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May 4, 2005

Minor League Notes: 5/3/05
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:

The only prospect of note left on this team is Ramon Ramirez and he didn’t pitch yesterday, sooooooo…

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

Trenton was being no-hit for a good portion of yesterday’s contest, so it should come as no surprise that their hitters did not have flattering final lines. Eric Duncan was 0 for 3 with a walk (12) and has slumped somewhat since my last set of Minor League Notes as his average has dropped to .216. As usual, his slump has not been as horrid as possible due to his increased walking when not hitting. Melky Cabrera, who was hitting much better of late, went 1 for 4 with a single to drop his average out of the .280s and down to .276. Finally, Bronson Sardinha continues to struggle and is now back on the interstate with a .196 average following an 0 for 4 with 2 strikeout (27) performance. In addition, his defense has been it’s usual state of bad.

A+ Tampa (Florida State League):
Park Factor: .979

Hector Made went 1 for 4 for the Tampa Yankees yesterday as he continues to not do much outside of producing the occasional single. Fortunately for him, he seems to have found a knack for doing so when men are on base and is probably developing a “clutch” reputation, which should help him a little bit when the time comes to consider whether or not he’s worth keeping at the A+ level.

Erold Andrus and Rudy Guillen both maintained their recent hot hitting, though Andrus did so more convincingly. Erold was 2 for 4 with 2 singles to get his average up to .295 and just like that his BA/OBP/SLG split of .295/.368/.453 looks very credible for a 20-year-old in his first taste of the FSL. Meanwhile, Guillen was 1 for 4 with a single to bring his average to .255.

Abel Gomez would have picked up the win in yesterday’s contest had the Tampa bullpen not imploded. Instead he had to settle for a no decision with a final line of 5.2-5-2-2-3-5-0. Gomez is still not in a groove as far as missing bats, but has nevertheless found success due to not giving up many hard hit balls. It was unfortunate to see him apparently run out of gas once again towards the end of his outing as he gave up 3 singles while picking up 2 outs in the 6th before being taken out of the game.

Before anyone says anything, yes John Urick is playing terrifically, but I’m going to wait a little longer before I say anything about him because he is an older guy.

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

Tim Battle, like many of the Charleston players, had a frustrating game, as the team would end up losing in extra innings. Battle was 0 for 6 with 2 strikeouts (39) as his average dropped all the way to .222. Next up was Marcos Vechionacci who was 1 for 4 with a walk (9), but also made his 7th error of the season on a critical interference call during extra innings. Vechionacci has been slow getting started both at bat and in the field since returning from his injury over the weekend. Estee Harris was 1 for 4 with a walk (7) while also stealing a base (7). I found it strange that Estee was not running on the rare occasions that he did get on base earlier this season given his talents and the team’s coaching staff, but he has really picked up the stolen base pace over the past week or so of action. Irwil Rojas was 2 for 3 with a walk (7) and did not allow any passed balls, which is a nice step in the right direction. The 2 hit night helped ease the slide Rojas had been on since Nacci’s injury. Lastly, Jon Poterson was 1 for 5 with 3 strikeouts (25). Poterson has more than 3 times as many strikeouts than XBHs and BBs combined. If you go with H and BB, he still has 166% more Ks. This is just another way of saying that Jon Poterson is not very good right now.

Brett Smith started the game and continued his somewhat recent trend of not being awesome good, but rather very solid. The RHP finished with a final line of 8-6-3-3-1-3-0 and while his peripherals are doing a good job of talking for him, unless his ERA is lowered from its current 3.48 he likely won’t be moving as fast as possible through the system.