As the minor-league season marches through its final month, a couple of outlets examined the effects of the Triple-A baseball on player evaluation.
In both pieces — Brendan Gawlowski’s at FanGraphs, and J.J. Cooper’s at Baseball America — pitchers surface as sympathetic figures.
Gawlowski says that a couple of teams he’s talked to have shielded pitchers from Triple-A because the environment is counterproductive to learning. The pitchers who are unlucky enough to fill a Triple-A pitching staff suddenly have to comprehend a world where a 5.00 ERA is enviable.
Cooper mentions old friend Tyler Danish as a victim of the environmental shift, and I’d forgotten how ugly his season was:
In his first start of the season, Danish gave up nine hits and 10 runs (all earned) in just 1.2 innings at Sacramento. Five days later, he gave up 10 hits and six runs in five innings as Tacoma hosted El Paso.
That would prove to be his best outing of his time with Tacoma. By the time he was released in late May, Danish had given up 44 hits, 41 runs (37 earned) and nine home runs in only 15.2 innings. As rough as his 21.26 ERA was, his .502 opponent average was even tougher to fathom. He is now pitching in the independent Atlantic League.
Charlotte 9, Lehigh Valley 2
- Nick Madrigal went 2-for-4 with a walk.
- Luis Robert, 1-for-5 with a double and two strikeouts.
- Yermin Mercedes homered, struck out, walked twice and hit a sac fly.
- Zack Collins was 2-for-5 with a homer and two strikeouts.
- Danny Mendick went 2-for-4 with a double, walk and strikeout.
Montgomery 6, Birmingham 1
- Luis Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Laz Rivera was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
- Blake Rutherford doubled, singled, walked and struck out.
- Ti’Quan Forbes was 0-for-3 with a K.
- Luis Basabe struck out all three times.
- John Parke: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
- Alec Hansen: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 10 of 16 pitches for strikes.
Fayetteville 6, Winston-Salem 2
- Steele Walker went 2-for-4 with a double, walk and strikeout.
- Andrew Vaughn was 1-for-4.
- Carlos Perez, 2-for-4.
- Konnor Pilkington: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR
Delmarva 7, Kannapolis 4
- Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Romy Gonzalez was 0-for-3 with a walk.
- Amado Nunez, 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Davis Martin: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
Great Falls 9, Grand Junction 8
- Cabera Weaver went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.
- Harvin Mendoza, 2-for-5 with a strikeout.
- Lency Delgado was 1-for-5 with a double and two strikeouts.
- Luis Mieses went 3-for-4.
- Sam Abbott wore the golden sombrero.
- Anderson Comas was 2-for-4 with a triple.
- Kelvin Maldonado went 2-for-4 with a K.
- Ramon Pineda: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
AZL Padres2 6, AZL White Sox 2
- Samil Polanco went 1-for-5 with a strikeout and a stolen base.
- Sidney Pimentel was 0-for-2 with three walks.
- Micker Adolfo went 0-for-3 with two walks and a strikeout.
- DJ Gladney singled, walked and struck out twice.
- Bryan Ramos singled twice, walked and struck out. He was also caught stealing.
- Chase Krogman went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Anthony Coronado and Misael Gonzalez both were 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Yoelvin Silven: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR
- Caleb Frare: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
DSL D-backs1 13, DSL White Sox 9
- Wilber Sanchez went 1-for-4 with two walks.
- Anthony Espinoza was 1-for-2.
- Cesar Jimenez replaced him, going 0-for-1 with a walk.
- Benyamin Bailey went 2-for-6 with a double and a strikeout.
- Luis Pineda singled and struck out four times.
- Alberto Bernal walked four times and struck out once.
I’d guess the AAA ball makes it especially tough for the Sox to evaluate their players because Birmingham skews #’s so wildly in the other direction.
Robert’s so exhausted that he thought about stopping at first to save his legs instead of advancing for the double.
Madrigal only took the walk because his tired arms struggled to lift the bat.
One of things I noticed watching the Knights this season is that there are far more AAAA hitters in AAA than there are AAAA starting pitchers. Any starter with a good fastball and decent secondary pitch that can’t cut it in the majors as a starter has been converted to a reliever. Throw in a juiced ball and voila, rock ’em, sock ’em robots.
Caleb Frare is in the AZL? Rehab stint?