It’s a week into the minor league season so today we’ll be able to see who started out hot and who started out cold. I’ll also try to note if there are any indications on what position players are starting out at in cases where there may have been questions concerning a player to start the season. Please bear in mind that the hot/cold starts are based on just a small sample of size of about 25 PA for hitters and just 1 or 2 starts for pitchers.
AAA Louisville Bats
The Bats are off to a 2-2 start after getting in just four games due to having weather postponements for four days in a row.
At the plate Jose Peraza is off to a great start slashing .357/.438/.500/.938. Peraza played at SS for the first 3 G and then the last game in CF. C Ramon Cabrera (.818 OPS) and RF Kyle Waldrop (.795 OPS) are off to good starts. LF Jesse Winker (.286/.313/.286/.598) is off to a bit of a slow start and has yet to get his first extra base hit. In a bit of a surprise to me, 2B Carlos Triunfel (.643 OPS) has started all 4 G at 2B.
The Bats’ starting rotation is still in flux until Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, John Lamb, Jon Moscot, and Michael Lorenzen come off of the Red’s DL over the next few weeks. The rotation currently has Robert Stephenson, who is slated to make his first start today, Cody Reed, and Josh Smith. AJ Morris was the opening day starter in what amounted to a bullpen day for the Bats. Another of the Bats’ games was started by a rehabbing Jon Moscot. Moscot gave up 5 R on 6 H and 0 BB with 6 SO over 5.2 IP. Cody Reed needed 91 pitches to get through 4.2 IP allowing 2 R on 4 H and 2 BB with 6 SO. Josh Smith got a win going 5 IP allowing 1 R, 0 ER, on 4 H and 2 BB with 5 SO.
AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Pensacola is off to a 5-2 start on the season.
Interestingly, the hottest two hitter at AA are 2B Tony Renda (1.005 OPS) and CF Beau Amaral (.841 OPS). RF Sebastian Elizalde (.728 OPS) and Zach Vincej (.700 OPS) are off to solid starts. LF Phil Ervin (.601 OPS), 3B Eric Jagielo (.579 OPS and 50% K%), and 1B Donald Lutz (.276 OPS and 47% K%) are off to rough starts. It’s disappointing that Ervin has only one appearance in CF. Brandon Dixon (.547 OPS) is getting the bulk of the time, 5 G, at 2B. Tony Renda has 3 G at 2B with 1 G each in the corner OF spots.
The Blue Wahoos starting rotation is performing as expected so far. Amir Garrett (1.50 ERA), Nick Travieso (1.86 ERA), Rookie Davis (1.80 ERA), Sal Romano (3.38 ERA), Jackson Stephens (3.60 ERA) are all off to good starts.
High A Daytona Tortugas
The Tortuga’s are off to a 3-4 start on the season.
It’s good to see one of my favorite sleeper prospects off to a great start in Daytona. LF Brian O’Grady (1.052 OPS) struggled at first last year after a promotion from Dayton to Daytona but finished strong and has picked right up where he left off. 1B Avain Rachal (1.014 OPS) and LF/DH Angelo Gumbs (.940 OPS) are off to great starts as well. Struggling to start the season at A+ are RF Aristides Aquino (.619 OPS), 3B Taylor Sparks (.434 OPS), and SS Blake Trahan (.191 OPS). Alex Bladinno is interestingly listed on the DL on Daytona’s roster. Tanner Rahier is on Daytona’s active roster but has not yet made an appearance.
The Tortuga’s starting rotation is off to a decent start with, surprisingly, Keury Mella (10.80 ERA) being the only one to start badly. The remainder of the rotation, Tyler Mahle (4.15 ERA), Wyatt Strahan (1.80 ERA), Tejay Antone (1.80 ERA), and Jake Paulson (4.50), are off to a pretty good starts. I was a bit surprised that LH Seth Varner (3.38 ERA) has started the year out in the bullpen.
Low A Dayton Dragons
The Dragons are struggling a bit to start the season as they are off to a 1-6 start.
Offensively for the Dragons, RF Narciso Crook (1.100 OPS), LF Mitch Piatnik (1.065 OPS), 2B Shedric Long (1.027 OPS), and 1B James Vaszuez (.940 OPS) are all off to very good starts. Top prospect C Tyler Stephenson (.488 OPS) is struggling to begin the season at the plate.
SP Jose Lopez (1.59 ERA) is the lone SP off to a good start. The remainder of the rotation has an ERA of 5.06 or higher.