MAJORING ON THE MINORS: Who's Hot, Who's Not: Tom Brennan
The seasons are all in full swing, with the full season squads surpassing 100 games and the short season teams at around 35 games in.
So how about who's really hot, by team, thru Tuesday this week? But let’s stratify a bit. This article got longer than I first anticipated just on the 4 full season teams' hot guys, which is good because frankly there have been so many noteworthy performances on those teams. So I will do a similar article on hot players in short season leagues next time.
LAS VEGAS has had a series of good and bad streaks, but has been winning almost without fail the past few weeks. Why? The AAAA squad of hitters trying to prove they are more than that has been cranking:
· Travis Taijeron with 7 hits and 5 walks in his last 4 games.
· Danny Muno on base 10 X in 3 gms since back from Mother Ship.
· Darrell Ceciliani comes off the DL and drills 8 hits in 3 games.
· Brandon Allen hitting .324/.422/.554 in July. Over .300 in June.
· Johnny Monell still hitting .350 for the AAA season.
· T J Rivera hitting .309 in 52 AAA games (.319 in AA).
Hard to lose with all that offense.
BINGHAMTON has been hot, too, but in their case, it has been both pitching and hitting.
· Michael Conforto hit good enough to go to Queens.
· Brandon Nimmo played good enough to go to Vegas.
· Gavin Cecchini remains over .300 in a breakout hitting season.
· Michael Fulmer has been devastating. Pitching like this a few years earlier, he'd be in Queens already. 6-2. 1.88 in 15 AA starts, better than the pace of Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, and Wheeler when they pitched in AA.
· Casey Meisner, good enough to bring back Tyler Clippard in a trade.
· Seth Lugo: just 1 earned run in his last 4 starts (25 IP, 26 K).
· Dario Alvarez (just promoted to AAA) and Paul Sewald (1.51 ERA, 16 saves in 17 tries, 0.81 WHIP) - they have been so ridiculously good since June rolled around, it is not even funny.
ST LUCIE has been treading water W-L wise, but had hot performances, offsetting several poor ones.
Jeff McNeil slipped to 2nd in the batting race (but is still at .314).
Dominic Smith is 8th (.295), with his 58 RBIs in 89 games being good for 3rd in the FSL (the 2 guys ahead have played more games).
Matt Oberste (.277) went 9-17 in his last 5 games, & has 40 RBIs.
Yeixon Ruiz (.243), a slender switch hitting SS, is 12 for his last 22.
Phil Evans: .319/.413/.435 in 21 July games after a tough 2015 start.
Logan Taylor has allowed just 4 earned runs in his last 4 starts.
Kelly Secrest is 6-2, 2.66 in relief this season.
Kyle Regnault has a 1.77 ERA in 27 relief appearances this year.
SAVANNAH surged from 9 games under to several games over .500 this year due to some fine performances.
Wuilmer Becerra (.295) has hit .330 in June and July.
Eudor Garcia has hit a robust .287 in 74 games, with a .449 slugging % and 18 hits in his last 10 games.
Luis Guillorme (.294/.373) has been a reliable table setter all year.
Scarlyn Reyes and Martires Arias were both just promoted to St Lucie after strong starting performances for the Gnats. Reyes only started out in Developmental leagues at age 23, but won 10 of his 16 starts for the Gnats this year at age 25. Arias is 4-1, 1.77 with 60 Ks in 56 innings in his last 10 starts. Two to watch.
Michael Katz has dealt with injuries in his first year in 2014 and earlier this year, but he is smoking now: 10 hits and 14 RBIs in his last 5 games, giving him 33 RBIs in 33 games. Kicking butt.
CF John Mora has climbed to .278 (.432 in his last 10), with 54 doubles and 23 triples in just 970 career at bats. Another to watch.
Some guys in the above leagues have not been as strong of late, but over the entire season have been quite impressive.
Four such notables are Luis Cessa, Akeel Morris, Rob Gsellman, and Dave Roseboom.
Luis Cessa was superb in most of his AA starts, but has struggled in his first Four AAA starts. The hard thrower is still at 7-6, 3.82 in 17 starts despite the AAA difficulties. He's not the first one to struggle when first pitching in Vegas. Won't be the last.
Akeel Morris is at 2.70 for the season after a few bad outings, but is righting the ship with just one earned run in his past 6 outings, covering 7 innings. Some adversity can help a player's development, amd he is clearly recovering from it.
Rob Gsellman blazed in High A earlier this year, found AA tougher, but has adjusted, allowing just 2 earned in his last 3 AA starts. He is an excellent 10-5, 2.70 in 18 starts this year.
Dave Roseboom rocked Savannah, but has found St Lucie more challenging. Still, he is at 3-0, 1.94 for the season.
Lastly, 4 very good minor league pitchers have been traded in 2015 thru Wednesday: Meisner, John Gant, Rob Whelan, and Brad Wieck.
A fine group. Over 30 guys highlighted, including the ones shipped off.
More to come shortly on guys who are HOT in the lower minors.