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Diamondbacks Farm Round-Up 8/9: Bauer ROFLstomps Lancaster

It's Trevor Bauer's world, and we're just living in it.

Man, this kid is going to be fun to watch for (hypothetically) six years in Sedona Red.  Word from Jack Magruder on Twitter that he's headed to Double-A Mobile in the near future, with a chance to earn playing time at the major league level by the end of the season.  He would be heavily monitored if he were to reach the big leagues in 2011, but if Arizona used their bullets properly, Bauer could save a few key runs down the stretch.  Given that it has already been made into a front-page FanPost, pretty much everybody has seen this line already, but c'mon, I've got use it again.

Trevor Bauer of the Day:

Trevor Bauer (Hi-A): 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 8:0 K:BB, 2:1 GO:AO

Triple-A: Reno 3, Nashville 5.  (66-51)  Former big-league back-end starting prospect Kevin Mulvey made his long-awaited & triumphant mildly-anticipated & successful noteworthy & encouraging return to the Aces after rehabbing with the AZL club, and it wasn't pretty.  Mulvey allowed five runs in just 4.1 innings for Reno, striking out one and walking four while surrendering seven hits, including a homer.  Considering that he just finished posting an ERA above 5 in Complex-based ball on his rehab assignment, I see no reason to dig up the hatchet that was buried sometime around June 2010.  Andy Tracy and Lucas May provided doubles for the Reno offense, while Tracy, Ryan Langerhans, and Mark Hallberg each reached base three times, but there simply wasn't enough thunder to overcome the poor outing from Mulvey.  New piggyback partner Tom Layne threw 3.2 scoreless innings of relief, striking out three and collecting four ground-ball outs, although he did also walk a pair.

Double-A (game one, seven innings): Mobile 0, Montgomery 6.  Things did not go well for the BayBears in the first half of their double-header, as Tampa Bay right-hander Alex Colome one-hit Mobile through seven wonderful innings despite an underwhelming 2:2 K:BB ratio.  Colome was recently the recipient of an all-too-rare mid-season promotion from Tampa Bay, although it was largely overshadowed by the much bigger mid-season promotion of Matt Moore, who Colome replaced in the Biscuits' rotation.  Nonetheless, that gives you an idea of how good of a prospect the 22-year-old Colome is - even Tampa Bay couldn't help but promote him to Double-A.

The lone hit of the night came from Taylor Harbin, who was later hit by a pitch from Colome and left the game.  Harbin didn't play in the second half of the double-header, and I'll see if I can scrounge up info on his status - the team's Twitter page provided no help, and there's no mention of it on the team's website.  Starting pitcher Wes Roemer was roughed up for six runs in a "complete game" six-inning performance, allowing seven hits - including a home run - walking one, and hitting two batters while striking out four.

Double-A (game two, seven innings): Mobile 4, Montgomery 1.  (68-46)  Needless to say, the second half of the double-header went much better.  For starters, starting pitcher Kyler Newby (get it?!) threw well, striking out five and walking just one in five one-run innings, surrendering just a pair of hits to a prospect-rich Biscuits lineup - for instance, Newby struck out top Rays infield prospect Tim Beckham twice.  That was enough to out-duel top Rays pitching prospect Nick Barnese, who posted a 4:4 K:BB ratio and allowed three runs to cross the plate in five innings on the mound.

Josh Ford and Daryle Ward each reached base three times, while Ryan Wheeler singled and walked.  The only extra-base hit the BayBears tallied, however, was a solo home run by A.J. Pollock off of none other than Matt Bush - yes, Padres fans, that Matt Bush, MUA HA HA HA HA HA!!! (I can laugh because then-GM Kevin Towers supposedly wanted to pick Stephen Drew or Jered Weaver ahead of Bush, but good ol' San Diego financial ownership constraints got in the way) - to give Mobile a 4-1 lead that Mike DeMark would hold in the bottom of the seventh.

Now, for a moment of appreciation for how good A.J. Pollock is.  While playing the defensively-demanding position of center field, Pollock has taken the time to put up a shockingly-good 110 wOBA+ in the Southern League by StatCorner's latest updates.  All that production from a guy who missed the entirety of the 2010 season with a shoulder injury and never had played above Low-A ball prior to 2011?  Please, sir, may I have some more?  That wOBA+ figure is good for second on the club behind that Goldschmidt guy.  Were it not for Goldy attracting all of the attention and buzz at Mobile, we might be hearing a lot more good things about Pollock than we have.  For those pleading to include Pollock in trade packages for short-term veteran solutions to our pitching and infield holes, look beyond his OPS and to the more telling wOBA+ statistic.

Pollock is one of the better examples around of a guy who does very little of what he did on Tuesday night - hit home runs - but yet have a ton of offensive value because of his ability to hit tons of singles and doubles.  Despite what slugging percentage preaches, a home run is not four times more valuable than a single, nor is a home run twice as valuable as a double.  Home runs are certainly flashier, but 40 doubles trumps 20 home runs any day of the week, particularly when taking into consideration the fact that a home run allows the opposing pitcher to begin working out of the windup, while a double keeps said pitcher not just in the stretch, but working in a high-leverage situations (w/RISP).  For a team that desperately needs a leadoff hitter, the solution might be waiting for us at Double-A.

Hi-A: Trevor Bauers 2, Not-Trevor Bauers 1.  (52-63)  Okay, so maybe I'm going a little bit overboard here.  Visalia actually topped Lancaster on Tuesday night - sadly, the paperwork to move the team to the city of Not-Trevor, California, home of the Bauers, hasn't been pushed through - behind more than just the utterly absurd performance of one Trevor Bauer.  If the rumblings are true that Bauer is indeed moving up to Double-A Mobile, here is the final line on Bauer's brief stint at Visalia: 9 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 17:4 K:BB ratio, 1 HR, 1.75 GO/AO, 3.00 ERA.  That's right, Bauer recorded 17 of 27 outs - okay, technically 28 since the catcher dropped one of his strikeouts - at Hi-A via the strikeout, a staggering 63% of his outs (61% if you're forgiving the catcher's misdeeds).  Adding the 11 hitters who reached base back into the equation, Bauer whiffed 17 of 39 batters faced, or a K% of 43.6%.  Do it, son.

In relief of Bauer, the Visalia bullpen combo of Dan Taylor, Blake Cooper (making his Hi-A debut), Adam Worthington, and Taylor Sinclair combined to throw five shutout innings, a feat made all the more impressive by the over-arching presence of the Cal League.  The Rawhide received power contributions from three of their hardest-hitting prospects, as Matt Davidson, Bobby Borchering, and Alfredo Marte each doubled to drive in the Rawhide's two runs.  Davidson was also plunked once, joining David Nick as the only Rawhide hitters to reach base twice.

Low-A (game one, seven innings): South Bend 5, Bowling Green 4.  Starting pitcher J.R. Bradley really only had one problem in the Bowling Green lineup, 24-year-old Indie League signee Keith Castillo.  The rest of the Bowling Green lineup notched just five hits and one extra-base hit off of J.R., who had an overall night of five innings, seven hits, four runs, two strikeouts, a 7:2 GO:AO ratio, and a home run allowed.  It's annoying to be patient with high school pitchers like Bradley, but it's necessary.  I remain convinced that he'll be a highly-regarded prospect in a year or two.  South Bend picked up their starter, receiving doubles from Roberto Ortiz, Niko Gallego, and David Narodowski.  Those doubled proved to be just enough extra help on top of the big blow of the game, a grand slam from Jhoan Pimentel - the first home run of the year for the Silver Hawks' 22-year-old backup catcher who now sports a sparkling .181/.211/.220 line in 42 games.

Low-A (game two, seven innings): South Bend 3, Bowling Green 4.  (54-59)  The Silver Hawks received a lot more power production from the top and middle portions of the lineup in the second half of the double-header, with a pair of doubles from Yazy Arbelo, a triple from Ender Inciarte, and a Matt Helm double.  Unfortunately, the home run hit by the backup catcher in this game - Ramon Castillo, now hitting .192/.255/.349 in 54 games - was only a solo shot, and the Hawks were unable to overcome another shaky pitching outing.  The starter in game two was lefty Patrick Schuster who is beginning to show definite signs of fatigue in the later parts of the year.  The lanky Schuster allowed four runs in four innings on the mound, posting an underwhelming 1:3 K:BB ratio.  Another dose of patience needed here, but the upside is promising if even one of Bradley and Schuster makes it to the major leagues.

Short-Season-A: Yakima 2, Spokane 3.  (17-35)  This Bears team seems to have a proclivity for losing one-run games that rivals the San Francisco Giants' proclivity for winning them.  Another solid starting pitching performance was wasted on Tuesday, as right-hander Teo Gutierrez allowed just one earned run in five innings on the rubber with a 3:0 K:BB ratio, but saw Brad Wilson cough up the lead in his three innings on the mound.  After taking a 2-1 lead prior to Wilson entering the game, the Bears offense took the rest of the night off, winding up with just six total hits.  The good news is that shortstop Raul Navarro finally had a standout game, doubling and drawing a walk, although he did strike out once.

Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 2, Great Falls 1.  (31-17)  2011 draft pick Jesse Darrah took the mound on Tuesday for the Osprey, and while he didn't miss as many bats as he's made a habit of missing recently - he had 22 strikeouts in his last 14 innings going into tonight's start - he got through five innings without allowing a single hit.  The college right-hander struck out four while allowing three walks and posting a 3:4 GO:AO ratio, dropping his ERA in the hitter-friendly Pioneer League to 3.56.  Justin Bianco was the only Osprey hitter to reach base twice, recording a pair of walks (with a pair of strikeouts), while Roidany Aguila and Jeremia Gomez each doubled to provide all the pop Missoula would need.  Reliever D.J. Johnson struck out all three of the batters he faced in the ninth inning to secure the save.

Low-Rookie: D-backs 2, Rangers 4.  (13-27)  After an ugly outing on the third against the AZL Cubs, starter Bryan Escanio rebounded to have a nice outing on Tuesday, allowing just one run through five innings of work, on a solo home run and a 5:3 K:BB ratio.  The D-backs didn't record an extra-base hit in this game, although five different hitters reached base twice - Pedro Ruiz, Wagner Mateo, Pat Donahue, Jesus Abreu, and Jose Alegria.  A two-run ninth inning from Cody Geyer broke the tie and proved to be the difference in the game.