Surprised to know that the Rangers' organization has been involved with 3 no hitters this season? Here they are:
Nice TR Sullivan piece on Cruz's ASG experience.
Esteban German was a man among boys in the AAA ASG. He would have been the MVP if the PCL squad had pitched better. He was 3-4 with a double, 9th inning 2-run HR, 4 rbi, an error and a stolen base.
Bob Hersom has a nice review up of the Redhawk's first half.
Matt Patterson has a nice piece up on Nelson Cruz.
Frisco ASG. You know, I can't remember if I posted the recap here so here it is (from July 1). Gentry and Pena 0-2 and Kiker 1ip/1so. Poveda and Smoak were on the DL.
Blake Beavan has 4SO in his last 22.1 innings, and 2SO in his last 18 while his ground-out rate has doubled. Sounds like the 2-seamer has been brought back for July after is was ditched in May and June.
Nice piece on Tim Smith:
"We do describe him as a handsy-type guy," said head coach Mike Micucci. "He's got quick hands and quick bat coming through the zone. It's just basically how his swing works and what his thought process is to make his swing work. All the good hitters have good hands."
Kennil Gomez came off the DL for his start on Wednesday. To my knowledge that move was never posted or announced anywhere, his injury or his activation. And actually, this couldve been the second time that he has gone on the DL - who knows? - as his start was skipped between 6/21 and 6/29 as well.
That is the thing that really sucks about the Blaze's organizational FAIL, this dearth of info: they have no radio guy and they are administrtatively incompetent, failing to report their roster moves to the MiLB. Very weird. The lack of a radio voice really sucks given all of the inside info that you can glean from the games. The other shortcoming from that location is that they have no consistent press coverage, so that combined with the ORG - FAIL means you get zero team info over the course of the season. I sincerely hope that TX ditches that baseball black hole for 2010.
I have Gomez ranked very highly in my preliminary top 30 - 15ish - but if he is having a recurrence of last year's shoulder issues I might have to reclassify him as a reliever; I'm not sure his shoulder can take a starter's routine.
Mike Vlahovich has a great article on 11th rounder Johnny Gunter. Their coach Tug Hulett had this to say:
“He’s a power guy,” said manager Tim Hulett. “We call him ‘Big Country.’ He just rears back and lets it fly.”
My thinking back on draft day was that both Andrew Doyle and Braden Tullis were both excellent values in the 4-8 range, as Doyle has a realistic ceiling as a #3 while Tullis has a realistic ceiling as a 4/5. Anytime you can get guys with mid-rotation ceiling in that range, great. Based on their season's to date, I still feel the same way, though recent rather breathless appraisals of Tullis' value in the blogosphere are a bit overstated.
Braden Tullis had (another) very nice start tonight. He had a 6 inning, 4-hit outing with a 10-1 go-ao ratio, 2walks and 6 strikeouts and maybe ONE full count. The most interesting thing about the game however was that the announcer was getting some errant velo info from the scoreboard or somewhere. As far into the game as the 3rd inning, he was calling the velo for both starting pitchers in the 97-100 range. Imagine my surprise at the first 97 reading for Tullis followed shortly by a 99 - WOW! After the third, however, without any acknowledgement of the issue that I heard, the velo reads for fastballs for both pitchers were in the more this-worldly 87-92 range...
Anyways, back to recent Tullis helium, recent claims that he was "the steal of the draft" (which draft, TX, MLB?) should be taken with a grain of salt. Another claim that "he is projected to add velo" is possible but given his mature frame - 6.2 200 - unlikely. In addition, given that most pitchers add velo due to improved mechanics as they progress through the system - especially during their second year -it can hardly be said to be an interesting insight that they may throw a tic harder 3 years down the line, no? In addition, given the history of more than a few of our top prospects in the last 3 years, it is also just as likely for them to _lose_ velo.
IMO Tullis was drafted exactly where he should have been drafted given that he profiled as a back rotation starter with present stuff, command and pitchability who could move quickly through the system. As a JC player, he was already highly regarded, as most second tier JC guys are drafted in the 6-10 range (1st tier generally 2-5 range; third tier 11-15; others post 20 range). Almost every decent (read, not elite) starter prospect profiles cconservatively as having mid-rotation ceiling and Tullis is no different, however his (like most) likely ceiling is as a 4/5: super athletic (in general), average fastball, 88-92, commands in and out, down in the zone; above-average command of all pitches; AA pitchability; AA changeup; AA curveball, throws for strikes as well as strikeouts. At present, no plus pitches.
In terms of improvements that he has seen since HS, he has improved his CB into an AA offering and he now touches 92 when he needs a strikeout. I'[m not sure about his change but it was reported to already be AA. Also, given his high GO rate, I wonder if the kid throws a 2-seamer or if his 4-seamer just has a lot of sink; it could be that he throws both - I guess we might not find out for sure until instructs. No reports on his mechanics, arm strength or arm speed that I have found.
In an expected though belated move, J2 bonus-baby bust E. Solis demoted from Spokane. He was limited to DH'g since the arrival of Mendonca.