Results tagged ‘ Matt Davidson ’
By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com
The Minor League season has come and gone, and sadly, that means Notable Quotables will be heading into hibernation until the games start up against next spring. We’ll still have plenty of regular content, both here on the blog and over at MiLB.com, but to celebrate the end of the 2013 season and the temporary end of this column, we’re going to bring you a “Best Of” from this summer featuring each of MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects.
A quick note: Though we managed to feature just about every Top 100 prospect this season, there are a few who evaded our eyes/tape recorders for one reason or another. In that case, rather than leave you hanging, we’re going to drop in one fun fact or statistical quirk of note that hopefully reveals a little something about the player.
61. Kohl Stewart, RHP, Minnesota Twins –
Stewart on his lone start in the Appalachian League this season:
“I didn’t really have the fastball command I wanted early in the game, so I ended up throwing a lot of pitches. … I got a feel for my changeup and slider only toward the end. And I didn’t have a curveball tonight.”
62. Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Houston Astros –
Foltynewicz on his strong 2013 performance:
“I’m real excited right now. … I’m finally proving to a lot of people that I’m the real deal. People who doubt me, who thought that the Lexington season [in 2012] was some kind of fluke or something, to show people why I got drafted and what I can do. … I’m just really, really happy to be here.”
63. Eddie Rosario, 2B, Minnesota Twins –
Fort Myers manager Doug Mientkiewicz on Rosario’s plate approach:
“[Rosario's] a little unorthodox, but his barrel stays through the zone for a long time. … The great ones at the big leagues, their bats stay in the zone for forever. Eddie does that. He has a special knack for finding the ball with the barrel.”
64. Courtney Hawkins, OF, Chicago White Sox –
Hawkins on missing time with an injury and dealing with a tough 2013 season:
“Harder than the whole getting back healthy part was the sitting out, seeing your team go out every day and you’re sitting on the bench, can’t contribute, can’t do anything. … So you just learn the game more, different situations, just a couple things a day with how the game was happening or a different situation you could pick up.
“Now I feel a bit more comfortable. Back into it the first day, I got a little anxious to get something started, making something happen, and it wasn’t a good day. But I’m feeling fine. People might not see it as me developing, because of my strikeout numbers — I know people are big on that — but as far as our coaching staff and me, we know it’s coming. Got a long way to go, but it’s coming.”
Kelly did not play in 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March.
66. Brian Goodwin, OF, Washington Nationals –
Goodwin was the third youngest player in the Eastern League to hit at least 10 homers and steal at least 10 bases, joining Jarek Cunningham and Michael Almanzar.
67. Matt Davidson, 3B, Arizona D-backs –
Davidson on his experience in MLB Spring Training and his goals for 2013:
“Obviously, this was my second time at big league camp in the spring, and I’m really just trying to focus on what kind of player I am and knowing exactly what works for me in this game. … In the Minor Leagues, you’re told so many different things about what to do in so many situations. But once you figure out what’s best for you, you’re able to take it all to the next level.”
Austin landed on the disabled list with a wrist injury in July but returned in time to play 11 games at the end of the regular season. In those games, the 22-year-old hit .375 with five extra-base hits. In six postseason games, he hit .304 with an .838 OPS and three more extra-base knocks.
69. Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates –
Meadows reflecting on his pro debut:
“It’s just a good feeling, especially coming out here and not knowing what to expect. Getting used to life in the GCL, used to the whole schedule. Pretty much every day, you have to be as consistent as you can. The factors outside of baseball, like being away from home, friends, family — you have to push yourself through the hard times. Especially when you’re slumping, there’s nobody to go to.
“You have to be as consistent as you can. I had some tough times earlier, but the big thing about professional baseball is there’s always another day. It was definitely a good experience down there, and I’m glad it ended well for my first year.
“I always try to go out there and play the game hard. I took away a lot about the game. It’s definitely a lot different than high school and travel ball back in the day. Just every day, you have to have your mind right and be prepared for the next day and all that.”
70. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals –
Giolito reflecting on his first start outside the Gulf Coast League:
“It was something I’ve looked forward to for a while — pitching at a Minor League stadium under the lights, the crowd, the team atmosphere. … It was awesome to get up here and get this under my belt. … I feel back at 100 percent,” he said, “like I was before the surgery.”
By Sam Dykstra
I went over my picks for the IL All-Star team for next month’s exhibition in Reno earlier in the week. This time, I took a look at the PCL side of the Triple-A ballot and present my choices below for your consideration.
Catcher, Matt McBride, Colorado Springs – Listen, I get why everyone supports Tim Federowicz here. You sort the catchers by batting average, see that his .418 is light years beyond the competition, observe that his other numbers (eight homers, 25 RBIs, 20 runs) aren’t too bad either and make the easy click without a second thought. But here’s the deal. Federowicz hasn’t played for Albuquerque since May 29, and though his numbers do jump out, there are other worthy candidates who have been in the PCL all year, none of whom is better than McBride.
The 28-year-old backstop leads all statistically eligible PCL catchers in average (.328), homers (15) and RBIs (45). His .683 slugging percentage also leads all hitters in the circuit. (Fan vote leader: Federowicz)
First baseman, Brock Peterson, Memphis – Same thing goes for Ka’aihue in this spot. First base is naturally a power position, so people look to homers here. With 16 roundtrippers for Reno, Ka’aihue has had a stranglehold on the category for quite some time. However, he hasn’t played in the PCL since May 31 and not because he was called up or was moved to a different Major League organization. He actually signed with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan after being granted his released at the beginning of the month.
Instead, consider Peterson (.306/.388/.578, 16 homers, 50 RBIs) or Fresno’s Brett Pill (.363/.398/.649, 10, 55). This was actually a tough decision for me, but I give the nod to Peterson because he’s played 29 more Triple-A games this season (71-49). Pill’s slash line is impressive, but it’s come in a smaller sample than the Redbirds first baseman’s. Still, given his high homer and RBI rates, I could be persuaded either way. It’s Peterson for now. (Fan vote leader: Ka’aihue)
Second baseman, Dean Anna, Tucson – Now onto someone we can all agree on apparently. Anna leads all eligible second baseman with a .339 average and .947 OPS, which rank fourth and seventh among all PCL batters, respectively, through 68 games for the Padres. I called him the surprise batter of the early going last month, and he’s only been better since, with a .356/.460/.534 slash line in June. (Fan vote leader: Anna)
Shortstop, Chris Owings, Reno – The D-backs’ No. 5 prospect recently moved into the ranks of MLB.com’s top 100 overall and for good reason. He’s batting .358 for the Aces, good enough for second in the PCL and his best mark by far through five seasons in the pros. His 49 RBIs, which lead all PCL shortstops, are just three behind his career high set in 128 contests between Class A Advanced Visalia and Double-A Mobile last season. (Fan vote leader: Owings)
Third baseman, Matt Davidson, Reno – There’s a lot to wade through in this category. Nolan Arenado (Colorado Springs) and Jimmy Paredes (Oklahoma City) were both worthy candidates when the ballots were set on May 24, but both find themselves in the Majors right now. That leaves it down to Davidson and Ryan Wheeler with Colorado Springs. They’re about even in every category, except the power numbers where Davidson leads in homers (10-5), slugging (.498-.443) and OPS (.856-817). As such, the left side of the infield ought to look awfully familiar to the Reno fans in attendance at next month’s All-Star Game. (Fan vote leader: Arenado)
Outfielder, Corey Dickerson, Colorado Springs – The argument shouldn’t be whether Dickerson is an All-Star or not. It’s about whether he’s been the PCL MVP, and the argument for that basically boils down to him or McBride. (It’s almost like Colorado Springs is a hitter’s haven or something.) He leads the league in average (.386), OPS (1.075) and triples (13) while ranking in the top three in OBP (.429) and slugging (.683). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Rockies called him to the big club on Friday after 66 dominant Triple-A contests. (Fan vote leader: Dickerson)
Brian Bogusevic, Iowa – He’s only done it once for the I-Cubs this season, but Bogusevic has a great case to be the PCL’s leadoff hitter. His .428 OBP ranks fourth in the circuit, and his 15 steals are seventh. He’s also batting .326 with a .940 OPS. Tough to keep him off any list. (Fan vote leader: Bogusevic)
Joey Butler, Round Rock – The competition for the third outfield spot is difficult, if only because no one jumps out quite the way Dickerson or Bogusevic do. Butler is a fine choice though with his .329 average, .418 OBP and .920 OPS. Can’t go wrong with that. (Fan vote leader: Michael Choice, Sacramento)
Designated hitter, Chad Huffman, Memphis – The PCL put only seven designated hitters on the ballot, making the voter’s job much easier in this category at least. Huffman leads the group with a .325 average, and his eight homers and 30 RBIs rank second and third respectively. That’s nothing spectacular in the PCL, but his resume is the cleanest here. (Fan vote leader: Brad Hawpe, Salt Lake)
Starting pitcher, Sonny Gray, Sacramento – The A’s No. 5 prospect has handled the Minors’ top level quite well in his first extended stay. He leads PCL pitchers with a 2.62 ERA and is second with 83 strikeouts. The league could do much worse than handing him the ball to start the All-Star Game, and he’s certainly earned that opportunity. (Fan vote leader: Gray)
Josh Lindblom, Round Rock – I get the point of picking Michael Wacha. He’s a big-time prospect who has met or even exceeded expectations as a rookie who is one step away from the Majors. He’s even pitched on the game’s biggest stage in front of one of the most ardent fanbases in the game, a group that has no doubt aided his vote total.
But if you’re willing to disregard Wacha’s limited innings compared to his PCL peers — the voters seem to be, and I also am so inclined in this instance — you have to admit that it’s actually Lindblom that’s having the better year. He bests Wacha in ERA (2.04-2.34), WHIP (0.92-1.01) and strikeouts (43-40) while gathering just one fewer out (57 1/3 IP-57 2/3). If this was a measure of who is a better prospect, Wacha wins easily. But it’s not. Lindblom deserves the vote here. (Fan vote leade: Wacha, Memphis)
Relief pitchers, Dan Otero, Sacramento; Cory Burns, Round Rock – I was all set to explain my theory about relievers in the All-Star Game all over again, but then I saw Otero (15 saves, 0.99 ERA, 0.55 WHIP) and Burns (15 saves, 1.17 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) are actually the fans’ choice relievers as well, despite Chris Hatcher (22 saves, 2.84 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) leading the circuit in saves. So now, I don’t feel obligated to do so. Well done, team.
By Jonathan Raymond
With the 2013 MLB Draft scheduled to take place on 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. We start with 2009.
- Stephen Strasburg, Washington (2013: MLB Nationals) — Strasburg has pretty much panned out as hoped for the Nationals, turning into one of the best pitchers in the big leagues.
- Dustin Ackley, Seattle (2013: MLB Mariners, Triple-A Tacoma) — Drafted as an outfielder out of North Carolina, Ackley soon made the move to second base. He made it to the Majors after just a year and a half in the Seattle system and debuted impressively, hitting .273/.348/.417 in 90 games in the bigs in 2011. The 25-year-old regressed in the following two seasons, though, and now finds himself in the Pacific Coast League after posting a .516 OPS in 45 games with the M’s to begin this year.
- Donavan Tate, San Diego (2013: Unassigned within Padres Org) — Tate signed for $6.25 million in 2009, underwhelmed in his 2010 debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League, then missed much of 2011 due to a suspension for testing positive for a drug of abuse. After hitting .226/.342/.278 in 107 games between Class A Fort Wayne and Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore last year, the outfielder failed to show up for San Diego’s Minor League camp due to a “personal issue” earlier this year and has yet to make an appearance anywhere this season.
- Tony Sanchez, Pittsburgh (2013: Triple-A Indianapolis) — Sanchez has dealt with injuries off and on throughout his career but appears to be healthy and is putting together perhaps his best season to date in the International League this year. He’s hitting .317/.415/.577 with six homers in 39 games for the Indians and put together his first career four-hit game on May 31.
- Matt Hobgood, Baltimore (2013: Class A Delmarva) — Now 22, the right-hander was mostly plagued by injuries in his first three Minor League seasons. The Orioles have the former starter working out of the bullpen in the South Atlantic League, where he’s posted a 2.38 ERA with one save in 34 innings for the Shorebirds.
- Zack Wheeler, San Francisco (2013: Triple-A Las Vegas) – Traded by the Giants to the Mets for Carlos Beltran at the deadline in 2011, Wheeler blossomed into one of baseball’s best pitching prospects, and appears to be close to making his debut with the Mets this year.
- Mike Minor, Atlanta (2013: MLB Braves)
- Mike Leake, Cincinnati (2013: MLB Reds)
- Jacob Turner, Detroit (2013: MLB Marlins, Triple-A New Orleans) — Turner was given two cups of coffee in the bigs in 2010 and 2011 with the Tigers before becoming the big prize for the Marlins in the trade last year that brought Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit. He had a 3.38 ERA in seven starts for Miami last season and was 3-4 with a 4.47 ERA in the Pacific Coast League this year before tossing seven shutout innings in a win against the Mets on May 31.
- Drew Storen, Washington (2013: MLB Nationals) — The former Stanford closer notched 43 saves for the Nationals in 2011 before being hampered some by injures in the last two years. Has a 3.14 ERA in 183 2/3 innings across four Major League seasons so far in his career.
- Tyler Matzek, Colorado (2013: Double-A Tulsa)
- Aaron Crow, Kansas City (2013: MLB Royals)
- Grant Green, Oakland (2013: Triple-A Sacramento) — The former Southern California star has had trouble sticking at a position, moving off shortstop, to centerfield, to the corner outfield spots, to a few tries at third base to second base, where he’s playing this year for the River Cats.
- Matt Purke, Texas (2013: Class A Hagerstown) — The lefty never signed with the Rangers, instead reentering the Draft the next year where Washington selected him in the third round. He’s battled arm problems, throwing just 15 1/3 innings for Hagerstown last year and making one appearance so far this season.
- Alex White, Cleveland (2013: MLB Rockies)
- Bobby Borchering, Arizona (2013: Double-A Corpus Christi)
- A.J. Pollock, Arizona (2013: MLB Diamondbacks)
- Chad James, Miami (2013: Unassigned in Marlins Org)
- Shelby Miller, St. Louis (2013: MLB Cardinals) — The right-hander debuted late with St. Louis last season and has been one of the best starters in the Majors this year, owning a 1.82 ERA in 69 1/3 innings.
- Chad Jenkins, Toronto (2013: MLB Blue Jays)
- Jiovanni Mier, Houston (2013: Double-A Corpus Christi)
- Kyle Gibson, Minnesota (2013: Triple-A Rochester) — He missed part of 2011 and much of 2012 with Tommy John surgery. He has a 3.38 ERA in 66 2/3 innings for the Red Wings this year, striking out 59 and walking 19, and threw his first complete game following the surgery on May 8.
- Jared Mitchell, Chicago AL (2013: Triple-A Charlotte, Double-A Birmingham) — Mitchell tore a tendon in his left ankle during Spring Training in 2010 that derailed his season before it got out of the station. He returned last year to hit .237/.358/.420 between Birmingham and Charlotte but has mustered just a .156/.305/.229 line between those two clubs in 27 games this year.
- Randal Grichuk, Los Angeles AL (2013: Double-A Arkansas) — For better or worse, Grichuk will likely always be linked to the man who was picked directly behind him. For his part, the 21-year-old is still working his way through the Angels’ system and has a .243/.296/.491 line in 48 games for the Travelers this year. He’s shown good power, with 18 homers and a .488 slugging percentage for Class A Advanced Inland Empire last season.
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles AL (2013: MLB Angels) — He quickly made his way to the big leagues and emerged as one of the best players in baseball, finishing second in the AL MVP race in 2012.
- Eric Arnett, Milwaukee (2013: Unassigned in Brewers Org)
- Nick Franklin, Seattle (2013: MLB Mariners, Triple-A Tacoma) — Franklin began the year in the PCL and caught fire, hitting .324/.440/.472 in 39 games, leading to his Major League debut on May 27.
- Reymond Fuentes, Boston (2013: Double-A San Antonio)
- Slade Heathcott, New York AL (2013: Double-A Trenton) — The 22-year-old has progressed through the Yankees system steadily and owns a .246/.300/.377 line in 46 games for the Thunder this year. He recently outshined Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis while they rehabbed in the Eastern league.
- LeVon Washington, Tampa Bay (2013: Class A Lake County) – Never signed with Tampa, instead opting to return the following Draft, where Cleveland took him in the second round.
- Brett Jackson, Chicago NL (2013: Triple-A Iowa)
- Tim Wheeler, Colorado (2013: Triple-A Colorado Springs)
Supplemental first round:
- Steve Baron, Seattle (2013: Class A Advanced High Desert)
- Rex Brothers, Colorado (2013: MLB Rockies)
- Matt Davidson, Arizona (2013: Triple-A Reno) — Davidson emerged as one of the D-backs’ best prospects over the last couple years. He’s hitting .285/.332/.460 in 51 games for the Aces this season.
- Aaron Miller, Los Angeles NL (2013: Class A Great Lakes) — The former starting pitcher is now trying his turn in the outfield. The 25-year-old hit .297/.333/.541 with a home run and eight RBIs in 28 games for Double-A Chattanooga last year and is hitting .167 in 19 games between Double-A and Class A this year.
- James Paxton, Toronto (2013: Triple-A Tacoma) — The native Canadian never signed with the Blue Jays and became a fourth-round pick of the Mariners the next year. The 24-year-old is 2-4 with a 5.01 ERA for the Rainiers this season.
- Josh Phegley, Chicago AL (2013: Triple-A Charlotte) – Enjoying a breakout year offensively for the Knights, Phegley has a .329/.386/.639 slash line with 11 homers and 14 doubles in 41 games.
- Kentrail Davis, Milwaukee (2013: Double-A Huntsville)
- Tyler Skaggs, Los Angeles AL (2013: MLB Diamondbacks, Triple-A Reno) — Acquired by the D-backs in 2010 as part of the package for Dan Haren, Skaggs turned into one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. The 21-year-old tossed six shutout innings in a spot-start win over Texas on May 27 after posting three straight quality starts for the Aces from May 11-22. Overall has a 5.23 ERA in 51 2/3 innings in the PCL with 54 strikeouts to 17 walks.
- Chris Owings, Arizona (2013: Triple-A Reno)
- Garrett Richards, Los Angeles AL (2013: MLB Angels) — He’s spent the past couple years working mostly out of the bullpen and making the occasional start for the Angels. He has a 4.92 career ERA in 128 big-league innings.
- Brad Boxberger, Cincinnati (2013: MLB Padres, Triple-A Tucson)
- Tanner Scheppers, Texas (2013: MLB Rangers) — Scheppers has worked out of the Rangers’ bullpen the last two seasons and boasts a 0.66 ERA in 27 1/3 innings this year.
- Michael Belfiore, Arizona (2013: Triple-A Norfolk, MLB Orioles) — Belfiore was dealt to Baltimore for Josh Bell in 2012. A reliever since 2011, the 24-year-old has a 4.28 ERA in 27 1/3 frames for the Tides and was called up to the Majors in May.
- Matt Bashore, Minnesota (2013: Unassigned in Yankees Org)
- Kyle Heckathorn, Milwaukee (2013: Triple-A Nashville)
- Tyler Kehrer, Los Angeles AL (2013: Unassigned in Marlins Org)
- Vic Black, Pittsburgh (2013: Triple-A Indianapolis) — The 25-year-old has a 2.63 ERA and 11 saves in 19 appearances for Indianapolis. He posted a 1.65 ERA and saved 13 games for Double-A Altoona last year.
Squeezed Out … of the Infield: Are Astros, Giants, D-backs and Red Sox Bridging to/Blocking Prospects?
Editor’s note: This is the second part of a three-part offseason series, “Squeezed Out.” Part one can be read here. For more information on the players mentioned below, click on the linked, underlined text.
MLB veterans: 1B Carlos Pena (signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: 1B Jonathan Singleton (has played AA-ball)
Bridging/Blocking: This is a clear bridging arrangement. Singleton, 21, hit 21 homers in his first Texas League season last year. He should hit for average and power in the Majors while striking out his fair share. He’ll never be as good defensively as stopgap Pena, but an NL Central exec recently told me that he thinks Singleton is an above-average defender and moves well for being a 235-pounder. He is MLB.com’s No. 25 overall prospect.
MLB veterans: 2B Marco Scutaro (signed through 2015)
MiLB prospects: 2B/SS Joe Panik (has played High-A-ball)
Bridging to/Blocking: Depending on how fast Panik moves through Double-A and Triple-A — and I think he’ll move fast — this is a blocking. Forget the fact that the Giants overpaid to keep the 37-year-old Scutaro. Panik, at 22 is very polished and is probably already as good as a defender as Scutaro. He is still playing shortstop in the Minors but will switch to second long-term with Brandon Crawford entrenched there in San Francisco. It would have been wiser to sign a veteran second baseman to a one- or two-year deal.
MLB veterans: 3B Eric Chavez (signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: 3B Matt Davidson (has played AA-ball)
Bridging to/Blocking: A smart bridging here. The D-backs, who could also acquire young third baseman Mike Olt from the Rangers later this winter, appear set on the hot corner for the next couple seasons. The lefty-hitting Chavez and righty-hitting Chris Johnson, who was acquired last season from the Astros, will split time there until Davidson is ready to go. Davidson excelled at Double-A in 2012, hitting 23 homers, and will begin next spring at Triple-A Reno. He is MLB.com’s No. 41 overall prospect.
MLB veterans: SS Stephen Drew (signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: SS Jose Iglesias (has played in Majors)
Bridging to/Blocking: This one can be seen two ways. If you think Iglesias can be an everyday shortstop in the Majors, you’ll see this is a clear blocking. If you’re in the Iglesias-needs-more-seasoning-at-Triple-A-camp, this is more of a simple bridging. I am not sure what to make of Iglesias, who has a great glove but suspect bat. But consider that he turns 23 on Saturday. Ostensibly, he has time to develop his swing. Drew gives him that time, so we’ll call it a bridging.
MLB veterans: SS Yunel Escobar (traded for, signed through 2015)
MiLB prospects: SS Hak-Ju Lee (has played AA-ball)
Bridging/Blocking: This is a bridging, and a shrewd one at that. Escobar, acquired from the Blue Jays, gives Tampa Bay a talented cost-effective option (he has club options in ’14 and ’15) until Lee is ready. The 22-year-old South Korean is an exceptional defender but has work to do on his swing. He is MLB.com’s No. 32 overall prospect.
MLB veterans: 3B Michael Young (traded for, signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: 3B Cody Asche (has played AA-ball)
Bridging/Blocking: This is also a bridging arrangement, though the Phils may need another stopgap to fill the space between Young’s exit next fall and Ashce’s entrance; Asche, featured recently in Lost and Found, is at least a year — and probably two years — from the bigs.