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Thread: MiLB Fun With Numbers

  1. #1
    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    MiLB Fun With Numbers

    Some thoughts after the first 10 games or so of the minor league season:

    • Daytona has a chance to be pretty good.

    There's a lot of talent on that roster. Yerlin Confidan looks like he might be a real piece moving forward. (That 25% K% is promising, especially in that it's early in the season and K rate typically drop as pitchers get a bit more tired and hitters get used to the grind.) Jay Allen looks even better. (Watch him hit-- he looks like he's in control.) More importantly, Austin Hendrick has locked in for the past four days. Julian Aguiar looks interesting. Chase Petty throws really, really hard. (Haven't seen that first-hand yet.)

    There's a lot to like.

    But they have to finish games. They've lost multiple late leads and extra inning games because of a lack of adequacy in the 'Tuga bullpen. It generally takes a bit of time to get things straight and the piggyback starter (more on that in a minute) system puts pitchers in unenviable situations in terms of pitches thrown, fatigue, and finishing out games. (Assuming those pitchers move up, that will be beneficial, but it hurts at the nonce.)

    • Austin Hendrick can be a difference-maker.

    Four BBs in four games' time is pretty much what Austin Hendrick does-- Hendrick lays off a whole bunch of pitches. 3 Ks in 18 PAs is major progress. With his power and bat (ultra quick), I'd love to see Hendrick shorten his two-strike approach-- there's enough pop there to see him successful even as he looks to cover the plate. Right now, he's got a wRC+ of 197. That'll play in any league even with a 34% K%. But he needs to take advantage of his prodigious tools. The good news is that he's a cold-weather prospect-- those guys can take a couple of years before they figure things out. Perhaps due to the pandemic, this is the season. Hope springs, right?

    • TJ Friedl's full name is Terry Lee Friedl. Why, then, does he have the nickname "TJ"?

    It makes no sense. He should be TL-- which is bad-- or Terry Lee-- which makes him sound like a NASCAR driver. (With that mullet, it could work.) There's no "J" in Terry or Lee. Just sayin'.

    • Piggyback in black.

    Daytona is using the piggyback system. That's intriguing, as Red brass obviously believes they have enough starting talent to make it work. I remain unconvinced. In previous iterations of piggybacking (2005, 2006), the Reds developed Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood. Maybe they've got another duo like that. It'd be helpful, that's for sure. This may be an early season thing or it may be a sign of things to come. Either way, it bears watching.

    • Talking with the fans

    Chattanooga hasn't yet provided a probable starting pitcher. The Reds haven't said one word about would-be injuries to legitimate prospects Ivan Johnson, Tyler Callihan, Christian Roa, and Bryce Bonnin. We only heard about Lyon Richardson's TJ surgery well after the fact-- and as a there-and-you-might-miss-it blurb in another article.

    Why do the Reds hate their fans so much?

    How hard would it be to put out a list of those who are hurt... or who might pitch in each league that day?

    Public relations requires both a relationship and being, y'know, public. It'd be super easy to just create a Twitter account and type a couple things a day.

    It's an easy fix too.

    Sigh.

    • Dayton is good. They have a chance to be really good.

    The offensive side of the ball has a really nice blend of difference-makers and high floors, veterans and wunderkinds. And they haven't really stretched out yet. Nick Quintana has been a pleasant surprise, walking (5) nearly as often as he's K'ed (6). He's 24, same at Mitch McGarry, who's currently leading the team in slugging percentage and HR. Ashton Creal, 23, after getting his feet wet last season, is showing some things while playing both LF and CF. The young guys-- Rece Hinds and Elly De La Cruz-- are holding their own. There are a couple of 2021 draftees who are on the struggle bus right now-- Mat Nelson and Jose Torres. Both should see their numbers bump as the temperature does.

    The pitching staff is equally well organized. Andrew Abbott looks like the real deal as a starter. James Proctor, Joe Boyle, and Conner Phillips also look interesting (after having looked interesting last year too). Among James Marinan, Evan Kravetz, and Thomas Farr, they have upside and adequacy to improve. Too, if you didn't notice, that's a six-man starting staff, with Kravetz on the outside looking in. Why is Dayton trying a different plan than Daytona. Good question. Regardless, I really like Dayton's makeup as a team. They're 6-3 and it feels like they've barely scratched the surface.

    • Perception Quiz: Who's older-- Matt McLain or Michael Siani?

    I'm guessing you, like me, thought Siani by a couple of years. They're the same age. They're also hitting really well in AA. Up the middle prospects who can hit well are really, really valuable. Guys who can play up the middle and have secondary skills-- running, defense, killer arm, awesome plate approach, leadership, et al.-- even moreso. Both guys seem like keepers at this point.

    One statistic to note: Siani has more BBs than Ks. How nice would it be for a Red prospect to show that proclivity over the course of an entire season? I don't expect it to continue, but it'd sure be nice if it did.

    • Speed kills.

    The Lookouts have 12 SB against 3 CS. The Dragons are at 13 SB v. 4 CS. Daytona is at 13 and 3. That's a great rate throughout all three levels. (We won't talk about Louisville's 6 and 3.) That looks to be a point of emphasis among Red coaches. Something worth watching, at any rate.

    • Let TJ play

    TJ Hopkins has quietly put up some pretty solid AA numbers over 2021 and 2022. .270/ .352/ .446 for a CF-capable three position backup sounds pretty nice to me. It's positively Ruthian when compared to the wet noodles most Red OF are swinging right now. But he gets next to no love from the prognosticators (or from Cincinnati brass). These are the type of prospects that would drive me batty when I was younger. I'd see their production and think they were truly outstanding. As is, I still suspect more often than not, they'd be serviceable if found a role. (The New Dodger Way seems to indicate 12-year-old BZ was right, to some extent.) He's been the third (or fourth, depending on what you think of Leonardo Rivas) boxcar of the Chattanooga Express.

    He's also 25. And Louisville sucks. Might be time for a quick promotion.

    • Help is on the way-- maybe.

    Chattanooga has a couple of really interesting relief arms in its bullpen. (More, actually. But two to highlight today.) Jared Solomon has the stuff to dominate major league hitters similarly to the way he's dominating minor league hitters-- if he can find the consistency to do so. He's an extremely under-the-radar prospect, but his stuff (high 90s topping out at 100 plus a very good cutter and changeup) is good enough to perform right now. He's also on the 40-man roster, so I'm sure he'll get his shot.

    Stevie Branche puts up numbers that'd look good in God mode OOTP. His frisbee slider is a 60 pitch. So is his high 90s fastball. That's a guy Kyle Boddy "found" and developed. Both are arms to watch. They're worth the time.

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    bing (04-18-2022),fondfoat (04-19-2022),JCM11 (04-18-2022),RiverRat13 (04-18-2022)


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  4. #2
    Member Tuff Nut's Avatar
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    Re: MiLB Fun With Numbers

    Could the 'J' in TJ Freidel's name be for "Junior"?.. I have no idea if his dad's name is Terry or not.., but that would make some sense out of his name.

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    mth123 (04-18-2022)

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    Member Mitri's Avatar
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    Re: MiLB Fun With Numbers

    Good writeup! Thanks for your contributions so far this year.

    It's really nice to see McLain slugging like he is. 9 xbhs in 8 games is impressive. I'd let him continue to work on his approach in AA for a half-season, then move him up to AAA with an eye on 2B with the Reds next year. India-Barrero-McLain is a very solid young infield core.

  7. #4
    15 game winner Danny Serafini's Avatar
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    Re: MiLB Fun With Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff Nut View Post
    Could the 'J' in TJ Freidel's name be for "Junior"?.. I have no idea if his dad's name is Terry or not.., but that would make some sense out of his name.
    That's what it is, he's Terry Jr.

  8. #5
    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Re: MiLB Fun With Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitri View Post
    Good writeup! Thanks for your contributions so far this year.

    It's really nice to see McLain slugging like he is. 9 xbhs in 8 games is impressive. I'd let him continue to work on his approach in AA for a half-season, then move him up to AAA with an eye on 2B with the Reds next year. India-Barrero-McLain is a very solid young infield core.
    My pleasure.

    McLain is an interesting guy. I'm not sure if I'd go 2B or CF. I lean to 2B, but wonder what Max Schrock might do with consistent playing time and a clean bill of health. For a team that's likely not going to try to compete, he's worth the PAs to see.

    I also see CF as problematic. Like Schrock, Senzel can't seem to stay healthy. I'd probably have McLain learn both (as well as 3B) and have a four-position up the middle defender/ Ben Zobrist clone for six years of team control. That way I'd be hedging my CF/ 2B/ 3B bets and making my team stronger.

    The emergence of Michael Siani and/or Lorenzo Cedrola may make that a moot point, however.

    What the Reds desperately need (and don't have in the upper minors at all) is a big bopper. They should have mountains of cash to offer a free agent corner OF and an open spot. I'd throw a pile of cash at Joey Gallo and another lesser pile at Mitch Haniger to see if they'd be interested in plying their trade in Cincinnati. That team, with health and luck, might surprise. (It irritates me greatly that the Reds had two difference-making corner OF last season and let both go because ownership was too cheap to pay for them.)

  9. #6
    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Re: MiLB Fun With Numbers

    Matt McLain named Southern League Player of the Week.

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    Old school 1983 (04-18-2022)


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