Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
All teams benefited from strong pitching and key offensive performances to deliver four wins. Kevin Pillar had three extra base hits while Kyle Drabek made his best start of the year for Buffalo. New Hampshire won behind Kevin Nolan and Scott Copeland. Daniel Norris was excellent again and Dalton Pompey had three hits including a home run. For Lansing the bullpen held West Michigan at bay until DJ Davis could drive in the winning run.

Buffalo 8 Charlotte 3

Kyle Drabek made his best start of the year, six innings, five hits, no walks, seven K's, two unearned runs. Chad Jenkins is back in Buffalo, he pitched two innings.

Kevin Pillar led the offense, he doubled and scored in the first inning, he hit a two run home run in the third and doubled again in the fourth. He finished 3-5. Matt Tuiasosopo homered also and Anthony Gose had two hits.

New Hampshire 6 Portland 5

Hew Hampshire scored three in the first, allowed four in the second but clawed their way back to take the lead and hold on for the win. Doubles were the name of the game for the Fisher Cats. In the first Kevin Nolan doubled in two runs then Brain Van Kirk doubled in Nolan. In the sixth Andy Fermin and Yusuf Carter doubled to tie the game. In the eighth Nolan doubled and scored on a wild pitch. Later Jon Jones doubled in Carter. Nolan and Mike McDade led the hitters with two hits each.

Casey Janssen pitched a perfect first. Scott Copeland took over but gave up four runs in his first inning. Perhaps he wan't used to starting in the second inning. Copeland went on to pitch 5.2 innings.

Dunedin 11 Clearwater 3

The Jays pounded out 14 hits in this contest. Dalton Pompey was 3-5 with a home run and a walk. Derrick Chung was also 3-5. Dwight Smith, Jorge Flores and Gustavo Pierre each had two hits.

Daniel Norris was his usual self, 4,2 innings, four hits, six K's. He did concede a run but that run scored after he was pulled from the game.

Lansing 5 West Michigan 2 - 12 innings

The teams were tied pretty much all game. Both scored a run in the fourth, both scored a run in the fifth, and that was it until the twelfth. The Lugnuts had some help in the twelfth, two walks got it started, DJ Davis singled in a run and then two errors helped the last two runs score.

Tom Robson started and pitched five innings with both runs charged to him. Brady Dragmire and Scott Silverstein each pitched three shutout innings. For the offense DJ Davis was 3-5 with a walk, LB Dantzler had two hits.

3 Stars

3rd star: DJ Davis

2nd star: Dalton Pompey

1st star: Kevin Pillar


Lots of Good Performances on Saturday | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 11 2014 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#286091) #
Pompey is off to a good start against LHP- evening out his splits to .289/.419/.514 against LHP and .368/.425/.474 against RHP.  The switch-hitter has more pop against LHP and uses his speed more from the left side.  It all works.

For the second straight game, Norris was pulled with a big lead and two outs in the fifth inning.  If the club is trying to deliver a message that "pitcher wins" mean little, I suppose that I approve.  It would be better if the message was delivered explicitly. Norris is pitching very, very well.

bpoz - Sunday, May 11 2014 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#286092) #
One thing that has bothered/confused me about D Norris is that he is not going deep into the games. 7 starts 33.1IP. Last year 90.2 IP total. I expect/guess he will total 140 IP this year, due to pitching limitations. I expect him to pitch for Dunedin, NH and the AFL.
bpoz - Sunday, May 11 2014 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#286093) #
Thanks for your analysis Mike G. Low IP is an interesting factor.
ayjackson - Sunday, May 11 2014 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#286094) #
Norris is probably on a strict pitch count of around 75 pitches. The fact that it seems to have occurred at the 4.2 inn mark on consecutive games is odd and I too have wondered if it was an odd way of devaluing wins.

He is probably on course for a promotion soon and can't stay in Dunedin until SS Ball at this pace.
TangledUpInBlue - Sunday, May 11 2014 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#286103) #
Pillar is now at 311/355/470, which is especially impressive given how he started out. Looking through his numbers, though, the one thing that’s concerning is his walk rate. His minor league figures look like this:

2011, age 22 (R): 256 PAs, 3.9 BB%
2012, age 23 (A): 375 PAs, 9.3 BB%
-------------- (A+): 178 PAs, 2.8 BB%
2013, age 24 (AA): 327 PAs, 5.8 BB%
-------------- (AAA): 218 PAs, 5.5 BB%
2014, age 25 (AAA): 141 PAs, 6.4 BB%

The good news is that the trend is generally in the right direction, but it’s still not very good. FanGraphs lists a 5.5% rate as “Poor” and 7.0% as “Below Average” -- and that, of course, is at the major league level. Last year with the Blue Jays, he had a 3.6% rate in 110 PAs, and unless he changes his approach, he might not be a whole lot better this year. (A rate of 4.0% is considered "Awful.")

What’s also interesting about these numbers -- interesting for what it says about the organization -- are the 2012 figures. At A-ball, he had a 322/390/451 slash line to go with that very good BB%, so he definitely deserved the promotion. Then at Dunedin, he went 323/339/415, which in 1985 would’ve looked great but looks less so today given the terrible walk rate. Would the Red Sox have promoted him after that? I don’t know, but the Blue Jays don’t seem to do a very good job of developing high OBP players through the farm system (with guys like Bautista and Encarnacion, they’ve done well in acquiring some), and it makes you wonder if they’re emphasizing it enough.
uglyone - Sunday, May 11 2014 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#286113) #
Pillar was already way too old for Dunedin. I don't think holding him back would have been a good idea...and the fact that he did better in AA than in A+ probably supports the promotion.

And the Red Sox didn't hold a guy like Will Middlebrooks back after posting walk rates of 5.3% at A-, 7.1% at A+, and 5.3% at AA, so they're not super strict in this regard either.

what makes the sub-par walk rate palatable is his combo of great contact rates (always .300 or better average) and great K-rates (down to around 10% since moving up to AA, which still gives us the ability to project legit mlb OBP for him I think.

What's even more encouraging is that in AAA he's started to show some power when he never really had before.

AAA .180iso
AA .128iso
A+ .092iso
A .129iso

A .180iso is a legit amount of pop, especially for a guy who profiles as a contact hitter. If that bump in power is legit then he gets even more interesting than he already was.

uglyone - Sunday, May 11 2014 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#286114) #
ach, Boyd got lit up in his 3rd AA outing today: 1.2ip, 6h, 5r, 4bb, 1k, 59pc/31st
uglyone - Sunday, May 11 2014 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#286116) #
John Lott @LottOnBaseball
#BlueJays announce they’re claimed Kenny Wilson from Twins, who claimed him from Jays. Back to Double-A for Wilson.

nice to have him back, even if he's borderline at best.
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jgadfly - Sunday, May 11 2014 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#286122) #
Has Pillar ever played the infield ?
TangledUpInBlue - Monday, May 12 2014 @ 05:01 AM EDT (#286130) #
... and the fact that he did better in AA than in A+ probably supports the promotion.

Yeah, maybe. He certainly showed he could hit at AA (and beyond), as measured by batting average at least, and his walk rate rebounded somewhat, but he was never forced to develop the plate discipline he'd shown some promise for in Lansing. Now I get that a team might not want to set hard and fast rules on walk rates for promoting players, and you can't necessarily treat all players the same. So maybe they figured Pillar's skill set was one of contact/BA rather than patience (though that would be an odd conclusion, I think, given what he'd just shown at Lansing).

But I also wonder if he could've developed into something more. The original Anthopoulos philosophy was to try to develop superstars rather than league-average players (granted this might have been more of a drafting philosophy than a developmental one). Well at this point Pillar looks like a 4th OF. He might be more, but with that walk rate I'm skeptical. Now imagine instead a Pillar with the same contact and batting average but, say, a league-average walk rate. Obviously it's not that easy -- I get that too -- but from a cursory look at his career numbers, it looks as though they never really tried to make him that.
TangledUpInBlue - Monday, May 12 2014 @ 07:44 AM EDT (#286131) #
Or instead of "it looks as though..." in that last sentence, I really mean "I wonder if they ever really tried" -- this is speculation, not criticism.
uglyone - Monday, May 12 2014 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#286135) #
I don't disagree with you too much, and in general agree that the jays don't emphasize walk rate enough...but i still think they took their time with pillar.

They kept him in rookie ball his whole draft year even though he was 22 and posting a .900+ops, most likely because of that 3.9bb%.

The next year they kept him in A ball for most of the year at 23 even though he was posting a 9.3bb% and an .850ops, and then gave him a late season promotion to A+.

He didn't do great in that small sample promotion, true enough, but bringing him back to A+ at age 24 would have been a bit extreme for a guy who had put up legit prospect numbers for the most part. And though his bb% plummeted in that late callup, so did his k%.

But you're right that it seems like a guy with his contact skills, after showing the ability to post a good walk rate at least once, may have been able to post better walk rates overall if the team emphasized its importance a bit more.

And not sure that it's the greatest stat, but while his BB% hasn't yet matched that season in A ball, his Bb/k rate has: 0.66A, 0.61AA, 0.56 this year.

Lots of Good Performances on Saturday | 12 comments | Create New Account
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