This past week was craaaaazy (yes, that is six, count them, six A’s) in all things baseball!!! The Pirates loaded up for the future, though this is nothing new, and stole Alderson from the Giants for a measly Sanchez (no sexual reference intended). Desmond Jennings got a promotion to AAA. Carlos Carrasco has a new home in Cleveland and may be pitching sooner rather than later. Chris Tillman, Mat Latos, Bud Norris, and Neftali Feliz are all in the majors with differing degrees of success (in order of acquisition I would go Latos, Feliz, Tillman, Norris). Oh, and Brian Matusz (Cube ratings) had an impressive first outing for a rookie against the Tigers going five innings, walking three, striking out five (all the while Jarrod Washburn pitched like his former self – 5 1/3 IP, 6ER, and 2HR). Needless to say, today’s S.t.U isn’t going to have the same kind of intensity or near future relevancy as other posts have had. Either way, grab your long-term memory bank and let these names slip on in for a nice cozy visit!
Jeremy Hellickson Tampa Bay Rays | DOB: 4/8/87 | 5-11 | 165 lbs | Bats/Throws: Right | Rays #8 ranked prospect according to Baseball America
The Cube: Control (99) | K-Rating (97) | Efficiency (100)
Continually hiding under the radar, Hellickson has performed well at each level of play. He has averaged 9.7 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 during his entire minor league career. I can already see some of you drooling. The interesting observation upon reading about Jeremy is that he is always mentioned after Price (and recently Wade Davis), ignored, and not looked as a top of the rotation starter. Matter of fact, most analysis I read have him as a number three starter at best. Really, that seems like a pessimistic ceiling, but who am I to judge (I haven’t seen him pitch in person)?
Jeremy has a lively low 90′s mph fastball that tops out at 95, a curve that is thrown between 77 and 79 mph, and a solid change-up. His mechanics are solid as well as he rarely changes from his 3/4 arm slot thus creating a deceptive and hard to recognize pitch. He is able to repeat his motion with ease (think Tim Hudson/Brad Penny pitching motion). The walks typically come in bunches – when he is frazzled. Here is a look at his last three years of stats:
07 (A) 8.52 K/9| 2.75 BB/9 | 111 1/3 IP | .57 HR/9 | .278 BABIP | 2.67 ERA | 1.09 WHIP
08 (A+/AA) 9.6 K/9 | 1.2 BB/9 | 152 2/3 IP | 1.3 HR/9 | .320 BABIP | 2.96 ERA | 1.10 WHIP
09 (AA/AAA) 9.4 K/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 68 2/3 IP | .5 HR/9 | .263 BABIP | 2.23 ERA | .99 WHIP
Two observations that aren’t noticeable from those numbers because I didn’t split up promotion between each level per year. First, this year his jump from AA to AAA is hard to judge because he has only two starts this year at AAA (since 8/4) Thus, I wont make any rash conclusions from this year stats at AAA. Second, upon his promotion from A+ to A ball in 2008, he struggled with his control, adding a full walk per nine innings. This year’s promotion from AA to AAA is much the same. A positive thing to note though is the following year he brought his control back near his career average of 2BB/9.
Overall, he has been able to keep a good k-rate, above-average control, and is keeping the ball in the park fairly well. A middle of the rotation pitcher is a definite reality. I would actually expect him to be a number two on other teams. Depending on injuries and depth, the Rays may (a highly skeptical may) call him up in a few weeks during September. However, next summer (early summer) would be more realistic to see his stat-line count for anything meaningful for fantasy players.
* If you want to read a more technical, but excellent article, over at Saber Scouting they have broken down Hellickson.
Domonic Brown | OF | Philadelphia Phillies | DOB: 9/3/87 | 6-5 | 200 lbs | Bats/Throws: Left | Phillies #1 ranked prospect according to Baseball America
The Cube: Power (41) | Speed (86) | Contact (56) | Patience (70)
Domonic Brown, the untouchable Phillie for Roy Halladay (along with Kyle Drabek). What was all the hype about? Was it just another large market media hype surrounding a prospect to boost his value? All opinions aside, Brown has been compared to Daryl Strawberry sans coke. Like Mike Stanton, he was offered a scholarship to play wide-receiver (granted not at USC, but Miami). He wasn’t able to play at Miami because he couldn’t get a passing grade on an entry standardization test, not solely because he loves or excels more at baseball as this article presumes. Nevertheless, he is still a stellar baseball player with amazing talent, athleticism, power, speed, and defense. Sounds like Ken Griffey Jr., without the prodigy or pedigree.
Brown has an above average arm, plus raw power, and speed to cover tons of ground in center field. His swing is almost whip-like, much like Strawberry’s. Due to his wiry frame, and his whip-like swing, his swing has several holes that will typically be there because of his frame. It shouldn’t matter as he is extremely talented and makes average contact. What does his last three years look like:
06 (r) .214/.292/.265 | 117 AB | 1 HR | 13/16 SB | .279 BABIP | 25.6 K% | 9.3 BB%
07 (A-) .295/.356/.400 | 285 AB | 3 HR | 14/21 SB | .348 BABIP | 17.2 K% | 8.7 BB%
08 (A) .291/.382/.417 | 444 AB | 9 HR | 22/29 SB | .331 BABIP | 16.2 K% | 12.6 BB%
09 (A+) .303/.386/.517 | 280 AB | 11 HR | 15/23 SB | .341 BABIP | 20.2 K% | 12.5 BB%
* Steals are number of successful stolen bases out of the total number of attempts.
* 09 AA – just got called up and only has 7 AB as of 8/4 and not worth the added line of irrelevant stats
Other than rookie ball, he seems pretty poised at the plate, granted his luck factor is a bit higher than average (and has something to do with his better numbers). The walk rate is nice to see improving each year. One thing that seems to flashing in big lights is his number of at-bats in ’07. I couldn’t find if he was injured, but I am going to take a guess and say he was. This year he has had a brief stint on the DL in late June. His stolen-base rate could stand a better ratio and over time that should improve.
Nevertheless, I see a Carl Crawford-type player with a tad more power in the hands of the Phillies. This isn’t to say he will be a bad hitter, but I have my doubts whether he’ll be AMAZING like all of Philadelphia believes he will be. I would have traded him to get Roy Halladay.