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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/8): Slegers and a Slugfest

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#1 Steve Lein

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 09:49 PM

All four of the Twins affiliates were in action on Tuesday including a pitching duel between New York franchises, a rumble in the jungle of Chattanooga, a home run binge in Florida, and some Dragons breathing fire to turn the tide of a battle in the Midwest League.To find out how all of your favorite Twins prospects fared on Tuesday night, keep reading and add to the discussion in the comments!

TRANSACTIONS
There were a couple of moves made in the Twins minor league system on Tuesday:

-In the Florida State League third baseman Carson Crites was transferred to the extended spring training roster from Fort Myers while catcher Robert Molina was brought up to the Miracle.

-More noteworthy was the placement of right-handed pitcher Brusdar Graterol on the seven-day disabled list for Cedar Rapids with lower back spasms. The move is retroactive to May 6th so the top prospect could be back to pitching as early as this coming Monday.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 2, Buffalo 1
Box Score

In his last game against Lehigh Valley on May 3rd, Rochester starting pitcher Aaron Slegers had his streak of 17 minor league starts without a loss broken by the Iron Pigs. He did all he could in this game to start a new one.

Over seven innings, Slegers scattered four hits and one walk, while striking out five. His only earned run came in the fourth inning, as the leadoff man doubled and would come around to score after consecutive groundouts. He then retired ten in a row after that double and erased a single with a double-play ball in the seventh to finish his night. 54 of his 83 pitches on the game went for strikes and he killed worms to the tune of ten groundouts to one flyout.

The Red Wings offense took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kennys Vargas to score Jermaine Curtis, who had led off the inning with a walk. Curtis also drew a walk to lead off the game and another in the fifth, marking his 17th straight game reaching base safely at least once.

Rochester added another run in the fifth thanks to doubles from Willians Astudillo and James Ramsey that put Slegers in line for the win when he exited.

Tyler Duffey was brought on for the eighth inning and worked around a leadoff walk to pitch a scoreless frame and pick up his first hold on the season. He struck out one.

With the score still 2-1, the Red Wings summoned right-hander John Curtiss for the ninth inning and his first save opportunity of the year. He delivered a one-two-three inning on just seven pitches, punching out the final hitter for the exclamation point.

The teams combined for just nine hits on the game, with Rochester edging Buffalo 5-to-4. The Bisons however were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position while the Red Wings were 2-for-5.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Jackson 8, Chattanooga 9 (10 innings)
Box Score

The top two teams in the Southern League North Division got into a slugfest on Tuesday night and it didn’t seem like either of them wanted to hold on for the win as leads changed or became tied eight times on the game.

They traded jabs through the first four innings with the Jackson Generals plating single runs in the first, third, and fourth innings while Chattanooga pushed one across in the each of the first and third frames for a 3-2 score going into the bottom of the fifth. That is when the Lookouts landed the first haymaker of the bout in the form of a three-run homer off the bat of T.J. White. It was White’s fourth of the year and gave them their first lead of the game at 5-3.

With the score 5-4 in the seventh, Chattanooga landed a good combo as a single, walk, and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, before another walk scored one and a single from Edgar Corcino brought in two more for an 8-4 lead.

Jackson finally landed an uppercut in the top of the ninth, as a two-run triple was followed by a sac fly to tie the game at eight and leave the decision up to the scorecards of the judges (err… extra innings).

Fortunately for the Lookouts, they’d still get the chance to tally a knockout in this one as a they kept the Generals from scoring with a runner starting on second base in the top of the tenth. In their half of the frame and with two outs, Jackson decided to intentionally walk Zander Wiel, and after he took second base on defensive indifference, also put Chris Paul on base. That brought up second baseman Alex Perez, and his grounder toward first base finally put the Generals on the canvas thanks to a fielding error.

The teams combined for twenty-nine hits, went 9-for-39 (39!) with runners in scoring position, and left twenty-five men on base for the game. Despite the seventeen combined runs, there were still a lot punches that didn’t land.

Lookouts starter Kohl Stewart also actually delivered a quality start. In six innings he allowed three runs (two earned) by scattering ten hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. Of his 100 pitches, 62 went for strikes including eight swings and misses. He struck out his final two hitters to finish strong.

Anthony McIver picked up his third hold of the season by pitching two innings with his team out front. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out four. Zack Jones blew his first save of the year, but also picked up his first win in extras. He allowed three runs on two hits and struck out three in his two innings.

Chattanooga’s lineup got multi-hit efforts from Nick Gordon, Paul, Brian Navarreto, and White. Paul scored three runs, White drove in three, and Perez drew three walks to lead the offense.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Charlotte 3, Fort Myers 6
Box Score

Early season standout Tyler Wells got the start for the Miracle, and despite allowing only two runs, was able to make it only through four innings before his pitch count rose too high. That was not thanks to walks as he allowed only one on the game, but the Charlotte lineup was able to work good at-bats and chipped away with five hits against the right-hander.

The first of those hits allowed came courtesy of the game’s first hitter, as Lucius Fox greeted Wells with a solo home run on his first pitch.

The home team got that run back just as quickly, as Mark Contreras led off the game for Fort Myers by clubbing his first home run in the Florida State League to tie it at one.

In the second inning Charlotte strung together the lone walk and a couple of singles to go up 2-1 and the score remained that way when Wells exited the game.

Reliever Tom Hackimer returned from the disabled list to make his 2018 debut in the fifth inning and he pitched into the sixth. He recorded five outs, but also allowed a run on three hits and two walks. He struck out one.

With two outs in the sixth, Ryan Mason came on and intentionally walked his first batter to load the bases and bring force outs all around the bases into play. It paid off, as he got a grounder to third base to end the threat and keep the Miracle within two.

In the bottom of the inning Contreras added his second FSL home run, a solo shot to left-center field and Jaylin Davis later added his second of the season as well, a two-run shot to put Fort Myers out front 4-3.

They would add two more runs in the eighth courtesy of a Joe Cronin double, Lewin Diaz RBI single, and an RBI ground-rule double from Taylor Grzelakowski. It was Grzelakowski’s second double of the game and sixth on the season. He finished 3-for-4 and the multi-hit night was his sixth such effort in his last twelve games.

Mason finished the game for the Miracle to pick up his second win of the season. In his 3 1/3 innings he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three to lower his ERA on the season to 1.53.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 6, Dayton 8
Box Score

The Kernels struck early and often in this one, building up a 6-0 lead before the Dragons were able to fire back. And unfortunately for Cedar Rapids, they did so with some Khaleesi level “dracarys.”

Akil Baddoo got it started for the Kernels from the words “play ball,” as he led off the game by drawing a walk. Royce Lewis followed with a slow-roller single to third base, and the throw sailed on the first baseman allowing Baddoo to make it all the way home. Lewis later scored on a Ben Rortvedt single with the bases loaded, but another run was cut down at home on the same play to end the inning.

In the third Alex Kirilloff clubbed his twelfth double of the year (ranking second in the MWL) and scored on another error from the Dayton defense to make it 3-0 in Cedar Rapids favor.

In the fourth it was again the top of the order that came through to break the game open. With two outs, number nine hitter Jordan Gore got the hitting started with his first double of the season. Baddoo and Lewis then followed suit, notching their first and second doubles of the year respectively, to score two. Kirilloff made it 6-0 Kernels with an RBI single before the Dragons could get out of the inning.

The bottom of the fourth is when the Dayton lineup finally broke through against starter Tyler Watson. A single and a double put them on the scoreboard, and they pulled within two after a three-run homer off the bat of John Sansone.

Watson came back out for the fifth and worked a scoreless inning. On the game, he allowed the four earned runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out four.

Nick Brown was the first reliever summoned and pitched a scoreless sixth frame. Back out for the seventh however, it unraveled a bit for the righty out of the College of William and Mary. A hit batter and four hits, including a bases-clearing double, led to four runs on the scoreboard and an 8-6 lead for the Dragons. Moises Gomez would finish the game for Cedar Rapids with a scoreless inning.

The Kernels offense put a runner in scoring position in each of their final three at-bats, but were unable to get the big hit they had gotten earlier in the game and fall to 14-12 on the season.

The top three hitters in the lineup (Baddoo, Lewis, and Kirilloff) combined to go 6-for-12 with five runs scored, three walks, three doubles, and three runs batted in, but the rest of the offense finished just 4-26. They were 5-for-15 overall with runners in scoring position, leaving ten men on base. Baddoo stole his eighth base of the year, while Gore added his third and fourth.

STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers (W, 7 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K)
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras, Fort Myers Miracle (2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI)

TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, 2 R, 2B (2), RBI, K
3. Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 2-6, R, 2 K
5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, R, 2B (12), RBI, BB
7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-5, BB, K
10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3, 2 R, 2B (1), RBI, 2 BB
13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 2-4, RBI
15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 1-3
16. Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) – 1-5, RBI, 2 K

WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Buffalo (12:05PM CST) – LHP Dietrich Enns (1-3, 4.50 ERA)
Jackson @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) – RHP Omar Bencomo (1-0, 2.01 ERA)
Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (0-3, 5.14 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:00PM CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (0-1, 19.29 ERA)

Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)

#2 jud6312

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 06:22 AM

Good to see another nice line out of Stewart. The lack of walks this season has been a pleasant surprise. Maybe not being added to the 40-man was a wake-up call, or perhaps he's still really young and is putting it together.

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#3 rdehring

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 06:57 AM

Don't know what to think about Stewart.Six K's in a technical quality start is a good sign.But 10 hits in six innings sure doesn't sound good.He lost me as a fan some time ago.Outings like this won't bring me back.

 

And Grzelakowski's bat continues to be hot.Three hits, including a pair of doubles, has to get our attention.I think Seth may have something coming about him, but was wondering if anyone knows anything about his defense behind the plate?

 

Although he is hitting only a buck eighty something, Arraez got another hit last night giving him hits in 9 of his last 11 games.  

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#4 2wins87

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 08:27 AM

 

Don't know what to think about Stewart.Six K's in a technical quality start is a good sign.But 10 hits in six innings sure doesn't sound good.He lost me as a fan some time ago.Outings like this won't bring me back.

 

 

Stewart has struggled with his K/BB ratio for a while, but he has consistently been a guy who induces a lot of groundballs vs flyballs.BABIP will tend to be higher on GB, though slugging (and obviously HRs) will be higher on FB.He might be the kind of guy who can give up quite a few hits but usually limit the damage.

 

I'm mostly just watching his K/BB rate this year, and while I'm not ready to put him back among the top prospects in the organization, I am pretty encouraged so far that he may still actually have an MLB future.

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#5 TNTwinsFan

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 08:45 AM

Stewart has struggled with his K/BB ratio for a while, but he has consistently been a guy who induces a lot of groundballs vs flyballs.BABIP will tend to be higher on GB, though slugging (and obviously HRs) will be higher on FB.He might be the kind of guy who can give up quite a few hits but usually limit the damage.
 
I'm mostly just watching his K/BB rate this year, and while I'm not ready to put him back among the top prospects in the organization, I am pretty encouraged so far that he may still actually have an MLB future.


In 28 innings so far this season he has a 29/6 K/BB ratio with batters hitting .284 against him. That's his best K/BB ratio since his Rookie League Season (GCL and E-Town combined) and his worst BAA in his Minor League career. With such a SSS, it may be too early to draw any definitive conclusions about him, but, it looks like he's made some adjustments. Perhaps he, too, is a late bloomer and will need this season in AA and next in AAA to really refine his craft? That would make him what? 25 or 26? If he turns into a guy that can give you 180 IP, a 4.50 ERA, and 150 Ks every year... that's not a bust.
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#6 youngtwinsfan

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 08:52 AM

Does anyone know Gordon's strikeout rate? Just seems like he's striking out atleast once a game (but i could only be noticing the games he does because of high expectations). Just wondering if it is alarmingly high, and if so if that is something from keeping the front office from promoting him since we already have people striking out a ton at the MLB level. With all the injuries I'd love to see him get a cup of coffee before Sano comes back, so he knows what he needs to go to triple A and work on.  


#7 mikelink45

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 09:03 AM

I agree with the previous posting - 10 hits in 6 innings is not a quality start.The whole concept of a quality start is so perverted that I find it a waste of time.The fact that he got through six innings is good, but I am not seeing this game as a plus in any way.Stewart has a long way to go before he meets draft expectations. 


#8 2wins87

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 09:04 AM

 

Does anyone know Gordon's strikeout rate? Just seems like he's striking out atleast once a game (but i could only be noticing the games he does because of high expectations). Just wondering if it is alarmingly high, and if so if that is something from keeping the front office from promoting him since we already have people striking out a ton at the MLB level. With all the injuries I'd love to see him get a cup of coffee before Sano comes back, so he knows what he needs to go to triple A and work on.  

 

 

About 16%, which is pretty solid; well below average for the league.

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#9 youngtwinsfan

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 09:52 AM

 

About 16%, which is pretty solid; well below average for the league.

Thanks! I was just curious and confirmed that my high expectations only made me remember the couple games where he has multiple strikeouts. I really do hope the FO will give him a week or so cup of actual playing time right before Sano returns although I doubt it will happen.


#10 Steve Lein

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 09:55 AM

 

Stewart has struggled with his K/BB ratio for a while, but he has consistently been a guy who induces a lot of groundballs vs flyballs.BABIP will tend to be higher on GB, though slugging (and obviously HRs) will be higher on FB.He might be the kind of guy who can give up quite a few hits but usually limit the damage.

 

He's definitely a guy who has given up hits, but also definitely limits the damage against him because of his heavy sinking fastball.

 

Jose Berrios, as an example, until sometime last year had a higher career MiLB ERA than Stewart did. Berrios also gave up 35 home runs in 591+ minor league innings (0.53/9IP), while Stewart has allowed just 18 in 490 innings (0.33/9IP).

 

These numbers certainly don't tell the whole story, but it's very interesting to look at. At least to me.

 

Stewart is also still young enough where you can't dismiss him as a prospect in my opinion. He still has plenty of time to put whatever it is he has together and I do think he's going to pitch in the majors.

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)

#11 slash129

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 10:28 AM

 

I agree with the previous posting - 10 hits in 6 innings is not a quality start.The whole concept of a quality start is so perverted that I find it a waste of time.The fact that he got through six innings is good, but I am not seeing this game as a plus in any way.Stewart has a long way to go before he meets draft expectations. 

 

Well, he didn't walk anyone and only one of those hits went for extra bases.It looks like several of the "hits" never left the infield.The defense was poor making four errors that game (two behind Stewart), although they did turn a double-play that Stewart coaxed and threw a runner out at home.My take is that he stopped the bleeding and worked out of jams early in a game where his BABIP luck was against him. 

 

Six innings, K per inning, no walks, no homers, two earned runs, .500 BABIP against (including 7/14 on ground balls) .... Sounds like a quality start to me

 

It may be that your expectations are perverted.

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#12 rdehring

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 01:16 PM

 

Well, he didn't walk anyone and only one of those hits went for extra bases.It looks like several of the "hits" never left the infield.The defense was poor making four errors that game (two behind Stewart), although they did turn a double-play that Stewart coaxed and threw a runner out at home.My take is that he stopped the bleeding and worked out of jams early in a game where his BABIP luck was against him. 

 

Six innings, K per inning, no walks, no homers, two earned runs, .500 BABIP against (including 7/14 on ground balls) .... Sounds like a quality start to me

 

It may be that your expectations are perverted.

I don't think my expectations are perverted at all.I expect a lot more from a #4 overall pick than we have gotten from Stewart.

 

And it seems the Twins agree.After all, they didn't add him to their 40-man roster last fall.Seems to me its about time Mr. Stewart starts giving the Twins a return on that big check he accepted back when he was drafted.When he starts doing that, he will have gotten me back on board his fan club.

 

And the rest of baseball agreed with the Twins as he passed through the Rule 5 draft.

Edited by rdehring, 09 May 2018 - 01:17 PM.


#13 slash129

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 01:49 PM

 

I don't think my expectations are perverted at all.I expect a lot more from a #4 overall pick than we have gotten from Stewart.

 

And it seems the Twins agree.After all, they didn't add him to their 40-man roster last fall.Seems to me its about time Mr. Stewart starts giving the Twins a return on that big check he accepted back when he was drafted.When he starts doing that, he will have gotten me back on board his fan club.

 

And the rest of baseball agreed with the Twins as he passed through the Rule 5 draft.

 

It's fair to be disappointed with Stewart's slow road to develop, but it was the Twins who made him the #4 overall pick and gave him the money to lure him away from his Texas A&M commitment.They knew the risk of drafting a football first athlete for baseball who had projectable "stuff" but little refinement. 

 

I don't get into the guts of the MLB draft and tend to pay more attention to the players after they are drafted, so I can't remember what the general feeling about taking him that high really was around here.

 

It's obvious that he wasn't at the top of the assumed prospects list that Falvine took on, and they showed that by not protecting him.However, the Rule 5 draft with all its roster rules can hardly be the sounding board for actual value on prospects. Many players just don't fit the stash and hide model.

 

What I can say is that using his past start and the 10 hits surrendered as a data point for arguing that he continues to disappoint is very weak once you look at the other numbers, the outcome and circumstances surrounding those 10 hits.

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#14 rdehring

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 02:09 PM

 

It's fair to be disappointed with Stewart's slow road to develop, but it was the Twins who made him the #4 overall pick and gave him the money to lure him away from his Texas A&M commitment.They knew the risk of drafting a football first athlete for baseball who had projectable "stuff" but little refinement. 

 

I don't get into the guts of the MLB draft and tend to pay more attention to the players after they are drafted, so I can't remember what the general feeling about taking him that high really was around here.

 

It's obvious that he wasn't at the top of the assumed prospects list that Falvine took on, and they showed that by not protecting him.However, the Rule 5 draft with all its roster rules can hardly be the sounding board for actual value on prospects. Many players just don't fit the stash and hide model.

 

What I can say is that using his past start and the 10 hits surrendered as a data point for arguing that he continues to disappoint is very weak once you look at the other numbers, the outcome and circumstances surrounding those 10 hits.

Not basing my opinion of Stewart based on his last start.I have been more than disappointed in his performances for over a year, maybe going on two.


#15 jud6312

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 08:12 PM

 

Not basing my opinion of Stewart based on his last start.I have been more than disappointed in his performances for over a year, maybe going on two.

So, what exactly was it about his 2016 season that you didn't like?

 

I really don't see a winning record, sub 3.00 ERA, and virtually no HRs allowed to players 3 to 3 1/2 years older than him as negative in any way.

 

2017 was bad, but I don't think you can honestly look at the rest of his numbers and say it's been bad. If you can, and seriously believe it, your expectations are WAY too high.

 

The only thing I can see that hasn't been where most people would like it, is the strikeouts. But that's a pretty weak negative. There's more to pitching than Ks.


#16 Doctor Wu

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 06:34 AM

This could be an odd question, so apologies ahead of time. Seeing as how Mitch Garvey has been with the big league club all season, why is he still listed in the "Top Prospect Summary" ?


#17 jud6312

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 08:35 AM

 

This could be an odd question, so apologies ahead of time. Seeing as how Mitch Garvey has been with the big league club all season, why is he still listed in the "Top Prospect Summary" ?

My guess is he hasn't played enough to graduate from the prospect list - still less than 100 career PAs.


#18 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 09:09 AM

Overall, numbers for Stewart in 2018 are somewhat misleading. Like a closer (see Rodney’s April from last year or 2018) and one game or two can really skew numbers. Kohl had a clunker in his 3rd start this year (1.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO and the loss). If games are 1 game at a time, his team has won 5 of his 6 starts and his average line is looking really good.

He is averaging (per start) 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1.6 Runs allowed (2.73 ERA), 1 BB, 5.6 K, 1.13 WHIP, 9.65 K/9

Looks like promise to me.
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#19 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 09:50 AM

This could be an odd question, so apologies ahead of time. Seeing as how Mitch Garvey has been with the big league club all season, why is he still listed in the "Top Prospect Summary" ?


In baseball, you maintain prospect status until you reach 130 AB (or 50 innings pitched) in MLB.



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