Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baby Birds

I haven't written about the O's recently, so I'll get back to that this evening. For now, let's take a look around the minors.

AAA pitching:

Hayden Penn - 24 IP, 25 H, 2 HR, 5 BB, 17 K, 4.88 ERA. He's been a bit unlucky, but a K:BB ratio of over 3 is nice to see.

Garrett Olson - 22 1/3 IP, 19 H, 1 HR, 7 BB, 24 HR, 1.61 ERA. I expect Olson to be in the majors sooner rather than later. If he can translate even part of that good K-rate to the majors, then he should be OK.

Radhames Liz - 14 2/3 IP, 21 H, 2 HR, 4 BB, 14 K, 7.98 ERA. Liz has been unlucky too, but the solid K-rate and (relatively) low walk-rate should translate into success if he keeps them up.

All three guys should see time for the O's sometime this year.

AA offense:

Nolan Reimold - 63 AB, 190 / 274 / 270, 1 HR, 8 BB, 13 K. I like the solid walk rate, but nothing else. The lack of power is especially worrying, but I expect him to pick it up soon, and be in the majors in September at the latest.

AA pitching:

David Hernandez - 20 IP, 17 H, 2 HR, 10 BB, 26 K, 2.70 ERA. He led the Carolina League in K's last year, and he's picking right up with that again. The walks are high, but not by way too much. David doesn't quite have the ceiling of some of the other O's pitching prospects, but he looks like he can be a solid major-leaguer.

Jason Berken - 16 IP, 16 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 13 K, 2.81 ERA. Berken probably ranks below Hernandez, but his stats look really impressive thus far.

Chorye Spoone - 15 IP, 15 H, 1 HR, 9 BB, 13 K, 3.00 ERA. Spoone's been unlucky with balls in play, but his ground ball percentage is down to 57% this year. He had a "break-out" season last year in part because he got his walks under control - that trend needs to continue this year.

Chris Tillman - 11 1/3 IP, 6 H, 0 HR, 9 BB, 9 K, 3.18 ERA. Tillman hasn't started out well this year, with his ERA being kept that low by an unsustainable BABIP rate. He is making the jump to AA though, so I think he'll make the necessary adjustments.

A offense:

Matt Wieters - 45 AB, 422 / 518 / 756, 4 HR, 10 BB, 7 K. I know it's only A-ball, but Wieters is hitting so well that he actually may see time in the majors this year. A 1.274 OPS is awesome anywhere. Top prospect indeed.

A pitching:

Jake Arrieta - 19 2/3 IP, 10 H, 0 HR, 12 BB, 26 K, 2.75 ERA. The walk-rate is high and the hit-rate is low (lucky), but those strike-outs are what I'm looking at right now. Great draft pick.

Brandon Erbe - 16 2/3 IP, 14 H, 3 HR, 2 BB, 18 K, 3.78 ERA. He's gotten that K-rate up to where it was before, and that walk-rate is way down. If he can keep this two things up, then he should move back up people top prospect lists.

R pitching:

Tony Butler - 17 IP, 17 H, 2 HR, 2 BB, 12 K, 3.71 ERA. The problem with Butler was his control, but he's done well with that so far. It would be nice to see him dominate a bit more, but as the fourth piece in the Bedard trade, he looks pretty good.

The pitching prospects (well, many of them) are looking good and Wieters is raking in A-ball. Hopefully a top position prospect falls to the O's in the draft, because that's where the system is weakest. It's on the way up, though.

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