Watch These Players – Update
See what I’m doin’ here? One idea. Two posts! On August 8th I provided a list of players freshly squeezed from the loins of the minor leagues. Here is how they have fared so far, plus a couple of additions. Part One can be found here. For this update I have only linked to players who have numbers worthy of browsing.
New To the List:
Jean Segura (MIL) – Called up by the Angels and then almost immediately traded to the Brewers in the Zach Greinke deal, Segura’s total lack of experience above AA has shown at the plate, but not in the field. So far he has yet to produce an extra base hit, but has a spactacular UZR/150 of 16.4. Brendan Ryan, by far the best defensive SS in the game, has a 24.3. The second best defender at the position is Clint Barmes, who stands at 15.6.
Manny Machado (BAL) – The Orioles surprised us all with this possibly reckless move, but with the team currently holding a Wild Card spot, they had to make some noise. That’s just what Machado has done since joining the big club. His numbers with the O’s have been better than his AA numbers in his first 34 plate appearances. AA- .266/.352/.438, good for a 122 wRC+. MLB-.303/.324/.727 and a 177 wRC+. the encouraging thing for the young SS turned 3B is that his BABIP has remained consistent with his minor league numbers, which means that his early success could be sustainable.
Starry (Keep watching):
Matt Harvey (NYM) – Harvey has been jaw dropping. He had another brilliant outing on Friday, striking out 8 in 7.2 IP. He allowed just one run on four hits, reaching 97mph with his fastball, and leaving batters waving at the change. He has room for improvement in BB/9 (3.9), but his 1.13 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 numbers are elite. The Mets have a good young pitcher… Ooh, that feels weird to say!
Travis Snider (PIT) – Neil Huntington is looking like a genius for snagging Snider at the deadline. Since coming to the NL, the young RF has been terrific. He’s put up a slash line of .319/.377/.494. If sustained for an entire season his 124 wRC+ would land him between stars like Adam Jones (130) and Jay Bruce (121).
Starling Marte (PIT) – Before going down on Saturday with what sounds like a minor oblique injury, Marte provided some timely hits for a team that needed a lift on offense. Unlike Snider, he had no previous MLB experience, but has been well on pace to fulfill the 20/20 potential scouts expected, while actually underperforming in BABIP compared with his minor league numbers.
Chris Carter (OAK) – If Chris Carter wanted a date with a baseball, his pickup line would be “You know what I want.” What I mean to say is that if he played a full season at his current HR pace, he would hit 50 dongers. He is also walking 18.1% of the time, but it’s more fun to talk about the “white thing go fly.”
Dan Straily (OAK) – When a guy who has never pitched above AA comes into the middle of a pennant race and delivers a 1.18 WHIP and a 2.12 BB/9 over his first three starts, simultaneously embodying and signaling the beginning of a resurgence of that distinctively A’s brand of winning, excuse me, but that’s amazulous.
Josh Rutledge (COL) – Full steam ahead. Rutledge has continued providing a bright spot for the mostly miserable the Rockies. Since August 8th he’s 8-28 striking out just 4 times in that span. I’d be shocked not to see him at 2B next Opening Day. (The reason he is only listed as solid is that his upside isn’t has high as the group above.)
Pink in the Center (Talented but not ready):
Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters (CHC) – So da one guy, he says to dee udda guy, “what are Jackson and Vitters’ swings made of? Swiss Cheese?” “Why” dee udda guy says to him. And the foyst guy, he says “Cuz they got so many holes.” Jackson’s strikeout rate has been even worse than that joke (48.9%) and it’s the same story on defense (-74.2 UZR/150). Vitters has doubled his strikeout rate from AAA (17.4% -32.4%) and has failed to draw a single walk. Neither has shown us anything yet, but next year could be a different story. If you’re watching the Cubs this year just make sure you catch Anthony Rizzo’s ABs.
Anthony Gose (TOR) – When the young speedster puts the ball in play, good things happen (he has stolen 10 bases). The problem has been his ability to do so. 37.3% of his 87 plate appearances have resulted in strikouts. His goatee is a perfect metaphor for his skill set. It’s there, but he has yet to put the parts together.
Snooze Fest (Don’t “Watch These Players” anymore):
Wellington Castillo (CHC) – Castillo has held his own, but has been getting much less playing time than Steve Clevenger.
Trayvon Robinson (SEA) – The young outfielder hasn’t looked particularly good or bad so far. He has been rather unremarkable outside of a highlight reel catch he made on Friday night.
Matt McBride (COL) – 20 ABs, 7Ks. With OF Charlie Blackmon healthy, Tyler Colvin will spend more time at first. Depending on the severity of Michael Cuddyer’s injury there may not be a lot of opportunity.