The minor league season is coming to an end. Several players who have had non-descript seasons have suddenly perked up their performances. DJ Davis, Reece McGuire and Josh Palacios have all been playing well recently. I thought I would take a deeper look at these players as well as some others who I noted in my trawl through the stats. But first a teaser....can you tell me when Rowdy Tellez hit his last home run?
On the field the pitchers had better performances than the hitters. Bo Bichette was back and picked up two hits. Riley Adams had three. Among the pitchers Thomas Pannone, Josh De Graaf, Francisco Rios, Turner Larkins and Felipe Castaneda all threw well.
There were a limited number of notable performances on Wednesday. Buffalo lost with just six hits. New Hampshire split a doubleheader. In game one Thomas Pannone pitched well but the bullpen took the loss in the tenth. Pannone's line was 6 6 1 1 1 6. Reece McGuire stayed hot with another 2-4. In game two Francisco Rios was back starting. He was excellent, four innings, one hit. Richard Urena had two hits. Bo Bichette was back for Dunedin and showed no signs of rust. Bo was 2-5. His partner Vlad Jr was 1-4. Josh De Graaf had another good start, 5 innings, two hits, six K's. All of these performances helped Dunedin to win. Lansing lost, Dalton Rodriguez made his first start and was the losing pitcher. Vancouver lost, Riley Adams was 3-4 with two doubles. Bluefield won again, they will be in the playoffs. Turner Larkins had a nice start. The GCL Jays lost a tight one 2-1. Felipe Castaneda continued to do well.
All of the analysis below was prepared before the Wednesday night games so if you look to verify my numbers they will likely have changed a little bit.
Many have noted Rowdy Tellez's better hitting this month. Rowdy is hitting .313 in August after two straight months under .200. But when you look at the details there is not much change. Tellez is walking and striking out at the same rate. Tellez has between 72 and 94 at-bats in each month, not too far apart to look at some trends. Tellez's walks per month are between 5 and 11. August has six so it is at the low end. His strikeouts have ranged from 14 to 23. August has 17, in the middle of the range. Tellez's extra base hits also tell a story, by month his EBH totals are 4, 9, 5, 9, 6. So even though Rowdy has been hitting better, its singles that are up, not his power.
So it's in BABIP that we see a change. From April through July Tellez's BABIP was .254. In August it is almost .400. Tellez last home run was hit on June 27th. He has six home runs this season.
Tellez does need another year in AAA. He is young for the league but he hasn't shown major league power or major league hitting for average. Don't count him in as a major league option for 2018. This late season surge might help his confidence going into the off-season and that is not a bad thing.
Pre all-star break: 4.37 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 1.98 GO/FO
Post all-star break: 8.48 ERA, 2.23 WHIP, 1.00 GO/FO
I don't know exactly what Greene is trying to do in the second half but it doesn;t seem to be working.
McGuire has only 121 at-bats this year and 22 of those were in the GCL. He would be a good candidate for the fall league. However McGuire has been hitting like a star in August, .389 average, 1200 OPS. Almost every part of his game is better than his April. This is a small sample but it shows potential.
I liked Guerrero when I saw him in Lansing several years ago and I have followed him since. Because he is tall and lanky, listed at 6'4" and 189 pounds, I did think that it could take a while to get his parts moving together in a good way. Guerrero is 25 now and time is running out. Like McGuire, Guerrero has been injured this year but in 78 at-bats since he came back he is hitting .333 with an 828 OPS. I don't think he could be a regular but he is versatile and can play a role as a major league utility player.
Guillotte dominated the early season. He hit well in Dunedin and then hit .481 in a few weeks in New Hampshire in May. He hit .291 in June but has collapsed since then. Guillotte is hitting around .125 in July and August with an OPS under .400.
OPS by month: 548; 676; 629; 785; 659. None of those months are prospect worthy.
First half: 2.28 ERA, WHIP 1.28
Second half: 4.63 ERA, WHIP 1.60
The second half is not terrible but obviously a step down from the first.
OPS by month: 994; 839; 487; 714; 200.
The last (August) OPS number is just 20 at-bats. The most optimistic interpretation is that Pentecost's numbers declined as he caught more. He has also battled a couple of injuries but he has something to prove next year. Max would be another good Arizona fall league candidate.
Fist half: .243 BA; 690 OPS
Second half: .313 BA; 842 OPS
I am not sure if Kelly is a prospect or if he has a position but he does get overlooked behind Vlad, Bo and Max.
OPS by month: 543; 640; 496; 708; 876.
First half / second half OPS: 572; 755
So what has happened? Lets look at strike zone control.
Strikeout rate AprMayJun vs. JulAug: 27%; 24%
Walk rate AMJ/JA: 9%; 12%
Davis seems to have had a turn around in performance in mid-July. His strikeout rate in the second half of July was 19% and in August it is 22%.
What about BABIP? First half: 393; second half: .402
Is there a conclusion? Davis has improved his strikeout rate and his walk rate while maintaining his BABIP. The negative on Davis was that his pitch recognition was poor. It seems to have improved. Is it good enough for AA? We don;t know but there are small signs of growth in his numbers.
First half: .248 BA; 728 OPS
Second half: .303 BA; 907 OPS
Looks like he is on his way to AA next year.
First half: .195 BA; 540 OPS
Second half: .321 BA; 823 OPS
Palacios had some injuries in the first half that saw him in and out of the lineup. His second half has been more in line with pre-season expectations.
Strikeout rate: 45% first half; 37% second half.
The rate has improved but is still very high.
OPS by month from June through August: 337; 656; 815
The samples sizes are small and his strikeout rate is still high (27% in August), but he looks good enough for Lansing to start 2018.
3rd star: Josh De Graaf
2nd star: Riley Adams
1st star: Thomas Pannone