Minor League Report
Brandon Allen – Photography: Jon Willey
By Dan Strittmatter
1B Brandon Allen – Last seven games – 11-25, 7 HR, 13 RBI, 11 R, 6:7 K:BB, 1 SB (0 CS).
Yes, Brandon Allen has seven home runs in his last seven games. He started the season horrendously by his standards (.757 OPS in April) then wound up on the DL in early May. But since returning, Allen has played so well, with a line of .435/.607/1.042 (OBP/SLG/OPS), that his overall season OPS is now up at an impressive .962, with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and a pair of triples amongst his 68 hits. To add on to this, his season K:BB ratio is 66:59. Extremely impressive.
OF Collin Cowgill – Last five games – 9-22, 3 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, 3:2 K:BB, 2 SB (0 CS).
Cowgill has been filling the box score for the BayBears lately, and his season numbers have started to look extremely impressive. His line this season stands at .367/.480/.847, and, regardless of what many say about his short size, 19 total bases in five games is some nice power production. Add a few walks for on-base skills, a couple of stolen bases, and trademark good defense in the corner outfield, and you have evidence that Cowgill is starting to adapt to the upper levels of the minor leagues, with the Hi-A to Double-A jump often considered the most difficult to make (outside of going to the Major Leagues).
RHP Chase Anderson – July 24 – 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 7:1 K:BB, 2/0 GO/FO.
Anderson’s innings may be under strict watch in his first full season of professional baseball, but he’s certainly finding plenty of opportunities to leave a strong impression on his organization. The last time Anderson had pitched, 10 days before his outing on Saturday, Anderson had his worst outing of the season, giving up five runs on a walk and two homers, though he struck out three batters in three innings of work. On Saturday, though, Anderson flat-out refused to let batters put the ball in the air or get it out of the infield, not to mention hit one out of the park. The only two batters to make contact grounded out. After walking Stephen Parker to start the eighth inning, Anderson struck out the next three batters in order to make sure Parker didn’t go anywhere. Now that is the definition of “dominant.”
Low-A South Bend:
OF Ender Inciarte – July 28 – 3-4, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB (0 CS).
Inciarte’s year has been disappointing overall, with just a .534 OPS at South Bend in two stints there, and a .614 OPS in a stint at Yakima after being sent down. But Inciarte was unstoppable at the plate Wednesday. He had three hits: a ninth-inning, go-ahead homer that would be the difference in the game, a triple, and a single (after which he stole second base). For a guy that’s still only 19 years old and is playing in full-season ball, don’t let a bad half of a season sour you on the possible bright future this kid has.
RHP Enrique Burgos – July 26 – 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2:1 K:BB, 7/7 GO/FO.
Walks and command have been a huge problem for Burgos this year, with 26 free-passes allowed in 36 1/3 innings helping lead to a disappointing 5.94 ERA for the big Panamanian prospect. So seeing Burgos allow just a single walk in his solid six-inning appearance on Monday was a nice step forward. And even though two Ks is underwhelming, the strikeouts will come with the stuff that Burgos has once his control is refined.
RHP J.R. Bradley – July 24 – 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 6:0 K:BB, 1 HR, 5/3 GO/FO.
The D-backs’ 18-year-old, 2010 second-round pick had his best outing of the season on Sunday as the team builds up his innings totals going into 2011. He pitched five innings for the first time, and also had his highest strikeout total of the season. While his ERA still is underwhelming, his 14:6 K:BB ratio in 19 innings and 1.28 GO/FO ratio are certainly not.
Rookie-level Dominican Summer League:
OF Wagner Mateo – Last five games – 9-19, 3 2B, 8 RBI, 5 R, 4:4 K:BB, 1 HBP.
Mateo has continued to put up good numbers for the DSL D-backs, and has been particularly impressive lately. Hitting cleanup for manager Juan Ballara, Mateo has been a constant source of offense in a league that heavily favors pitching. Mateo has struck out in somewhere near a third of his at-bats this year, 51 K’s in 167 AB’s, so to see him strike out four times in 19 at-bats, while not a great rate, is certainly improvement, and is particularly nice to see.
Others of note:
· Acquired in the Dan Haren trade, right-handed pitcher Rafael Rodriguez made his debut for the Triple-A Reno Aces on Monday, striking out a batter and giving up a walk, two hits, and a run in two innings of work. Rodriguez induced four groundball outs and just one out in the air.
· Right-handed pitcher Bryan Woodall hasn’t allowed an earned run in any of his three appearances, spanning 5 1/3 innings, for the Mobile BayBears since being called up from Hi-A Visalia. He has given up four hits, struck out six batters and not conceded a walk or a homer. To top it off, his GO/FO ratio is a staggering 2.33 (though this number is down from the unreal 3.83 ratio he posted at Visalia).
· We’ll stop mentioning him when he stops hitting… Paul Goldschmidt‘s last three games have been superb – five hits in 12 at-bats, all of them for extra-bases: three doubles and a pair of homers to drive in seven runs. Goldschmidt now has 28 home runs on the year. This is getting a bit ridiculous.
· Also acquired in the Dan Haren trade, lefthanded pitcher Patrick Corbin has been assigned to Hi-A Visalia.
· South Bend left-hander Michael Belfiore lasted just 4 2/3 innings in his second outing back from the DL, but struck out six while walking three and allowing three hits. He gave up three runs, but just one of them was earned.
· Matt Davidson continues to thrive for the Silver Hawks. In his last three games, he has four hits, three of them doubles, has not struck out and has recorded a walk.
· In his last five games for the Yakima Bears, Raywilly Gomez hasn’t struck out a single time, recording six hits and a pair of walks, including a home run. The switch-hitting catcher has just four Ks in 76 at-bats in 2010 while drawing eleven walks. His OBP is an incredible .398 and his OPS is .832.
· Kevin Eichhorn had yet another good outing for the Rookie-level Missoula Osprey. Though he threw just 5 1/3 innings, he struck out eight batters and gave up only a single earned run.
· DSL D-backs pitcher Juan Valdez picked up a save on Monday by throwing three frames in which he conceded just a single unearned run. He struck out four, allowed just one hit and lowered his season ERA to 1.62.