Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
This is the May edition of my minor league starting pitchers review. I have been tracking start by start statistics for all minor league starting pitchers. I have been adding this information to our prospect pages, such as this one for David Bush, scroll down to the bottom of the page. My April pitcher report is here. Many of the numbers in this page are based on game scores as developed by Bill James. The methodology is described in the April story.

In May the Jays minor league starters made 120 starts (April - 84). The average game score for starts was 48.5 (April - 54.1). Many of the starting pitchers had worse May numbers than April. I am not sure if there is a specific reason for the decrease, it could be that the pitchers have an advantage in colder weather, or it could be due to the hitters taking longer to adjust to their new level.

I was amazed in April when in 27% of the starts, the starting pitcher did not allow a run. In May that number was down to 12%.

Start of the Month

On May 20 Tom Mastny pitched a one hitter, with no walks, over seven innings. He recorded six strikeouts. Mastny's game score was 81 points and earned him recognition for the start of the month for May.

Start of the Month by team

Syracuse: David Bush gets the title on with his start on the last day of the month. Josh Towers did not have any bad starts in his time in Syracuse.

David Bush - May 31, 6 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 R, 69 points
Josh Towers - May 18, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 R, 66 points
Josh Towers - May 23, 7.2 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 R, 64 points

New Hampshire: Cam Reimers takes the title in Dustin McGowan's absence

Cam Reimers - May 7, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 R, 68 points
Todd Ozias - May 5, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 2 R, 65 points
Todd Ozias - May 26, 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 R, 65 points

Dunedin: Josh Banks and more Banks

Joshua Banks - May 18, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 11 K, 1 R, 75 points
Joshua Banks - May 28, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 R, 71 points
Ismael Ramirez - May 21, 7 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 R, 70 points

Charleston: Tom Mastny is THE MAN

Tom Mastny - May 20, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 R, 81 points
Justin James - May 23, 7 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 9 K, 1 R, 73 points
Danny Core - May 22, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 R, 72 points

Those are the best single starts of the month. Now we need to know who was the most consistent pitcher, the one with the highest average game score. Ismael Ramirez, pitching for Dunedin, had the highest average score. In six starts his average score was 58.5.

The highest average scores were:

Ismael Ramirez 6 starts; 58.5 ave. score
Joshua Banks 6 starts; 58.2 ave. score
Josh Towers 5 starts; 57.8 ave. score
Justin James 6 starts; 57.0 ave. score

The highest average score for New Hampshire was Cam Reimers with an average score of 54.2 over six starts. Jesse Harper had a higher average than those listed but I excluded him as he only made three starts. Harper's average score was 60. Harper's reward was to be removed from the 40 man roster ;-)

Most Forgettable start of the month

On May 30th, Chris Baker pitched 2.2 innings, giving up nine runs on nine hits.

Biggest change from April to May

Ramon Mora and Ismael Ramirez made the biggest improvements. Mora's ERA improved from 6.06 in April to 3.60 in May. Ramirez's ERA was 3.86 in April and 2.17 in May.

Chris Baker and Neomar Flores took big steps backward. Neither of them might be starting by June 15th.

Pitcher Commentary

David Bush's May was not as good as his April. Bush's monthly ERA jumped from 3.86 to 5.71. His walk and strikeout numbers are still very good but Bush has been hurt by his hits allowed. Bush's H/IP increased from 1.02 in April to 1.24 in May. I also suspect that the infield defense in Syracuse has not helped him. Bush allowed 43 hits and 9 walks in May. 50% of those runners came around to score. This is a very high rate, and is not sustainable. Look for it to get back to more normal levels in June. The Jays minor league average for May was 39% of runners scored. Bush did allow 4 home runs in May, compared to one in April.

Jason Arnold's ERA in May was 2.76. Arnold has the opposite numbers to Bush. Only 22% of Arnold's baserunners scored. That is an un-repeatable percentage. We will see how Jason is after his injury. Maybe his arm was impacting his performances. In 16.1 May innings, Arnold had only 5 K's.

Chris Baker's ERA in May was 8.10. I would estimate that Baker has two starts to get it together before he is moved out of the rotation.

Cam Reimers is putting together an efficient season although some of his numbers will not generate excitement among prospect watchers. Reimers ERA in six May starts was 3.29. His WHIP for May was 1.15. These numbers are improvements over his April ERA and WHIP of 3.91 and 1.37. The downside is his K/9IP which is 4.50 for May. The Jays, per Rick Adair, are trying to get Reimers to be more of a power pitcher. While his numbers are very good the K's are not there yet. It will be a tough decision whether to move Reimers up to AAA mid season.

Gustavo Chacin's May numbers slipped after a great start. His ERA in May was 4.15 and his WHIP was 1.49.

Josh Banks' May was excellent, just not as good as April. In May Banks' ERA was 2.61 and his WHIP was 1.08. He allowed 4 walks in 38 innings, and had 33 K's in 38 IP.

Kurt Isenberg had an ERA of 6.69 in May. His K/9 was 5.21 and his WHIP was 1.53. It looks like he needs to make some adjustments.

Ismael Ramirez is like Cam Reimers. He does not allow many hits or concede many walks but his K/9 is poor. His ERA was 2.17 in May, let's see if he can keep it going.

Shaun Marcum was the third best pitcher in Charleston in May. His ERA was 3.89, behind James and Mastny. His WHIP was 1.30, behind James, Mastny and Mora. His strong point is his K rate at 9.72. Right now it is a tough call who to promote to Dunedin.

Tom Mastny had a May ERA of 2.96 and a WHIP of 1.24

Danny Core struggled to keep up with his felow starters. His May ERA was 4.86 and his WHIP was 1.43

Justin James was the best Charleston pitcher in May, his ERA was 2.68, WHIP was 1.16 and K/9 was 8.0.

Reliever Spotlight

I have not been tracking reliever appearances but a scan through the statistics highlights some pitchers.

New Blue Jay Vinnie Chulk reduced his ERA from 4.85 at the end of April to 2.83 at the end of May.

Also now a Blue Jay Bob File's ERA is 0.57. He has pitched 15.2 innings, with 12 hits and 3 walks allowed. File has only six K's in those 15 innings.

Kevin Frederick earned a promotion to AAA based on his ERA of 1.27 and excellent WHIP and K/9 numbers at New Hampshire.

Brandon League, Ryan Houston and John Ogiltree all have allowed less than a hit per IP, but have walked approx. 5 batters per 9 IP. Better control would get each of them a promotion.

Adam Peterson pitched eleven May innings with eight hits, six walks and 15 K's.

At Dundedin Jamie Vermilyea has not been as dominating as he was last year. He is averaging 6.7 K/9 and his WHIP is 1.27. Andy Torres, Bubbie Buzachero and Tracey Thorpe have all been pitching well in the bullpen. The decision about who to call up to New Hampshire must have been an interesting discussion.

Brian Reed finally allowed his first run of the season this week. Reed does not throw hard but he does keep the hitters off balance. Davis Romero also has excellent numbers.
Minor League Pitching Analysis - May | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_greenfrog - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#60205) #
There is a surprising lack of first-rate pitching prospects in the system. Some players have had injury problems (McGowan, Rosario, Arnold); some are underperforming (Bush, Isenberg, Vermilyea, DJ Hanson); others have posted respectable numbers, but aren't rated highly by most scouts (Reimers, Ramirez, Chacin).

This is why I'm still miffed over losing Harper. He may not have dominating stuff, but he has posted very good numbers the last two years. I would have thought he was one of the Jays top ten pitching prospects.

Yes, I still like Banks, Peterson, League, and Marcum. But the pitching seems a lot thinner than anticipated.
_Sneeps - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#60206) #
That's the way it goes with pitching. That's why it's a good thing to just load up on pitching in the draft. You can NEVER have enough pitching depth.
_MatO - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#60207) #
Pitching = Volume + Luck
_greenfrog - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#60208) #
I agree, but only up to a point. If volume were the main determinant, every team's farm system would produce about the same number and quality of pitching prospects. Luck, of course, would give some teams the edge.

I think there are a number of reasons other than volume for the quality of pitching in any given system. For example, quality of front office, scouting operation, and coaching staff. Having a decent budget undoubtedly helps.

In any event, there isn't any excuse for losing someone like Harper.
Craig B - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#60209) #
Greenfrog, what should they have done?
_My Names not Ry - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#60210) #
I guess my feeling is, not so sure, i value Howie Clark and Mike Nakamura over Jesse Harper. You can always find Clarks and Nakamuras, maybe you can find Harpers too, but only time will tell there. Is Clark really more valuable then a Segua for example?
_johnnnyS99 - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#60211) #
Harper should not of been put on the 40man, then we would not have this problem. No one would of picked up a 23 year old A ball pitcher who throws 90mph in the rule 5 draft. But JP doesnt protect a younger pitcher who is lefthanded who lead the FSL in era?? Dumb move by JP.
Minor League Pitching Analysis - May | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.