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Pebble Report: Martes

Colorado Springs: The Sky Sox lost to the Sidewinders five to three in the game that was completed after being suspended Sunday, but came back to shutout Tucson three to nothing in hte nightcap. Sean Barker hit his tenth homerun (off of Kevin Jarvis, who for the last three seasons I'm pretty amazed to see in pro ball still) and finished with two hits in that first game, but he was pretty much the lone highlight reel. In the second, much of the credit should go to Sunny Kim, who pitched all seven innings and allowed just two baserunners, one by a hit, one by walk. The other twenty-one batters were retired by five K's, ten ground-outs and six outfield flies to either left or center. The only line drive was the single by Juan Brito meaning Kim was about as dominant as he was for the Rockies last year around this time. Apparently he needs a four month Spring and Summer training to be effective. Anyway, Carlos Rivera, Chris Iannetta and Jeff Salazar all had a pair of hits apiece, and Josh Wilson had a key double and also walked in the victory.

Tulsa: Not a good day for Driller pitchers as Steven Register allowed seven runs on seven hits in seven innings, and then later Zach Parker allowed three more in just one. At any rate, as the IP might indicate, Register's performance wasn't quite as bad as the score might indicate. The first inning he allowed a solo homerun to the lead-off man and then struck out the side. He'd have control problems, hitting Luis Oliveros twice and allowing two other walks which would then come around to score on those deadly bases clearing triples. I guess I'm sort of grasping at straws here, but if he can learn to limit those big hits, we might be getting some place.

Modesto: Greg Reynolds also came in with a shaky start, allowing twelve baserunners in just four innings (nine hits and three walks) and he also had two WP. His offense came out in support, scoring nine runs, but his bullpen did not, as Humberto Cardenas allowed six runs in the ninth after pitching an effective four innings up to that point. Modesto wound up losing eleven to nine. Corey Wimberly had two hits and two walks, Chris Frey had a pair of hits, a stolen base and scored twice, and Doc Brooks went three for four with a walk.

Asheville: About a week ago, Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein talked about Eric Young Jr and said something dismissive to the effect of his speed being his only tool. Normally, I'm in complete agreement with Goldstein as he's usually uite sharp when it comes to evaluating the minors, but I think he might have been overlooking some progress that Deuce has made this season in other aspects of his game. EY's OBP's by month:

April: .318
May: .371
June: .333
July: .426
August: .458

That's including yesterday's four out of five (two walks, two hits) which shows to me at least, that Young has something else going for him. He's been less effective as a leadoff hitter, as witnessed by his .592 OPS in that slot, but he becomes very selective when surrounded by other good hitters and has proven to have a very good eye, which combined with his speed makes two tools in my book. Here are his contact rates:

April: .747
May: .846
June: .815
July: .878
August: .883

The upward trend there is noticeable, and those last two figures are very good. Check out his BB+HBP/K ratios:

April: 8/20
May: 12/16
June: 19/17
July: 17/12
August: 9/7

This is all to say that Eric Young Jr is definitely not just a one trick pony. Though it's not notable, he has a little more power than Corey Wimberly, and this season has become a very intriguing figure in our future second baseman picture.

Anyway, Young did register his 30th CS last night and needs to be a bit better at that, but I'm excited about what he's shown in 2006. Let's see if he can duplicate that success at higher levels. Chaz Roe had one of his best starts of the season, if not his best, going six innings and allowing just two hits and two HBP's (apparently he must be carrying a grudge with Fernando Valenzuela Jr, who got hit both times). The relief was solid and Asheville won four to nothing.

Tri-City: Besides Young, the infield prospect that has advanced the most in my esteem this season would be Daniel Mayora, who went three for four last night and scored two runs in the Dust-Devils' loss. Last night notwithstanding, Mayora's stats have been cooling off as pitchers have started to work around him, his OPS by month:

June: .991
July: .866
August: .809

That's certainly not the sort of trend you like seeing, so clearly Mayora has some work to do over the fall and winter. Still, he'll be one to watch at Asheville next season. Keith Weiser looked pretty solid through six innings, allowing just three hits and a walk and striking out five.

Casper: Everth Cabrera went three for four with a triple, a stolen base and two runs scored. Drew Shetrone, David Bechtold, Riquy De Los Santos and Agustin Arias combined to four hit Missoula with fourteen K's between them. It was Shetrone's first start for Casper, so he was held to only four innings, but it was definitely a nice debut as he K'd six and allowed only two hits and two walks. He's a bit old for the league at 22, but apparently the Rockies organization felt that they could make some refinements to his delivery to increase his chances of success at higher levels. It'll be intersting to follow if we've gotten a steal with our 33rd round pick. I'm told he typically works in the low nineties with his fastball and combnes it with an 80 MPH slider with some bite. He had not develloped a change the last I heard.