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Two wins and three losses on Sunday. Maximo Castillo was outstanding in his start. We have to ask if we are seeing a different Maximo? Zac Cook helped Maximo get the win. Riley Tirotta and Addison Barger powered Vancouver to their win. Rainer Nunez went deep twice in a losing cause.

Buffalo 1 Rochester 8

Hartford 4 New Hampshire 1 - game one

Hartford 0 New Hampshire 3 - game two

Vancouver 8 Tri-City 3

Dunedin 3 Tampa 6

This is what I noted from yesterday's games.

Thomas Hatch had a bad day. His ERA is now 11.25.

Buffalo outhit Rochester 10-8 despite getting bombed on the scoreline. The Bisons lead the IL in team batting average. Eight of the Bisons starting nine ended the game hitting over .300. We don't know if this is a strong offensive team or a sign of a shortened spring training. Gabriel Moreno doubled and scored Buffalo's only run.

Maximo Castillo was outstanding, five shutout innings with eight K's. Castillo hasn't struck out a batter per inning since 2017 so this seasons early strikeout surge is interesting. He has 15 over his first nine innings. Lets see if this continues.

In game two Zac Cook hit his third home run of the season, a two run shot. John Aiello made his first start of the season and added a solo shot. Orelvis was 0-5 over two games with three K's.

Riley Tirotta hit a three run home run in the first inning for Vancouver. Tirotta was 2-4 and is hitting .333 early in the season. Addison Barger went 3-5 with two runs scored and three RBI. He is hitting .382.

Trent Palmer started and struggled through three innings with 74 pitches. He wasn't hit around but he laboured to throw strikes and have quick at-bats.

Rafael Ohashi, coming off an excellent first start, was good through four innings. But in the fifth a solo home run was followed by two walks and two more hits leading to four runs. Dahian Santos went three innings in relief allowing two runs on three hits.

Rainer Nunez went 3-3 with two home runs, both solo shots.

Three Stars

Third Star - Riley Tirotta

Second Star - Zac Cook

First Star - Maximo Castillo


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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Ducey - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#412506) #
Is there a reason Rainer Nunez isn't a prospect? Seems like he can mash.
John Northey - Sunday, April 17 2022 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#412507) #
294/345/431 is Rainer Nunez' career A ball number (this year and part of last year.  The rest of his career has been in rookie ball.  He is 21 this year and a 1B/DH.  Basically he is at 'put up or shut up' stage - if he doesn't start really mashing - 20+ HR pace, showing potential for 30+ in the majors someday soon, his career will be over.    If he was hitting this way at SS/2B/CF/C then he'd have more leaway but as a 1B/DH he has none.  As always I hope guys find 'it' and earn their shot, but iirc it is around 1% of minor leaguers who ever get to the majors, and of those over 50% don't get 3 full seasons in.  If you are in A ball or lower at 21 your odds drop so low I'd put the odds as astronomical to make it to the majors, let alone have a significant career.
hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#412508) #
For position players, age 21 in Low A I think is/was pretty normal for non-elite college picks, i.e. Kevin Smith, Cavan Biggio. Late bloomer Espinal spent his age 22 season in A ball, but that's pretty rare I'd guess for a player to become a 3 full season major leaguer.

High schoolers probably should be in A+ at least to be a prospect. And yeah if an IFA is in his 5th year and is still in Low A, it does not bode well.
Waveburner - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#412509) #
One player I still don't see listed on any rosters is 2021 17th round pick LHP Cooper Benson. I swear I saw him mentioned as a possible sleeper pick at the time of the draft. But maybe he's just injured and not listing him is an oversight.

I agree Nunez is very much a long shot given how long it took him to reach full season ball, but he has been posting some very impressive exit velocities so far. He needs to get the walks up and keep the strikeouts in check to be a real prospect as a 1B, but he's interesting enough to keep an eye on.
jerjapan - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#412513) #
Castillo is still only 22 years old, despite having first played for the org in 2016.  He is listed at 6 ft. 2, 280 pounds, so conditioning seems to be an issue, but he is still on my radar as a back of rotation possibility. 
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#412515) #
He is listed at 6 ft. 2, 280 pounds, so conditioning seems to be an issue

David Wells is listed as 6'3", 187 lbs. on BBRef.  Here's his rookie card.  6'2, 280 at age 22 would, you think, be an issue. 

I must admit that I would never name a kid "Maximo", although weight concerns would not be the reason. 
hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#412535) #
"I agree Nunez is very much a long shot given how long it took him to reach full season ball, but he has been posting some very impressive exit velocities so far"

Waveburner, where do find minor league exit velocities?
PeterG - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#412536) #
Benson had TJ surgery before draft or would have gone higher. I assume he is still recovering.
hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#412538) #
Way too early, but I'm looking at the AAA leaderboard on FG. 6 players with a wRC+ over 200, 2 of them Dodgers. One is Ryan Noda.

Here is the others line: .361/.478/.750, 15.2 BB%, 6.5 K%. Who is this uber prospect? 33 yr old Kevin Pillar.

4 Bisons over 150 wRC+:
Capra 151
Warmoth 158
Samad 163
Large 178

Moreno only 19 PA's, so not qualified, 152 wRC+.
Waveburner - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#412539) #
Thanks PeterG, I didn't know that about Benson, probably doesn't pitch this year then, although I suppose late in the summer might be possible.

hypobole, unfortunately I don't know where to find complete listings for minor league exit velocities, at least not without paying for it. But I have seen someone posting random EV's for quite a few of Nunez's hits, and they all seem to be over 100mph. It would be much more helpful to get his overall totals and averages, but what I've read seems intriguing.

But also Longenhans mentioned in his Jays prospects writeup that Nunez posts the highest max velocities and best barrel rate across the Jays system. He's still extremely skeptical on Nunez, for the same reasons posted here.
John Northey - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#412540) #
At this point of the season stats are pretty meaningless outside of extremes. 17 guys in AAA East have over 1000 OPS right now, led by Ryan Fitzgerald with a 394/459/909 line, a 28 year old Red Sox player with 0 ML PA. Never drafted, 275/348/438 career minor league line. So I'd put him up as exhibit A for why April stats mean little. Samad Taylor is tied for #1 in walks with 11 and #2 in SB with 5. Sad to see Delino DeShields leading in caught stealing (loved watching his dad play for the Expos way back when). To show how hard hitting 400 is - just 1 qualified batter there in AAA East right now (Rob Refsnyder), 2 in the West (Leody Taveras and Ryan Noda). Forrest Wall is 6-0 in SB-CS but has an ugly 229/357/229 line. Cullen Large could be in for a big adjustment with his 560 BABIP.

Lots of weird sample size stuff right now, but fun to look at. Samad Taylor is really worth watching with his extreme walks-strikeout ratio and high SB. Keep that up and he'll get his shot at some point.
hypobole - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#412542) #
Thanks, found Longenhagen's Nunez comment

"The ultra-stiff Nunez, 21, has the best max exit velo and barrel rate in this entire system, but heís been at the complex level or below since 2018 and the track record for guys who spend that much time in rookie ball is not good."

To put a Lloyd Christmas spin on his comment, Nunez has a chance.

GabrielSyme - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#412546) #
I wouldn't expect Samad Taylor to continue anything like a three-to-one BB:K ratio, but the low K% is pretty telling. You cannot find a similar stretch last year for him with so few strikeouts.

It's as if he read what the knock on him was and just flipped the switch.
jerjapan - Monday, April 18 2022 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#412553) #
Mike, nailed it.  I cracked up when I thought about naming my kid 'Maximo'.   Which is kinda why you have to pull for the guy though?
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#412561) #
I guess so, jerjapan. Every player has a story; that story (and how they address it) influences development perhaps as much as their physical abilities. I have no idea what Castillo's is. 
Dr B - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#412571) #
Well one knock on Samad Taylor is he doesn't hit the ball quite hard enough. That's the opinion from fangraphs:

This link's been posted before and is the one referenced by Waveburner and Hypobole above (about Nunez) but it's an interesting read if you haven't seen it.

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#412572) #
I don't know, Dr. B.  What they said is:

"His measurable power is much closer to Mallex Smith/Richie Martin territory, which means he simply isnít strong enough at present to replicate his 2021 numbers in a big league environment. In that context, his swing decisions loom as a big concern. Heís both passive and prone to swinging and missing, a combination that works among players with big pop but often proves fatal for anyone else"

I have no idea what they mean by "measurable power".  Are they talking exit velocities?  The "strong enough" line is annoying as hell.  No, he's not Vladimir Guerrero Jr..  What he's got is a very quick bat that enables him to hit balls out to centerfield.  Mallex Smith's career high in the minor leagues was 5 home runs in 548 PAs.  Richie Martin's was 6 home runs in 509 PAs.  Samad Taylor has shown significantly more pop every season, and 3-4 times the HR rate last year.  Smith and Martin are just not relevant to the conversation at all. 

I really have no idea whether Taylor will make it, but the suggestion that he was the 33rd best prospect on the club is laughably off the mark.  If he was, it would be a hell of a prospect pool.  Which it isn't. 
Gerry - Tuesday, April 19 2022 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#412577) #
Adrian Hernandez has been promoted to AAA.
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