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Last time we checked in with Dunedin they had a 16-14 record and sat in third place of the West Division of the Florida State League. In May they raised their team OPS from .724 to .812, a nice rise of 88 points. Meanwhile, they held opposing batters to a .676 OPS, a drop of 70 points from Aprilís .746. Itís more important to the Blue Jays that their prospects seemed to be having better months in April, but itís still nice to see the teamís record jump to 34-25 and for Dunedin to have moved into a tie for first place with Fort Myers.

So now, how did our seven prospects do this month? And which one earned a promotion? I doubt many would have guessed correctly at the beginning of the season if I gave you this list of seven: Danny Core, Connor Falkenbach, Ryan Klosterman, Jesse Litsch, Dustin Majewski, Ryan Patterson and Robert Ray.


All stats are accurate as of after Tuesday eveningís games.


Danny Core, RP

2-0, 2.75 ERA, 36 IP, 27 H, 3 HR, 13 BB, 39 K, 9.75 K/9, 3 K/BB


Throughout May Core saw his ERA rise to 2.75, primarily due to control issues. He had only walked a batter in April, but he had a 4.50 BB/9 rate in May and walked 10 (the other two came in the first days of June). Aside from his control issues, Core pitched better in May than April. He increased his K rate to 10.35 from 8.16. He held opposing batters to an OPS of .537, including a .239 slugging percentage, while only surrendering 12 hits in 20 innings. If he can fix the control issues that have plagued him recently, Core could be in line for a promotion, as when heís on target batters arenít hitting him.


Connor Falkenbach, RP

4-0, 1.61 ERA, 22.1 IP, 20 H, 1 HR, 3 BB, 19 K, 7.66 K/9, 6.33 K/BB


Last month I talked about how Falkenbach was on here less than for his prospect status, and more because I noticed his impressive numbers in relief at the University of Florida. However, Craig B pointed out that he was a difficult to hit submariner, capable of eating innings in relief and is a wildcard prospect-wise. With that information in mind, I have even more of a reason to follow Falkenbach, although the odds are still against him. Falkenbach had a very impressive May, dropping his ERA down to 1.61 and earning a promotion to New Hampshire on May 28. Although I havenít researched this, Iím positive this is the fastest a 43rd round draft pick from last yearís draft has reached Double-A. In fact, itís likely the fastest a 43rd round pick has reached Double-A in a few years. Falkenbachís May was very impressive, as he held opposing batters to a .513 OPS and had a 0.91 WHIP. Furthermore, his sidearming style seemed very effective, as he had 2.8 groundouts per fly ball. The Jays arenít writing off Falkenbach because of his draft status. Rather, they are challenging him and Iím cheering for him to seize the opportunity.


Ryan Klosterman, SS

.269/.335/.476, 208 AB, 56 H, 33 R, 15 2B, 8 HR, 17 BB, 52 K


Klosterman is another D-Jay who put up a much better line in May than in April, as his monthly OPS went from .707 to .894. Small sample size caveats apply, but itís interesting to note the right-handed hitting Klosterman hits .291/.348/.503 against right-handed pitching, but only .194/.293/.333 against southpaws. Klosterman displayed many of the same traits he did in April, both positive and negative. Heís had a few rough games in the field and doesnít display quite as much plate disciple as the club would like. However, heís continued to do many of the little things right. Heís continued his intelligent baserunning as heís 9/9 in stolen base attempts and heís displaying good power for a shortstop. Heís been instrumental in Dunedinís success this year with a 1.015 OPS with RISP so far this season.


Jesse Litsch, SP

3-6, 4.45 ERA, 60.2 IP, 71 H, 5 HR, 7 BB, 60 K, 8.90 K/9, 8.57 K/BB


Litsch currently has an 8.57 K/BB, which is nearly doubling the 4.57 ratio he had at Pulaski and Auburn last year. Clearly Litsch has no difficulty hitting his spots, but the question is, are his strikeouts of the blowing-people-away variety or the hitting-the-corners kind? Without seeing him in person itís very difficult to answer, but in Litschís case there are clues. Litsch is a sinker/slider pitcher who is apparently described as a hard-thrower, so itís likely in his case that he has pitches with some good downward movement, but that heís also got to hit his spots to be effective. However, it seems likely that Litschís pitches either donít have enough movement to fool many or that he is leaving a lot of them elevated, where they are very hittable. What is clear is that as positive as the K/BB ratio is, Litschís hits allowed total is not consistent with someone who is clearly dominating the opposition and is a warning sign.


Dustin Majewski, OF

.285/.404/.489, 186 AB, 53 H, 31 R, 16 2B, 6 HR, 40 BB, 32 K


Majewski made the FSL All-Star team this year along with fellow Dunedin Jays Klosterman, Ryan Patterson, Robinzon Diaz and reliever Milton Tavarez. Heís doing quite well, as his .894 OPS is comparable to Pattersonís .903 and heís showing the Jays front office that he doesnít think heís got anything left to prove in High-A. Heís the only Dunedin player with more than 10 at-bats who has more walks than strikeouts and heís displaying the fine eye that was part of the package the Aís were impressed with when they originally drafted him. He and Patterson are the next hitters in line for a promotion, so it will be interesting to see which of them gets the call first and when it is, or if they are destined to spend the year at Dunedin.


Ryan Patterson, OF

.311/.355/.548, 228 AB, 71 H, 46 R, 15 2B, 13 HR, 15 BB, 41 K


Pattersonís second month in Dunedin was more successful than his first, as he posted a 79 point improvement in his OPS. His .952 total in May had a lot to do with his 6-6, 3 HR performance, but even without that performance his monthly line would have been much closer to his April line, which still resulted in an .873 OPS. Like Klosterman, heís another right-handed batter who struggles against lefties Ė a .335/.380/.606 line against right-handed pitching; .227/.277/.341 against southpaws. This comes despite the fact the team as a whole has an OPS 46 points higher against lefties. Pattersonís been particularly clutch so far for Dunedin this year, as heís batting .380 with a .760 slugging percentage with RISP.


I concluded Pattersonís April summary with the quote, ďPatterson still has the 3rd-highest OPS on the team, behind two 24-year-old non-prospects in Josh Kreuzer and Ron Davenport, who failed his New Hampshire audition last year. Heís been holding his own, and thatís fine for a playerís first month in High-A.Ē Well, Pattersonís still more than holding his own and is doing well. Itís been a fine first two months in High-A. His .903 OPS is still third on Dunedin, behind two 24-year-old marginal prospects in Josh Kreuzer and Ron Davenport. Davenport has been promoted to New Hampshire again, and is unfortunately struggling in his 2nd tour of duty with the Fisher Cats, as well. He is currently hitless in 31 at-bats and in the sink or swim world of the minor leagues, it looks like he might be running out of time to make an impression on the organisation.


Robert Ray, SP

2-2, 4.99 ERA, 39.2 IP, 47 H, 2 HR, 13 BB, 28 K, 6.52 K/9, 2.15 K/BB


Ray saw his ERA jump by over a run and a half in his last11.2 innings as he allowed 17 hits over that timespan. In May Ray allowed an opposing OPS of .975, as batters hit .342/.422/.553 off him. Hopefully Ray has an idea of why he struggled so much this month and can work with the Dunedin coaching staff to correct the problem, before forgetting the month ever happened. Rayís opposition BABIP was .348 in April and .414 in May, which is a sign of caution. Interestingly, Ray has a noticeable difference based on the hitterís batting handedness, as lefties have a .958 OPS against him and against righties it is only .732.





Dunedin: May Review | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Friday, June 09 2006 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#148595) #
Litsch has apparently allowed 21 line drives among his 174 balls in play, for a line drive percentage of 12%.  That's on the low side.  It looks like he is giving up a lot of ground balls, particularly to left-handed hitters and particularly at home, that are going through.  Whether that is due to how hard the balls have been hit, or due to defensive shortcomings on the right side of the infield, or a combination of both factors, is hard to tell.

It is interesting that the other starters who have pitched significant innings (Trias, Ray, Fowler), all have significantly higher BABIP against left-handed hitters. It might be helpful to accumulate the BABIP splits for the team as a whole.

Nicely done, Thomas.  I agree that Connor Falkenbach is an interesting prospect. 
Pistol - Friday, June 09 2006 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#148596) #

Maybe it's because he has only 44 ABs against LH pitchers, but the splits against RH and LH pitchers for Patterson is interesting.  If you didn't know you'd think he was left handed.

A few encouraging things about Romero:  He went 8 innings last night so his stamina has been built up nicely since he started the year late.  The other thing is that he had 11 groundouts against 4 flyouts.  The Jays seem to make numerous promotions around the middle of the year each season and I suspect Romero will be one of the ones called up this year.

Dunedin: May Review | 2 comments | Create New Account
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