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Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
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dannyb73 Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
Lauer went 6 innings today allowing no runs and picked up his first MLB win! Congrats Eric.
05-06-2018 08:32 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
It's probably a good time to start to look over the Kent alum in the pros as we near the midseason point:

* Travis Shaw (247/347/498) - In the top quarter of 3rd basemen in baseball, he continues to show good power and improved eye (SO rate continues to go down). His D is strong and the biggest problem this year is that lefties have chewed him up (OPS 523) much worse than they have in the past (career OPS vs. lefties of 717). He still have vastly exceeded all my expectations from what he did in the minors and is in the middle of a 10-year run where he will be a good and occasionally great starting 3B.

* Andrew Chafin (34G; 24.2 IP; 1.82 ERA) - Having a really good year. He's getting everyone out (lefties and righties); isn't giving up homeruns (0 this year) and keeping them still on the basepaths (2 SB this year in a double steal). He's basically Arizona's #3 reliever behind Bradley and Boxberger and I think will be a very good reliever for a long time. The biggest issue with Chafin has been the tendency to wear down as the season goes along and that's something to keep an eye on because he's pitching in a lot of games, if not a lot of innings.

* Taylor Williams (23G; 25.1 IP; 2.13 ERA) - He got to the Brewers pen very early in the year and has stuck. Mostly he's pitching low leverage innings in blowouts one way or another, but I've noticed that he is getting his walks under control (11 BBs in first 15 IP and 1 in the last 10.1 IP) while continuing to strike out batter like crazy (35 Ks in 25.1 IP). Now, the Brewers have a great pen, so it isn't likely that Williams will move up in his role this year unless there are injuries, but this season has been a really good indicator on the potential he has and he'd be on my short list of young players to try to get away from the Brewers in a trade.

* Eric Lauer (10 GS; 45 IP; 6.20 ERA) - Well, starting with getting rocks in Coors Field, it's been a rough rookie year for Lauer. His SO rate is ok, his BB/K rate is mediocre and he's giving up too many HRs. The BA on ball in play (BABIP is a massive 396). Now, on one hand, there is a school of thought that says pitchers can't control BABIP very much, so that mostly bad Padres D; there is another school of thought that says that's a ton of linedrives because he's leaving the ball where batters can hit it hard. My take is in between; he's not this bad, but he's not good yet or even average. Big picture though: he just turned 23 and he's got a great arm and the Pads aren't going anywhere and don't have better options for their rotation, so I still think Lauer's got a good future in front of him. He just needs to learn to pitch against this high of a level (after all, a year ago he's playing high A ball).

Next, the minors...
06-16-2018 03:30 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
AA Time:

* Brian Clark (20 G, 31.2 IP; 4.26 ERA at AA). For reasons that aren't clear to me, Brian Clark has been playing for the White Sox' AA team after playing fairly well at AAA last year. I don't think the White Sox see much of a future in Clark, even though his performance has been solid throughout minors. Last year, when the Sox traded their bullpen at the trading deadline, he didn't get promoted. At the end of the year, he didn't get put on the 40 man roster and now he's at AA. The knock I've read on Clark is that he has pretty standard stuff, nothing special, but the results have been pretty good. I just wonder if he'll get a shot.

* John Fasola (15G; 21.0 IP; 3.43 ERA at AA). After missing last year due to Tommy John surgery, Fasola is back and picking pretty well at AA in the Ranger's organization. Fasola showed promise in 2016, so this year will be about reestablishing what he can do.

* David Lyon (released). I can't figure out what the Rangers were doing but they kept Lyon around at AA/AAA for the last two years without playing him. I can only assume they wanted a bullpen catcher/assistant pitching coach). He was released earlier this year.

* Anthony Gallas (retired). After smashing the American Association last year, Gallas decided to retire. At 30, a big league career wasn't likely to happen as he really only had AA-AAA talent (which is nothing to sneeze at). From what I can see, he took a job in California.
06-16-2018 06:57 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
A ball:

Andy Ravel (18G, 29.2 IP, 3.64 ERA) - 2o17 was a disaster for Ravel, and he's been converted to a reliever where he has done much better, even earning a promotion up to high-A ball. His performance this year has been solid, but he needs to start moving up quickly or get passed by.

Luke Burch (302/357/359) - Rosa is old for his level (24), but starting the year at A ball and has been promoted to high A. He's currently playing RF, though he has played centerfield. It's been a pretty good year so far, but the key for Burch to have any sort of career is to get to AA quickly and so he will have to continue having a strong year.

Dylan Rosa (209/314/371) - He's at full season A ball and striking out like crazy (71 Ks in 196 ABs). At 21, there is time and he has shown some power, but wow, that's a lot of Ks.

Conner Simonetti - Was playing with the independent league Lake Erie Crushers, but he got released two weeks ago.

Patrick Dayton - Playing short season ball at State College (Lo-A).

Zach Willeman - Listed as on the DL for the Great Lake Loons of the Midwest League.

That covers everyone that is still active that I can see. I missed Emmanuel Burriss, who was listed as signing a minor league deal with the Angels during the off-season, but didn't seem to even make it to spring training.

For the newly drafted, Eli Kraus has signed and is with State College with Patrick Dayton. Joey Murray has signed and is with Vancouver and I can't find any info of Parks or Haverkost.
06-17-2018 05:56 PM
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ilovegymnast Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
Parks is staying for his senior year according to twitter.
06-17-2018 07:59 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
(06-17-2018 07:59 PM)ilovegymnast Wrote:  Parks is staying for his senior year according to twitter.

Good for Kent and hopefully good for Parks. Any word on Haverkost?
06-17-2018 08:10 PM
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ilovegymnast Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
Not to keep referring to twitter, which I am terrible at using, but Havekost updated his account to show he is a pitcher in Toronto's system. I would assume by that update he is going to or has already signed the contract.
06-18-2018 10:03 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
Yep, Havekost signed with the Jays and was assigned to Bluefield. From what I saw, Joey Murray got slot money, so $169K. I have no idea what Havekost got, but I would guess it would be $100K.
06-20-2018 08:51 PM
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Slinkin Street Flash Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
With Travis Shaw in Milwaukee, the Brewers traded for 3rd baseman Mike Moustakas a few days ago, so Travis has been playing 2B
08-03-2018 11:56 AM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
Taylor Williams was sent down yesterday in a move to open a spot on the playoff roster for a position player. The playoff roster is based on the Aug. 31st roster and teams usually shorten their bullpens in the playoffs, so they don't need 32 pitchers. Williams has been solid, but not great at Milwaukee and is definitely in the back of the bullpen, though I expect he'll be back up after rosters expand in Sept.

Eric Lauer hasn't pitched well as a rookie for the Pads and has been on the DL, but is expected back in early September.

John Fasola tore his ACL covering homeplate for Texas's AA team. This is a bummer since he missed all of 2016 with an injury as well. He pitched pretty well this year and hopefully will get to AAA next year and a serious shot at the bigs.
08-31-2018 09:26 PM
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flash77 Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
(08-31-2018 09:26 PM)bopol Wrote:  Taylor Williams was sent down yesterday in a move to open a spot on the playoff roster for a position player. The playoff roster is based on the Aug. 31st roster and teams usually shorten their bullpens in the playoffs, so they don't need 32 pitchers. Williams has been solid, but not great at Milwaukee and is definitely in the back of the bullpen, though I expect he'll be back up after rosters expand in Sept.

Eric Lauer hasn't pitched well as a rookie for the Pads and has been on the DL, but is expected back in early September.

John Fasola tore his ACL covering homeplate for Texas's AA team. This is a bummer since he missed all of 2016 with an injury as well. He pitched pretty well this year and hopefully will get to AAA next year and a serious shot at the bigs.

Eric Lauer hurls five no-hit innings against the Rockies, striking out two in a terrific return from the disabled list
08-31-2018 09:44 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
Ha. I missed that because the last I read was he would be back in early September. Good news.
08-31-2018 09:49 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
I might as well start some end of the year stuff for the Kent players in the minors since their season is over. So, I'll be skipping Shaw, Chafin, Lauer and Williams for now.

Brian Clark (4.76 ERA at AA Birmingham in the White Sox organization) - It's a bad sign to go back to AA after a full year of AAA and, given the lack of talent in the White Sox organization, they clearly they don't see Clark as playing a role in the future. Clark was average or maybe slightly better than average overall. He was great against lefties and mediocre against righties, his SO/9 and BB/SO rates were above average, but his BABIP was pretty bad, which indicates either he gives up a lot of line drives or was unlucky. Either way, he'll need to improve to have a shot at a big league career. His stuff is considered only OK and I don't think there is that much of a role for pure LOOGY (lefthanded one out guys) anymore, so if I were to guess the most likely path for Clark, it will be to hang around AA/AAA for another 4-5 years and get a brief shot at the bigs.

John Fasola (4.05 ERA at AA Frisco in the Rangers organization) - After a very good 2016, Fasola missed all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery. Hoping to get back on track, Fasola was assigned to AA and pitched pretty well (better than his ERA and, again, a high BABIP) until he was hurt in collision covering home plate, which I believe was a torn ACL. The big plus I see for Fasola is that it seems hard to hit him hard (he doesn't give up many extra base hits), but only playing a half-season in the last two years is really stalling out the development and making it hard to see what potential he has. I think he has a shot at a big league career and hopefully will find himself at AAA next year.

David Lyon was cut by the Rangers organization in June and ended up briefly in the independent Atlantic League. I figure he was kept around to be a bullpen catcher/extra coach the last few years and it will be interesting to see what path he takes for a career.

Luke Burch (304/348/355 in A/A+ in the Tigers organization). The year doesn't look bad, but he's 24, hit for no power (0 HRs in 391 ABs) and had a pretty horrid BB/SO rate (26 BBs and 111 SOs). He played a little center field along with the corners and I think he'll end up in an organization soldier role where he fills in holes at the different levels for a few years, but I don't really see him having a reasonable chance at the bigs at this point.

Dylan Rosa (229/311/388 at A West Michigan in the Tigers organization) - He walked a bit more than Burch and hit with more power, but he struck out just as much and his BA was quite low. He'll have to improve quickly and I think he will end up in an organization soldier role as well.

Andy Ravel (5.40 ERA at A/A+ in the Blue Jays organization) - It was an improvement over last year's disaster - Ravel was moved to the bullpen where he was solid at A ball, but got hit pretty good at A+ ball. He finished up the year on the DL and I don't know why. Nothing about his stat line is encouraging at this point.

Patrick Dayton (0.78 ERA at Peoria in the Cardinals organization) - Dayton didn't pitch at all until the short season started after the draft, where he pitched twice for State College and then was moved to Peoria where he pitched great, which probably has something to do with Peoria being some place no true Golden Flash would want to be. His SO rate was fabulous (13 K/9) and he gave up just 4 extra base hits and no homeruns in 35 IPs. Let's just say he got a bit interesting.

There are another 7 or so guys in short season ball and I'll get to them in the future.
09-23-2018 09:47 PM
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Slinkin Street Flash Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
I'm rooting for the Brewers! Go Travis and Taylor!
10-13-2018 04:37 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
Short Season Guys:

Tim DalPorto - Undrafted Free Agent who signed with the Giants and played a little short season ball and actually finished the season with a weekend in full season Peoria. Didn't hit much (214/318/214 in 66 ABs), but he's a catcher and organizations like having extra catchers around to help out with the sort of things that catchers do, so he might hang for a bit and get more of a chance.

Dom Iero - Playing for Washington (PA) and Joilet in the Frontier League. Didn't hit much (174/287/291).

Eli Kraus - Pitched pretty darn well for the Cardinal's State College club (3.14 ERA with 34Ks/8BBs in 40 IP). He will probably get a full season shot next year.

Jeff Latz - Pitched for the Rangers' short season Spokane club in his 2nd pro year. He was pretty much league average across the board (3.93 ERA in 71 IP with 24 BBs/67 Ks)

Joey Murray - Looked strong for the Blue Jays' Vancouver club (1.75 ERA with 39Ks/10BBs in 25.2 IPs). Next year, he'll be in a full season club probably at the A-A+ level and I think he'll do well. The question of him being a legit prospect will probably be answered in 2020 when he plays AA.

Connor Simonetti - Played for Lake Erie and Washington (PA) in the Frontier League and didn't hit much (217/273/326)

Jared Skolnicki - Played for the Rockie's Grand Junction team (man, the Flashes were all over the Pioneer League) where he pitched well (2.78 ERA with 26Ks/3BBs in 32.1 IP). Hopefully, that gets him a spot on a full season club next year.

Zach Willeman - Played for Dodgers organization between short season rookie and A ball and pitched well (1.42 ERA with 8 BBs/24 SOs in 19 IP). Since he was drafted, I'd expect him to get a full season club look next year.
10-14-2018 12:49 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2018 edition
And getting to the guys in the bigs:

* Taylor Williams spent the vast majority of the year with the Brewers, pitching solidly but not great. 56 Gs, 53 IPs, 25 BBs, 57 SOs and an ERA of 4.25. He was basically their mop-up man the entire year, rarely pitching in important situations and, in the end, was left off of the Brewer's postseason roster. Digging deeper, he was quite good in the first half, pretty darn lousy in the second half, dominated righties and got killed by lefties. Now, my take would be that he's got a power arm and the Brewers do seem to love his arm, but isn't doing the things he needs to do to stick in the bigs yet. But, let's keep in mind that he didn't pitch a lot last year after missing a full two years due to injury. I think he could go either way and would expect him in the same role next year while he sees if he can figure out what it takes to be a strong major league reliever.

* Travis Shaw (241/340/485) - Another really good year for Shaw and I even wonder if he underperformed given his low BA. His SO rate was the lowest of his career, his walk rate being the highest and power being just fine. His D at third was really good, but the Brewers decided to jerk him around and stick him at 2nd Base when they traded for Moustakas. He had never played 2nd and was ok there (his range was not great, but he only made 1 error in 39 games). The only negative thing I see is that Shaw didn't hit lefties last year at all, compared to previous years where he was at least ok if not quite average. I think he's near his ceiling, which is to say, he is a near All-Star 3rd baseman and vastly exceeded any expectations I had for him when he was in the minors.

* Andrew Chafin (3.10 ERA in 49.1 IP; 25 BBs, 53 SOs). Chafin was 3rd in the NL in games pitched with 77 and I can't help but think that his late fade (11.12 ERA in September) had something to do with that because it's happened before. Chafin went from a 1 inning guy to more a LOOGY towards the end of the year when nothing was going right for the D'Backs. He was really good against righties and lefties (before Sept), didn't give up a HR the entire year and kept the running game in check (5 SBs in 8 attempts) - all things to love in a reliever. I think the D'backs need to change his usage pattern to not burn him out because he really is one of the better relievers in the game.

* Eric Lauer (4.34 ERA in 112 IP; 46 BBs, 100 SOs) - At times it was a rough rookie year for Lauer as he was shelled a lot, which isn't really reflected with his overall stats as he pitched so well at the end of the year. What I read consistently was, when Lauer had the fastball going at 92-93 mph, it was moving great and he was dominant. That's what we saw towards the end of the year, but there was also a stretch in the middle of the year where he had it going. When his fastball was 89 mph, it flattens out and he gets killed. If it's a question of mechanics, injury or otherwise, who's to say, but the Padres have a good pitcher in the making if he reaches his potential. The other problem I see is that he runs up the pitch count really fast and was typically hitting 100 pitches by the sixth, which means he needs a lot of bullpen help to get him through his starts. He averaged less than 5 innings per start. But the reality is that only 3 starting pitchers from the 2016 draft have made the majors (teammate Joey Lucchesi and the Indians Shane Bieber), so, even though 2018 was a mixed bag, Lauer will likely have a fruitful major league career ahead of him if he can stay healthy.
10-15-2018 02:29 PM
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