Sizzling Future Stars: Minor League Report, 5/4

With the season underway and some fans already looking forward to next year, even this early, it is a good time to look down on the farms for some names that you should get to know. Everyone knows who Wil MyersDylan Bundy, and Oscar Taveras are at this point, so these are players performing at elite levels who may not be household names…yet.

Salazar

Danny Salazar, RHP, Cleveland Indians

Year Age Lg Lev W L ERA GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 SO/BB
2007 17 DOSL FRk 5 3 1.96 14 64.1 52 25 14 1 12 49 0.995 7.3 4.08
2008 18 GULF Rk 4 2 2.87 11 53.1 46 19 17 5 13 43 1.106 7.8 3.31
2009 19 SALL A 5 7 4.44 20 107.1 114 60 53 10 40 65 1.435 9.6 1.63
2010 20 MIDW A 1 1 4.45 7 32.1 34 16 16 7 13 23 1.454 9.5 1.77
2011 21 2 Lgs A-Rk 0 2 3.07 8 14.2 14 7 5 1 4 18 1.227 8.6 4.50
2011 21 ARIZ Rk 0 0 2.70 5 6.2 6 3 2 1 2 11 1.200 8.1 5.50
2011 21 MIDW A 0 2 3.38 3 8.0 8 4 3 0 2 7 1.250 9.0 3.50
2012 22 2 Lgs A+-AA 5 2 2.36 22 87.2 71 25 23 4 27 76 1.118 7.3 2.81
2012 22 CARL A+ 1 2 2.68 16 53.2 46 17 16 3 19 53 1.211 7.7 2.79
2012 22 EL AA 4 0 1.85 6 34.0 25 8 7 1 8 23 0.971 6.6 2.88
2013 23 EL AA 2 3 2.83 6 28.2 22 9 9 1 9 43 1.081 6.9 4.78
7 Seasons 22 20 3.18 88 388.1 353 161 137 29 118 317 1.213 8.2 2.69
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/4/2013.

Salazar had Tommy John surgery and missed nearly two full seasons of development, but since returning for good in 2012, he has a 2.48 ERA over 116.1 innings, a 1.11 WHIP, and a 119:36 K:BB (3.31 K:BB). The Indians, who seemed to have a lot of depth at starting pitcher during the spring, are in need of some talent at the major league roster. Justin Masterson and Zach McAllister have pitched well, but injuries and inconsistency, especially from Ubaldo Jimenez, brings a need of some sort of stability. The Indians could use a little youth and homegrown talent in their rotation, and if Salazar continues pitching this well, he’ll be on his way to Cleveland sooner than later. A 43:9 K:BB in 28.2 innings is downright dominant.

Gibson

Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota Twins

Year Age Tm Lev W L ERA GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 SO/BB
2010 22 3 Teams AA-A+-AAA 11 6 2.96 26 152.0 136 55 50 7 39 126 1.151 8.1 3.23
2010 22 Fort Myers A+ 4 1 1.87 7 43.1 33 11 9 2 12 40 1.038 6.9 3.33
2010 22 New Britain AA 7 5 3.68 16 93.0 91 39 38 5 22 77 1.215 8.8 3.50
2010 22 Rochester AAA 0 0 1.72 3 15.2 12 5 3 0 5 9 1.085 6.9 1.80
2011 23 Rochester AAA 3 8 4.81 18 95.1 109 57 51 11 27 91 1.427 10.3 3.37
2012 24 3 Teams Rk-A+-AAA 0 2 4.13 11 28.1 26 13 13 3 6 33 1.129 8.3 5.50
2012 24 Twins Rk 0 0 2.45 7 14.2 9 4 4 1 4 16 0.886 5.5 4.00
2012 24 Fort Myers A+ 0 0 2.57 2 7.0 6 2 2 1 1 7 1.000 7.7 7.00
2012 24 Rochester AAA 0 2 9.45 2 6.2 11 7 7 1 1 10 1.800 14.8 10.00
2013 25 Rochester AAA 1 4 4.26 6 31.2 32 15 15 2 9 27 1.295 9.1 3.00
4 Seasons 15 20 3.78 61 307.1 303 140 129 23 81 277 1.249 8.9 3.42
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/4/2013.

Gibson was an elite talent when he was drafted 22nd overall in the 2009 MLB draft out of the University of Missouri. His stock had fallen a bit due to a stress fracture in his elbow. He proved that he was healthy in 2010 before needing Tommy John surgery in 2011. After rehab, he returned in 2012 with some mediocre numbers, and while his statistics don’t look fantastic this year in Rochester, he has had a couple of short, rough outing out of the six that he has made, allowing five earned runs twice in a little over four innings in two different starts. If you ignore those two starts, Gibson has a 1.99 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, and 20:8 K:BB over 22.2 innings. The Twins will look for a little more consistency from Gibson before giving him a call, but he would immediately become one of the top two pitchers in their rotation, if not the best.

Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Year Age Tm Lev W L ERA GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 SO/BB
2007 17 Red Sox FRk 3 1 2.90 13 62.0 44 20 20 2 22 60 1.065 6.4 2.73
2008 18 Lowell A- 5 2 3.14 11 63.0 51 25 22 7 17 61 1.079 7.3 3.59
2009 19 Greenville A 10 7 3.82 23 117.2 135 62 50 12 29 103 1.394 10.3 3.55
2010 20 Salem A+ 9 11 4.06 26 128.2 120 65 58 11 42 102 1.259 8.4 2.43
2011 21 2 Teams A+-AA 6 13 6.79 25 102.0 125 86 77 16 39 65 1.608 11.0 1.67
2011 21 Salem A+ 6 4 4.53 10 51.2 50 29 26 8 16 35 1.277 8.7 2.19
2011 21 Portland AA 0 9 9.12 15 50.1 75 57 51 8 23 30 1.947 13.4 1.30
2012 22 Portland AA 6 7 4.59 22 115.2 115 66 59 9 42 86 1.357 8.9 2.05
2013 23 Altoona AA 2 0 0.30 5 30.1 19 1 1 0 14 28 1.088 5.6 2.00
7 Seasons 41 41 4.17 125 619.1 609 325 287 57 205 505 1.314 8.8 2.46
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/4/2013.

Pimentel doesn’t have a tremendous track record, but when you have a 0.30 ERA after five starts, you’re going to start getting noticed. Acquired from the Boston Red Sox as part of the Joel Hanrahan trade, Pimentel isn’t going to get the hype that Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon garnish, but he appears to have enough stuff to be a decent back-end of the rotation arm. He certainly needed to thrive after not really doing much good since the 2010 season. Since this is his third season in Double-A, maybe expectations should be tempered, even after a tremendous start, but if it continues, he’ll continue to peak interest.

Josmil Pinto, C, Minnesota Twins

Year Age Tm Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2006 17 Twins/Blue Jays FRk 53 195 25 49 7 1 3 30 3 25 27 .251 .336 .344 .680 67
2007 18 Twins FRk 54 171 18 33 8 1 1 23 3 29 23 .193 .327 .269 .596 46
2008 19 Twins Rk 24 85 14 28 9 3 1 14 1 9 14 .329 .394 .541 .935 46
2009 20 Elizabethton Rk 53 205 34 68 14 2 13 55 0 19 39 .332 .387 .610 .997 125
2010 21 Beloit A 100 347 60 78 21 1 10 54 2 32 67 .225 .295 .378 .672 131
2011 22 2 Teams A+-A 73 253 25 66 14 1 6 41 1 14 46 .261 .301 .395 .697 100
2011 22 Beloit A 9 32 4 8 3 0 1 9 0 2 10 .250 .278 .438 .715 14
2011 22 Fort Myers A+ 64 221 21 58 11 1 5 32 1 12 36 .262 .305 .389 .694 86
2012 23 2 Teams A+-AA 105 396 53 117 26 3 14 60 0 43 73 .295 .362 .482 .844 191
2012 23 Fort Myers A+ 93 349 45 103 22 2 12 51 0 39 63 .295 .361 .473 .834 165
2012 23 New Britain AA 12 47 8 14 4 1 2 9 0 4 10 .298 .365 .553 .919 26
2013 24 New Britain AA 27 107 21 35 5 1 5 24 0 13 21 .327 .405 .533 .938 57
8 Seasons 489 1759 250 474 104 13 53 301 10 184 310 .269 .341 .434 .775 763
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/4/2013.

The Minnesota Twins are notoriously slow in their development of players. While they have Joe Mauer locked up for the next century with a seemingly unmovable contract (don’t tell Boston that after last season’s mega-deal), he could move to first base if or when Justin Morneau leaves via free agency for Pinto. At 24, he’s a little on the old side for Double-A, and his numbers overall haven’t been spectular throughout his development, things took a nice turn last year. His plate discipline and gap power seemed to increase, and he has carried that over nicely this season, with 11 extra-base hits and a .938 OPS for New Britain. Ryan Doumit is the “other catcher” on the Twins roster, so if Pinto continues to hit, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him become a useful piece  to the Twins roster.

johnson

Erik Johnson, RHP, Chicago White Sox

Year Age Tm Lev W L ERA GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 SO/BB
2011 21 Great Falls Rk 0 0 4.50 0 2.0 4 1 1 0 1 2 2.500 18.0 2.00
2012 22 2 Teams A+-A 6 5 2.53 17 92.1 82 34 26 3 29 87 1.202 8.0 3.00
2012 22 Kannapolis A 2 2 2.30 9 43.0 39 15 11 3 19 39 1.349 8.2 2.05
2012 22 Winston-Salem A+ 4 3 2.74 8 49.1 43 19 15 0 10 48 1.074 7.8 4.80
2013 23 Birmingham AA 2 1 1.44 5 31.1 18 6 5 1 9 32 0.862 5.2 3.56
3 Seasons 8 6 2.29 22 125.2 104 41 32 4 39 121 1.138 7.4 3.10
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/4/2013.

Johnson may not post dominant strikeout numbers, but his ability to keep runners from scoring is impressive. As he has moved up, his tits per nine has dropped at each level and he is not a little over a strikeout per inning, as well. Now in Double-A, the White Sox No.3 prospect, according to MLB.com, appears to be taking another step towards Chicago. While the club mourns the loss of Gavin Floyd to Tommy John surgery, Johnson could become an option later in the 2013 season, especially if he continues to dominate the opposition. The 2011 2nd round pick out of the University of California is certainly worth tracking.

Dietrich

Derek Dietrich, 2B, Miami Marlins

Year Age Tm Lev G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2010 20 Hudson Valley A- 45 179 33 50 12 2 3 20 2 11 42 .279 .340 .419 .759 75
2011 21 Bowling Green A 127 480 73 133 34 4 22 81 5 38 128 .277 .346 .502 .848 241
2012 22 2 Teams A+-AA 132 505 71 141 28 10 14 75 4 32 114 .279 .338 .457 .796 231
2012 22 Charlotte A+ 98 372 49 105 21 9 10 58 4 25 78 .282 .343 .468 .811 174
2012 22 Montgomery AA 34 133 22 36 7 1 4 17 0 7 36 .271 .324 .429 .753 57
2013 23 Jacksonville AA 26 94 16 27 7 2 3 14 2 15 21 .287 .417 .500 .917 47
4 Seasons 330 1258 193 351 81 18 42 190 13 96 305 .279 .348 .472 .820 594
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/4/2013.

A smart acquisition by the Marlins this offseason in the Yunel Escobar deal, Dietrich is an under-the-radar prospect who seems to do nothing but hit, while playing a premium middle infield position. He was the Marlins No.8 prospect coming into the season (MLB.com), and he is currently 5th in the Southern League in total bases. He appears to have taken a drastically improved approach at the plate, as well, having taken 15 walks already after walking 32 times all season in 2012. With Donovan Solano ahead of him in Miami and a very weak group of talent there, especially with Giancarlo Stanton hurt, Dietrich could make an impact later this season, especially if he continues to rake the way that he has to this point in 2013.

Smith

Burch Smith, RHP, San Diego Padres

Year Age Tm Lev W L W-L% ERA GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 SO/BB
2011 21 Padres Rk 0 0 4.50 0 2.0 3 2 1 0 1 4 2.000 13.5 4.00
2012 22 Lake Elsinore A+ 9 6 .600 3.85 26 128.2 127 62 55 11 27 137 1.197 8.9 5.07
2013 23 San Antonio AA 1 2 .333 1.15 6 31.1 16 8 4 1 6 37 0.702 4.6 6.17
3 Seasons 10 8 .556 3.33 32 162.0 146 72 60 12 34 178 1.111 8.1 5.24
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/4/2013.

How can you be the 20th ranked prospect (MLB.com) in a pretty weak system, when you’re fastball sits 93-95 while touching 97 and you post numbers as absurd as Smith has? The guy has a 174:33 K:BB over his last 160 innings, and while his 3.85 ERA looks inflated from 2012, he was pitching in the hitter’s paradise California League. Sure, his secondary stuff may be lagging, but Tony Cingrani has looked pretty solid in the majors and throughout his minor league career using a fastball at alarmingly high rates. The fact that dynasty league fantasy baseball players may not be familiar with him is also surprising, considering he will be pitching half of his games in San Diego. Smith has dominated this season, and for a 14th round selection out of Oklahoma, the 6’4″ right-hander has been a smart investment by the Padres.


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