Saturday, June 23, 2007

What the deal with SLC?

Some good news on Brandon Wood, he's hit .288/.373/.562 in June to bring his overall numbers to .250/.344/.450. He's striking out in 28% of his at bats, a big improvement from last year. He's also learning some versatility, splitting time between 3rd and shortstop.

The numbers are not what we expected but look much more respectable than after his awful May. We expected more from him especially because he's doing this in a top hitting park of a great hitters league. Or is he?

Wood has hit .221/.331/.389 in Salt Lake, and .276/.357/.504 on the road. Terry Evans has hit about the same at home and on the road, with the major difference being all but one of his walks has been at home. Haynes hit slightly better at home, Matt Brown a bit better on the road, Mathis has only hit at home, while Gorneault has hit poorly on the road but not at all at home.

Overall, the offensive numbers do not look like SLC teams of the past. Does anyone know if there have been changes to the park this year? Or is it just one of those things that happens? Too bad I can't get more info from, it looks like all the team data there is last year's data.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Big Bart

He had a great return to the 2007 season, especially his dominant start against Tampa Bay, but Bartolo's statistics are eerily similar to the crappy injury season he put up last year.
2006 56.3 71 11 31 32
2007 53.7 67 10 35 34

I wouldn't be totally opposed to Bartolo returning in 2008, but it would have to be a substantial paycut, a short term deal, and filled with incentives.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Where would Joe pitch?

On Halos Heaven, there is a discussion on how many teams Joe Saunders could start for after Keith Law seemingly dissed Joe by calling him "an up and down guy".

So, I've asked myself what rotation spot Joe Saunders would fill if he were on any of the other 29 teams. This represents my opinion, I'm not going to put him ahead of Johan Santana just because he has a better ERA so far, and I'm not going to put him behind pitchers who I don't think are very good just because they are off to good starts either. I think in a full season, Joe is capable of giving you an ERA between 4.00-4.50 in the American League, and eating some innings, and keeping you in most every game.

AL East:

NYY: #3 after Pettite, Wang
BOS: #5
TOR: #3
TB: #3 - easiest decision since 1 and 2 are really good, and 3-5 are horrible.
BAL: #4 after Bedard, Cabrera, Guthrie. Guthrie is close because his track record coming into the season was not as good as Saunders, but he's been really good this year, and had a win against the Angels until Super Vlad faced Chris Ray.

CLE: #5 - I'm giving Lee and Westbrook, injured and pitching poorly so far, benefit of the doubt. He and Carmona are both good candidates for #5, Sowers back to the minors.
DET: #4
CWS: #5 - Battle with John Danks
KC: #2 after Meche
MIN: #4

SEA: #3 after King and Wash
OAK: #4 possibly ahead of Kennedy, at least #5
TEX: Ace - Their whole rotation has ERA's over 6. Maybe #2 as Millwood when healthy is better than this, and pitching in front of Kinsler and Young would not be good for Saunders' ERA.

NL East:
Mets: #5
Braves: #4
Phils: #4
Marlins: #3 after Willis, Olsen, #4 if you think Mitre is for real
Nats: ACE - Bergmann and Hill are hurt, track record not great for either anyway.

MIL: #6 - one of the few teams with as much depth as the Angels. Despite his ERA, I think David Bush can pitch, besides they have Gallardo in AAA and he's a better prospect than Saunders, or pretty much anybody else for that matter.
CHC: #5 - Cubs have had several pitchers in that spot, if they had Saunders from day one Marshall, Guzman, and Miller would never have been asked to make starts.
STL: ACE I'd rather have him than Looper. Others have been horrible, Ace until Carpenter comes back.
PIT: #3
HOU: #2, only Oswalt ahead of him
CIN: Probably #3 after Arroyo and Harang. He might be the best of the group. Those two were better in 2006, but this year they are no better than Kyle Lohse. Weak National League. I know Saunders is better than Lohse

Dodgers: #4 after Lowe, Penny , Wolf
SD: #5 I don't know where Germano came from, but Saunders would have had first crack
AZ: Another tough one to crack. Probably #6 here, might have beat out Owings for #5
COL: #3 after Francis and Cook
SF: #6 Another deep rotation.

So besides the Angels, there are 3 rotations he would not be starting in, and at least 3 teams where he would be the ace, at least with current injuries.

Willits DH?

Reggie Willits is the DH, with an outfield of Garret Anderson, Gary Matthews Jr, and SuperVlad, even though Willits might just be the best defensive outfielder of the group. Either him or Matthews.

But at least that means there is no Hillenbrand in the lineup, and that is something to celebrate.

Friday, June 01, 2007

What's wrong with Brandon Wood?

Our top prospect is not hitting quite what we expected. After dominating the California league at age 20, he wasn't quite as good in AA, but still hit for a lot of power with a .276/.355/.552 line.

A lot of Angels prospects have done better in AAA than in AA over the years, thanks to great hitters parks and the PCL being even more of a hitters league than the Texas league. I was expecting big things from Wood, but so far he's only hit .234/.332/.401. The good news is his strikeouts are down a bit, 33% of his at bats last year, 29% this year.

Looking at Minor League Splits, his groundball percentage is up, 46% from 32%. His line drives are up 18% from 15%, while his popups are down to 5% from 13%. Flyballs are also down, 30% vs 41%.

Is this a conscious attempt to change on his part? Is he trying to level out his swing to avoid K's and popups? Or is it pitchers more skilled at keeping the ball down against him at this level? He's the type of hitter who needs to get the ball in the air, there aren't many extra bases on the ground. He still has a lot of work to do before he's ready for the majors, but the lower strikeout and popup percentages, plus the improved line drive percentage are all good signs, these are things he needs to do if he wants to hit above .250 in the big leagues.

Wood homered tonight, second night in a row, and is up to 7 on the year. Lets hope he stays hot for awhile.