AAA – Nashville Sounds
The Sounds have gone 8-4 through their first 12 games. The big force on offense has been 27 year old RF Brendan Katin, with 4 HR accounting for his .667 slugging percentage in 27 ABs. Angel Salome has only played in 5 games, but has looked solid through 14 PAs, drawing 2 walks and slugging a home run. On the other hand, organizational depth guys Norris Hopper and Trent Oeltjen have looked terrible, both with a .436 OPS in roughly 50 PAs.
On the pitching side, 26 year old Marco Estrada, who was part of the Nationals system last season, has impressed in two starts so far, with 9 strikeouts against 2 walks in 13 scoreless innings. In relief, Tim Dillard has thrived in his new role, striking out 12 and walking 0 in 11 scoreless innings. Zach Braddock, a 22 year old lefty apparently being groomed as a future closer, has also looked solid in 5.2 scoreless innings, striking out 10 and walking none. Kameron Loe, former Texas Ranger signed as pitching depth, has looked awful, allowing 20 hits, 3 HR, and 9 walks in 16.1 innings while only striking out 9 batters. Chuck Lofgren and Chris Waters have also struggled with the home run ball, allowing a combined 7 home runs in 25.2 innings pitched.
AA – Huntsville Stars
Unsurprisingly, the stars of this team have been prospcts Jon Lucroy, Lorenzo Cain, and Brett Lawrie. Lucroy, in 46 PAs, has compiled a .452/.500/.524 line including 4 walks and 3 doubles. Cain hasn’t shown any power yet, as he has no extra base hits, but he has drawn 6 walks in 54 PAs and has stolen 7 bases and hasn’t yet been caught. Lawrie’s power has shone through already, as he has 2 doubles, 3 triples, and a homer in only 52 plate appearances. His 15 strikeouts are worrisome, but 9 walks are impressive. Overall, his line of .256/.377/.512 is solid. Taylor Green also has 7 doubles and 7 walks en route to a .359/.458/.590 line. This Huntsville lineup is stacked.
22 year old Michael Bowman has the most impressive line from Huntsville pitchers, striking out 10 against only one walk in 10 IP. Much of the staff, however, has been struggling with walks, as the rest of the starting rotation (Amaury Rivas, Chris Cody, Alex Periard, and Mark Rogers) have combined to walk 25 batters in 46.2 innings, with only 32 strikeouts.
Hi A – Brevard County Manatees
Supplemental draft pick Kentrail Davis – part of the free agent compensation for CC Sabathia – has hit well so far for BC, with a .364/.462/.455 line in his first six games. There hasn’t been much else positive for Manatee hitters, though. Brent Brewer, especially, has really been disappointing, and his struggles have continued, as he has a .299 OPS through 30 plate appearances.
Wily Peralta has put together two solid starts for BC, striking out 12 while walking 4 and not surrrendering a single home run. Cody Scarpetta appears to be struggling with his control, surrendering 7 walks in only 10 innings. Michael Fiers has looked solid, with 13 Ks to only 6 BBs in 17 innings, but as a 25 year old in hi-A, there’s probably nothing worth getting excited about there.
Lo A – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
The bats have been solid for the T-Rats so far. Chief among them are infielders Peter Fatse and Chris Dennis. Fatse already has 5 extra base hits (including one homer) in 22 plate appearances, good for a ridicluous .500/.591/.944 line. Dennis has shown great discipline with 10 walks in only 50 PAs, and he’s also flashed the power with 4 doubles and 4 homers. That’s good for a .375/.510/.775 line.
Jake Odorizzi has had the best start on the pitching side, striking out 12 while only walking 2 and allowing only 1 hit in 8 innings. Maverick Lasker also looks solid, with no HRs allowed and an 8:2 K:BB ratio. Of course, the most notable line from the Timber Rattlers so far this season is that of Jeff Suppan: 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, and 4 K.