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Bluefield pitching, August 2016

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This post is somewhat belated, with Bluefield's season having wrapped up three weeks ago today, and the minor league season not exactly top of mind. But since I didn't include the rookie levels in the regular updates, opting instead for monthly summaries, I did want to get around to this, if for nothing else than completeness. At some point, I'll also get around to recapping the GCL pitcher results, though in somewhat less detail since there's no pitch level data, just outcomes.

Once again, this is roughly ordered by prospect status, since they get the most innings.

See alsoJuly Bluefield pitching update (which has more background on the players profiled)

Osman Gutierrez
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
24 130 13 28 11 29 3 8% 22% 52% 6% .289 42% 38% 25% 74%

Gutierrez had a reasonably strong finish to the season, though it doesn't show up in his runs allowed. Decent strikeout and walk rates paired with a strong ground ball is a promising profile, and he was able to miss some bats though struggled some to  find the zone.

Yenssy Diaz
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
27.1 124 19 26 18 24 7 15% 19% 33% 13% .259 44% 36% 23% 76%

August was a struggle for Diaz, who fly balls tendencies caught up to him as he allowed 7 home runs (in four different games) after only allowing two before hand. Despite putting up similar contact and zone rates to Gutierrez, his K/BB ratios were quite poor, and a lot worse than the underlying numbers would suggest.

Jose Espada
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
24 90 7 14 5 9 3 6% 10% 41% 14% .172 22% 30% 26% 89%

2015 draftee Espada was successful in keeping runs off the board, but it was was fuelled by a very low BABIP and there was less to like when drilling down. Not only the stuff underwhelming this summer, but in August his strikeout walk plunged and he didn't miss bats at all after doing a solid job earlier in the season. He does a solid job keeping free passes off the basepaths, and did get a lot of weak contact popups.

Joel Espinal
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
23.1 128 28 39 14 14 7 11% 11% 40% 10% .344 26% 41% 22% 82%

Espinal was another victim of the August long ball after being promoted from the GCL near the end of July. Considering he didn't give up a ton of fly balls, some of this was likely exaggerated beyond skill. The bigger issue is his excellent K/BB output from the GCL (30/4 in 29 innings) collapsed. He had a lot of trouble finding the zone, and missed an okay amount of bats, so the issue here was working behind.

Kyle Weatherly
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
14 56 5 10 3 15 1 5% 27% 54% 11% .254 63% 23% 28% 75%

Weatherly only made three starts, at the beginning and end of the month as it appears he had some sort of injury in between though didn't actually hit the DL. When he was on the mound, the results were very nice: a strong ground ball rate paired with strong peripherals. He worked ahead, and missed enough bats. Overall, a strong debut for the 2016 draftee, and the question will be Lansing or Vancouver to start 2017.

Juliandry Higuera
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
25 114 17 26 10 25 4 9% 22% 45% 8% .299 48% 37% 31% 76%

After being demoted from Vancouver in mid-July and continuing his struggles, Higuera rebounded in August to post some decent numbers. That said, across the board everything was just okay, with nothing really standing out.

Kelyn Jose
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
15.1 68 6 9 13 15 0 19% 22% 55% 5% .225 19% 38% 23% 78%

The young fireballer (with a mid-90s fastball that can touch higher) continued to struggle with command and control in August. Beyond too many walks, he did a nice job suppressing contact. A name to keep in mind, for raw stuff if nothing else.

Angel Alicia
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
15.1 64 5 16 5 22 1 8% 34% 18% 15% .441 45% 34% 28% 72%

2016 draftee Alicea was the most effective Bluefield reliever, working mostly multi-inning appearances in August. He posted some excellent peripherals, and was able to miss bats and work mostly ahead. The one interesting point is that despite a very strong fly profile with a lot of popups, he had a really high BABIP (the expectation is the opposite). In a small sample, the inclination is to say bad luck rather than being hit hard, and everything else is strong.

Brayden Bouchey
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
15 68 5 11 11 25 0 16% 37% 61% 10% .349 47% 43% 29% 65%

Despite lacking high end stuff, Bouchey excelled at missing bats, the best on the team in August, which allowed him to pile up strikeouts. He did struggle some with control, but it was more lapses than consistently falling behind. The final plus is a strong contact profile.

Chris Hall
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
17.1 66 4 10 3 6 0 5% 9% 43% 9% .177 39% 36% 35% 88%

Hall was an early pick on the third day, and ideally you'd at least like to see some interesting results from players picked here, even the collegiate ones, since there is still some opportunity cost. Hall's August numbers are pretty underwhelming though.

Conner Eller
IP TBF R H BB* K HR BB% K% GB% PU% BABIP Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
11 53 6 11 3 17 2 6% 32% 42% 3% .300 57% 32% 33% 70%

Eller posted some nice numbers out of the bullpen, with strong peripherals out of the pen. An under the radar name.