The SnakePit Hatchling Report: Prospects 36-45

The streak of a post per day had to end at some point.  ;)  Since I've been unable to post a new report either of the last two nights due to reasons I'd like to not go into, today's piece will cover ten prospects - OF Derrick Walker, RHP Bryan Woodall, OF Isaias Asencio, RHP Kyler Newby, C Ryan Babineau, UTIL Nelson Gomez, LHP Clay Zavada Zavadastache, SS Yunesky Sanchez, RHP Daniel Stange, and OF Peter Clifford.  Once again, credit to the rankings goes to Scout.com.  This write-up was done in two pieces, so the stats for Walker and Woodall might not be accurate to the day, but with baseball, long-term value doesn't drastically change in one day of work (unless you're a Giants fan talking about ZOMGZ Sanchez), so it won't make much of a difference.

#45 - OF Derrick Walker.  Born October 10, 1985. 23 years old. Drafted in the 23rd round in 2006 by Arizona.  The Baseball Cube ratings - Power: 68 / Speed: 70 / Contact: 15 / Patience: 78.

2009 Stats: Hi-A Visalia

Hi-A Visalia - 62 games, .200 BA, .287 OBP, .224 SLG, .511 OPS (average California League OPS: .755), 66 K, 25 BB (2.6:1 K/BB ratio), .024 ISO, 28.1% K-Rate, 10.6% BB-Rate, .290 BABIP.

2008 Stats: Mid-A South Bend

Mid-A South Bend - 113 games, .246 BA, .353 OBP, .391 SLG, .744 OPS (average Midwest League OPS: .694), 108 K, 44 BB (2.5:1 K/BB ratio), .146 ISO, 24.8% K-Rate, 10.1% BB-Rate, .313 BABIP.

2007 Stats: Rookie-level Missoula

Rookie-level Missoula - 63 games, .291 BA, .377 OBP, .457 SLG, .834 OPS (average Pioneer League OPS: .760), 61 K, 27 BB (2.3:1 K/BB ratio), .165 ISO, 23.7% K-Rate, 10.5% BB-Rate, .373 BABIP.

2006 Stats: Rookie-level Missoula

Rookie-level Missoula - 45 games, .223 BA, .377 OBP, .266 SLG, .643 OPS (average Pioneer League OPS: .738), 45 K, 29 BB (1.6:1 K/BB ratio), .043 ISO, 26.8% K-Rate, 17.3% BB-Rate, .319 BABIP.

A good defender with supposed plus range in the outfield, but croike, you'd hope for some better offensive numbers in Hi-A after putting up above-league-average OPS numbers in his previous two seasons in Rookie-ball and Mid-A.  For whatever reason, Walker's numbers haven't translated from South Bend to Visalia, as most noted by his inability to hit Hi-A pitching for either power or average.  Walker arrived in pro ball at the fresh, young age of 19 after one year of JuCo, but through four seasons of professional baseball has yet to break out of class-A, and doesn't appear to be ready to do so anytime in the near future.  He'll be 24 in a likely Hi-A repeat next season if he sticks with professional baseball, and not many players at that level at that age end up reaching the bigs.  It appears that his number drops are a product of both a slight regression back to the norms in terms of BABIP, but the drops in ISO, OPS, and possibly even BABIP, appear to indicate that Walker simply isn't making solid contact with the ball against a higher level of pitching.  Walker's value as a prospect may have deteriorated completely with this season's struggles.

 

#44 - RHP Bryan Woodall.  Born October 24, 1986.  22 years old.  Drafted in the 21rd round in 2008 by Arizona.  The Baseball Cube ratings - Control: 94 / K-Rating: 70 / Efficiency: 54.

NOTE: Hasn't allowed an earned run in last 25 IP at Mid-A South Bend as relief pitcher.

2009 Stats: Mid-A South Bend

Mid-A South Bend - 25 games in relief, 46.1 IP, 3.11 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 52 K, 11 BB (4.7:1 K/BB ratio), 10.1 K/9IP, 2.1 BB/9IP.

2008 Stats: Low-A Yakima

Low-A Yakima - 27 games in relief, 36.1 IP, 3.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 40 K, 15 BB (2.7:1 K/BB ratio), 9.9 K/9IP, 3.7 BB/9IP.

Lots to like about Bryan Woodall this season.  He started the year horrendously, with an 8.11 ERA in early June, looking like he had hit a major snag in his development.  However, he has since thrown 25 straight scoreless innings, plummeting his ERA to 3.11, and putting him back on track as a solid relief pitching prospect, which the Diamondbacks seems to have plenty of these days (which is why we were able to make the Tony Pena trade, and could make a Chad Qualls trade).  Looking at the numbers of Woodall dating back to his Auburn days, he has lowered his ERA at each stop in his last three-plus years of professional baseball - 5.44 as an Auburn freshman at 19 years old, 4.84 as an Auburn sophomore at 20 years old, 3.83 as an Auburn junior and 3.72 at Yakima at 21 years old, and now 3.11 at South Bend at 22 years old.  His strikeout numbers are fantastic, and he has cut his walks per nine innings down by a bit more than a third since last season while moving up a level.  The WHIP is slightly high, but not outrageous, and largely traced to his early-season struggles.  While Walker is set to fall off the charts as a prospect, Woodall appears poised to shoot up the rankings of the D-Backs' system.

 

#43 - OF Isaias Asencio.  Born December 31, 1987*.  21 years old*.  Not drafted - Signed out of the Dominican Republic by Arizona. The Baseball Cube ratings - Power: No Rating / Speed: 36 / Contact: 17 / Patience: 2.

2009 Stats: Mid-A South Bend

Mid-A South Bend - 79 games, .229 BA, .274 OBP, .354 SLG, .628 OPS (average California League OPS: .701), 82 K, 12 BB (6.8:1 K/BB ratio), .125 ISO, 29.0% K-Rate, 4.2% BB-Rate, .312 BABIP.

2008 Stats: Rookie-level Missoula

Rookie-level Missoula - 58 games, .293 BA, .325 OBP, .512 SLG, .837 OPS (average Pioneer League OPS: .777), 53 K, 6 BB (8.8:1 K/BB ratio), .219 ISO, 24.0% K-Rate, 2.7% BB-Rate, .348 BABIP.

Asencio is a toolsy collection of things to love and hate.  His 2008 numbers were breath-taking, especially those raw power numbers, but due for some BABIP decline, which has been the case.  Still, after making a two-level jump, Asencio has shown that he can do a few things in Mid-A.  You love the fact that at 21 and after the aforementioned jump of two levels, he has a solid ISO of .125, with 19 doubles, 3 triples, and 3 HR amongst his 62 hits.  You love the increase in walk rate (especially so considering the increased level of pitching).  However, you hate the OBP below .300.  You hate the increase in K-Rate, and the fact that his BB-Rate is still so low, and his K/BB ratio is upwards of 6:1.  You hate that despite his decent ISO this year, it's almost one hundred points less than it was last year.  You hate the ever-present concern with Dominican players that he is not actually as young as he claims.  Any age discrepancy between Asencio's reported age and his actual age immediately and greatly diminishes his value as a prospect.  But if his reported age is correct, there's some upside here, although a huge chance of flaming out also is present if he can't start adapting to higher levels.

 

#42 - RHP Kyler Newby.  Born February 22, 1985.  24 years old.  Drafted in the 50th round in 2004 by Arizona.  The Baseball Cube ratings - Control: 52 / K-Rating: 100 / Efficiency: 100.

2009 Stats: AA-Mobile

AA-Mobile - 30 games in relief, 1 game started, 44.2 IP, 3.43 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 38 K, 19 BB (2:1 K/BB ratio), 7.1 K/9IP, 3.8 BB/9IP.

2008 Stats: Hi-A Visalia

Hi-A Visalia - 46 games in relief, 67.0 IP, 2.69 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 86 K, 30 BB (2.9:1 K/BB ratio), 11.6 K/9IP, 4.0 BB/9IP.

2007 Stats: Hi-A Visalia

Hi-A Visalia - 9 games in relief, 12.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 10 K, 2 BB (5:1 K/BB ratio), 7.5 K/9IP, 1.5 BB/9IP.

2006 Stats: Mid-A South Bend

Mid-A South Bend - 28 games in relief, 44.0 IP, 2.05 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 64 K, 19 BB (3.4:1 K/BB ratio), 13.1 K/9IP, 3.9 BB/9IP.

2005 Stats: Low-A Yakima

Low-A Yakima - 24 games in relief, 41.1 IP, 2.18 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 66 K, 14 BB (4.7:1 K/BB ratio), 14.4 K/9IP, 3.0 BB/9IP.

Darn you Kyler Newby and your five years of professional baseball stats for me to gather (although he did stay in one place each season, unlike Daniel Stange further down).  At least you're not a hitter like Josh Whitesell with all the sabermetric calculations to make...  Getting psyched for that one already.  Anywho, Newby's been a huge surprise ever since he was taken as a PR pick in the final round in 2004, as a Mesa Community College kid who was expected to chase a better college baseball school to build up better draft stock and not sign (or so I can only assume - it would make sense).  Instead, he stuck with the hometown team, signed with the D-Backs, and has since been on a steady pace up through the system.  He had the ability from his first professional season to miss bats and get K's, but suffered an elbow injury that limited him to just nine apperances in 2007, and the combination of that injury and the increase in competition appear to have hampered his strikeout ability.  While never having a WHIP below 1 in his career before the injury, his two seasons following have seen the WHIP rise to 1.18, and then this year to a startling 1.52.  While he did get called up for a day (along with Zavadastache) earlier in the season during the Florida series where the bullpen was in dire straits, he didn't make an appearance, and might not get much of another chance to stick in the majors and be successful without regaining that strikeout capacity.  He is young enough to turn things around, though, just in his second season after what would have been his senior year in college at age 24.

 

#41 - C Ryan Babineau.  Born December 13, 1986.  22 years old.  Drafted in the 17th round in 2008 by Arizona.  The Baseball Cube ratings - Power: 48 / Speed: 61 / Contact: 45 / Patience: 71.

2009 Stats: Mid-A South Bend

Mid-A South Bend - 10 games, ,125 BA, .282 OBP, .250 SLG, .532 OPS (average Midwest League OPS: .701), 13 K, 7 BB (1.9:1 K/BB ratio), .219 ISO, 33.3% K-Rate, 17.9% BB-Rate, .211 BABIP.

2008 Stats: Low-A Yakima

Low-A Yakima - 43 games, .231 BA, .369 OBP, .320 SLG, .689 OPS (average Northwest League OPS: .715), 34 K, 29 BB (1.2:1 K/BB ratio), .088 ISO, 19.3% K-Rate, 16.5% BB-Rate, .295 BABIP.

Babineau was drafted as a poor-man's Chris Snyder-type catcher - low BA, high walk rate, fairly high ISO - but the biggest thing to say about Babineau has now become the hip injury that has sidelined him for most of the season after he was slated to be the SilverHawks' everyday catcher this season.  Especially since catcher is a physically taxing position, and the hips are a very focal part of what a catcher has to do, who knows whether or not Babineau can continue to play the position.  If he's forced anywhere else, he loses just about all prospect value, as he wouldn't have the defensive skill to play anywhere but first, and his bat would be terrible for that position, making all of these stats irrelevant.

 

#40 - UTIL Nelson Gomez.  Born October 21, 1986.  22 years old.  Drafted in the 24th round in 2008 by Arizona.  The Baseball Cube ratings: Power No Rating / Speed 1 / Contact 34 / Patience 24.

2009 Stats: Mid-A South Bend

Mid-A South Bend - 80 games, .227 BA, .282 OBP, .329 SLG, .611 OPS (average Midwest League OPS: .701), 58 K, 15 BB (3.9:1 K/BB ratio), .101 ISO, 19.9% K-Rate, 5.1% BB-Rate, .282 BABIP.

2008 Stats: Rookie-level Missoula

Rookie-level Missoula - 59 games, .276 BA, .336 OBP, .462 SLG, .798 OPS (average Pioneer League OPS: .777), 48 K, 17 BB (2.8:1 K/BB ratio), .187 ISO,19.8% K-Rate, 7.0% BB-Rate, .306 BABIP.

The numbers remind me of Asencio - Great in Rookie ball a year ago at 21 (as a man amongst boys), struggles in Mid-A ball this year with a little help from BABIP regression.  Once again, all of the offensive numbers are down significantly on last season (except for K-Rate), although there's still the fact that he's a 22-year-old.  He'll need to start adapting quickly to the higher levels and progress through the system in order to continue to have prospect value.  He also needs to find a position...

 

#39 - LHP Clay Pflibson Zavada Zavadastache/Pflibsonstache.  Born June 28, 1984.  25 years old.  Drafted in the 30th round in 2006 by Arizona, quit baseball in 2007, re-signed with Arizona in 2008.  The Baseball Cube ratings - Awesomeness: 100 / Facial Hair: 999 / Epicness: 100.  Just kidding - No Ratings (BOO!).

2009 Stats: Split between AA-Mobile and MLB-Arizona

AA-Mobile - 11 games in relief, 17.1 IP, 2.60 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 29 K, 7 BB (4.1:1 K/BB ratio), 9.3 K/9IP, 3.6 BB/9IP.

MLB-Arizona - 28 games in relief, 27.1 IP, 1.98 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 18 K, 15 BB (1.2:1 K/BB ratio), 9.5 K/9IP, 4.9 BB/9IP.

2008 Stats: Split between Ind-Southern Illinois and Mid-A South Bend

Ind-Southern Illinois - 12 games in relief, 15.2 IP, 1.72 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 22 K, 4 BB (5.5:1 K/BB ratio), 12.6 K/9IP, 2.3 BB/9IP.

Mid-A South Bend - 24 games in relief, 35.1 IP, 0.51 ERA, 0.31 WHIP, 54 K, 5 BB (10.8:1 K/BB ratio), 13.8 K/9IP, 1.3 BB/9IP.

2007 Stats: Not In Baseball

2006 Stats: Rookie-level Missoula

Rookie-level Missoula - 22 games in relief, 49.1 IP, 3.47 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 51 K, 15 BB (3.4:1 K/BB ratio), 9.3 K/9IP, 2.7 BB/9IP.

I would like to take this opportunity first to point out Zavada's amazing middle name, Pflibson, and suggest it somehow be incorporated in nickname considerations, as I did above.  Kthxgr8.  As far as the production goes, we all know he's been smashing in his debut, but, admittedly, there's been some luck to it.  Don't fret, though, it's not like Zavada's a massive flame-out candidate.  The biggest thing he needs to do is to lower his walk rate back to at least what it was at Mobile, somewhere around 3.5 rather than around 5.  He's already a fairly good strikeout pitcher due his good change-up, and if can lower the walks, that would subsequently lower his WHIP, and set his other ratios and rates back in order to align more properly with his ERA production.  But, as we all know so well, the energy is there, and golly is it infectious.

 

#38 - SS Yunesky Sanchez.  Born May 3, 1984.  25 years old.  Not Drafted - Defected from Cuba, signed with Arizona.  The Baseball Cube ratings - Power: 5 / Speed: 39 / Contact: 95 / Patience: 9.

2009 Stats: AA-Mobile

AA-Mobile - 50 games, .256 BA, .292 OBP, .344 SLG, .636 OPS (average Southern League OPS: .712), 24 K, 8 BB (3:1 K/BB ratio), ,088 ISO, 14.3% K-Rate, 4.8% BB-Rate, .291 BABIP.

2008 Stats: AA-Mobile

AA-Mobile - 122 games, .296 BA, .333 OBP, .348 SLG, .681 OPS (average Southern League OPS: .742), 41 K, 23 BB (1.8 K/BB ratio), .052 ISO, 7.9% K-Rate, 4.4% BB-Rate, .322 BABIP.

2007 Stats: Mid-A South Bend

Mid-A-South Bend - 110 games, .282 BA, .323 OBP, .353 SLG, .676 OPS (average Midwest League OPS: .696), 36 K, 25 BB (1.4 K/BB ratio), .071 ISO, 8.3% K-Rate, 5.8% BB-Rate, .300 BABIP.

Admittedly, I felt a lot better about this kid as a shortstop after finding out that there was not, in fact, an "i" in his first name [insert Royals joke here].  Hilariousness aside, Sanchez has been stuck behind defensive wizard Pedro Ciriaco at shortstop in Mobile, and this fact would make me wonder when Ciriaco will get called-up to AAA to allow Sanchez to play more, had Sanchez not regressed so mightily since last season.  Sure, the pitching may be tougher on average this year, demonstrated by the league OPS change, but that doesn't excuse regression from a 25-year-old kid in AA (and the BABIP isn't a significant factor).  For a kid who always relied on contact to make up for his mediocre power, to have an OBP below .300 and a K-Rate spike up more than six percentage points while repeating a level just isn't going to cut it.  Sanchez probably needed a breakout year at age 25.  Instead, he probably just killed his baseball career.


#37 - RHP Daniel Stange.  Born December 22, 1985.  23 years old.  Drafted in the 7th round in 2006 by Arizona.  The Baseball Cube ratings - Control: 48 / K-Rating: 95 / Efficiency: 35.

2009 Stats: AA-Mobile

AA-Mobile - 32 games in relief, 42.4 IP, 4.43 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 36 K, 10 BB (3.6:1 K/BB ratio), 7.6 K/9IP, 2.1 BB/9IP.

2008 Stats: Split between A-South Bend and Hi-A Visalia

A-South Bend - 11 games in relief, 17.0 IP, 1.59 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 17 K, 1 BB (17:1 K/BB ratio), 9.0 K/9IP, 0.5 BB/9IP.

Hi-A Visalia - 11 games in relief, 13.2 IP, 3.95 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 14 K, 6 BB (2.3:1 K/BB ratio), 9.2 K/9IP, 4.0 BB/9IP.

2007 Stats: Split between Hi-A Visalia and AA-Mobile

Hi-A Visalia - 38 games in relief, 42.1 IP, 3.19 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 53 K, 18 BB (2.9:1 K/BB ratio), 11.3 K/9IP, 3.8 BB/9IP.

AA-Mobile - 5 games in relief, 6.2 IP, 4.51 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 5 K, 2 BB (2.5:1 K/BB ratio), 6.8 K/9IP, 2.7 BB/9IP.

2006 Stats: Rookie-level Missoula

Rookie-level Missoula - 27 games in relief, 31.0 IP, 4.25 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 48 K, 17 BB (2.8:1 K/BB ratio), 12.0 K/9IP, 4.3 BB/9IP.

Ended 2007/Started 2008 recovering from Tommy John Surgery, setting back his progression, and leading to his placement back in Mid-A at the start of 2008 after spending 2007 at Hi-A with a cup of coffee at AA.  However, at 23, he's still got time to develop, and being at AA isn't bad for his age, even next year, although he was on pace to be in AAA by the beginning of this year or this September before the Tommy John Surgery was required and knocked him back.  Now, I could see the D-Backs keeping him in AA to start next season so he can refine his K-Rate and try to get it back to his A-ball numbers from 2008.  One encouraging sign though is that he's giving out fewer free passes, although a lot more hits.

 

#36 - OF Peter Clifford.  Born December 20, 1983.  25 years old.  Drafted in the 20th round in 2007 by Arizona.  The Baseball Cube ratings: Power: 85 / Speed: 73 / Contact: 52 / Patience: 84.

2009 Stats: AA-Mobile

AA-Mobile - 73 games, .212 BA, .276 OBP, .304 SLG, .580 OPS (average Southern League OPS: .712), .092 ISO, 19.6% K-Rate, 7.5% BB-Rate.

2008 Stats: Hi-A Visalia

Hi-A Visalia - 131 games, .282 BA, .385 OBP, .458 SLG, .843 OPS (average California League OPS: .752), .176 ISO, 22.9% K-Rate, 13.6% BB-Rate.

2007 Stats: Rookie-level Missoula

Rookie-level Missoula - 63 games, .280 BA, .278 OBP, .502 SLG, .880 OPS (average Pioneer League OPS: .760), .222 ISO, 19.5% K-Rate, 13.8% BB-Rate.

Racked up huge numbers in rookie-ball and Hi-A as a 20th round 4-years-of-college position player as a 23/24 year old man amongst boys.  With a promotion to AA and a more advanced level of pitching at age 25, Clifford completely bottomed out.  If he doesn't have a very strong rebound at the start of next season in AA and find himself in AAA quickly enough at age 26, he could end up out of the D-Backs system, and perhaps professional baseball, in short notice.

 

That's all for tonight - an immensely depressing group outside of Pflibsonstache, Newby, and Woodall.  Nothing else to say, really.  That, and it's 1:23 a.m., so even if there was something to say, I'm choosing sleep.  : P

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