FSL and I am understanding of the difficulty of hitting there, but then again, with a bunch of Yankee prospects struggling there is more emphasis on these guys doing well in order to compensate for the rest of the farm so their “hitting” thus far has been frustrating.

A- Charleston (South Atlantic League):
Park Factor:

Charleston won a slugfest by the final score of 10-7 and two of the offensive prospects shone brightly in today’s action. While Marcos Vechionacci had a forgettable play in the field and made a base running gaffe due to being overly aggressive, he was very good at the plate. Nacci went 3 for 5 to bring his average back up to .308 following a brief dry spell.

Tim Battle continues to impress following a horrendous opening to the season. While Battle struck out twice today (23) he also walked (5) and hit a mammoth HR (3). The homer was over the 415 ft. sign in CF and estimated at about 420 feet. In addition, Battle has continued to put together excellent at bats lately, making me not worry as much about the strikeouts, which are down somewhat from where he started the season.

Irwil Rojas was 1 for 4, but continues to worry me with his defense at C and Estee Harris was 1 for 4 with a double (1) and a strikeout (11). The only offensive prospect to not get a hit was, of course, Jon Poterson. The RF was 0 for 3 with a walk (1!!!!!!!!) and 2 strikeouts (14). Poterson’s stats also pretty much tell the story with him. Unlike Eric Duncan who has had many a solid at bat end unluckily, Poterson has just been really, really bad.

Christian Garcia’s final line, 4.1-3-3-3-1-6-0, is nothing to write home about, but not nearly indicative of how good he was on this day. In what was easily the best of his 3 performances on the year, Garcia used his curveball to overwhelm Columbus batters all night long and would have had a better final line were it not for Vechionacci’s previously mentioned fielding error. While Garcia does not have an ERA nearly as flashy, he’s provided more “take notice” moments than Phil Hughes thus far.