So as the news continues to get more and more depressing about Jarrod Parker's apparent elbow injury, I think it's especially necessary to come through on my promise for two Hatchlings posts today in order to try to keep ourselves positive about the strength in the farm system. This edition will cover RHP Reid Mahon, LHP Wade Miley, RHP Josh Collmenter, 1B Ryne White, and RHP Hector Ambriz. Credit, as always, to Scout.com.
#25 - RHP Reid Mahon. Born June 1, 1983. 26 years old. Not Drafted - Signed as undrafted free agent by Arizona. The Baseball Cube ratings - Control: 71 / K-Rating: 39 / Efficiency: 79.
2009 Stats: Split between AA-Mobile and AAA-Reno (Currently in AAA-Reno)
AA-Mobile - 19 games in relief, 28.0 IP, 3.21 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 20 K, 8 BB (2.5:1 K/BB ratio), 6.4 K/9IP, 2.6 BB/9IP.
AAA-Tucson - 7 games in relief, 11.2 IP, 6.94 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 12 K, 4 BB (3:1 K/BB ratio), 9.3 K/9IP, 3.1 BB/9IP.
2008 Stats: Split between AA-Mobile and AAA-Tucson
AA-Mobile - 33 games in relief, 41.0 IP, 3.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 33 K, 10 BB (3.3:1 K/BB ratio), 7.2 K/9IP, 2.2 BB/9IP.
AAA-Tucson - 19 games in relief, 24.0 IP, 5.25 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 18 K, 14 BB (1.3:1 K/BB ratio), 6.8 K/9IP, 5.3 BB/9IP.
2007 Stats: Split between Mid-A South Bend, Hi-A Visalia, and AA-Mobile
Mid-A South Bend - 32 games in relief, 45.2 IP, 1.77 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 28 K, 8 BB (3.5:1 K/BB ratio), 5.5 K/9IP, 1.6 BB/9IP.
Hi-A Visalia - 11 games in relief, 14.0 IP, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 9 K, 2 BB (4.5:1 K/BB ratio), 5.8 K/9IP, 1.3 BB/9IP.
AA-Mobile - 6 games in relief, 7.0 IP, 1.29 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 4 K, 1 BB (4:1 K/BB ratio), 5.1 K/9IP, 1.3 BB/9IP.
2006 Stats: Low-A Yakima
Low-A Yakima - 22 games in relief, 36.0 IP, 4.25 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 25 K, 14 BB (1.8:1 K/BB ratio), 6.3 K/9IP, 3.5 BB/9IP.
Reid Mahon was signed as an undrafted free agent college senior out of Minnesota, and quickly turned himself into a bona fide minor-league closer with his sharp sinker producing insane GO/AO ratios. However, despite some success this year in Mobile, it's been a bit discouraging to see that his GO/AO ratio has been on the decline since even last season. His Mobile numbers from '08 included a 1.77 GO/AO ratio, while this season's numbers from Mobile had him at just a 1.10 GO/AO ratio, and it has sunk below 1 in his limited time in Reno. If this keeps up, especially since Mahon is so old, having spent so long in college, it's hard to see Mahon having much major-league impact. He needs to recover his sinker's mojo, or he'll be out of the system in very short order.
#24 (ranked #5 according to Baseball America) - LHP Wade Miley. Born November 13, 1986. 22 years old. Drafted in the Sandwich round in 2008 by Arizona. The Baseball Cube ratings - Control: 39 / K-Rating: 89 / Efficiency: 24.
2009 Stats: Mid-A South Bend
Mid-A South Bend - 18 games started, 100.2 IP, 3.93 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 81 K, 26 BB (3.1:1 K/BB ratio), 7.2 K/9IP, 2.3 BB/9IP.
2008 Stats: Low-A Yakima
Low-A Yakima - 7 games in relief, 11.0 IP, 4.91 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 11 K, 5 BB (2.1:1 K/BB ratio), 9.0 K/9IP, 4.1 BB/9IP.
Miley was picked as a high-probability, low-ceiling guy who would be on the fast-track to the majors out of college. Despite hitting a few stumbles on the way earlier in the season, Miley now appears poised to continue his ascent up the system next season, pitching 15 innings in his last three starts (could have thrown more easily, but the organization has him on a strict innings cap) while allowing just one earned run, including five perfect innings on a July 29 start. He's been great at getting ground balls, too, with a 2.05 GO/AO ratio. With his BB-rate so low, and GO/AO ratio so high, it's hard to imagine that Miley has simply had a bit of hard luck in having a .274 BAA, and that the recent success is a factor of regression back to the norms. I'd imagine the organization expects to have him in AA by the end of next season.
#23 - RHP Josh Collmenter. Born February 7, 1986. 23 years old. Drafted in the 15th round in 2007 by Arizona. The Baseball Cube ratings - Control 84 / K-Rating: 85 / Efficiency: 97.
2009 Stats: Hi-A Visalia
Hi-A Visalia - 21 games started, 114.1 IP, 3.78 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 120 K, 38 BB (3.2:1 K/BB ratio), 9.4 K/9IP, 3.0 BB/9IP.
2008 Stats: Mid-A South Bend
Mid-A South Bend - 27 games started, 145.1 IP, 3.41 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 123 K, 47 BB (2.6:1 K/BB ratio), 7.6 K/9IP, 2.9 BB/9IP.
2007 Stats: Low-A Yakima
Low-A Yakima - 12 games started, 2 games in relief, 66.1 IP, 2.71 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 57 K, 21 BB (2.7:1 K/BB ratio), 7.7 K/9IP, 2.8 BB/9IP.
Josh Collmenter has exceeded all expectations as a 15th round pick, being one of the better starters in the organization and being an absolute strikeout machine, especially this season, when he has amped up his K-Rate to more than one per inning. If he can keep that rate steady as he ascends through the system, and keep his BB-Rate around 3 as it's been in his first three pro seasons, Collmenter will be just fine, and likely 24 years old in AA next season, which is perfectly acceptable.
#22 - 1B Ryne White. Born October 17, 1986. 22 years old. Drafted in the 4th round in 2008 by Arizona. The Baseball Cube ratings - Power: 83 / Speed: 40 / Contact: 86 / Patience: 77.
2009 Stats: Hi-A Visalia
Hi-A Visalia - 89 games, .254 BA, .370 OPB, .346 SLG, .716 OPS (average California League OPS: .757), 67 K, 54 BB (1.2:1 K/BB ratio), .092 ISO, 18.2% K-Rate, 14.6% BB-Rate, .306 BABIP.
2008 Stats: Split between Rookie-level Missoula and Mid-A South Bend
Rookie-level Missoula - 58 games, .274 BA, .348 OBP, .427 SLG, .775 OPS (average Pioneer League OPS: .777), 41 K, 26 BB (1.6:1 K/BB ratio), .150 ISO, 15.8% K-Rate, 10.0% BB-Rate, .303 BABIP.
Mid-A South Bend - 12 games, .358 BA, .404 OBP, .472 SLG, .876 OPS (average Midwest League OPS: .694), 10 K, 4 BB (2.5:1 K/BB ratio), .114 ISO, 17.5% K-Rate, 7.0% BB-Rate, .441 BABIP.
White's offensive (measured by OPS) numbers have taken a bit of a dip from last year, when they were around league average for his time in Missoula, and significantly above league average in South Bend because of that .441 BABIP, to having an OPS forty points below league average this season in Hi-A Visalia. Also, the drop in ISO from last season to this season is concerning. However, he is also just 22 years old and has a knack for getting on base. The next season or two will be important for White (as they are for pretty much any 22-year-old prospect...), as he has a chance to rise up the system due to the probable departures of guys like Brian Byrne and Josh Whitesell. Also, the Brandon Allen trade didn't affect White as much as it affected guys like Byrne and Whitesell, as White is younger than Allen, and hence isn't going to be forced out by the arrival of Allen. If Allen proves to be a good everyday guy, we can always use White as a trade piece to get a solid veteran. If Allen doesn't pan out, White can be there as an option to fill in, if he can rise through the system.
#21 - RHP Hector Ambriz. Born May 29, 1984. 25 years old. Drafted in the 5th round in 2006 by Arizona. The Baseball Cube ratings: Power: 67 / Speed: 1 / Contact: 58 / Patience: 74 / Control: 69 / K-Rating 77 / Efficiency: 79.
2009 Stats: Split between AA-Mobile and AAA-Reno (Currently in AAA-Reno)
AA-Mobile - 5 games started, 29.0 IP, 2.17 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 32 K, 6 BB (5.3:1 K/BB ratio), 9.9 K/9IP, 1.9 BB/9IP.
AAA-Reno - 16 games started, 1 game in relief, 92.1 IP, 5.65 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 81 K, 29 BB (2.8:1 K/BB ratio), 7.9 K/9IP, 2.8 BB/9IP.
2008 Stats: AA-Mobile
AA-Mobile - 26 games started, 1 game in relief, 152.2 IP, 4.89 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 118 K, 47 BB (2.5:1 K/BB ratio), 7.0 K/9IP, 2.8 BB/9IP.
2007 Stats: Hi-A Visalia
Hi-A Visalia - 26 games started, 2 games in relief, 150.0 IP, 4.08 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 133 K, 50 BB (2.7:1 K/BB ratio), 8.0 K/9IP, 3.0 K/9IP.
2006 Stats: Rookie-level Missoula
Rookie-level Missoula - 4 games started, 11 games in relief, 42.1 IP, 1.91 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 52 K, 11 BB (4.7:1 K/BB ratio), 11.1 K/9IP, 2.3 BB/9IP.
Yes, you read those Baseball Cube ratings correctly - he was a Pitcher/Catcher in college, an admittedly dangerous combination for anybody with the goal of avoiding injury, but somehow Ambriz made it through, and although his hitting numbers have certainly dropped off since recording college OPS numbers of .561 freshman year, 1.000 sophomore year, .881 junior year, and .899 senior year, he is servicable with a bat (.231/.310/.327 line in his last two seasons in the minors for a .637 OPS). Not Micah Owings numbers, but also not Jon Garland numbers. As far as pitching goes, you pretty much know what you're going to get from Ambriz in terms of K/BB ratio, K/9, and BB/9, and those numbers have held steady, even in Reno. The biggest problem with Reno is that batters are just hitting all over Ambriz, to the tune of a .306 BAA. If he is still in the organization, Ambriz will likely be repeat Reno next season, as he's shown that AA is beneath him, but unless he absolutely dominates AAA hitters next season, he'll stay behind guys like Billy Buckner, Cesar Valdez, Bryan Augenstein, and Yusmeiro Petit, especially since Valdez, Augenstein, and Petit are all younger than Ambriz.
Another A.J. Pollock update: His hitting streak was snapped on Monday, but he has since gone 3-8 with a home run and a walk. His BA/OBP/SLG/OPS line on the season is up to a solid .271/.308/.406/.714 (average Midwest League OPS: .701), and he appears set to try out Hi-A sometime around September, and if he can perform there, would presumably have a chance to start next season at Mobile.
Also, to replace Parker in the Mobile rotation is Tom Layne, who was promoted from Hi-A, where he had had a significant amount of success as a reliever, as noted in my first Hatchlings write-up. It'll be interesting to see how he resonds to both going back to starting (where he was less effective) while also moving up a level. I'm personally a bit curious as to the reasons why Collmenter didn't get that promotion.
So much for encouraging ourselves about the strength of the farm system... Miley and Collmenter both have a chance to be major-league rotation guys, but Mahon appears to have hit a major snag in Reno, White has been mediocre in Visalia, and Ambriz appears to be on his way out of the D-Backs system after a rough time in Reno.