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April 26, 2005

Minor League Notes: 4/25/05
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:

Robinson Cano finished Columbus’ game strong in order to avoid me making serious mention of a slump, in reference to him, for the first time this year. Cano began the game 0 for 3 with a strikeout (9), but then doubled (7) in each of his last two at bats, one to CF and one to LF, to make this a game where he improved his AVG, OBP, and SLG. Unfortunately, Cano also made his 3rd error of the season when he muffed a catch.

AA Trenton (Eastern League):
Park Factor:


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

For the first time in what seems like forever, all 3 of the primary Tampa offensive prospects had positive nights. Hector Made had the least impressive night of the three, as he was 1 for 4 with a walk (5). Rudy Guillen flashed the power and legs that help make him a 5-tool prospect in going 2 for 5 with a triple (1) and 2 strikeouts (20), as his K rate continues it’s climb towards extremely alarming. Finally, Erold Andrus was 2 for 4 with a walk (7) and a strikeout (13). While Guillen’s BB:K numbers are depressing, I have been impressed with the improvement that Andrus has shown in this department; Made has been somewhat decent as well, at least in comparison to ’03.

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

Jeff Marquez authored the best start of his ’05 season in leading Charleston victory, but the night was not without its hiccups. Marquez was dominant for much of the early portion of the game, including one stretch from the 2nd to 3rd innings where he struck out 3 men in a row on a total of 9 pitches. His power change-up was the primary weapon on this night and the opposition’s hitters had a ton of trouble with it. However, later on in the game he either tired or lost it somewhat as he began missing consistently, but was able to work out of jams due to his defense picking him up somewhat and turning some nice plays behind him. Finally, the defense failed him in the 7th as Estee Harris dropped a fly ball after Ben Jones made an error at 1B. In all, the start was impressive in that it showed that Marquez can get the job done at the full season level when he’s on, but one must still be concerned about his control at this point as he has now walked 13 men in 17.2 innings. His final line for the night was 7-4-2-0-3-5-0.

Marcos Vechionacci was once again MIA due to the injury he suffered in the home plate collision, though he is expected back sometime on the upcoming road trip, but on this night the rest of the hitters weren’t as good. Irwil Rojas had a forgettable game that included some half-hearted swings and a strikeout (4) as he took the collar in 4 at bats. Jon Poterson had one at bat conclude in a nice run scoring single, but was otherwise quiet in his 4 at bats. Estee Harris was 1 for 4 with a double (3) and a strikeout (14), but the double was more luck than anything else as the ball took an unexpected hop on the 1B allowing Harris to utilize his legs for the two base hit.

Finally, Tim Battle was 0 for 2 with a walk (7), 2 strikeouts (28) and a HBP (1). One strikeout was the product of a lopsided AB that saw Battle go down swinging on a high fastball, the 3rd pitch in the encounter, while the other strikeout was just Battle being caught looking on a 1-2 curveball. Battle also managed to steal his 10th base of the season in this game, which is impressive, but excitement about his base running capabilities must also be taken in the context that of the 4 times Battle has been caught stealing, all 4 have been on pickoffs. This is to say, Tim Battle is really, really, really fast, but also really, really, really raw on the base paths and tends to become overanxious leading to him getting caught leaning the wrong way. The final aspect of Battle’s night to consider is the catch he made going back in CF on a ball that seemed surely ticketed for extra bases.