Here are your fresh and stale prospects for the week.
Devin has had a very interesting season. It's been a very successful follow up to his breakout 2010, but he's showing a different offensive profile than we saw from him last season. His power seems way down, as he only has 13 homers compared to 26 last year, but the rest of his numbers are very similar. He's had an almost identical number of plate appearances so far this season as he got last year, and his hit, walk, and strikeout totals are almost all identical. (a few extra walks this year).
I find two things interesting about this. One, the scouting reports on him last year were that he had a bit of an uppercut swing that would provide pop but would limit his batting average. Since the home run power hasn't been there this year, but the BABIP has been better, I wonder if he has leveled out his swing this year a bit, leading to more line drives. He has 35 doubles compared to 25 last year. Or, it's also possible a few of those doubles have just missed clearing the wall. Regardless, it's been a very good season, which leads me to my second thought. We have seen good prospects struggle a great deal recently when getting to Louisville. Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Chris Valaika, and even Yonder Alonso to some extent, struggled on their initial trip through AAA. Mesoraco was the youngest of that group and he didn't miss a beat. That makes me very encouraged about his MLB future. (Of course, the 2 guys I'm the least high on, Dave Sappelt and Juan Francisco, also never struggled in AAA. So who knows)
Phipps has been on a tear for the last month, slashing .364/.397/.618 in Louisville, so he deserves his spot on this list. Still, I'd like to temper expectations a bit. Phipps just recently turned 26, and until this season had never posted a full-season OPS above .748 (and that was in rookie ball). His numbers this season are supported by an unsustainable .387 BABIP. He's still striking out a lot, hitting for middling power, and not walking much. He's a good, not great, defender in CF with good, not great, speed. He's a future 5th OF at best, but at least this recent show puts him in the discussion for next year's Reds outfield.
Hank Rod has had a very encouraging last 10 days, slashing .421/.532/.632 over that stretch. The reason I chose to include him, though, is that he has walked 7 times in that span, and his line on the year now sits at .299/.363/.402. I'm OK with the lack of power as long as he is getting on base, and this latest run is very encouraging. If he can finish strong in Carolina, he should be Louisville's starting 2B all next season, which puts him in line to replace Brandon Phillips in 2013. There are a LOT of ifs there, but learning to walk is an excellent first step.
Kris Negron / Chris Valaika
This is a dual award, because I'm lazy. It's obvious that Edgar Renteria should have been put on the disabled list, but instead of doing that, they play shorthanded for a week. Not only that, they use him to pinch hit over the weekend, killing their ability to back-date any possible DL stint. Apart from the Reds complete stupidity in handling injured players, this also says a lot about what they think of this Louisville duo. Neither is hitting at all, and neither really plays a very good shortstop, so you have to question whether either one will even be in the organization next year.
I just can't figure this guy's season out. In 11 games he has thrown 50.2 IP with 58 strikeouts and only 16 walks. He hasn't allowed too many hits or home runs either, yet his ERA stands at 4.62 for the season. The 13 hit batsmen might have something to do with it. It's not that he's necessarily "stale", I just find his season bizarre.
- Louisville lost Friday, 3-2. Daryl Thompson had a solid start, going 6 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3. Jeremy Hermida and Denis Phipps each had 2 hits, and Devin Mesoraco doubled twice. Saturday the team rolled, 12-1. Matt Maloney earned his franchise record 38th win, throwing 7 shutout innings. Juan Francisco was 3-5 with a double and his 14th homer, and Daniel Dorn and Mike Costanzo also each homered. Sunday the team lost 9-2. Jeremy Hermida and Francisco each had 2 hits.
- Carolina lost Friday, 6-5. Quintin Berry had 2 hits and a walk, and Henry Rodriguez had 1 hit but walked twice. Saturday the team lost a slugfest, 15-14. Nobody pitched well, but everybody hit well. Sunday they squeaked out a 2-0 win. James Avery threw 7 shutout innings with 4 strikeouts.
- Bakersfield won 6-4 Friday. Alex Buchholz had 2 hits, including a double and triple, and Stephen Hunt hit his 8th homer. Saturday the team lost 11-3. Devin Lohman homered. Sunday the team finally hit, winning 12-1. Mark Serrano threw 8 innings of 1 run ball, striking out 11. Andrew Means had 3 hits, and Ryan LaMarre, Brodie Greene, and Alex Buchholz had 2 each.
- Dayton won on Friday, 3-2. I'm not sure how they managed 3 runs, since they only had 3 hits and 4 walks the entire game. Billy Hamilton stole his 82nd base. Saturday they won again, 10-9. Kyle Lotzkar went 5 IP, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, but he struck out 7. Weird season. Donald Lutz led the way with 4 hits, and Billy Hamilton stole 2 bases. The team lost Sunday, 4-3. Hamilton only had 1 hit, but he stole 2 more bases, bringing his season total to 86. He just might get to 100. Ronald Torreyes had 2 more hits, bringing his hit total to 80 in only 55 games played.
- Billings won 14-8 on Friday. Five different Mustangs players had multiple hits. Saturday they got rained out, so Sunday they doubled up, winning 10-8, then losing 7-4. You can go look and see what everyone did.
- AZL Reds lost 9-1 on Friday. Moving right along, the team lost Saturday as well, 5-1. Lucas O'Rear and Jim Moran each pitched, so there's that. Sunday they won 4-3. Alejandro Chacin finally gave up some runs, only his 2nd and 3rd ER in 19.1 IP on the year. He did strike out 2, bringing his total to 29.