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Bluefield pitching update, July 2016

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In lieu of the normal pitching prospect rundown, since Bluefield was excluded . I intended to get to this earlier since we're already almost halfway through August, but better late than never.

Broadly speaking, there are two groups of players here. First are the top prospects, who generally are starting and have the most innings. The second group is some 2016 draftees, at least those was a reasonable amount of July innings.

Osman Gutierrez
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
25.0 115 17 29 11 30 0 10% 26% 43% 10% .397 45% 31% 27% 68%

Gutierrez was signed way back in 2011 out of Nicarauga for $210,000 and has moved a little slowly, only made it stateside last year to the GCL. Still, he's only 21, and has been Bluefield's most consistent starter. In his July 23rd start, he touched 96 a couple times on the stadium gun, with a mid-80s breaking ball. So there's some quality stuff to go along with the good stat line. He's being victimized by a terrible BABIP despite decent contact profile (rookie level defence FTW!), but otherwise done everything you want to see: missed bats and worked ahead of batters, and been able to finish them off while still being quite efficient.

Yennsy Diaz
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
24.2 112 15 26 10 21 2 9% 19% 51% 9% .308 49% 30% 33% 78%

Diaz was signed in 2014 out of the Dominican as an 18 year old for $70,000. This overall line masks a lot of ups and downs, as he's turned in some of the best outings for Bluefield, and some quite bad ones. In a couple starts, he was up to 95-97 on the stadium gun, though lower in a couple others, with a high 70s/low 80s curveball. Statistically, he's mised a decent number of bats, and done a decent job working ahead while generating a solid ground ball profile and amount of weak contact.

Baseball America had a report on his dominating Aug 2 start (not included in the above).

Jose Espada
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
25.0 116 21 34 8 23 3 7% 20% 41% 7% .385 44% 30% 28% 73%

Espada, an off-the-board 5th round pick in 2015 out of Puerto Rico, had a solid debut in the GCL but has not been able to translate that in Bluefield so far. His fastball has been in a range of 88-93, with a slider in the low 80s his main secondaries. On the positive side, he's missed some bats and worked ahead, so his peripherlas are solid. On the negative side, he's had issues with contact, in particular with long balls. That makes it harder to shrug out a high BABIP as unlucky/defensively based.

Kyle Weatherly
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
22.2 93 9 22 7 17 0 8% 18% 52% 10% .336 44% 46% 21% 72%

Weatherly is the Jays 8th rounder this year out of a junior college in Texas, signing for $250,000 in lieu of going to LSU in 2017. He's worked in the 91-95 range on stadium guns, touching 98 once; the secondaries have been a changeup in the low/mid 80s and a curveball in the high 70s. It's been a solid pro debut for Weatherly as he's moved into the rotation after sretching out in the pen, with a strong contact profile and an ability to miss bats. He has had struggled finding the zone, preventing him from working ahead and really dominating.

Hansel Rodriguez
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
24.2 99 9 16 10 23 1 10% 23% 54% 6% .233 33% 45% 26% 71%

Hansel is of course no longer in the organization, but I still thought I'd include him to give a better sense of what the Jays gave up. He was putting together a nice campaign, missing bats with a strong ground ball profile albeit with a touch of control issues. Hopefully Melvin Upton does well enough as a Blue Jay to not make us regret giving him up.

Denis Diaz
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
18.1 76 7 14 8 9 0 11% 12% 47% 10% .239 47% 33% 30% 76%

Diaz was promoted up to Vancouver despite not really excelling in Bluefield, with mediocre peripherals though good results on balls in play. Nothing really stands out in his statistical profile, and his fastball was in the 89-90 range. Signed out of Honduras as an 18 year old in early 2013.

Juliandry Higuera
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
14.0 59 6 13 7 10 0 12% 17% 49% 10% .321 32% 51% 25% 76%

Higuera, also an 18 year old IFA signed out of Venezuela in late 2012, was demoted to Bluefield from Vancouver. Fastball 92-93 with a breaking ball around 80, but poor peripherals and looking like he's probably just an org guy at 22

Luke Gillingham
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
9.2 39 3 8 4 10 0 10% 26% 48% 20% .320 47% 37% 29% 76%

I'm including two June appearances since Gillingham, 2016 38th rounder, had to report back for his military service so he only made four total appearances and 5 inning in July. It's still not a robust sample, but a decent debut with a dent strikeout rate, and good contact profile. The walks were a little surprising considering his college stats. Now, we see what happens in 2019.

Connor Eller
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
18.1 69 7 10 6 12 1 9% 17% 50% 18% .182 32% 42% 24% 83%

Eller, drafted this year in the 22nd round, started out in rotation and transitioned in mid-July into the bullpen after leaving a start having been hit by a batted ball (I don't know if there was any caustion there). The batted ball data is impressive, but the peripherals are mediocre as he's not missing many bats and having throwing enough strikes and getting ahead of batters. Fastball was clocked as high as 93.

Brayden Bouchey
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
6.0 28 4 4 5 7 0 18% 25% 25% 6% .250 39% 46% 28% 69%

Bouchey, a BC native drafted in the 33rd round this year, was promoted in mid-July from the GCL. He only got into a few games, but I've included him because (spoiler alert) he's been really good in August. The takeaways here are that he missed some bats, and appears to have a strong fly ball profile. In one game, his fastball was 87-88, with a mid-70s breaking ball as his primary secondary pitch.

Angel Alicea
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
14.1 60 6 11 6 21 0 10% 35% 38% 6% .338 58% 30% 31% 72%

Alicea was drafted in the 20th round this year, and signed for $100,000 so he's someone to at least keep an eye on. He's worked as a reliever, but in multi-inning stints. He's been able to miss bats and strike batters out, albeit with a little wildness though he's nonetheless mostly worked ahead of batters. A nice start to his pro career.

Jose Nova
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
18.2 86 11 19 14 11 2 16% 13% 37% 7% .293 39% 41% 25% 74%

Nova (2014 IFA signed at age 18) started out in the rotation, but struggled and went to the bullpen before being demoted at the very end of the month. He worked with a fastball in the 89-92 range, with a breaking ball in the low/mid 80s. He was able to miss some bats, but struggled massively with control.

Chris Hall

No data table here, but 14th rounder Hall has worked mostly single innings out of the bullpen, with his fastball ranging 90-94. He's struck out about a batter an inning with a solid ERA.