Minor League round up, 8/23: Mason Black dazzles, Bryce Eldridge promoted
It is now the perfect time to focus exclusively on the four Goliaths time Baseball A-ball teams since the Arizona Complex Association and Dominican Summer Association seasons are in the books (basically for the San Francisco Monsters since they missed the end-of-the-season games with one or the other group in one or the other association). On Wednesday, they were all present in person, so how about we go right in?
The yield of current draftees who were promoted to Low-A San Jose after the upper leg tendon season ended is most impressive. Bryce Eldridge, a two-way player who was selected in the first round by the group, is included in the group. The 18-year-old hit for 1.040 Operations and a 139 wRC+ with 5 grand slams in 18 Complex Association games.
Center infielder Quinn McDaniel was selected in the fifth round (.950 operations, 146 wRC+); center infielder Charlie Szykowny was selected in the ninth round (.853 operations, 116 wRC+); RHP Cale Lansville was selected in the fourteenth round (2.25 period, 7.74 FIP); third baseman Justin Wishkoski was selected in the sixteenth round (1.063 operations, 172 wRC+); catcher Drew Cavanaugh
RHP Tracker Dula has been sent to AA Richmond because of High-An Eugene’s areas of strength. Dula, selected in the 18th round of the 2021 draft, pitched in Eugene with a 3.14 Time, a 4.54 FIP, 10.5 strikeouts, 4.0 walks, and a 45.0% ground ball percentage.
RHPs Cameron Cotter and Ljay Newsome have transferred from Low-A San Jose to High-A Eugene. Cotter, a May endorsement and undrafted free specialist, had a 2.30 Time and 3.78 FIP in 31.1 innings pitched for San Jose, with 31 strikeouts compared to just 3 walks. Newsome isn’t actually in need of a rehabilitation task, but he has MLB experience and is pushing himself to the top of the lineup after getting hurt to start the year.
First baseman/outfielder Leather Treater O’Tremba, selected in the fifteenth round of the 2022 draft, and infielder Andrew Kachel, selected one round later, are both making the same transition from Low-A to High-A. With 842 Operations, 134 wRC+, and 17 taken bases, O’Tremba has had a fantastic first full season. Kachel has similar strong stats with an.813 Operations and a 120 wRC+.
RHP Wilkelma Castillo is also traveling from San Jose to Eugene while he keeps pacing erratically to figure out his mood.
Goliaths hacked at Carter Williams, a High-An outfielder, was an undrafted left-handed hitter who destroyed every 2022 Low-An team, but he couldn’t find the same magic in High-An or AA.
All eyes on Artisan Dark, the No. 11 CPL starting pitcher, are on Kyle Harrison, who presently gets to call Prophet Park his home. Additionally, the third-round pick for 2021 keeps advancing without incident in the Pacific Coast Association.
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Dark made his sixth AAA start, and it was a great one. He tossed 5 innings of shutout ball with just 1 hit while striking out 8 batters. The only blemish on the page was Dark’s four walks, which was unusual for Sacramento (and PCL) pitchers. Dark has thrown 36 innings, and in keeping with the PCL’s weather, he has given up 21 walks and 7 home runs. But what after that? With just a 3.75 Period, he has only given up 32 hits while striking out 48 opponents (however the walks have given him a 6.06 FIP). Dark ranks fifteenth with 12.0 strikeouts per 9 innings out of 146 PCL pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched for the current season.
Update: He is not Rule 5 qualified, is 23 years old, and has only recently delivered 211 innings to his amazing vocation. The Monsters will likely begin 2024 with Dark and LHP Carson Whisenhunt (No. 9 CPL) pounding on the Majors’ entranceway, and LHP Kyle Harrison (No. 1 CPL) leading the revolution.
LHP Juan Sanchez pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout, but RHP Randy Rodriguez (No. 32 CPL) and LHP Darien Nez didn’t have any good or negative outings. After seven AAA games, he has a 3.69 FIP with excellent strikeout and walk rates despite an excessive trip that has increased his Time to 5.25. And he’s only 22! On my list of players who will likely be exempt from the Standard 5 Draft during this colder time of year, I think he has moved up to the top slot.
Reetz has been outstanding since the Goliaths acquired him, but it is tough to envision him as anything other than AAA depth, especially given that Joey Bart did not get sent off by the deadline for trades (Reetz does, despite occasionally playing in the outfield).
He walked, doubled, then hit 2-4 while talking about Bart. Since July 30, Bart has played substantially better and appears to be a player who could easily reintegrate into the MLB system if necessary. He has a recent record of 17-56 with 2 home runs, 5 copies, and, most notably, 17 walks compared to 18 strikeouts.
Right fielder Brett Carefully (CPL No. 33) and second baseman/first baseman David Villar both had days with two hits and a walk. Villar seems to be falling further and further out of the Goliaths’ plans, which I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he were a program crunch setback in the offseason even if he has been on fire lately. He has been hitting well over the past 12 games, going 21-50 with 3 grand slams, 1 double, 5 walks, and 13 strikeouts.
Thomas, a left-handed hitter selected in the fifth round of the 2021 draft and acquired by the Goliaths in exchange for Terse Casali, has had a hit-or-miss season. He currently has 692 Operations and a 91 wRC+ on the year, a 4-game hitting streak, 3 more fair hits, 5 walks, and only 1 strikeout over that span.
First baseman Logan Wyatt, who drew a walk, also bopped a few pairs. After a strong start to the season at High-A, Wyatt has been struggling a bit lately. However, this was his third multi-hit game in his previous four games, raising his Operations to 712 and his WRC+ to 94. Here is your week-by-week count: Throughout his first three seasons, Wyatt had 612 plate appearances with only 5 grand slams, 1 triple, and 19 duplicates. His strikeout (21.5%) and walk (11.3%) rates major areas of strength for remaining, and his expanding power continues to display. This year, in 406 plate appearances, he has 13 home runs and 18 doubles. Amazing to see.
Second baseman Jimmy Glowenke hit 3-5 with a grand slam when talking about players who started the year in High-A, hit well all over, and then advanced to AA.
Glowenke has quietly been one of the ranch’s greatest performers this year, if not the best. He battled in his most memorable month in AA (which would be called regular), then erupted into flames in July. He was explosive in Eugene. It’s great to see him return because he was out for a while in August after being hit by a pitch. In Richmond, he has a.699 Operations and a 95 wRC+ and started at the beginning of
Yoshi Tsutsugo, a left defender who is one of the newest members of the team, also had a fantastic day that included a big fly.
Tsutsugo, a left-handed hitter with three seasons in the MLB, had just been signed to a Small time contract. He hit 2-4 with a home run and a walk in his second game with Richmond. Welcome!
In terms of pitching, it was another shaky start for RHP Hayden Birdsong (No. 36 CPL), who has recently struggled to find innings following a strong start to the year. Birdsong, who was selected in the sixth round last year and is currently playing at the triple-A level, made his AA debut on August 5 and only lasted 3.1 innings, one of his shortest starts ever. However, in his second AA start, a severe excursion and terrible defense behind him limited him to a single 41-contribute inning, and a downpour postponement limited him to just 2 innings in his third outing. This was his fourth start with Richmond, and in just 1.2 innings, he gave up 4 hits, and 2 runs, struck out 2, and threw 46 pitches (only 28 of which were strikes). A small setback during a fantastic breakout season.
RHP Mat Olsen, who recently advanced, returned from a few strenuous outings fast to pitch 1.1 no-hit innings, allowing just a walk and striking out two. RHP Tyler Myrick had a perfect inning and has been impressive since being promoted, pitching 9.2 innings with a 1.62 Period, 2.61 FIP, and 12 strikeouts to 3 walks.
The Emeralds achieved the unusual success of having no extra-fair hits. In actuality, they just had four hits that were complete! However, focus defender Award McCray (No. 6 CPL) could generate offense even without his bat, as he went hitless with three walks and two steals. McCray has been improving, and as of right now, he has a.760 Operations, a 109 wRC+, and 43 bases taken in 52 attempts. It was great to see him have a good day following a four-game sick skid and seven days of being smoky rather than hot.
Catcher Onil Perez (CPL No. 44) hit 1-3 in his fifth game after being promoted. Perez is 7-14 in Eugene, exactly as expected, with 0 extra-fair hits, 1 walk, and only 2 strikeouts.
A couple of relievers, RHPs William Kempner and Leather Treater Kiest had a really good game. In two no-hit innings, Kempner, who was selected in the third round of last year’s draft, struck out four batters while allowing two walks. Kempner, who recently turned 22 years old, has a 2.49 Time and a 3.76 FIP in 18 games since being promoted, as well as 38 strikeouts to 12 walks in 25.1 innings. He has struck out 22 times in his last 7 games compared to just 4 walks.
In 2.2 scoreless innings, Kiest recorded 6 strikeouts while allowing only 2 hits. Since the Goliaths removed him from a free association and after he hadn’t helped the Minors since roughly 2018, Kiest has excelled. He has a fantastic 45 strikeouts to 10 walks in 32 Eugene innings, a 4.22 Period, and a 2.66 FIP.
A game that the Child Goliaths found to be incredibly boring. Catcher Luke Shliger was the offensive standout; he was the only member of the new draft class to jump right to A-ball with little to no Perplexing Association training. He doubled twice, going 2-4, for a.724 operations and a 110 wRC+ for the sixth-round pick. Most impressively, despite skirting a level, he has only struck out more than once in 46 plate appearances. Amazing to see!
Turner Slope, a focused defender, had a good day as well because he played in his second San Jose game after working two jobs in AAA Sacramento due to a scheduling conflict. He walked and hit 2-3, raising his wRC+ to 116 and his operations to 770. Slope has now had four straight 2-hit games, counting a few AAA contests.
RHP Manuel Mercedes, who just allowed five hits and one run, has one more exciting start.