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The hot hitters just keep on hitting. Bo Bichette hits another bomb, his sixth. Bradley Jones hit his ninth. Mike Ohlman hit another home run and had three hits in all. Jason Leblebijian had two more hits. Dwight Smith and Vlad Guerrero recorded one each. Conner Greene had an excellent start without recording a fly ball out. One unusual suspect was Richard Urena who had five hits over two games.


Mike Ohlman hit a two run home run in the first inning and those runs were enough in a 4-1 win. Ohlman had two other hits. Ohlman is in a tricky situation, he has very good offense for a catcher but not good enough for another position. However teams value defense over offense in that position so Ohlman gets to stay in AAA. He either has to to hit better so he can play first or DH, or field better so he can catch. Following on from Sunday's big game, Jason Leblebijian picked up two more hits.

Luis Santos is now an official member of the rotation with Matt Latos being released. Santos has bounced between starting and relieving but in his last three starts Santos has pitched 14 innings with 9 hits, 6 walks and 15 K's. Santos might profile as a major league reliever but he is moving up the AAA pecking order, particularly given TJ House's recent form. Matt Dermody is heating up. His April was not good but in May his ERA is down in the low ones and his WHIP is 1.10. He is back on the radar for the major league team.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire played a double header and won both games. Conner Greene almost pitched a complete game which is seven innings in the minor leagues. Greene had allowed one run over six innings and got the first two outs of the seventh. But then Tim Lopes made an error and the next hitter homered off pitch number 91. Greene was pulled and missed a complete game because of the error. Greene's line was 6.2 6 3 1 2 6. Greene got eleven ground ball outs and no fly ball outs. The second game was handled by four relievers.

Richard Urena has been scuffling this season but he didn't scuffle on Wednesday. In game one Urena was 3-4 with a double. In game two he was 2-3 with a triple and a walk. Maybe Urena's bat will warm up with the weather. Gunnar Heidt and Harold Ramirez both had three hits over the two games. Ramirez has his batting average up to .230, the highest it's been all season.


Lucas Harrell signed with the Jays in the off-season but has been injured since the spring. Harrell has 97 games of major league experience with his best year coming in 2012 when he made 32 starts for the Astros. Harrell should make his way to Buffalo within a couple of weeks, assuming his rehab goes well. In this game Harrell went 2.1 innings, with four hits and two walks. Still some rust to work off. Carl Wise might not be on Conor Fisk's Christmas card list. Fisk followed Harrell and recorded nine straight outs. Then Wise booted one in the sixth and before the inning ended Fisk had conceded six runs. Fisk got back on track for the seventh, three up and three down. Then Wise made another error leading off the seventh. That was followed by a single and a home run. Fisk allowed nine runs, two earned and all nine runs followed the two Wise errors.

The Jays only had five hits. Dalton Pompey was 1-4 with a walk. Cavan Biggio and Max Pentecost were hitless.


So Bo Bichette, Brad Jones and Vlad Guerrero kept hitting. JB Woodman had two hits, his first multi-hit game since May 7th. His batting numbers have fallen off in May, hitting just over 200. Other than that his offensive numbers are the same from April to May, in fact his K rate has risen slightly. Woodman is still striking out in almost half of his plate appearances. That is tough to fix. Josh Palacios went 0-4. Palacios got off to a late start to the season and then missed five days in middle of May. Since coming back on May 22nd, Palacios is 2-30. You have to wonder if something is still bothering him physically.

It was surprising to some in April when Mike Ellenbest and Andy Ravel were named in the Lugnuts rotation. Those two had piggybacked as starters in Vancouver last season with limited success. This year hasn't been great for them but there could be a light at the end of the tunnel. Ravel had his best start of the season at the weekend and Ellenbest had his best start in this game. He pitched seven shutout innings, four hits, one walk and six K's. On the positive side Ellenbest is striking out more than a hitter per inning. One start does not a season make, but there is hope.

3 Stars

3rd star: Mike Ohlman

2nd star: Brad Jones

1st star: Mike Ellenbest


The Usual Suspects | 25 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#342809) #
The big news of the day, I thought, was Urena's revival.  He has been starting to hit for a few days now.  He has had 300 PAs at the double A level last year and this year with limited success to date and if he has adjusted to the level, that would be big news.  He's just turned 21.  The target for him is probably 2019- mastering double A and maybe getting a taste of triple A would mark a fine year for him in 2017.
bpoz - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#342810) #
I think Bischette, Jones and Guerrero should be promoted this month. Especially Jones. He needs to learn how to reduce his strike outs. Dunedin and higher will show him what is necessary to get to the Majors.
uglyone - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#342825) #
Prospects Stats Update at the end of May with my hottakes:


LF Smith (24): 186pa, 8.6bb%/15.1k%, .348bip/.315avg, .145iso, 134wrc+
1B Tellez (22): 184pa, 10.9bb%/18.5k%, .256bip/.225avg, .138iso, 86wrc+
CF Pompey (24): ---

Smith continues to hit after going back down, and is looking like he has an MLB future. Rowdy is still struggling, but especially against LHP where he's getting crushed - this is becoming a legit concern now.


CF Alford (22): 141pa, 11.3bb%/17.0k%, .385bip/.325avg, .130iso, 146wrc+
C Jansen (22): 42pa, 7.1bb%/9.5k%, .364bip/.333avg, .139iso, 140wrc+
C McGuire (22): 63pa, 12.7bb%/17.5k%, .225bip/.216avg, .157iso, 85wrc+
SS Urena (21): 206pa, 6.8bb%/18.4k%, .280bip/.235avg, .102iso, 71wrc+
LF Ramirez (22): 155pa, 5.8bb%/14.8k%, .250bip/.230avg, .115iso, 70wrc+

Alford is great of course but Jansen is following up his blistering of A+ by matching Alford step for step at a more age appropriate AA - he's maintaining the awesome BB/K numbers and is putting up a great line without leaning as much on babip. I think Jansen is moving way up the rankings. McGuire is still injured, Urena is finally showing some signs of life (though at his age the struggles aren't as worrying), while Ramirez' prospect status is fading quickly.

RH Greene (22): 59.0ip, 17.2k%/10.8bb%, 3.66era/4.00fip/3.94xfip
RH R-Foley (21): 37.2ip, 23.7k%/12.7bb%, 5.26era/4.30fip/4.17xfip
RH Rios (22): 36.2ip, 12.8k%/9.8bb%, 3.93era/5.20fip/4.65xfip
RH Harris (23): 56.0ip, 16.3k%/6.8bb%, 5.79era/5.61fip/4.08xfip

Greene has slowed down after a good start and his line is looking very mediocre overall now. SRF has recovered from his awful start and his numbers are starting to look solid now, and he's young for the level. Rios is still injured. Harris is still not a prospect.


SS Gurriel (23): 2pa, 0.0bb%/0.0k%, .500bip/.500avg, .500iso, 332wrc+
OF Pompey (24): 10pa, 20.0b%/10.0k%, .571bip/.500avg, .125iso, 258wrc+
*C Jansen (22): 136pa, 5.9bb%/10.3k%, .385bip/.369avg, .172iso, 179wrc+*
C Pentecost (24): 178pa, 7.9b%/19.1k%, .339bip/.308avg, .226iso, 158wrc+
2B Biggio (22): 209pa, 12.9b%/23.0k%, .352bip/.263avg, .091iso, 112wrc+
CF Thomas (21): 210pa, 8.6b%/26.7k%, .336bip/.250avg, .138iso, 102wrc+
SS Vicuna (19): 88pa, 3.4b%/21.6k%, .262bip/.200avg, .038iso, 43wrc+

whither gurriel? Nice to see Dalton back. Pentecost still looking good but still way old for the level. Biggio doing just enough not to give up on. Thomas fading after a promising start....what looked like a breakout may just have been a blip. Still can't figure out why the jays think Vicuna should be in A+ at 19.

LH Borucki (23): 46.2ip, 28.6k%/6.1b%, 3.86era/2.73fip/2.66xfip
RH Zeuch (21): 53.0ip, 18.1k%/6.0b%, 3.23era/3.32fip/3.37xfip
LH Perdomo (23): 49.1ip, 18.6k%/12.7b%, 4.65era/5.34fip/4.61xfip

Borucki killing it but has to show it a higher level by now. Zeuch rock solid across the board. Perdomo not really a prosepct anymore.


SS Bichette (19): 192pa, 10.4b%/17.7k%, .453bip/.381avg, .238iso, 205wrc+
2B Jones (22): 198pa, 9.6b%/23.2k%, .390bip/.324avg, .244iso, 167wrc+
3B Guerrero (18): 192pa, 13.0b%/12.0k%, .358bip/.327avg, .173iso, 164wrc+
CF Olivares (21): 197pa, 3.0b%/17.8k%, .293bip/.259avg, .196iso, 105wrc+
CF Woodman (22): 189pa, 7.4b%/40.7k%, .418bip/.249avg, .118iso, 92wrc+
CF Palacios (21): 139pa, 10.1b%/20.1k%, .253bip/.197avg, .057iso, 62wrc+
SS Gudino (20): 155pa, 7.7b%/12.3k%, .239bip/.215avg, .052iso, 71wrc+

Bo knows elite prospect status. Vladdy still awesome. Jones still doing it too. All three should be bumped up at the midway mark. Olivares doing enough to keep tabs on. Woodman and Palacios starting to confirm non-prospect status. Gudino barely holding on.

RH Maese (20): 63.2ip, 19.7k%/7.3bb%, 4.24era/3.41fip/3.62xfip

Maese continuing his bounceback after a rough start. Looking real good again.

Tentative ever-changing rankings:

Gerry - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#342828) #
Fangraphs has a good story on Bo Bichette, using the words of Bichette and Gil Kim.
Gerry - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#342829) #

Perdomo not really a prosepct anymore.

First this is a dangerous statement about any pitcher. Pitchers learn new pitches, new approaches and can develop asymmetrically as compared to hitters.

Secondly, Perdomo is a very tall left handed pitcher who has had trouble getting his delivery to work in a coordinated manner. Those pitchers have a reasonable chance to refine that and learn how to better control their delivery. I think Perdomo is still a prospect, it will just take him longer to get there.

uglyone - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#342831) #
Yeah for sure anything can happen. And he's a lefty that throws hard which makes him always interesting. But since by far the majority of prospects fail, I try to keep my bar for "legit prospect" pretty high.
#2JBrumfield - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#342835) #
I think Perdomo is still a prospect, it will just take him longer to get there.

Agreed. Don't forget he also pitched in last year's Futures Game. The walk rate is frustrating but I've seen him hit 97-98 on the gun in Vancouver and he can rack up the K's, though not as much this year.

I do agree with you on Zeuch's progress, which you can read more about right here.
Gerry - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#342836) #
Good read #2.
bpoz - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#342837) #
Nice list of 15 prospects. I suppose they all have a shot.

The last 3 on the list McGuire, Smith and Jones are fine. None IMO has anything great to offer. I mean great. Maybe McGuire's defense is outstanding. Smith is ready for the Majors. I cannot see him taking a step up by staying in the minors.
I also think Rios will be ready this year. I think being ready adds value to a prospect.
R Fields has great speed. His defense is probably also good.He is very close to being ready. If he ever gets on a 40 man list he will have 3 options left. H Ramirez is on his last option I think.

I also like J Romano and R Burucki. This is all my personal opinion. Not disagreeing with your list. Ok, I am disagreeing with your list. Smith, Romano and Borucki.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#342839) #
Thanks for the Bichette and Zeuch links. 

I haven't seen Bichette's swing from a good angle in order to get a feel for the torque he generates.  I guess I'll have to take a road trip soon before he's off to Dunedin!

uglyone - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#342840) #
Just wanted to point out that Rowdy's problems really are only coming against LHP.

vRHP: 11.9bb%/14.3k%, .288avg, .362obp, .171iso, .821ops (~ 130wrc+ I think)
vLHP: 10.5bb%/29.8k%, .078avg, .190obp, .059iso, .327ops (~ -10wrc+ I think)

That line vRHP is quite good for a guy who's still young for his level, both topline and underlying numbers. But the line vLHP is obviously a disaster.
PeterG - Thursday, June 01 2017 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#342846) #
I would put both Patrick Murphy and Ryan Borucki ahead of McGuire. Murphy's last 3 outings for Lansing have been much better than those of Maese. I do agree with what Gerry said about the development of pitchers. Sometimes minor league stats don't mean much as we don't know what they may be working on.
Gerry - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#342872) #
Justin Maese is on the DL in Lansing.
bpoz - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#342873) #
Sparkman and Pompey put on 60 day DL in ST, still listed on the 60 day DL, currently rehabbing. Anyone know the rules for how long they get to rehab while still staying on the 60 day DL.
Gerry - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#342878) #
I think its 20 days for Pompey and 30 for Sparkman.
bpoz - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#342880) #
Thanks Gerry. They can stretch out the rehab and save the 2017 option of Pompey. Sparkman has to be on the 25 man roster.
Gerry - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#342884) #
Jon Harris's prospect status has taken a hit because his fastball was too straight. He is working to fix that. This story from baseball Alexis does a good job of covering his development. Here is a quote.

Horsman and Harris have worked together on trying to implement the young pitcher’s sinker more through his outings, focusing more on the two-seam fastball than the four-seam version, and believe that when he finds an increased level of comfortability in mixing both pitches, the results will follow.

“Jon is in that transition phase in his pitching, in the sense that he’s going to have to redefine himself from the four-seam fastball type of guy to maybe more of a two-seam, keep the ball down, and get the ball put in play on the ground type of guy,” said Halifax, Nova Scotia-born Horsman. “He’s given up a lot of home runs this year, and it’s just because he’s up in the strike zone.

“His fastball is decent, but he’s got to be the guy who’s got to be able to change speeds really well to make it play. He definitely has to work the bottom part of the zone. Whenever he gets up, it’s never a good thing, which is most guys. But he really does not get away with anything up in the strike zone.”
Gerry - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#342885) #
The link didn't work in that post. This link should work.
Nigel - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#342887) #
I'm glad they are trying something different with Harris. The stuff isn't good enough as is. However, even if they get some benefits with a 2-seamer, his secondaries aren't very good either. I think they should try going the other way and see if he could pick up a few ticks on the fastball out of the pen and junk all of his secondaries other than his best one, which I would guess is the curve.

As a side note, I would be very interested in reading what the scouts saw of him in college to justify a 1st round pick. I can't see much difference between him and the litany of late round generic college righties that we see a ton of in the Northwest League every year. I presume he lost something between college and the pros.
jester00 - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#342888) #
here's a couple on Harris pre-draft Nigel. His struggles have been a bit of a surprise.
Nigel - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#342889) #
Thank you very much Jester. I felt like I was reading Deck McGuire's college scouting reports. Harris' repertoire in the pros is just as described in those reports. His fastball is 90-91 and his 3 secondaries all are occasionally thrown well but mostly not. That's exactly what the scouting reports pre-draft say. More interesting to me, would be an explanation from a scout as to how exactly that assortment of pitches would get major league hitters out. What I mean by that is this. If you watch Maese he has many things to work on/improve upon but you can visualize, if he does that, how he will get major league hitters out. I've seen Harris twice (albeit a while ago in Vancouver) and both times I asked myself, how is he going to get hitters out even if his secondaries get more consistent. I just don't see it, but scouts know a million more things than I do so I'd love to hear what they saw on that score. I would learn a lot from that kind of discussion.
Mike Green - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#342890) #
If you see him with the great change and he's locating the fastball well, then I can see it.  Has anyone seen the great change since he turned pro?

That is why I much prefer a Shaun Marcum draft in the 3rd round than a Deck McGuire or Jon Harris or Chad Jenkins in the 1st. 
Nigel - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#342891) #
When I say him his CH was his 4th best offering.

Mike, that's it in a nutshell. You don't need to throw 95 to get major league hitters out but you do need a significantly above average pitch or maybe a couple of above average pitches to get hitters out. Maese is a good example. His FB is a significantly above average to plus pitch even though its usually 92-93. It has great movement and he has both control and command with it. If he pitches off that and gets his SL and CH more consistent he has a way to successfully get good hitters out. I just don't see how Harris will get major league hitters out. Even if his secondaries get more consistent, I didn't see one of them being an above average pitch let alone a plus pitch.
jerjapan - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#342892) #
I think people are a bit too down on Harris - I don't know at what age you stop being 'projectable', but at 6 ft 4 and 175 pounds, he may still have room to add muscle.  He was predicted to go higher than 29th overall where we got him.  A low 90s FB that can reach the mid 90s.  Jay Blue reports that BA had his curve at a 60 when drafted.

AA might have been an aggressive push for him, he's giving up way too many HRs, but he's not walking a ton of guys.  If he can get the K% up, he remains a potential mid-back end starter in my book.  Jenkins never had a season as good as Harris' 2016, and McGuire was picked 11th overall, so expectations for him needed to be much higher.    

uglyone - Friday, June 02 2017 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#342893) #
great discussion guys.
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