Thursday, October 6, 2011

Talkin' about the Hagerstown Suns-The Pitchers

Time permits,so lets move on the look at the Hagerstown Suns pitchers,which is not as heavy on quantity,but perhaps (Bryce Harper excepted) better from the quality control side...

The two top prospects were clearly from the 2010 draft in righthander A.J.Cole and southpaw Robbie Ray.
The interesting fact for me in comparing the two is that they pitched the exact number of innings on the season as the other (89),so should be easy as far stats go.
Ray had the better ERA,while Cole struck more batters out.
Both had a poor final month of the season and inflated their numbers a bit.
That could be a case of high school pitchers wearing out over the course of their first full pro season,so I would put that off to the side as a non-issue.
Cole throws a bit harder,while Ray seems to have more of a feel for pitching.
Cole seems to have the slightly higher upside,but Ray seems to be a safer bet.
In any event,both are on track to become part of the Washington National rotation eventually.

Taylor Jordan posted excellent numbers before a season ending injury,but Jordan does not have the toolbox of Cole and Ray to dip into.
Jordan keeps the ball on the ground and that type of pitcher that keeps the ball down and uses off speed stuff can often find success in the SAL,but the hitters more often than not catch up to that prototype as the competition stiffens.
63 strikeouts in 90+ innings is the fire alarm to me on Jordan.

Chris Manno was devastating in his half season as the SAL hitters had no clue on what to do with him
Keep in mind that Manno is a college pitcher (Duke) and should have been feasting on the SAL.
In any event,when you have an ERA of barely over 1.00,you are far better than what you are facing.
Washington did not seem to be as impressed as Manno was not promoted after the first half and was part of the Jonny Gomes trade in mid-season.
Manno just went to the Reds,who started him in High A Bakersfield in a notorious hitters league and park and just posted an even better ERA and whiffed 31 batters in 13 appearances/17 innings.
I was not sure on Manno as a Sun,but those numbers in Bakersfield make me a believer....

Neil Holland might have been the breakthrough bullpenner had he not played on the same team as Manno.
Very nice numbers and did well after a promotion to Potomac.
Holland is not overpowering,but the numbers are solid enough to think about.
I can see Holland in AA Harrisburg next season.

I did not see Sammy Solis as much as I would have liked and when I did,he was still chipping the rust off,so I have little to add on his Hagerstown stint because he was not razor sharp.
Solis struck out a batter a inning as a Sun and fell a hair short of the same number in Potomac.

Bobby Hansen had some really intriguing numbers away from the Muni before a mid season injury that finished his 2011,so I am interested in his 2012 season.

Matt Grace led the team in wins,but his numbers were bad and I don't see much of a future when I see his stuff.
Paul Applebee is an organizational soldier type that is helped by being a lefty tosser,although he had a strong 2011 season.
Matt Swynenberg has the funky motion that will baffle lower level hitters,but might not play as well as he rises,while Ryan Demmin pitched well in a late season Hagerstown cameo,but turns 24 next April and will need to get off to a fast start.

Other than that,the rest seem to be non-prospect roster filler,with the arguable omission of Ben Graham,who had nice numbers,but was old for the level.
The 2011 Hagerstown Suns had a memorable season that will live on for quite a while for Hub City fans.
Between the Bryce Harper arrival and the first half final week collapse that saw an almost certain division title go by the wayside,this season will be talked about for years...

I will try to look at the Suns off the field thoughts sometime next week...

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