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SnakePit Hatchlings Report - Cheers! Edition

Last night in London, and I've got a little time and sufficient motivation to throw together a Hatchlings Report, as some of the affiliates have made a trip through the rotation since my last report.  Let's hope I stay awake long enough to finish this thing.

Triple-A Reno:

LHP Mike Hampton - Two Games - 2 IP, 1 H, 1:1 K:BB, the rest zeroes.

RHP Bryan Augenstein - August 25 - 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R (0 ER), 5:0 K:BB, 7/5 GO/FO.

Hampton is included here strictly because we basically know for a fact that we're going to see him in September as another LOOGY option.  The results so far have been fine, though he has recorded four outs in the air and just one on the ground.

Augenstein is legitimately encouraging though.  For someone who has had as much time as he has this year with allowing a ton of hits (.370 BABIP after this game), to see Augenstein allow just one in six innings, despite likely being a fluke, is a treat to see.

Double-A Mobile:

OF Collin Cowgill - August 26 - 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 2:0 K:BB.

Cowgill provided just enough offense to allow Bryan Woodall to earn the win for the BayBears, on in relief of Ryan Cook.  He drove in all three of the BayBears' runs as Mobile topped Nashville by one run.  Cowgill is the best prospect not named Jarrod Parker (or Brandon Allen - thanks for the catch here blue bulldog) in the D-backs' system who began the season in the upper minors (above A-ball), though that's rather obvious given that his competition is headlined by Konrad Schmidt.

Hi-A Visalia:

Starting Pitching - Last Four Games (Eric Smith, Dan Taylor, Charles Brewer, & Pat McAnaney) - 25 2/3 IP, 18 H, 1 R (1 ER), 17:2 K:BB, 0 HR, 37/19 GO/FO.

While the Cal League is notorious for hitter-friendliness, it is the starting pitching that has shown up for the Rawhide as of late.  Smith appears to have his Hi-A feet under him after some early struggles for Visalia.  Taylor continues an up-and-down season with a spectacular outing.  Brewer took just one start to adapt to the Hi-A lineups after moving up from South Bend, and has been devastatingly effective ever since.  McAnaney has been nothing shy of spectacular since arriving back at Visalia.

Low-A South Bend:

3B Bobby Borchering

- August 21 through August 25 - 7-19, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 4:4 K:BB.

Borchering has perhaps been South Bend's hottest hitter since Matt Davidson left for Visalia.  Borchering's post-ASB OPS is 60 points higher than his pre-ASB OPS, and he's been on quite the power surge as of late.  This type of power is encouraging for someone who still believes that Borchering can translate his incredible raw batting practice power into games.  Considering that Borchering was the 16th overall pick in a very important draft for the D-backs, he'll get plenty of chances.

Short-Season-A Yakima:

SS Zachary Walters

- Seven-Game Hitting Streak (August 18 - 25, snapped on 26th) - 13-30, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R, 5:0 K:BB.

Talk about a guy on a tear at the plate.  Walters has been phenomenal in the heart of the lineup for the Bears all season long, with an .847 OPS in 60 contests.  While Walters is old for the level, at 20 years old, he's certainly not ancient and he's playing a premium defensive position.  The ninth-round pick could very well be the starting shortstop for South Bend on Opening Day 2011.  He could use a few more walks, particularly within this streak, though he did record a walk in each of the bookend games of the streak despite not recording a hit in either.

Rookie-level Missoula:

LHP David Holmberg - August 26 - 7 IP, 9 H, 5 R (4 ER), 9:0 K:BB, 0 HR, 4/6 GO/FO.

OF Adam Eaton - Last Nine Games (Since August 18) - 12-32, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 6:5 K:BB.

These names looking familiar?  :)

The overall results from Thursday's game may not have been pretty, but it's certainly hard to argue with the rates.  As a matter of fact, Holmberg's rates have been off-the-charts-good since he arrived in Missoula in the Edwin Jackson trade.  A K:BB ratio of 34:5 in 29 innings of work, just one home run allowed, and a 56% GB-rate.  10.55 K/9IP, 1.55 BB/9IP, and a stunning 2.06 FIP.  All I can say is that I'm very much looking forward to seeing Holmberg throw as a member of South Bend's rotation near the end of Spring semester.

As for Eaton, well... it must be nice for Missoula Osprey fans like, for instance, the 'Pit's very own Missoula Osprey Fan, to watch a guy who gets on base in half of his plate appearances.  Yep, Adam Eaton is sporting a BABIP-influenced .500 OBP.  But don't be too quick to discredit his numbers.  His ability to collect plenty of extra bases, draw a walk, healthy 17.5% LD-rate, and low fly-ball tendencies mean that his luck-adjusted numbers on still come out to a .323/.461/.503 line and .964 OPS with a BABIP of .365.  Darn impressive.  Hard to imagine him going anywhere but Hi-A to start 2011.


Others of note:

 - Brandon Allen keeps hitting homers - he now has 25 on the year after whacking one on Tuesday.

 - Matt Torra missed a ton of bats in his last outing, striking out nine, though he also allowed two home runs and ended up getting tagged with five earned runs over 6 innings.  Kevin Mulvey also had a strong start, throwing five shutout innings and lowering his post-All-Star Break ERA to 3.16.

 - One of Reno's hottest hitters while there, outfielder Chris Rahl was sent to Mobile to help the BayBears as they make a push towards the playoffs.  He has responded by collecting four hits in the last two games he has started, including a triple, to go with a stolen base in seven at-bats.

 - While a low BABIP isn't helping his cause, it would be nice if Matt Davidson would collect himself an extra-base hit instead of keeping up this ISO of exactly zero.

 - Paul Goldschmidt hit his 33rd home run of the year on Monday for Visalia.  He was also named the MVP for the Cal League today, so congrats to him.  Only fitting with his ludicrous home run binge and the fact that he has kept his OPS north of .950 for nearly the entire season.

 - Right-hander Scottie Allen returned from injury to throw on Friday, going three innings and giving up a walk, a hit, and nothing else.  Diogenes Rosario was moved back to the 'pen to accommodate Allen's return to the rotation.  Rosario is apparently happy about the switch - South Bend radio said that Rosario high-fived pitching coach Wellington Cepeda when Cepeda told him the knews.

 - Tyler Skaggs, the focal piece of the Dan Haren trade package, pitched well on Tuesday, giving up just one earned run in four innings.  However, Derek Eitel, the D-backs' 2010 draft pick from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, stole the spotlight by striking out seven in five innings of relief, allowing just an earned run.

 - David Nick also shined for the SilverHawks on Wednesday, clubbing both a triple and a home run as South Bend beat Dayton 7-4.

 - Further proof of how lateral of a move the Missoula/Yakima promotion is, 20-year-old right-hander Teo Gutierrez has been phenomenal in his two starts spanning eight innings since joining the Bears' rotation.  This came after he posted a 6.97 ERA in 20 2/3 innings for the Osprey.  He has allowed just one run while walking two and striking out three.  Andrea Pizziconi, on the other hand, has slumped since joining Missoula.

 - In the four starts prior to Holmberg's outing, Kevin Eichhorn, J.R. Bradley, Robbie Rowland, and Patrick Schuster combined to allow just two earned runs over 21 2/3 innings of work, although with a few shady sets of rates.  That entire rotation is a promising group filled with top-30 prospects in the D-backs system.  MOF is a pretty lucky guy out there.