Wednesday Chat Roundups, Gustavo Update, and Draft Drama

Just a hodge-podge of camp talk for this Thursday morning. Cactus League opener is less than a week away! The full squad has reported, save Santiago Casilla and Jose De Paula, who are stuck in the DR. I still don’t understand how the younger Casilla is in camp, but Santiago can’t get a visa. Are these guys required to go home in the offseason? If not, why would you voluntarily put yourself through that hassle? But I digress…

In other news, Brandon Belt and the Giants got a deal done at midnight Tuesday in a Florida hotel room. That could sound very shady, taken out of context. The agreement was for $2.9M, a slight win for Belt. The whole situation was sort of comical in the way it played out. As someone who flies pretty frequently for work, having to board a cross-country flight for a one night stay sounds awful. But for a measly $3M, you could put me on a Cessna and fly me to a remote part of Canada for all I care. Belt sounds happy about the whole thing (as he should be), and that’s all that really matters.

Chat Roundup

Both Baggarly and Pavlovic had mid-day chats at their respective sites yesterday, so I thought we’d touch on a few of the more interesting topics. First, it turns out I’m not off my rocker in regards to Kendry Flores’ size…

Comment From Cove Chatter: “Could Kendry Flores be this year’s Esky, ascending through the system after being placed on the 40-man? A couple pictures I’ve seen have Flores looking MUCH bigger than 6-ft-2, 175 as he is listed. What have you heard on him?”

Andrew Baggarly: “I agree Flores is not 175 pounds. I heard the stuff isn’t as firm. Flores doesn’t have the same ceiling as Escobar. He is definitely an intriguing arm, though.”

So, I guess there’s some work to be done on the hype machine, but I don’t necessarily think David Lee’s increased velocity reports from last summer have made all the rounds yet… which really doesn’t make sense to me. If a kid adds a good chunk of weight/muscles, sees a pretty dramatic increase and velocity, and puts up the second half peripherals that Flores did last year, I’d think everyone would be talking about it.

Baggs on Derek Law and the bullpen situation:

I still think he’s a longshot but we’ll see him at some point this season. You never want to go straight to the kids on opening day unless you’re utterly convinced they’re ready. As promising as the stuff is, Law hasn’t pitched above A ball. Seems like teams prefer to let a Kontos or a Machi begin in the bullpen, and if they don’t work out, then you have fallback options in the minors.”

Speaking of Law, Hank Schulman had a nice piece on him in the Chronicle yesterday. It’s pretty cool to see these young guys getting a lot of attention so early. I really don’t remember that being the case in camp last spring. There was a lot of talk about Heath Hembree and Gary Brown, but that was just about it. It’s becoming pretty apparent how the organization feels about this new group.

A few other noteworthy quotes from yesterday:

Baggs: “I’m keeping an eye on Joe Panik. This will be a big year for him. I still think he could be a Freddy Sanchez-type. And if Scutaro really does continue to wind down, there could be a great opportunity for Panik in the near future.”

Pavs: (When asked if we’ll see Panik in SF this season) “I think so … there’s not much in his way, is there? I talked to Joe for a long time today. He dropped some weight because he felt he was missing a little quickness last year. Still a really mature kid, with a nice swing and good feel for the game. He’s a guy to watch this spring.”

Baggs: (On Gary Brown) “Really interested to see what changes he made to his swing mechanics. Talked to him briefly and he said he doesn’t even want to think about last year, much less talk about it. He sees the positives of being on the 40-man roster and getting a fresh start. It is very hard not to root for Gary. He has a great personality. But I think he’d probably agree that he can’t let his effort waver from one day to the next. Scouts who watched a lot of him have pointed that out to me.”

Pavs: I’m an Adrianza fan, but the Giants don’t exactly need a defensive whiz at shortstop …”

Baggs: (On Angel Villalona) Saw him today. Yes they still see major league power and no, it’s not too late.”

Finally, Pavs sneaks in tremendous compliment about Andrew Susac, when asked a question about Quiroz:Yes, he’s a perfect fit there. My guess is that Susac would get most the playing time, but Quiroz is a great guy to have a couple hours away, just in case. Susac, by the way, looks fantastic.”

Like I said, TONS of love for the kids going around this spring, as well as some solid reports about the MLB guys. It’s so early right now, but I’m really liking the vibe of this camp. You’d have to think the minor leaguers are jacked up to learn from the vets, and I’ll bet some of those kids end up impressing the heck out of their superiors. I know that’s how it’s supposed to work in a big league camp, but it certainly doesn’t always turn out that way. Take this for what it’s worth, but I think this team could do big things in 2014.

Gustavo Update

Gustavo Cabrera’s health is a major concern for most of us at the moment, but we hadn’t really heard anything on him since his surgery took place (November?). Well, someone asked Baggs about the kid on Twitter this morning, and the response wasn’t what I’d hoped for. At this point, it doesn’t sound like Gustavo will play at all in 2014.

That’s a big blow for a guy who had tons of upside. Essentially, Cabrera and Nathanael Javier will both lose the entire season… and Cabrera’s situation is much more concerning. I guess it’s time for the Giants international scouts to get back out there and look for the next big thing. Bummer.

Draft Drama

If you missed this last night, Aaron Fitt from BA is all over the Phillies right now, after learning the team accused its 2013 5th round pick of violating NCAA policies regarding financial representation. That pick, Oregon State lefty Ben Wetzler, didn’t sign with Philly. He’s now suspended indefinitely. The Phils also did this with their 6th round pick from last year. I’m not going to go into all of the details here, but I would recommend reading Fitt’s article if you have time.

Essentially, what the Phillies did here was break an unwritten rule of MLB draft code… and they PO’d a lot of people in the process. The reason I bring this up is because Philly has the 7th pick in this summer’s draft, and there’s already talk about prospective picks not wanting to be selected by the organization. That could have huge ramifications in June, and potentially even push another top-end prospect closer to #14 and the Giants. Interesting stuff.

As someone who greatly values education and students’ rights, I am not a fan of the NCAA. For an organization that is supposed to have the student-athlete’s best interest at heart, that is one governing body that seems to only care about the cold, hard cash. It’s disappointing, really, and this Phillies fiasco just paints another picture of bone-headed rules that just don’t add up (my opinion, of course). End of rant!

Ok, that’s all for this morning folks. I don’t know about you, but I sure can’t wait for Spring Training games to start. I’m loving all the news and pictures lately, but nothing beats the sound of play-by-play on the radio on a sunny spring afternoon. Well, I guess being there in person would beat it, but you get the point…

Six more days!

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Cove Chatter 100: #50

Gustavo Cabrera | CF, 17 yo, 6-2, 190, BR, TR | IFA 2012 DR | (DSL) 54 G, 229 PA, .247/.379/.360, .739 OPS, 2 HR, 22 RBI, 21 SB, 7 CS, 30 BB, 54 K

I know I may be in the minority in moving Cabrera nearly off the list. For what it’s worth, he was in my top 10 before suffering a severe wrist injury in a freak accident in the Dominican Republic in late October. Now, he’s probably looking at a lost season, much like fellow promising 2012 international signee Nathanael Javier. Until we see Gustavo back on the field, I just can’t give him a high placement… but I don’t want folks to think I’ve forgotten about him either. If and when Cabrera is healthy, he’s one of the only legitimate 5-tool prospects in the organization. After a slow start, he hit .314 with 2 HR and 11 SB in 26 second-half games this year. He also showed off his CF cannon with 5 outfield assists. The injury hurts his stock for the moment, but age is still on his side.

They said it: “Cabrera…has dazzled scouts with his bat speed, hitting mechanics, range on defense and raw power in games and showcases during the past year.” ~ Jesse Sanchez, MLB.com

Cabrera Video: (Holy bat speed!)

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Giants 2014: Center FIeld

This is post #2 in a series looking at the state of the Giants going forward, one position at a time. We started with right field and Mr. Pence, the $90 million man. Now we’re on to the ever valuable center field. Much like right field, the center field spot for the Giants is one with little debate these days, as Angel Pagan is heading into year 2 of 4 in a $45 million contract. Pagan is one of the most valuable players on the team, and like Pence, he plays the game all-out, all the time.

May 25th, he crushes one into triple’s alley in the 10th inning of a tie game against Colorado, proceeds to bust it around 3rd, and keeps-on-a-goin’. He slides in safe for the winning run, a walk-off inside the park homer. Hands down, that’s the sweetest play of the year. Dust flying, Pagan’s helmet down over his face, Flannery running around high-fiving like a lunatic… utter chaos, and one of the most amazing AT&T Park scenes I’ve ever seen that didn’t involve the postseason or a Bonds home run.

That play was the essence of Pagan. It was the last time he’d take the field until August 30th. That walk-off made the Giants 27-22. When he came back, they’d been out of contention for two months. There were so many things that went wrong this year, but you could make a pretty strong argument that Pagan’s absence was the one that sunk the ship. Sure, Torres and Blanco held their own as the CF/leadoff hitter for a little while after Pagan went down. They were exposed eventually, though. Especially Torres… he fell apart, both at the plate and in the field. It’s pretty simple: when Pagan plays, the Giants are a much better team.

So Pagan is the undoubted center fielder and leadoff hitter going forward, as long as he can stay healthy. There’s no doubt about that, as he is being paid handsomely to be that guy. Pagan is an asset on this team, a player who kind of drives the bus in a sense. But, the center field position hasn’t always been a known commodity or strength for the Giants. Like right field, center had been pretty unstable before Pagan entered the picture.

Where it’s been: Remember Aaron Rowand? If there’s any question about Brian Sabean’s preference to lock up players who’ve already contributed at AT&T Park (especially hitters), you can look no further than the Rowand contract to find answers. One year after the Zito deal, Rowand got 5 years and $60 million… I don’t have to remind you that he didn’t make it through 4 full seasons as a Giant. But Rowand was the primary CF for a few years until Andres Torres came out of nowhere in 2010. 2011 was a mix and match farewell tour for Rowand (cut in September), Torres (traded) and Cody Ross (left for free agency). That’s a four-year overview of center field before the Giants acquired Pagan for Torres prior to 2012. Nothing special. But there were trophies and rings earned during that period… just goes to show what can happen when a team gets hot.

Where it’s headed: Pagan is signed through 2016, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be the everyday center fielder for the length of his contract. He’s 32, heading into his 9th year in the bigs, and has only played 150+ games in a season twice in his career. He’s also not the greatest defensive center fielder in the world, and many think he’ll eventually be pushed to left. When he’s healthy, he’s a .280 hitter with extra base power and some serious speed. Health is the big wildcard… he’s starting to seem like one of those guys that can’t avoid a trip to the DL every year. You just hope you don’t end up getting into a Freddy Sanchez situation with Pagan, because he’s owed a lot of money. Next season will go a long way in telling how much value the Giants will get out of the deal.

The Giants will likely fill in behind Pagan with Blanco or Juan Perez next year. In reality, both are stronger defenders than Pagan, but neither have his impact bat. Neither will spend much time in center next year, either. Pagan was given big money to be the center fielder, and you can bet that’s where he’ll be when he’s on the field. Whoever gets the 4th OF job will probably spend most of their time as a late inning replacement in left, as there won’t be many innings to go around in right field either… Mr. Pence has those taken care of.

I’m not sure if the Giants will go with two outfielders on the bench next year. Blanco and Perez are both above average defenders, but I don’t think you need both of them on the 25-man unless there’s an injury. Perez has an elite arm, but Blanco has the better bat. I think Blanco’s bat will win out and Perez will start the year in Fresno. If he can develop a little plate discipline, I can definitely see Perez getting himself some more playing time in the future. He’s just too good of an athlete.

Where does Gary Brown fit into all of this? As recently as a year ago, Brown was the top prospect in the organization and the CF/leadoff hitter of the future. Now that future’s in big trouble. The 2010 1st round pick has seen his average drop from .336 in San Jose, to .279 in Richmond, to .231 this year in Fresno. His stolen bases have also dropped each year, from 53 to 33 to 17. Brown is a tremendous athlete in center with one of the best outfield arms in the organization. The Giants definitely have some superb defensive CF’s in their system, but Brown, like so many others, is seeing his bat fall off as he advances through the minors. Coming in, his contact and speed tools were supposed to be elite to go along with the advanced defense. So how does he strikeout 135 times in Fresno after striking out only 164 times combined over the two previous seasons? What the hell’s going on with him these days?

One thing is for certain with Brown. Whether he can rebound to his future MLB-regular status or not, he’s going to get his opportunities. You don’t give up on top prospects, and while many in the national media will write him off after this year, he still has every chance to get the bat going and move Pagan to left field by 2015. Brown’s a stubborn kid with a great story. I think he’s got a ton of untapped potential left, the coaching staff just needs to help him find it… and he needs to be willing to make changes.

The only other real CF prospects of note in the system are Gustavo Cabrera, Jesus Galindo, and Joneshwy Fargas, all of whom are at least a few years off (if they ever make it). Galindo has plus speed and was a Future’s Game participant this year. Don’t know if he’ll ever hit enough. Fargas is a recent draft pick from Puerto Rico with some athleticism and speed tools. He had a nice summer with the bat in the AZL, and will be a sleeper guy to keep an eye on. Very young. Cabrera is the big ticket, the million-dollar baby, the potential 5-tool stud. But he’s yet to play a professional game in America. He’s a top-10 prospect in the system to me, but no way is he even sniffing San Francisco for another 4 or more years.

I think that’s a pretty fair look at CF in the organization. If I’m missing something, please feel free to let me know. The first two installments of this series were pretty easy, but we’ll get into some of Brian Sabean’s heavy lifting with the next one when we tackle left field. As we all know, the position could go one of about a thousand ways this offseason, and I don’t have any better of a clue than anyone else out there not working within the organization. But I’ll sure take my best stab at it! 

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Arroyo Named MVP

Giants’ 2013 first round pick Christian Arroyo was named MVP of the Arizona Rookie League today. 2nd round pick Ryder Jones, catcher Fernando Pujadas and 21 year-old lefty Luis Ysla were also named to the AZL All-Star team, while Giants’ skipper Nestor Rojas took Manager of the Year. The Giants, led primarily by young 2013 draft picks, finished first in the regular season standings at 41-14 this summer. They earned a bye into the AZL semi-finals, which will be played tomorrow. I don’t know exactly how rookie league playoffs are formatted, but having a bye certainly doesn’t hurt.

If I’m Arroyo, I accept that MVP award with a hearty “F-You” to the draft scouts who called me the biggest reach of the first round. That “reach” logged a .326/.388/.511 line with 2 HR, 18 2B and 39 RBI in 45 games this summer while manning shortstop for the first-place Giants. According to MiLB.com, his OPS (.898), doubles and RBI were best in the AZL this year. He also tied the league lead in slugging. If you want to read the brief article, you can find it here.

We know the Giants have plenty of pitching depth in the lower levels of the system. But I don’t think many people realize the Giants are also starting to build a nice base of position player talent as well, although many of those guys are very far off. We can hope that Jones and Arroyo, the gems of this year’s draft, continue to push each other (if they are assigned to the same level next year). The same goes for international babies Gustavo Cabrera and Nat Javier, college bats Tyler Horan, Brandon Bednar and Brian Ragira, as well as 2013 high school draftees like Jonah Arenado and John Riley.

The Giants may have gambled on some of these guys, but I think Arroyo’s play this summer shut a lot of people up, and hopefully showed some “experts” that Bobby Evans, Brian Sabean and crew may know a thing or two about scouting talent. Keep those bats coming, fella’s.

Farm Report: Two Up, One Down

August 15, 2013

A full slate of games from the Giants’ minor league affiliates. Fresno, Richmond, Augusta and Salem-Keizer all earned victories, while San Jose and the rookie league teams fell. Augusta is one of the hottest teams in baseball, now 19 games over .500 on the season. Speaking of hot teams, look at these records: San Jose 69-54, Augusta 70-51, Salem-Keizer 37-22, DSL Giants 38-21, AZL Giants 34-11. I think it’s safe to say the Giants have some of the better lower level minor league talent in MLB these days, yet they continue to earn rankings near the bottom of the barrel!   

Two Up

Eric Surkamp, LHP, Fresno: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.

Surkamp keeps his hot streak in AAA going as he continues his path back to San Francisco. He’s thrown at least 7 innings in each of his last four starts for Fresno, allowing only 4 ER during that span. He’s now made 13 minor league starts this summer, posting a 2.81 ERA overall.

Gustavo Cabrera, CF, DSL: 1-5, HR, 3 RBI, 4 K.

Gustavo hits his first professional home run, a 3-run shot in the 7th. He also had the rare Mark Reynolds performance, striking out four times to go along with his big fly. It seems Cabrera has been hitting in the middle of the lineup more lately, after spending the beginning of the summer near the top. Maybe the Giants want him to swing for more power? Who knows, but the first pro homer is hopefully the first of many great achievements in the heralded center fielder’s career.

One Down

Angel Villalona, 1B, Richmond: 0-4, 2 K, 1 R.

Villalona is 1-11 with 5 K’s and no walks in his three games since returning from the DL. Since his promotion to AA, the former (and again current?) top prospect has shown his power, belting 6 home runs in six games, but he’s also shown some very poor plate discipline. He’s struck out 40 times with only 5 walks, and has seen his average dip to .237. Speaking of Mark Reynolds, Villalona seems to be of the same mold – light-tower power with no plate discipline whatsoever. If you told the Giants they’d get Reynolds’ numbers from Villalona in San Francisco, I’m pretty sure they’d be ecstatic.   

Tonight

It’s Crick and Escobar night in San Jose and Richmond, respectively, tonight. If you’re tired of the last-place Major League Giants, maybe the young studs on the mound will bring you joy.

Updates on the Top Prospects, #1-10

It’s been a month since we finished our mid-season top prospects list, so I wanted to take a few minutes to look at how these guys are holding up through the summer. There are certainly a few guys who’ve helped or hurt their stock big time, and I’m constantly re-evaluating the system. Luckily, the top 5 guys are all doing fairly well, although I don’t know that they’ll all be able to keep their lofty spots in the organization come off-season rankings… not if guys like Edwin Escobar have anything to say about it.

#1 Kyle Crick, RHP, San Jose | 11 gs, 1-1, 1.78 era, 50.2 ip, 38 h, 32 bb, 69 k.

Crick has been inconsistent with his control at times, but his fastball is baffling Cal League hitters this summer, and he’s keeping runs off the board. If he can stay healthy, I don’t think an Arizona Fall League assignment would be out of the question for Crick this year.

#2 Chris Stratton, RHP, Augusta | 19 gs, 8-3, 3.11 era, 113 ip, 107 h, 41 bb, 114 k.

I thought Stratton might get a second-half promotion to San Jose, but it looks like he’ll be staying in Augusta for the remainder of the season. While there are certainly other pitchers in the system whose stars have shone brighter than his right now, Stratton has actually been very consistent. He’s also been better lately, allowing only 2 ER over his last four starts.

#3 Clayton Blackburn, RHP, San Jose | 20 gs, 7-5, 3.62 era, 117 ip, 97 h, 28 bb, 119 k.

Blackburn has lived up to his workhorse reputation this year in San Jose, giving the Giants a competitive effort on the mound every 5th day. With guys like Crick, Escobar and Mejia pitching around him this year, it’s been very easy to overlook Blackburn. But that would be a huge mistake, as the 20 year-old has really been on a tear lately. He’s 5-2 with a 2.80 ERA over his last 10 starts. I would say his stock is holding strong.

#4 Martin Agosta, RHP, Augusta | 15 gs, 8-3, 2.03 era, 79.2 ip, 49 h, 34 bb, 97 k.

Agosta has been dominant when he’s been on the mound this season. His 49 hits allowed and 97 K’s in 79 innings indicate his dominant stuff, but durability has been an issue in the past couple of months for the 2nd round pick. He’s made only 5 starts since June 1, and is currently on the DL with a blister. He’s already missed some time with dead arm this summer, so his health is definitely a concern right now. But I’m sure the Giants would really like to get his electric arm back on the mound sooner rather than later.

#5 Mac Williamson, OF, San Jose | 115 g, .277/.360, 20 hr, 67 rbi, 42 bb, 115 k, 9 sb.

Mac has done nothing to hurt his value this summer after a slow start to his first full professional season this spring. He hit .320 in June and .321 in July, with a combined 13 HR. He’s cooled off a bit in August so far, but his bat and defensive skills make him one of the top position player prospects in the system. The real test for Williamson will obviously be Richmond, but his season in San Jose has been pretty impressive.

#6 Andrew Susac, C, Richmond | 84 g, .256/.362, 12 hr, 56 rbi, 42 bb, 68 k.

Susac’s season thus far has been pretty consistent with his overall scouting report. He’s shown power while posting an OBP 100 points higher than his average, yet battled injuries for most of the summer in Richmond. This may seem like a simple analysis, but Susac really has had a nice season, especially for a guy who hit only .244 with 9 HR in San Jose last year. The former 2nd round pick is coming along nicely, both at the plate and behind it. If he can just keep himself on the field with more consistency, I’d think he could be ready to break out in Fresno next year.

#7 Gary Brown, CF, Fresno | 115 g, .230/.289, 12 hr, 46 rbi, 29 bb, 115 k, 13 sb.

Brown’s stock is fading pretty quickly these days. After a terribly cold start in Fresno, the former top prospect heated up in June, adding the long ball to his repertoire. However, his bat has gone cold again, to the tune of .233 in July and .247 in August. The Giants could really use his elite defense in San Francisco, but his bat just hasn’t developed as hoped to this point. Maybe he needs another season to make some adjustments at the dish.

#8 Joe Panik, 2B, Richmond | 117 g, .266/.341, 4 hr, 47 rbi, 50 bb, 50 k, 10 sb.

Panik is another curious case for the Giants and their top hitting prospects. He’s had his ups and downs in Richmond this season. After going ice cold in June, he’s finally starting to get his average up again with a .368 line in August. He continues to show excellent plate discipline, as well as a lack of power. He’s probably done enough at this point to move out of the dreaded Eastern League next season, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll hit enough to play every day in the big leagues.

#9 Gustavo Cabrera, CF, DSL | 44 g, .231/.375, 0 hr, 14 rbi, 28 bb, 45 k, 17 sb.

Cabrera, the 17 year-old bonus baby, has held his own in his first taste of professional baseball. After hitting .200 in the month of June, he posted a .413 OBP in July, and is 8-23 so far in August. Cabrera’s ability to take a walk and steal a base should make the Giants feel good about his game so far. Not incredible numbers for a top prospect, but for a kid who’s as young and raw as he is, I think he’s doing just fine.

#10 Heath Hembree, RHP, Fresno | 47 g, 26 sv, 4.15 era, 47.2 ip, 47 h, 15 bb, 58 k.

Hembree has been anointed the Giants’ closer of the future at times during his minor league career, but he seems to have stalled in AAA. After spending most of the season in Fresno last year, he’s been stuck in the Pacific Coast League again this year as well. The Giants needed bullpen help badly while Santiago Casilla was out, but never called Hembree’s name. Hembree’s ERA isn’t amazing, but I think he’s done enough to earn a call to the show. Not sure what the hold-up is at this point.

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Minor League Report: 2 up, 1 down

July 26, 2013

Just wanted to give a quick update on a few prospects from our mid-season top 40. I’ll try to do these updates from time to time, just to check in on some of the notable performances from the farm. I thought it might be beneficial to list a couple of guys who did well, as well as one or two who had a rough night. These will be brief, but if you’d like a full daily recap of the Giants’ minor league affiliates, check out whenthegiantscometotown.blogspot.com, where DrB is full of great insights.

Two Up

Clayton Blackburn, RHP | San Jose (#3 on our list): 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K.

Blackburn has been on a tear in Hi-A lately, and continued his hot streak with one of the best starts of his young career. He took a perfect game into the 7th, retiring the first 20 Lancaster hitters before allowing a double. He induced 10 groundouts on the night, pitching 8 innings strong. That’s four straight starts of 6 IP, 2 ER or less for Blackburn, who seems to be turning the corner in San Jose.

Gustavo Cabrera, OF, | DSL Giants (#9): 2-5, 2B.

Cabrera is the Giants’ 2012 prize international signee. At 17 years old, he’s in his first season of professional ball, playing in the Dominican Summer League. Understandably, his hitting numbers have been pretty poor this summer, but he seems to be catching fire all of a sudden. He’s got 6 hits and 2 2B over his last three games, and sports a very nice .356 OBP for the season. He’s got all kinds of tools, so it’ll be interesting to see if his recent hitting streak continues.

One Down

Mike Kickham, LHP | Fresno (#12): 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR.

Kickham’s season is spiraling downward in a hurry these days. He didn’t make it out of the first inning last night, racking up 42 pitches and allowing a HR before getting the hook. His ERA in Fresno is now 5.29 for the season, and he’s allowed 5 ER or more in three of his last six starts. This has to be frustrating for the lefty, who would probably still be in the majors if not for his control issues.