Although he is currently struggling against lefties at Triple-A, Mike Moustakas went Kanye West on Houston’s Triple-A affiliate Round Rock, going four for six while launching three home runs and a three-run double for a total of 11 RBI in a 23 to 5 routing. In other minor league news, here are the Texas League Players of the Year and Post season All-Stars. Furthermore, here are the Minor League Hitters of the Week, notables include Ryan Lavarnway (BOS), Josh Reddick (BOS), and Cody Decker (SD); Minor League Pitchers of the Week, notables include last week’s Scouting the Unknown’s Matt Moore (TB), Alexander Torres (TB), and Johhn Lamb (KC). Now for the weekly installment of Scouting the Unknown.
A possible September call-up to fill a bullpen role, McGee traversed Double-A and Triple-A this past year. He throws a mid 90’s fastball that tops out at 98 MPH, a three-quarter breaking ball “with good tilt,” and has shown good feel for the changeup. A Tommy John surgery survivor (has surgery in 2008), McGee was once considered the best left-handed pitcher in the minors prior to the injury. According to most sources, his surgery and recovery went smoothly – the numbers help too. He has struggled with his control for years, and that’s typically the last thing to return to Tommy John pitchers. His main struggle with control was, and is due to a fluctuating release point. If he can’t fix that problem, he could become a dominate reliever. Looking at his stats for this year let’s see how he’s pitched (12 1/3 IP as a reliever at Triple-A).
2010 Stats: 10.7 K/9 | 3.0 BB/9 | 101 IP | 3.12 ERA | 2.52 FIP | 1.18 WHIP | .3 Hr/9 | 7.6 H/9 | .333 BABIP | 42.5 GB% | 19.8 LD% | 33.2 FB% | 16.9 IF/FB% | 3.4 Hr/FB%
Career Stats: 10.4 K/9 | 3.4 BB/9 | 616 IP | 3.46 ERA | 3.15 FIP | 1.22 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 7.3 H/9 | .305 BABIP | 41.9 GB% | 16.2 LD% | 38.3 FB% | 18.0 IF/FB% | 6.0 Hr/FB%
If you stopped reading once you saw the double-digit strikeout rate, you missed his stellar peripheral dominance. Such as his reduced walk rate (3.0 BB/9), low home run rate (.3 Hr/9), and slightly unlucky batting average on balls in play (.333 BABIP). For all the concern over his control, he only has 34 walks in 101 innings of work, and only one walk in 12 1/3 innings at Triple-A with 20 strikeouts. Statistically speaking, he has made tremendous gains this year with his control while maintaining his jaw-dropping strikeout rates. Although Tampa Bay owns his rights, along with other young studs like Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis and other young pitchers, McGee could slip under the radar and provide excellent value for the savvy fantasy baseball player, especially if he were traded this offseason. He most likely will help the Rays during September’s push for the playoffs. I really like his strikeout potential and his team. He could be a cheap version of Aroldis Chapman for this year or repeat Neftali Feliz’s September 2009 (9 appearances with 16 strikeouts).
Goldschmidt is no pyrite stone found in ordinary mines. No, instead, his hulking frame has reminded scouts of Pete “Inky” Incaviglia. Okay, maybe that name doesn’t ring any bells for my younger generation. Think of a massive power hitter who trailed off in his early thirties. After setting a Texas State University school record with 36 home runs in his collegiate career, Goldschmidt was taken in the eighth round in the 2009 draft. He went on to lead the hitter-friendly Pioneer League in homers (18) and slugging percentage (.638). He’s an aggressive hitter and his swing can get long and pull-happy far too often. Although he has a high strikeout rate, he controls the zone well, but will never hit for high average in the higher minors or major league. Defensively, he lacks speed to play the outfield, he doesn’t have great range, and isn’t a smooth fielder. Naturally, this makes him a first basemen. There is a possibility he plays left field because Arizona has a glut of corner infielders in their minor league system.
2010 Stats: .305/.375/.592 | 498 AB | 74 XBH | 33 Hr | .287 ISO | 153:53 K:BB | 4/1 SB/CS | .377 BABIP | 41.5 GB% | 14.9 LD% | 43.6 FB% | 13.5 IF/FB%
Career Stats: .316/.387/.609 | 785 AB | 122 XBH | 51 Hr | .293 ISO | 227:89 K:BB | 8/4 SB/CS | .387 BABIP | 39 GB% | 17.2 LD% | 43.5 FB% |10 IF/FB%
No one questions his power, they all say it’s legitimate, and is probably his only major tool. He will finish this year in the top five total home run hit in the entire minors. Keep in mind, his two season of professional baseball has been played in extreme hitting environments – the California League (2010) and the Pioneer League (2009) – with his statistics clearly representing the league he has played in. With a three-to-one strikeout to walk ratio, Goldschmidt will have a terrible time keeping his average above the .275 mark against better pitchers. Furthermore, his high batting average on balls in play (.377 BABIP in ’10 and .387 BABIP for career) show he has had a lot of luck playing into his slash line. Expecting his average to dwindle shouldn’t be a surprise. His power will sustain itself. Think Jack Cust, Chris Davis, Ian Stewart, Mark Reynolds, and Adam Dunn. He will have to prove himself at Double-A next year. If he plays next year anything like this year, he could channel Chris Davis’ 2008 season in 2011.