HHP: RZNJ Muses on Minors

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Yelin Rodriguez, drafted in the 20th round last year and doesn’t turn 19 until November has pitched 6.2 innings with 3 hits, 1 HB, 1 walk allowed and 12 strikeouts.   Definitely someone to keep an eye on in the GCL.   Gray Fenter and Lazaro Levya are on the comeback trail from injury and both off to slow starts.

Gillian Wernet, an 18 year old signed from Aruba has pitched 6 scoreless over his last 3 appearances with the GCL Orioles as well.

The success of Brennan Hanifee and Toby Myers in the NY Penn League makes me wonder it the O’s will take it slower with future HS pitchers.   Both are pitching like they could have handled Delmarva this year but were held back in extended spring training and now getting a normal workload (6 innings or so per start).     There are some interesting relievers to keep on eye on at Aberdeen but I’m intrigued by the 20 year old Ruben Garcia who has pitched 5 innings with 3 hits, 4 walks, and 10 strikeouts.   Garcia was picked in the 14th round last year and was noted for his chiseled physique (6’4 220).

Jean Carillo is a Panamanian catcher who just turned 20 and someone to keep an eye on IF his offense comes around.   He has a history of throwing out base runners and according to baseball reference has thrown out 6 of 10 so far this year which is incredibly good with inexperience pitchers on the mound.

At Delmarva, while Jake Ring and others are fading in the 2nd half, Preston Palmeiro just keeps producing.   Palmeiro has his overall OPS up to .785 and is .957 over his last 16 games.   With 17 doubles, 3 triples, and 11 homers in 78 games, Palmeiro is redifining himself from pure hitter with little power into an all around hitter with pop.    Although he has struck out 82 times in 294 AB’s he’s gotten them under control as the season has worn on, evidenced by only 13 in his last 63 AB’s.    A 22 year old in Low A is nothing to get too excited about but he is putting up a very nice season and it’s not like he was a 1st round pick (7th round).     That’s where Mancini started so you never know.

Also at Delmarva, are Jon Peluffo, who just turned 20, Matt Dietz (21) and Alex Wells (20).    Wells has performed the best.  Peluffo has done well in limited innings.   Dietz has struggled but survived.

The home field in Frederick looks to be a home run haven.   Ryan Mountastle (12 homes at home/ 3 on the road).  Ademar Rifaela (10 homes at home/ 4 on the road).  Yermin Mercedes (6 at home/ 1 on the road).  Araiz (4 at home/ 1 on the road), Murphy (5 at home/ 3 on the road), Hoelscher (3 at home/1 on the road),     Austin Hays seems like the only one to buck that trend with 7 at home and 9 on the road.   However, the lesson might be to take a grain of salt on some of the power numbers in Frederick.

As for the pitchers in Frederick, Keegan Akin has given up 10 homers in 11 home games and no homers in 5 road games.  Gonzalez 5 home and 2 road.   Peralta with 6 at home and 1 on the road.   The only pitcher I found who reverses that split is Sedlock with 1 at home and 4 on the road.     Can anyone get the team stats for home and away?   I think they might be a bit illuminating.

Adrian Marin hit .337 in June and is hitting .333 so far in July.    He’s probably a utility guy down the road but he’s gone from non prospect to at least on the radar again.    D.J Stewart is putting together a very quiet but solid season.    I can’t help but think that there are better things to come.   Stewart missed some time in June with injury and had his worst month with just 1 double and 1 triple and no home runs in 21 games.   He OPS’d over .800 in both April and May with 6 doubles and 4 homers in each month.    So far in July he is hitting .357 with 1 double and 2 home runs.

A very disturbing statistic is Chance Sisco’s number of strikeouts.   72 in 232 AB’s for essentially a supposedly “pure hitter” with little power.    Those strikeout numbers are a red flag even for a power hitter let alone someone with 3 home runs (albeit 17 doubles in 66 games).    The trend is not improving much with 23 strikeouts in 79 AB’s in June and 5 in 14 in July.     While I’m encouraged by his prospect ranking by outsiders, I certainly don’t see him as being ready to begin next season on the Orioles.    He certainly seems like a player who needs another year in AAA both defensively and offensively.

Norfolk is supposedly one of the best pitcher’s parks in the minors.   Unfortunately, the Tides had a team 4.53 ERA which ranks 12 of 14 teams.   Don’t look to the farm for help anytime soon.