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Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2019 edition
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bopol Offline
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Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2019 edition
Because we should have one when Eric Lauer pitches 6 shutout innings on opening day.

In the bigs:
Travis Shaw (3B Brewers)
Taylor Williams (RP Brewers)
Eric Lauer (SP Padres)
Andrew Chafin (RP D'backs)

and a cast of tens in the minors...
03-29-2019 01:30 PM
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bopol Offline
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2019 edition
Might as well do a May 1 update:

* Andrew Chafin is pitching well for the D'backs after a rough early outing. He seems to be in the setup role he's been in the past, but brought in where there is a clear platoon advantage.

* Eric Lauer has been solid for the Padres, but a little below average (kind of like last year). His fastball has been in the 92 mph range, which is good, but he does give up too many homeruns.

* Travis Shaw is off to a really rough start (194/282/347), but has shown some signs of the bat waking up the last week or so. His BB/SO has been bad this year (and it was horrendous in spring training), so I'm not sure what's up.

* Taylor Williams started the year in Milwaukee, didn't pitch particularly well and got sent to the minors where he has been ok. I think he'll bounce up and down a bit this year.

* John Fasola got promoted to St. Louis' AAA team. He hasn't pitched well, but he is only one step from the bigs. He was taken in the offseason minor league Rule 5 draft from the Rangers.

* Brian Clark started the year in AA for the White Sox and got released in mid-April. I'm not sure if Clark has big-league talent, but it was clear he was going no where with the Sox, so a fresh start somewhere might be helpful for him.
05-01-2019 01:51 PM
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bopol Offline
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2019 edition
Seems like it is time for a midseason update.

* Travis Shaw was demoted to AAA San Antonio to straighten out whatever is wrong. I've heard he has had wrist issues and he has spent time on the DL this year. I've also heard that he is striking the ball fairly well and has been very unlucky. A drop off so significant is likely due to some other forces (injuries), so I would expect he gets his stroke back and finds his way back to the bigs this year.

* Andrew Chafin has been very good for the D-Backs. I've noticed he is pitching mostly in the sixth or the seventh in close games (he is 6th in the NL in holds) and has been put in situations where he is facing more lefties than in the past with a quicker hook. 60% of his opponent's batters have been lefty as opposed to 45% over the course of his career. With Chafin, the question is how to avoid the second half dropoff that seems to happen every year as he tires out. We'll see if this approach works. If it does, Chafin cements himself as one of the top left-handed relievers in the game.

* Eric Lauer has been solidly average for the Padres, with a 5-7 record and a 4.22 ERA. I actually think he has been better than that, since he got absolutely nuked the two times he pitched in Coors Field (which mean he has been nuked in all 3 of his Coors Field starts). If you take out those two games, his ERA is 3.05, which is excellent. Overall, his K rate is a bit low, but it is made up for a low BB rate and improved HR rate. The one thing I find odd is how quickly Lauer gets pulled as he is only averaging 85 pitches and 5 1/3 innings a start. Last year, it seemed like he ran up his pitch count quickly and got pulled early. This year, he is more efficient with his pitches, but still getting pulled early. Maybe they are protecting the young arm (he's just 24). I doubt he'll be a star, but I do think there is room for improvement to become a strong starting pitcher for a fairly long time.

* Taylor Williams started the season with the Brewers, but has been demoted three times and brought back up twice so far this year. He basically is being used to fill out the bullpen when the backend gets worn out, which is what one of the Brewer's bloggers predicted in spring training. He, unfortunately, has a horrible stat line with the Brewers with a 12.66 ERA in 10 2/3 innings, which is mostly because he gave up 8 runs in 1/3 inning in a 16-0 loss to the Marlins. Of course, that is a statistical fluke as I think I could put up a better line than that. At AAA, he has pitched quite well, with a low 1.15 ERA and an excellent K/BB ratio. He is getting caught in that AAAA role and will need a prolonged stay of success in the bigs to get out of it as there is nothing quite as fringy in the bigs as righthanded back of the bullpen relievers.

So, those are your 4 Kent players that has hit the bigs this year. I'll hit the high minor guys next (Clark, Fasola and Burch).
07-04-2019 10:22 AM
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bopol Offline
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2019 edition
Both Travis Shaw and Taylor Williams are back up with the Brewers. For Shaw, he hit a fine 286/445/593 at San Antonio with a good BB/K rate (1:1) and hopefully has found his stroke.

For Williams, it is his fourth trip to the bigs this year and hopefully he'll hang around for more than a few days.

Going to the high minors,

* Brian Clark has been pitching for the Atlantic League High Point Rockers and pitching well. He has a 2.89 ERA in 26 IP with 8 BBs and 23 Ks. Hopefully he latches onto an organization that will give him a chance (unlike the White Sox).

* John Fasola has split time between the AA & AAA teams of the Cardinals. He hasn't pitched well (7.36 ERA) and has been hurt since early May and I don't know what's wrong.

* Luke Burch. Starting the year in high A and then was promoted to AA Erie in the Tigers organization and then recently released. He is a funny player because he has no power and his BB/K ratio sucks, but he hits for a very high average (316 this year) and that makes him useful. I wonder if he'll land a chance elsewhere and I would love to have him if I were running an independent league club.

* Joey Murray. Starting the year at A and has been promoted to high A and now AA. As good of a pitcher he was in college, I expected him to be able to handle A ball and he did (2.69 ERA with 31 BBs and 117 Ks in 93 2/3 IP). He's had 3 starts at AA and has 14Ks and 3 BBs in 9 IP. I think we'll find out if Murray is a prospect at AA and I actually think he is and will end up being a steal as a 8th round draft choice.

I'll hit the low minors later...
07-29-2019 04:19 PM
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