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Weekend Pebble Report

Since we're just starting to get enough of the season past to see some meaningful statlines, starting today for the weekend Pebble Report I'll forego the game by game analysis in order to step back a little and look at how our prospects' seasons on the whole are shaping up. If you want the game recaps, later this evening I'll put the team sites up in my links to the right and they will all in turn have links to where you can find them.

Asheville is being led this season by strong starting pitchers and a few sluggers. Chief among the latter are outfielder Matt Miller (.382/.405/.579) and first baseman Joseph Koshansky (.328/401/629). Keep in mind that both Koshansky and Miller are putting up Ian Stewart type numbers while being three years older than Stewart was when he went through last year so at this point they fall into the middle of the pack as far as our prospects go, still they are looking very promising right now. Miller only has four walks, but his strikeout numbers are also pretty low at twenty three. The walk/K ratio isn't good, but as long as his OBP stays over .400 this isn't a large concern. Koshansky on the other hand still K's a little too much at 31 in just over 120 AB's but he has more patience, drawing sixteen passes to go along with that. The other two hitters whose names frequently show up in these reports, Dustin Hahn (.305/388/414 and 9 errors) and Justin Nelson (234/364/397) both have lines that show quite a bit more needs to be worked out before they get to that next level. The pitchers on the other hand have one rising young star in Dragon Lo and another intriguing power arm in Samuel Deduno now that Juan Morillo was apparently promoted (he's no longer appearing in the Asheville team stats page). We documented Deduno's shoulder strain last week and Lo has been having a little trouble of late as well but the biggest problem with the Tourists of late has been getting the game from the starters to closer prospect Scott Beerer as the Tourists have lost three games out of their last five (including both over the weekend) in middle relief. Ryan Mattheus has just been in Asheville a bit over a week from extended Spring training, but our first look at him hasn't been bad.

Modesto had a nice weekend against the A's Stockton affiliate, taking three of four, including a sweep of Saturday's double header before falling Sunday for the lone series loss. Joe Gaetti in particular has been on a roll, he now has eight home-runs on the season and sports a (.301/383/549) line. That middle stat remains his biggest hangup, however. Gaetti now has a pretty awful 13/41 BB/K ratio in just 113 AB's. The Modesto lineup is probably our toughest in the minors right now, with Jordan Czarniecki and Chris Ianetta being excellent OBP guys, and then Stewart, Gaetti, Macri, Smith, Thigpen and Dean to hit them in, opposing pitchers don't have a lot of wiggle room. If Morillo is in fact joining Ubaldo Jiminez in this rotation, watch for Modesto to go on a tear. Especially with Jim Miller working the pen. I keep on saying I like Josh Newman, but this is why: 16 IP, 10 H (2 HR), 12 BB, 27 K's! and a measly .179 BAA. In a hitter's league.., again, after doing the same thing in the Pioneer last year and I hardly hear his name mentioned except by me. Go figure, but with Newman setting up, Miller closing, U-ball and Morillo (and Sandy Nin) starting, wow. Modesto should be the class of the Cali league by the end of June.

When I look at Tulsa?s stats, I still only look at maybe six or seven players as this is where separation occurs and you want to see the elite rise. Hopefully with Jayson Nix?s recent climb this is the case with him as he?s now up to .229/277/359. The OBP figure is indicative of the only 10 walks he?s drawn. Going from the bottom up then, Jeff Salazar (.265/361/375) continues to be another enigma, posting nice secondary numbers and even power, but not getting the batting average or homeruns. Tony Miller (.244/377/427) has the homers, and at this point only lacks the BA. Why are these three not getting hits? This is a tough one to answer for Miller and Salazar as their other numbers indicate they should be. I can?t say I have the answer to that, if anybody has been to Tulsa lately maybe you can clue me in. Other Drillers I note are Ryan Spilborghs who hasn?t slipped much from his hot start, Sean Barker and Cory Slavik. As far as pitchers, Zach Parker is the only one whose stats I pay attention to and despite his 3-2 record, the stats aren?t that pretty for him this year as opponents are batting .314 off of him which is actually okay in Colorado Springs, but not in Tulsa.

Colorado Springs. Next year the Rockies figure to have at least one and maybe two openings in the rotation. If Ubaldo Jiminez isn?t ready (and at this point there?s no way we can assume he will be) the likely in house candidates to fill that/those spots are Jason Young, Mike Esposito, and Justin Hampson. I consider this a year long tryout but right now the three have barely separated in their shakiness. Hampson has the lower BAA and thus a lower ERA, but his other numbers look just as bad as Esposito?s and Young?s. Each of these three have had really good games and some really bad ones to make the stats they have. Whichever proves most consistent soonest probably has an inside track. Jeff baker is heating up after starting 0 for 18 and Choo Freeman?s 31K?sin 112 AB?s aren?t doing him any good in an otherwise solid season.