Results tagged ‘ Bryce Brentz ’
By Ashley Marshall
With the 2013 MLB Draft starting Thursday, we thought we’d take the next few days to run down how some of the more intriguing picks out of the top rounds from the last few Drafts have fared. On Monday, we looked at 2009.
Today, we turn our attention to 2010.
The 2010 Draft had a little bit of everything, both at the time of the event and — retrospectively — in the three years that have passed.
While Bryce Harper, a highly touted outfielder from a junior college in Southern Nevada, made the most news, the Draft stands out for several other reasons.
Two right-handers taken inside the first 15 picks chose to attend college rather than sign with a Major league team. One — Karston Whitson — missed the entire 2013 college season with a shoulder injury while the other — Dylan Convey — may never have a pro career after he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
The Draft also saw a toolsy young shortstop called Manny Machado draw comparisons with Alex Rodriguez and baseball’s current No. 5 prospect Taijuan Walker selected 43rd overall as the Mariners only pick as compensation for the loss of Adrian Beltre.
Eight first-rounders from this Draft class have already made it to the Majors, while four others are ranked inside MLB.com’s Top 100.
- Bryce Harper, Washington (2013: MLB Nationals)
- Jameson Taillon, Pirates (2013: Double-A Altoona)
- Manny Machado, Orioles (2013: Baltimore) — A two-time Futures Game selection, Machado has played almost one-third of his total professional games in the Majors. The shortstop — the first one drafted by the O’s in the first round since 1974 — appeared in 51 regular-season games with the Orioles in 2012 and he’s currently hitting .327 with 30 RBIs in 57 contests this year. He’s the only high schooler from the 2010 first round to make the Majors so far.
- Christian Colon, Royals (2013: Triple-A Omaha)
- Drew Pomeranz, Indians (2013: Triple-A Colorado Springs) – Acquired by the Rockies as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal in 2011, Pomeranz is one of only two left-handers from the first round of this Draft class to reach the Majors. He is 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 26 big league starts over two seasons, numbers that are part of why he’s back at Triple-A Colorado Springs again this year. In 11 2013 PCL games, he is 6-1 with a 4.26 mark.
- Barret Loux, D-backs (2013: Triple-A Iowa) — The D-backs opted not to sign Loux due to injury concerns, but he signed as a free agent by the Texas Rangers on Nov. 18, 2010. Last November, he was dealt to the Cubs for former teammate Jake Brigham.
- Matt Harvey, Mets (2013: MLB Mets) — Few rookies have ever made the impact that Harvey has this year. In 12 starts with the Mets, the right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA. The North Carolina product — who went 20-10 in the Minors — showed glimpses of this potential in 10 starts in 2012, but nobody expected the level of production he’s given the big club in the first two months of the season.
- Delino DeShields, Astros (2013: Class A Advanced Lancaster)
- Karsten Whitson, Padres (2013: none; Draft eligible) — Whitson turned down a $2.1 million signing bonus to attend the University of Florida. He went a combined 12-1 in 33 games between 2011 and 2012, but he missed the entire 2013 collegiate season with a shoulder impingement. He may draw interest from teams in this year’s Draft, but he is not ranked in MLB.com’s Top 100 Draft prospects.
- Michael Choice, Athletics (2013: Triple-A Sacramento)
- Deck McGuire, Blue Jays (2013: Double-A New Hampshire)
- Yasmani Grandal, Reds (2013: MLB Padres)
- Chris Sale, White Sox (2013: MLB White Sox) – Of all 50 first-rounders from 2010, none have posted a greater WAR than Sale (12.2). He posted a 1.93 ERA in 21 games in 2010, and he saved eight games the following year. Converted to a full-time starter last season, Sale went 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA in 30 games, striking out 192 batters in as many innings en route to finishing sixth in AL Cy Young voting. This season, he’s 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA in nine starts.
- Dylan Covey, Brewers (2013: none; Draft eligible) — Convey chose to attend the University of San Diego rather than going pro after being diagnosed with diabetes days before the signing deadline. In his sophomore year at college in 2012, he went 6-3 with a 3.32 ERA while holding opponents to a .247 batting average over 81 1/3 innings. He had just a 5.05 ERA in 16 appearances this spring for the Toreros.
- Jake Skole, Rangers (2013: Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach)
- Hayden Simpson, Cubs (2013: released) – Released at end of spring training, Simpson hasn’t pitched this year. For his career, he sports a 6.42 ERA over 30 starts and 26 relief appearances with Chicago’s Minor League system. He did not pitch professionally the year he was selected after suffering from mononucleosis, and he never lived to the promise of the Cubs only first-round pick that year.
- Josh Sale, Rays (2013: suspended) – Sale has not endeared himself to Tampa Bay. In August he was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for methamphetamine and an amphetamine. He came off the restricted list and was added to the roster of the Charlotte Stone Crabs, but before he had a chance to make his season debut he was suspended indefinitely for throwing two quarters at a dancer in a strip club and then posting about it on Facebook.
- Kaleb Cowart, Angels (2013: Double-A Arkansas)
- Michael Foltynewicz, Astros (2013: Double-A Corpus Christi)
- Kolbrin Vitek, Red Sox (2013: Double-A Portland)
- Alex Wimmers, Twins (2013: Double-A New Britain; injured) — Wimmers missed most of 2012 with a right elbow injury, and he has not pitched in 2013. A two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year at Ohio State, he has pitched in just 19 games in his professional career.
- Kellin Deglan, Rangers (2013: Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach)
- Christian Yelich, Marlins (2013: Double-A Jacksonville)
- Gary Brown, Giants (2013: Triple-A Fresno)
- Zack Cox, Cardinals (2013: Double-A Jacksonville) — Acquired by the Marlins from the Cardinals in July, Cox originally improved his Draft stock by 20 rounds after going to the University of Arkansas instead of signing with the Dodgers in 2008. He saw time at Triple-A Memphis last summer before being dealt to the Marlins for Edward Mujica last July. He’s been with Double-A Jacksonville since the trade.
- Kyle Parker, Rockies (2013: Double-A Tulsa)
- Jesse Biddle, Phillies (2013: Double-A Reading)
- Zach Lee, Dodgers (2013: Double-A Chattanooga)
- Cam Bedrosian, Angels (2013: Class A Burlington)
- Chevy Clarke, Angels (2013: Class A Burlington) – Los Angeles took outfielder Clarke one pick after they selected pitcher Bedrosian, who grew up just 50 miles from Clarke in Georgia. Both 21 years old, they have been teammates in the Arizona and Midwest Leagues together and they both started 2013 a bit behind schedule in Burlington.
- Justin O’Conner, Tampa Bay (2013: Class A Bowling Green)
- Cito Culver, Yankees (2013: Class A Charleston)
- Mike Kvasnicka, Houston (2013: Disabled list in Twins Org) – Drafted by the Astros as a catcher, Kvasnicka struggled in his first two years of pro ball when the organization tried him at third base and as a corner outfielder. The 24-year-old was traded to the Twins — the team that tried to sign him in the 31st round of the 2007 Draft out of high school — in March, but surgery to repair a broken hamate bone has seen him sidelined this season.
- Aaron Sanchez, Toronto (2013: Class A Advanced Dunedin)
- Matt Lipka, Atlanta (2013: Class A Advanced Lynchburg) – A shortstop at McKinney High School in Texas, Lipka has transitioned to the outfield. He tore his hamstring last summer, and that limited him to 199 at-bats in 2012. Back with the Hillcats for a second year, he’s looking to get back on track. He’s already hit for the cycle this season.
- Byrce Brentz, Boston (2013: Triple-A Pawtucket) – Overlooking the fact that Brentz hit .198 in his rookie year in Lowell, he batted .298 with 47 homers and 170 RBIs across four levels over the past two years. A hitter through and through, Brentz — who moved from left field to right without any issues — is already on pace to better his 2012 power numbers from Double-A Portland this year in Pawtucket.
- Taylor Lindsey, LA Angels (2013: Double-A Arkansas)
- Noah Syndergaard, Toronto (2013: Class A Advanced St. Lucie) – Acquired by the Mets in the deal that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays in December, the 6-foot-6 prep right-hander is looking to build on his 2012 successes with Lansing. Syndergaard has the stuff to record a strikeout per inning in the Florida State League (59 in 57 2/3 IP), and there’s every chance he can post a sub-3.00 ERA (currently at 2.81).
- Anthony Ranaudo, Boston (2013: Double-A Portland) – LSU has seen one of its players drafted in the first round each year since 2009. Ranaudo went 1-3 with a 6.69 ERA in the Eastern League last year, but he’s 6-1 with a 1.48 mark this year at the same level.
- Ryan Bolden, LA Angels (2013: Unassigned in Angels Org) – Drafted as an 18-year-old out of Madison Central High School, Bolden has spent each of the past three years in the Arizona League. The right fielder hit .187 in his rookie year but saw his average drop in each of the following two seasons. He has not played yet in 2013.
- Asher Wojciechowski, Toronto (2013: Triple-A Oklahoma City) – Acquired by the Astros in part of a 10-player deal with the Blue Jays last July, Wojciechowski is looking to build on a 2012 season that saw him go 9-5 with a 3.09 ERA between two organizations. After six superb Texas League appearances to start 2013, he was promoted to the RedHawks of the PCL.
- Drew Vettleson, Tampa Bay (2013: Class A Advanced Charlotte) – He spun three no-hitters as an ambidextrous pitcher in high school, and he turned down a commitment to play for Oregon State University to play with the Rays. Now a right fielder, Vettleson set a Bowling Green franchise record with 139 hits in 2012.
- Taijuan Walker, Seattle (2013: Double-A Jackson) – MLB.com’s No. 5 prospect was a Southern League midseason All-Star and a Futures Game selection last year. Still just 20 years old, he’s repeating the league after going 7-10 with a 4.69 ERA there in 2012, and early signs are that he’ll make his way up to Triple-A by the end of the year.
- Nick Castellanos, Detroit (2013: Triple-A Toledo) – A third baseman in high school, the Tigers felt Castellanos was more suited to the outfield in order to help the big club in the near future. MLB.com’s No. 20 prospect finished third among all Minor League players in 2012 with 172 hits and he’s on pace to set new career highs in homers and RBIs in the International League this year.
- Luke Jackson, Texas (2013: Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach) – Jackson did not start pitching until ninth grade, but that did not stop the Rangers from drafting him 45th overall out of Florida’s Calvary Christian High School. The right-hander is repeating the Carolina League where he’s 4-4 with a 2.74 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 23 walks in 46 innings.
- Seth Blair, St. Louis (2013: Double-A Springfield)
- Peter Tago, Colorado (2013: Unassigned in Rockies Org) — Ranked 17th in the Rockies Top 20 prospects, Tago has not pitched in 2013. He walked more batters than he struck out in each of his first two years in pro ball, and his poor debut in Asheville in 2011 saw him reassigned to the Northwest League in 2012
- Chance Ruffin, Detroit (2013: Double-A Jackson)
- Mike Olt, Texas (2013: Triple-A Round Rock) – Of the eight first-rounders from the 2010 class to reach the Majors so far, none were drafted later than Olt, a supplemental pick for the loss of free agent Marlon Byrd. His big 2012 season — including 28 Double-A homers — saw him promoted to Texas, but he’s struggled in his time in the PCL, batting .139 with five extra-base hits in 20 games. He recently missed a month with vision problems, which may now be resolved.
- Tyrell Jenkins, Cardinals (2013: Class A Peoria)
By Jake Seiner
Interviewing for game stories can be a fun process. The thousands of players and coaches spread across the Minor Leagues supply a never-ending chain of unique perspectives on the national pastime. The game story isn’t always the best place for block quotes and expanded thoughts, so once a week, I’m hoping to come here with a look back at some of the more interesting conversations I stumble upon with Minor League players and coaches. Here’s a look back at some quotes from the past week that I hope you’ll find of interest.
Red Sox prospect Bryce Brentz on changes he’s made in his approach this year: (Brentz mashes walk-off no-doubter)
“I’ve always been a guy who is a free swinger, and I have some strikeouts, but the one thing me and [hitting coach] Dave Joppie are working on is controlling the body. Sometimes, I end up lunging or being too, I guess, erratic in the box and go all out and get the ball. I need to slow things down with my hands and timing. That’s been really helpful. I can see pitches better and longer. I’m seeing some good results. Baseball’s a funny game — you go through stretches where you’re doing everything right and the hits won’t fall for you. I’m sticking with the routine Joppie and I established, slowing things down, especially with my lower half. I’m evenly distributed and in a good hitting position, and it’s paying off as of late.
“The things me and Joppie have been working on have been paying off very quickly. Paying good dividends. Usually, you make a small adjustment, and it takes a while to get used to. I made a very small adjustment, but it’s been helping me out as far as being able to stay back and see pitches better and not lunge and get too aggressive. That’s been my Achilles’ heel, being over-aggressive.
“It really starts with the hands. I’ve been really moving them a lot, moving the bat back and forth and sometimes I’ll get stuck with them, then I have to go and regenerate my hands to get back where I need to be. My shoulders will get rotated and it’ll throw off a lot of things.
“I’m not saying my swing is perfect now, but I’m slowing things down with my hands, keeping even and just getting a circular flow going. That’s slowing down my whole body and putting me in the position I need to be in.”
Daytona manager Dave Keller on Chicago Cubs’ Dustin Geiger’s leg kick: (Soler, Geiger tee off for D-Cubs)
“He’s continuing to make adjustments, and that’s nice to see. Any time a guy has a leg kick, timing becomes a huge factor that you have to stay on top of. You have to stay soft and low and be very, very relaxed because the pitchers — they go to the plate at different times and their moves are all different and everything else that can mess up your timing, which is probably the most important thing about hitting.
“He’s found a way to slow himself down, more than anything. He’s slowing his mind down and slowing his mechanics down and when you can do that, the ball looks slower, and I think that’s what he’s going through right now. He’s getting good pitches to hit and using the whole field.”
Keller on Cubs’ Jorge Soler learning English:
“Well, what ends up happening with foreign players over here is that as soon as they start learning the language, they find out the American players, the English-speaking players, they can’t wait to communicate with them. We take communication for granted sometimes. We have all different kinds of crazy things in the world now, technology that we use to communicate, and we often communicate worse. With all the texting and email and everything else, sometimes it just boils back down to talking and using the same language.
“He’s learning English, and the American players are helping him. Everybody understands you can’t be embarrassed to say something that doesn’t sound like it should. That’s something a lot of Latin players go through. From his standpoint, he’s still learning, and that’s helped him open up as a person.
“He’s getting there. I know during Spring Training a month and half ago, he had no idea when I’d start talking to him. … During Spring Training, he didn’t understand much English, so I tried to talk to him slow in English. He knows I speak Spanish. All the Latin kids know I’m bilingual, so it’s easy for them to speak Spanish with me when they want, but that doesn’t help them. I tried to talk slow, and that’s how you learn. Sometimes, he’ll say, ‘Oh, oh, too fast.’”
“He’s warming up to the whole atmosphere well. It’s really nice to see.”
Yankees’ Nik Turley on what he learned squaring off against rehabbing Jason Heyward: (Turley changes things up, gets win)
“Don’t groove in a fastball first pitch of an at-bat. The first at-bat, I got him with a fastball, struck him out looking. The next at-bat, he hit the RBI double off me. He got me, but at least I got him, too.”
Arizona’s Keon Broxton on drills he’s used to improve his swing/approach: (Broxton burning with two home runs)
“I’ll put a tee right in front of the plate and focus on hitting the ball up the middle. Then I’ll put a higher tee right behind my hands. It puts me in a good hitting position to swing down through the ball. When I try to do too much, I use a lot of my body with my swing and I fly open with my shoulders and drop my back shoulder. So keeping that back tee high by my hands, it makes me go down toward the ball. If I try to get big and use my body, I’ll hit it with the bat.
“That definitely helps me a lot. In batting practice, I don’t necessarily try to pull the ball. I stay middle to right-center. I keep my shoulders in and try to work down on the ball. I don’t try to hit bombs in BP. I’ll get pull happy and keep dropping my back shoulder and try to lift everything. I’ll do some soft toss with my coach. He’ll put two balls in one hand and he’ll soft toss one that’s hard then one that’s softer, and that gets me to where I have to stay in a good hitting position and wait for the ball to come to me.”
“I’ve made tremendous progress just by doing that every day. I’m learning how to stay in a strong hitting position and waiting on the ball and learning how to use my hands and body and work down on the ball. It’s helped with my pitch recognition and helped me with my power and my strikeouts.”
Pirates’ Stetson Allie on fighting the urge to abandon his approach: (Bucs’ Allie slugs two more home runs)
“I think the biggest for me is staying with the approach. I got away from it for a while, got power hungry and was pulling off really bad. If I stay with the same thing, I can see the breaking pitches and changeups better. It just works out that way. The adjustments pitchers were making, they were coming in a little bit, but I was chasing breaking balls also. When I get my foot down and time up, I can hit the breaking ball to left field and the fastball to right field. I’m not getting away from that.”
I’m tardy on this, but in case you haven’t seen MLB.com’s report on Red Sox prospect Bryce Brentz accidentally shooting himself while cleaning his handgun, here’s the news:
When the Red Sox revealed Saturday morning that several of their top prospects were among the 19 non-roster invitees to Major League camp, it was eye-opening that outfielder Bryce Brentz wasn’t on the list.
It turns out there was an unfortunate reason behind that development. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington confirmed that Brentz recently shot himself in the leg while cleaning his handgun.
“He had an accident,” Cherington said. “He was at home [in Tennessee] cleaning a gun, and it accidentally went off. He was injured in the process. Fortunately for him, it’s something he’s going to recover from and be fine — and [it] won’t affect his baseball career. He wasn’t 100 percent physically able, or wouldn’t be at the beginning of camp. We ended up not bringing him to big league camp because he wouldn’t be able to participate 100 percent.”
I would just add this: I wrote on Jan. 25 how an injury to another Boston outfielder, Ryan Kalish, might affect Brentz’s chances of beginning next season in the Majors, but I think this latest development really ends those chances. Expect Brentz, ranked as his organization’s No. 7 prospect, back at Triple-A Pawtucket in April. He’ll have to get off to a hot start to find his way in Fenway Park by summer.
Brentz, for his part, Tweeted this message to his followers just now: “Wanna thank everyone for the concerns and prayers. I return to full practice Monday and looking forward to a great 2013 season”.
Does Another Injury to Red Sox’s Ryan Kalish Mean Another Promotion for Bryce Brentz or Jackie Bradley?
At about 3 p.m. ET, MiLB.com video contributor Matthew Stucko – he specializes in interviews with prospects — broke some news on Twitter: “BREAKING| OF Ryan Kalish likely to miss more time with another surgery. Another setback for former
@RedSox 2010 Team ROY @mlb @MinorLeagues”.
This was just confirmed by WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. Kalish missing time again — his injury history is long and includes this 2011 leg ailment — could pave the way for an earlier-than-expected ascension of Boston’s top outfield prospects: Jackie Bradley and Bryce Brentz, currently ranked as the No. 3 and 4 farmhands in the system.
I’m of the opinion that Kalish missing time more directly affects Brentz. Bradley, a gifted defensive outfielder with a knack for getting on base, has yet to play above Double-A. He will more appropriately be a likely and plenty-capable replacement for current Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who will be a free agent following the 2013 season.
So back to Brentz: Coincidentally enough, Kalish was rehabbing with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs when Brentz had one of his five-hit games last season (and, yes, there was more than one). I wrote this story about the latter outfielder that day, May 31, and quoted Brentz as saying about Kalish, comparing his own aggressive approach at the plate to the more measured tact of his veteran peer: “This is just a pit stop for him, but it was a lot of fun watching his at-bats. When he swings, he’s not up there just to swing.”
So back to the question at hand: Does Kalish potentially being out during Spring Training — and perhaps longer — leave the door open for Brentz to crack his first big league roster? Well, I think it does at least turn the knob. Brentz, by the standard of many, is an MLB-ready hitter. He will strike out his fair share — his aggressiveness is his blessing and his curse in the batter’s box — but should have no problem producing to the extent of a Kalish or a Daniel Nava, another veteran he’d have to fend off for playing time in left field. That leads us to one complication: Newly-signed vet Johnny Gomes is standing in left field, and he is a right-handed hitter in need of a lefty to platoon with. Brentz is a righty, too.
So how does Brentz make Boston’s Opening Day roster? I think he’d be helped by a Kalish injury, sure, but I also think he needs to hit so well in Spring Training as to give the Sox pause about giving Gomes so many at-bats.
What do you think?
Thanks to the Boston Red Sox’s offseason of addition, MLB.com’s No. 70 overall prospect Bryce Brentz will very likely return to Triple-A Pawtucket next spring. If, however, Boston is stitched across his chest next spring, it will be his sixth different pro jersey. Here are the previous five, in a gallery.