Posted by: portersprospectreport | August 23, 2008

8/22 AAA Minor League Report

I hope you all enjoyed my post about the ’08 Bowman Chrome case break.  I apologize for slacking off with the minor league reports.  I am going to do my best to get 4 posts in today covering AAA-Full Season Low A.  Starting from the top…

Max Ramirez

  • 2-4 2R 3 RBI 2B—Nice 1st game at Oklahoma

 

Kila Ka’aihue

  • 2-4 HR(35) 2 RBI—Look for him to be wearing Royal blue in the next couple of weeks!

 

Chris Lubanski

  • 2-3 HR(14) 3 RBI 3B—.233 14 HR 49 RBI (days as a top prospect are over)

 

Rob Johnson

  • 2-5 2R 2 RBI—4th straight multi-hit game

 

Brandon Morrow

  • 4.2 IP 2H 2ER BB 10K!—Quest for M’s rotation spot nearly complete

 

Micah Hoffpauir

  • 4-6 2B 4 RBI R SB(2)—.371 23 HR 92 RBI 33 2B 58 R in 64 games

 

Delwyn Young

  • 3-5 3R 2B—1st hits of the his injury-marred season

 

Blake Dewitt

  • 2-6 2B 3B 2 RBI 2R—Departure of Andy LaRoche bodes well for Dewitt’s Dodger future

 

Xavier Paul

  • 2-4 RBI R—Oft overlooked athletic OF (.424 2 HR 7 RBI last 10 games)

 

Chin-lung Hu

  • 3-4 2B 2 RBI—.299 0 HR 12 RBI in 34 AAA games

 

Ben Copeland

  • 3-4 2B 2R RBI BB—.367 22 H 12 R in 15 games with Fresno

 

Jordan Brown

  • 2-4 3B 2 RBI R SB(3)—.282 5 HR 45 RBI

 

Phil Hughes

  • 3.1 IP 10H 8ER BB 6K (L)—Back to back nausea-inducing outings with Scranton

 

Drew Stubbs

  • 2-2 2R BB SB(32)—.316 2 HR 7 RbI 7R in 9 games with Louisville

 

Phil Humber

  • 9 IP 5 ER 8K (W)—5-1 2.56 ERA 50K/53 IP last 10 games

 

Daniel McCutchen

  • 7 IP 4H 2 ER 7K (W)—10-11 3.48 ERA 137K/160IP

 

Brent Lillibridge

  • 3-4 3 RBI 2B R BB—Disappointing season (.215 4 HR 32 RBI 21 SB)

 

BUY/SELL Analysis

100 MPH heater will warm up Safeco soon

100 MPH heater will warm up Safeco soon

For once I will not be talking out of an orifice other than my mouth when evaluating a prospect, as I have  been privy to many first hand evaluations of former Seattle Mariners set up man Brandon Morrow.  Morrow was recently sent to AAA Tacoma to stretch out and become a starter.  This maneuver was initially supposed to be implemented after the conclusion of last season, allowing Morrow to compete for a rotation spot in spring training of this year.  A preseason trade for Erik Bedard caused the M’s to lose then set-up guy (now All-Star closer) George Sherrill, relegating Morrow back to the bullpen.

Morrow’s stuff is electric.  He regularly pumps in fastballs at 96-98 MPH and throws a tight 84-87 MPH slider that leaves many hitters swinging at air.  He compiled 10 saves as temporary closer while striking out 47 in just 37 innings.  His 1.72 ERA and 0.90 WHIP were vast improvements over last season as well.  Mariners fans lauded Morrow’s transition to the rotation, however, I think that it is a mistake of Joba-like proportions.  Morrow’s fastball will likely lose 3-4 MPH in velocity and, suffice it to say, his ball does not have much movement on it.  His slider is a fine complimentary pitch, but he mainly throws it early in the count and does not have much command of it to throw it late in counts (especially if he is behind a hitter).  Finally, he does not have a MLB calibur 3rd pitch, which is essential for starting pitchers to have.  Combine those factors with the fact that he has a history of being fragile (the M’s were often forced to limit his workload) and is a diabetic and you are left with a player that is a huge risk to become the latest briliant flash in the pan.  Morrow has 1st year cards peppered throughout several 2007 products with varying prices.  His best autographs can be found in the 2007 Fleer Ultra set selling on Ebay for $20-25, but many other products feature his autos at $7-10 each. 

Market Advice: After reading my post above, you surely must think that I am a Morrow-hater.  Quite contrarily, I am a big fan of Morrow…as a late inning reliever or even closer.  I would not advocate buying his cards with the intent of holding them for the long haul, but a short term BUY  of some of his lower priced autos may render some positive results in the short run as his card values will increase as he has success as a starter.  Plan to SELL in September as I think that is where Morrow’s card values will apex.  I am intrigued to see how Morrow’s upcoming 1st inning debut goes, but over the long term, I believe the M’s are making a huge mistake, but not as huge as passing over UW alum Tim Lincecum in the ’06 Draft.

 

 

 

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