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Minor Matters: Wesley Wright Continues to Shine

August 17, 2011 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
Brett Pill is ready for a shot with the San Francisco Giants.
Brett Pill is enjoying a breakout year at Triple-A.

Wesley Wright, who the Astros tried to convert into a starter early last season with poor results, has spent plenty of time with the major league squad over the last four seasons, but in this – the year when it’s all hands on deck for Houston – he’s barely gotten a look at all.

I don’t get it, personally, especially since now that he’s back to relieving almost exclusively, he’s been superb at Triple-A. And it’s not as if Houston’s bullpen has been good. In fact, really the only good things you can say about the Astro bullpen is that it’s been better than their rotation and that it isn’t as bad as the Twins’ pen.

Yet Wright got into just two games earlier this month before he was sent back down when the team needed another starter.

Still just 26, Wright has a chance to be a decent major league reliever judging by how hard he’s been to hit at Triple-A. Check out his BAAs by month this season: .250, .230, .213, .197, .143. Sensing a trend there?

Yet Houston, with nothing to play for except trying to avoid franchise worst futility records, isn’t keeping Wright around long enough to see if his Triple-A improvements will translate into the bigs.

While Aubrey Huff continues to struggle and Brandon Belt teases us with his power potential, but does little else, how about the season first baseman Brett Pill is having at Triple-A Fresno?

A seventh rounder in 2006, Pill had a big year at Double-A in 2009, but in his first taste of Triple-A last year, he wasn’t quite as impressive.

This year, however, Pill is having a real breakout, batting .312 through 119 games with 75 runs, 35 doubles, 24 homers, 101 RBI and an 890 OPS. When he went over the 100 RBI mark Tuesday night, he became just the second player in pro ball to reach the plateau this year.

Yes, he’ll be 27 next month, so isn’t exactly a prospect, but with the Giants desperate for anyone that can hit their way out of a wet paper bag, doesn’t he deserve a look when rosters expand?

The former Cal State Fullerton star has played mostly first base this year, but the organization has experimented with him at second as well, and if he proves capable of manning that position, he’s got a real chance to make the Show and stick.

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Minor Matters: Brad Peacock is on the Doorstep of the Majors

July 28, 2011 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
On Wednesday, in just his third start for Triple-A Syracuse, Peacock took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, winding up with seven shutout frames of one-hit ball with seven Ks and four walks. Peacock was roughed up in his debut for Syracuse, but in the past two starts, he’s only given up five hits and one earned run in 12 IP, fanning 11 and walking five.
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Minor Matters: D.J. Mitchell Ready for the Call

July 26, 2011 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
In his first full season at Triple-A, the 24-year-old has been quite impressive, especially lately, tossing extremely strong starts in four of his last five outings. All Mitchell has done in July is go 3-0 (including two shutouts) with a 1.07 ERA and just 12 hits allowed in 25 1/3 IP with 25 strikeouts. That’ll get your attention.
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Minor Matters: George Kontos Plagued by Recent Inconsistency

July 23, 2011 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
He was looking filthy good in the first few months of the season (2-0, 2.65 in April; 1.08 in May; and 1.93 in June with 26 Ks in 23 1/3 IP), but has definitely hit a snag in July. Kontos started the month brilliantly, tossing four innings of one-hit shutout with five Ks and no walks in his second start of the season, but he was rocked in his next outing (four hits, three earned runs and a walk in one inning). Four days later on July 10, Kontos tossed two shutout frames, but then he got hammered again on July 16. He looked strong on the 19th, hurling 2 2/3 IP of shutout ball with four strikeouts, but on Friday night, the evil Kontos showed up again, getting rocked for three earned runs in 3 1/3 IP to suffer the loss and drop his record below .500. In fairness, he was looking sharp to begin the outing, before hitting the wall on a very hot night.
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Minor Matters: Leonys Martin Living up to the Hype

July 16, 2011 | by Tim McLeod | Comments (2)
The Rangers recently made a foray into the International market, outbidding the Boston Red Sox for the services of 23-year-old Cuban ex-pat Martin. He signed a five-year deal worth $15.5 million with a $5 million signing bonus. The scouting reports indicated he had a strong arm with plus speed and line drive potential. Martin was immediately dispatched to the Double-A Frisco Roughriders in the Texas League. He made his debut May 12 and certainly lived up to all expectations, smacking four homers with 24 RBI, 10 steals and a sweet .348 BA in 112 at-bats.
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